An interesting thought popped into my head during this day walking in the woods and approaching this area. The woods around my home are pretty much a jumbled mess. Vines, scrubby bushes and snags, thorny plants everywhere. Long time readers may recall me mentioning this a few times in the past. I think most would agree that the simpler a photograph can be, the stronger it becomes. Eliminate distracting elements that will confuse the eye and our brains is a fundamental of composition. So doing landscape type work in my woods can be quite difficult.
Snow is already a great simplifier, but what became immediately clear in this area was this path. A path moves through an archway of snow covered trees. Why fight your way through the tangled brush, when you can simply go through here? I imagined deer and many other animals thinking the same thing. If I were a deer, I would certainly take that path versus fighting through snags and thorns. The path of least resistance has so many examples in nature.
So this made me think back to our attraction towards simplicity; Simplicity in designs, simplicity in movement, simplicity in photography. I wondered if this positive feedback response in our brains goes back to our early evolution as a species and instincts for survival. Perhaps our natural tendency to conserve energy, follow the path of least resistance is so built into our brains, it also influences our perceptions on photography.
File under “Things that make you go ‘hmmmm…”