Minimalism photography is a process of separation

Minimalist Photography

It is a process of peeling off unnecessary elements from the screen, so that the screen presents a simple aesthetic feeling. Like all visual arts, minimalism is based on the basic elements of vision: point (main body), line (guide line, split line), color, texture and their composition rules. There is no strict sentence to define minimalism, so the concept of minimalism is general, but on the whole, we must follow one rule: Keep It Simple!

Photo by I? aki Bolumburu

Keeping it simple means compromising. You need to subtract from the picture and discard elements that are not needed or seem less important. But at the same time, it also represents persistence, persistence in those elements that you think must be retained. Use finite elements to create infinite space.

This is a process of slowing down shooting and re evaluating pictures. You need to think carefully and decide what pictures you want, how to compose and how to expose them. Some people say that shooting minimalism is actually a process of meditation, which makes some sense, but it still needs to come to a conclusion, that is, the pictures you have taken.

Photo by Lewis Baltz

Do I have to find a large open space in the wilderness to shoot minimalism? In fact, not necessarily, there are many pictures in the urban landscape that can be constructed simply. In the natural landscape, minimalism is mainly achieved by environment and life, while the color, line and structure of buildings in cities are enough for creators to play.

aboutMinimalist Photography

As for narrative language, it is extremely important. You need to catch the viewer’s heart in the shortest time. Narrative language is mainly reflected in composition. Unlike a work with strong story, minimalist photography does not need complex composition to guide the viewer. In minimalist photography, the most common and common composition rules are enough. Like the rule of thirds, this is the basic composition for many people to take photos, and its gravity shift is enough to guide the viewer.

Photo by Megan Kennedy

Then there is color. Color not only exists as a supporting role, but also can be used as an element in photographic works to establish the atmosphere and emotional language of images through color contrast.

The color here should include black and white, and the contrast between black, white and gray can better reflect the atmosphere of the picture. You can create isolated color blocks in your works to increase the depth of the image. In fact, this is easy to find in cities, but most of us often fail to notice the details of life. Use complementary colors to enhance your theme.

C. Schwarzer

Robert Adams

In the image, lines can exist as guide lines, and also as segmentation lines. Lines can be seen almost everywhere in our daily life, no matter the outline of buildings or the extension of roads, where we see them, they are almost the shadow of lines. But it is precisely because of their ubiquity that they often become the inevitable interference elements in minimalist works. Therefore, when we compose a picture, we should see the direction of the lines clearly, and then give the visible lines meaning to separate the picture, or guide the main body, or as perspective lines to increase the depth of the image.

Photo by Lewis Baltz

Photo by Lier Knoles

The use of texture is equally important. In minimalist photography, they are often expressed in the form of repeated patterns, which also reflects the irreproducibility of images. Texture emphasizes the contrast of space by destroying other spaces, and can convey the content, mood and light of images to viewers through details.

Photo by Hossein Zare

Photo by Christoph-Hetzmannseder

The last thing to say is negative space, which is also the focus of minimalist photography. I once emphasized negative space in an article, so I won’t repeat it here. To put it simply, negative space is not an actual element. It is a blank space between different subjects. It is mainly used to clean up the image, expand the image, highlight the subject, and make the screen transition between different subjects.

Photo by Jim Casper

A good negative space can let the viewer not pay attention to the inevitable noise, but concentrate on the description of the subject, and can also form an expansion around the image, so that the viewer’s thinking is not limited to the frame itself but extends beyond the frame. Because negative space plays a role of highlighting the subject, it also highlights the theme of the story.

In indoor photography, architectural photography and environmental photography, we often use minimalist expressions to highlight the subject’s expression of the theme. Although it is not so easy to shoot, we often do not know what is needed and what should be abandoned, leaving what should not be left, but leaving the most important.

Photo by Serge Najjar