One of the concepts from information theory that I think is crucial to successful photography is that of noise. In information theory, you have information and you have noise. Noise is anything that is not information. “Big deal,” you say. But hearken. Noise is not only non-information, it is a subtractive quantity. That is, it interferes with the amount of information that any channel can carry. It does this by distracting your attention from the important content. Indeed, in some cases, noise becomes ambiguous and we can’t tell what’s information and what’s not; what’s important and what’s not.
Look at the photograph, which is from the Utah Historical Society archives, and depicts a race car on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Notice all the elements which draw attention away from the important feature, which is (I assume) the man fiddling with the wheel well: the car in the upper center, the disembodied legs and hands and bellies. All these things are noise, and make the picture very messy.