Minimalism is a photographic style that enjoys great popularity with many photographers because it allows us to identify the main element of the recording without distraction.
In a world where the saturation of information and images is increasingly rooted, we enjoy a much more relaxed visual experience in a minimalist work. In today’s article, we’ll look at the key keys to this photographic style so you can put it into practice.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is an artistic style used by many twentieth-century artists whose core is the use of a minimum of components such as color, shape, line, pattern and / or texture.
This style is intended to convey a concept, an idea, or even an emotional reaction of the person viewing the image. For this reason, it is important to minimize the elements that appear in the composition so that those that appear in the composition are essential to convey what we want. Although we must of course take into account that it is a very subjective style, it is open to different interpretations.
Producing minimalistic photography presents us with a great challenge, because telling a story with minimal elements is a complicated task, but not impossible. As we strive to put this photographic style into practice, we will take a new perspective from which to photograph what surrounds us and transform it into authentic works of art of everyday art.
11 Tips for Applying Minimalism in Photography
Next we will see which resources are the most used when composing our minimalist photographs. You will verify that we have tried to break them down to the maximum, although I must warn you that all are intimately related to each other.
1. Less is More
If there is something essential in minimalism, less is more. We need to look for simplicity in our photographs, which does not mean our footage needs to be boring or uninteresting.
The most important thing is that we choose one main reason that is conspicuous and attractive, so that it attracts the attention of the beholder from the first moment. This motif, which does not necessarily have to be an issue, must be the strongest element of the recording, although that does not mean that it makes up most of the composition.
If we want to realize our minimalist attitude, the center of interest is as important as what surrounds it. When composing the recording, we must pay close attention to the space that surrounds the point of interest, because depending on what we include in the frame and from which perspective we do this, it can distract attention and rob the protagonist of the main motive.
2. Isolate the Theme
We have seen that it is less important to put fewer elements into our composition to practice minimalist photography. However, it is also important that we isolate our main theme, either looking for smooth or neutral backgrounds and using shallow depth of field to blur the background elements of our photography.
As we’ve already told you, it’s important that you have an outstanding component of the composition to enhance the impact of your capture. That’s why, before you shoot like mad, it’s important to take the time to analyze which elements you include in the frame and what not, and how to distribute the place in which the main element is located.
For example, with the third rule, you can decide how to assemble your image, and you can also use the game offered by the patterns and lines.
The key part is that our subject or protagonist appears well-focused and if you use a shallow depth of field that emphasizes this element, you will still pay more attention to the center of interest.
4. The Power of the Lines
Lines are a common compositional element that helps us direct the viewer’s gaze to a particular point in the image, as well as conveying the ability to convey depth or distance.
In minimalism, strong lines play a very important role, as they can create a sense of isolation, disconnection, connection, distance, closeness and depth.
In addition, both well-marked vertical lines, such. As horizontal or diagonal lines, serve as a basis for the rest of the image flows over them.
There is no photography without light, but neither without shadows. The contrast between lights and shadows is used a lot to create minimalist images , so try to be attentive to the lighting and shadows of your surroundings, since you never know where your next minimalist photo can appear.
6. Complementary Colors
If there is a resource to play with in minimalist photography, it’s color. The color is extremely useful if we want to get a simple picture, but at the same time focus attention on one point.
Finding the contrast between colors or playing with elements that have complementary colors, like yellow and purple or orange and blue, will work very well.
6. Black and White
One way to minimize a photo to its maximum expression is to use some of the techniques we’ve discussed and capture the image in black and white. In this way we will eliminate yet another distraction, namely the color, and leave the picture in its pure essence.
But beware, no black and white photography is a minimalist photograph. Do not get confused. You need to apply other resources, such as As the use of negative space, and a good composition.
Geometric patterns are also a good resource to use in our minimalist compositions. The architecture will give you great examples of them so you can incorporate them into your photographs, such as windows, stairs, doors, brick walls, or even bridges.
We talked about patterns, but textures are also used in minimalist photography. To achieve this, good lighting is the key to improving textures and highlighting their contrast and (or colors). The goal is for the viewer to feel what it would be like to touch the element whose texture we are seeing.
9. Negative Space
We have already told you on other occasions that the negative space is very valuable in a capture, because on the one hand it helps us to let the composition breathe , and on the other when we try to make it cleaner of elements, we will also focus more on our motive main photographic, something that will be very useful for our minimalist images.
In addition, the negative space also allows us to create a sense of scaling in the image, which gives us clues as to how large or small the objects or subjects are the protagonists of the image in relation to the environment in which they are located.
For example, you can search for the negative space by changing the angle of view and shooting toward the color of the sky in the color of a wall of a house. or even in a blurred background. The possibilities are manifold.
When we’re looking for an emotional response, contrast is one of the best resources we’ll find. And I do not just mean the contrast of colors or the light contrast between light and shadow that comes to mind when we think of the word “contrast“.
This term also includes the contrast between forms or even between ideas or feelings. This is a fantastic resource to transmit a message with power that makes the viewer think and attracts all his attention.
11. Tell a story
We’ve already analyzed many keys that make for a good minimalist photography: they have a bold center, simple lines, attractive and contrasting colors … But to go a step further, we need something more. Can your image tell a story in a minimalist style? Can it convey sensations or concepts?
In order to tell a story in a minimalist way, we must have a strong interest, but also lighting, people or movement.
Stay with the Important!
The style of minimalist photography can offer us images with a lot of strength. That they are simple and contain the minimum possible elements to avoid distractions, will make the spectator instantly know where he has to look.
We encourage you that the next time you go out with your camera do not be afraid to try different styles, and you dare to put this kind of photography into practice.
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