I have a photo of a blue sky, showing the horizon and the water. It does not contain a complicated subject. I took it spontaneously and it is not that interesting. It is rather plain. I am looking for an adjective (plain or simple) which preferably does not have a negative connotation (not dull, for instance).

Would plain/simple/basic work or is there a better adjective?


3 Answers 3


The thing that comes to mind first is a "typical country scene".

Example: https://uwispace.sta.uwi.edu/dspace/handle/2139/4741

However, I'm not sure if this is an apt description of your photo, because I don't quite know what your photo shows. Is it only the sky (maybe a few clouds here and there) and the sea? If so, it would make for a rather "plain seascape".

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    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 8:45

The following words express the required plainness adequately.

Quotidian (Wiktionary) Having the characteristics of something which can be seen, experienced, etc, every day or very commonly; commonplace, ordinary, mundane.

Prosaic (Wiktionary) (main usage, usually of writing or speaking but also figurative) Overly plain, simple or commonplace, to the point of being boring.

Modest (Wiktionary) Not bragging or boasting about oneself or one's achievements; unpretentious, humble.

You can also use "routine".

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    And you could call it ordinary.
    – Xanne
    Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 18:38

You might find the adjective "banal" proper, although it is mildly disapproving.

(OALD) banal adjective /bəˈnɑːl/ (disapproving)
​very ordinary and containing nothing that is interesting or important

  • a banal conversation about the weather
  • He knew how banal the question was as soon as he had asked it.
  • She murmured some banal phrases of encouragement.

Another possibility is "artless", which is not disapproving.

(OALD) artless adjective
/ˈɑːtləs/ /ˈɑːrtləs/ (formal)
​simple, natural and honest

  • the artless sincerity of a young child

(ref.) This artless picture with its wood - toy farm animals provides a delightful glimpse of the unformed style of Birket Foster , in which we can see an inherent sense of composition and hints of his adult manner , with a marked ability to ...

  • "preferably does not have a negative connotation" Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 14:53

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