In photography it is better to have fewer distracting elements

It is not always possible to get it right in Camera.  Sometime, distracting elements are part of the scene.  We have to cope with it. This picture is a good example of this.  Aligned lobster traps on the wharf and leading lines creates a great perspective.  Repetition of elements and the three groups of colorful lobster traps are nice.  Three is always a good number in photography and design.

Moreover, the fog is great and enhances the perspective and the sense of depth.  Water reflection on the side of the wharf along the lamp-post at the end of it creating a subdued light in the fog, also bring value.

Distracting elements are part of a scene that does not help to the picture.  These distracting elements are better removed from the scene before taking the picture.  In this picture the structures in the sky on the left side and over the near group of traps are distracting.  Removing it from the scene was not a valid option while on site.

When you are on site, take the time to scan the borders of the scene in the viewfinder and ask yourself if there are distracting elements.  Framing differently or changing you viewpoint might get rid of these distracting elements.  When I took this picture, what draw my attention is the great perspective created by the wharf and the near perfect alignment of lobster traps.  I had no other option than to shoot it with these distracting elements in it.

Removing Distracting Elements

Here is a great use of Photoshop Content Aware Fill.  This tool is particularly useful in this situation.  It took only a few minutes to remove these distracting element from the scene in post-production.

How often have you seen electric wires in a scene?  These electric wires seldom bring any value to a picture.  Removing them is so easy with this feature of Photoshop.

For more information on Content Aware Fill and how to make the most out of it, visit this Adobe Blog Post.  It provides valuable information on improving results with it.

Now consider the revised version of the same picture.  Do you agree that it is far more interesting?