Sidestepping the problem

When there are two separated objects, you can arrange the camera position to place one behind the other; and, by extension, arrange to have any horizontal separation you like. You can use this to simplify the composition or to position objects to make the most pleasing arrangement.

In the woodland scene above, what caught my eye was the arrangement of the four trees I’ve marked in red. However, I didn’t like the light coloured and very obvious tree stump on the left, and the confused arrangement of overlapping trunks by the side of the tree on the far right. The enlarged view of this part of the scene shows these trunks in more detail.

I knew that how these lined up depended on my position relative to them, so I moved different distances from side to side, observing the effect on the relationships of these objects. Looking at the mass of tree trunks on the right, just six steps produced a great simplification.

The new position has not only hidden the unwanted tree stump, but also two of the trunks, and made it appear that the third is part of the tree on the right. The resulting simplification concentrates the attention on the parts I wanted to emphasise.