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Alan Brown's picture

Minimalism - open discussion

Minimalism is one of those themes that is always open to debate. What defines a minimalistic image? How should one approach the subject?

I know I have my own views but would love to hear yours whether a novice or veteran. What makes or breaks an minimalistic image for you, or indeed do you love or hate the genre?

Just to stir the juices here are a couple of articles that may get the brain cells moving;



Don't forget, I am still looking for submissions suitable for the group banner so start shooting or delving through your catalog.

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Vijay Mewada's picture

Wow !! Lets stirr it first with words (for a change) before the work...
Just followed your chronology.

MINIMALIST : Uncluttered clarity of concept and emotional expression to convey the story involving fewer elements.

APPROACH: Grab your glass, move around (unhurried), aimless, calm, breath, meditative. See through the Glass without any pressure to "make" anything. Start clearing composition. involve some photographic technicality. At location and at table.

Overall, it's a synchronised approach of What and How. Where could be anywhere (since for self and not paid).

MAKES or BREAKS: Tougher act of weigh-balance. Conceptual clarity of expression on other side need to be heavier. Proportionate to removal of element/s.

LOVE or HATE: Absolutely love the purity of this art-form. Hate when see fewer of my contribution.

Mike Osmond's picture

Well said Vijay...

To me, I absolutely love this art form taken to almost to it's limit to an almost zen like state, with two elements (at the most three) in the composition.

I haven't even tried this genre as yet as I find it quite daunting and in that respect, thanks for posting the links Alan. I'll go have a look and who knows, perhaps I'll lose this fear of it...



Matthew Lacy's picture

I find that effective minimalist images usually have elements of high contrast in them, but I have also seen good images with very little contrast within. I'm trying to dig through my old pictures and find my submission for the banner. It's an older shot, but I've liked it for a while.

Joe Svelnys's picture

For me, Minimalism in Photography is usually (can't stress that enough, usually).. a singular, isolated, subject without any supporting elements and generally heavy negative space.

I thinking that there is: Subject, Supporting Subjects (generally a background), and Composition... Focusing only on one of these elements and minimizing the other two can result in a minimalistic photo; or perhaps not having any as the focus of the photo works as well... in this case it's more about atmosphere or emotion.

Alan Brown's picture

When starting this discussion I had no real idea of the influence minimalism has had on my own work It was only after reviewing my portfolio/images I feel the most connected to did this really strike me..

For me a good minimal image is one that provides balance - a strong subject that provides interest and draws the eye, counterbalanced by a visually 'lighter' area devoid of distraction.

This balance between subject and surrounding space is key to me.