Friday, October 9, 2015

7 Tips for Minimalist Photography.

The first sign of fall.
“Minimalist photography is not simply about taking a photograph of less. Minimalism is about getting to the essence of something.” (Steve Johnson)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines minimalism as follows: “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity”.
This definition can be applied to minimalist photography as well.

Minimalism extends the idea that art should not be an imitation of some other thing in the real world, such as a landscape or a person. Minimalism makes attempts to represent its own reality; the photographer wants the viewer to respond only to what is in front of them. The simplicity of minimalism is very thought provoking. Sometimes the image is more philosophical, than real.

Minimalism is a very subjective, open to interpretations concept in the art, which emphasizes the purity of color, form, space and materials.
“A shape, a volume, a color, a surface is something itself. It shouldn't be concealed as part of a fairly different whole.” (Donald Judd)
It is an interesting fact that an American artist Donald Judd who became known as one of the key exponents of “Minimalism”, strongly rejected this term. He preferred to describe his own work as “the simple expression of complex thought”.

Minimalism can generally be summed up by the phrase “Less is more” (This is the phrase by the German-American architect Mies Van Der Pohe, but it’s surely not only about the architecture).

Minimalism is the art of simplicity. Minimalist photography focuses on a few essential elements (complementary or contrasting colors, lone subjects, simple lines, geometric shapes, strong shadows) for composing the photograph.

7 tips for minimalist photography:

1. Make your subject the strongest point of your photograph.
Choose your subjects very careful; accentuate your shot on one or few similar objects. It will be the first step to make your object dominate. Focus on your subject (it will be the second step).
A golden leaf.

2. Remove elements that can distract the viewer from your main subject.
Take out of the frame anything that can be taken; use depth of field, making the background blurry.
We can compare a photograph that has distracting elements with an essay that has a lot of words without complete sentences and punctuation marks.

3. Experiment with color.
There are many ways to do this: use complementary colors between your main subject and the rest part of the shot; use contrasting colors; make the subject the same color as your background; use the color out of the shot (for example use the strip of the color in the black and white photo in post production).

4. Textures and colors, lines and geometric patterns could become the main subjects of your minimalist photograph.
Bark of a birch tree (from inside)

5. Use the “negative space”.
Negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in a photo (when there’s one subject).  Negative space is the area between and around objects in a photo (when there are several subjects). The main subject is known as the “positive space”. Negative space emphasizes the main subject of a photo. When you have the positive and negative spaces in the photo well balanced, (when you have “breathing room in your photo) you get a good composed image.
In the early spring.

6. Take several shots of the same subject.
To find the best simple thing that capable to evoke emotion you can try different angles, lighting and exposures.

7. A minimalist approach can be applied to nature photography and other types of photography as well.
Try to look at the ordinary things differently and … happy shooting!
The Mediterranean Sea

The following quotes have been attributed to the minimalism:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
 “Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.” (Albert Einstein)
“Simplicity is complex. It's never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking.” (Richie Norton)
“Minimalism means not trying to improve perfection.” (Bryant McGill)

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