27 July, 2014

What is Minimalist Photography?

The Question isWhat is Minimalist Photography?


Minimalist Photography is basically Photography done using as few elements as possible within a frame and leaving out clutter or that which is not required. This, in turn gives the subject amplified attention and helps in creating clean, less busy and visually soothing to look at Minimalist Photographs.

Minimalist Photography takes its inspiration directly from Minimalism. 


I am not going to make you deep-dive into the History of Minimalism but here is how it started in-short.


Minimalism that literally means "Minimum" or Reduced to Bare Essentials, started as a Reductive Art Movement in the 1950's in United States lead by Minimalist Painter "Frank Stella", who once famously said about his paintings "What you see is what you see."

We can conclude, Minimalism anchors Simplicity at its core and It is based on the principle: "That which is less complicated is better understood."

In Minimalist Photography, we follow this core Philosophy.

We must Keep in mind, that the resulting Photograph must ensure Tremendous Visual clarity and Enhanced or Amplified attention to the core subject.

We can use a combination of One or More of the following Key Elements of a Minimalist Photograph to achieve our goal.


  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Patterns
  • Symmetry
  • Geometry
  • Isolated Subjects
  • Strong Colors
  • Sharp Color Contrasts
  • Negative Space
  • Repetition

Another way to look at Minimalist Photography could be simply:


Minimalist Photography = Minimalism (as a concept) + Visual Art (the art of making something visually appealing within a particular landscape/frame).


OK, Enough of Theory, Now, lets take an Example of a Minimalist Photograph that I took, with the use of  some basic Minimalist Photography principles and Negative Space.


A Minimalist Photo of broken glass wall fence
Minimalist Photography by © Prakash Ghai
Buy Now

If you see above, the subject Pieces of Broken Glass on a boundary wall is placed in the bottom 1/3rd of the frame, while 2/3rd of the frame (top) is left empty. That empty space is Negative Space and it is used primarily to make the eyes lead to the subject.

Minimalist Photography Camera Gear


A lot of people ask me as to what Camera Gear I use to capture Minimalist Photos and what Camera Gear they should use for it.

To be honest, you do not need a Special Camera Gear, your regular Camera Kit or even your Phone Camera is enough to capture Minimalist Photographs.

Sure, one thing you do need is the Eye to See and see things in a different manner.

Anyways, I currently use a Canon 6D Mark II Full frame Camera and 50 mm prime and 100 mm prime lens to capture most of my Minimalist Photographs.

To view the complete list of all the equipment I use, click here: Camera Gear

- Not all Minimalist Photos use Negative Space as shown above. There are different Types of Minimalism in Minimalist Photography which I shall explain in my coming posts.

-- I also have a Visual Representation of some of my Minimalist Photographs in the form of a Slideshow that I have posted on my YouTube Channel. Click here to view --> Minimalist Video

-- Minimalist Photographs are "Simple" to look at but very difficult to make. You need to change your perspective to compose nice Minimalist Frames. It also requires some change of perspective to see things from the Minimalist Photographer's perspective. To train your eyes and start seeing subjects in term of shapes, please read Train your Eyes for Minimalist Photography article.

-- It is also possible that Minimalist Photography as a genre is not meant for you, as you are currently in a very different phase of life than me or other Minimalist Photographers. Find out which Phase of Life you are currently in, that could also help you find the best suited Photography Genre you.

Subscribe to my Blog via e-mail Click here


Must Read:

Exploring Suppressed Inner Creativity via Minimalist Photography


Buy Minimalist Photos

Choose from over 500 Photographs. 

42 comments:

  1. Thank You Tartiplume Dans.
    Have a Nice Day. I send you Greetings from Jaipur - the Pink City of India.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your photos. You`ve definitely got an eye for details and minimalistic compositions!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I absolutely love your photos, I love your sense of shape and color. I am a High school student in america and I'm doing a project for a photography class where I take a photographer and emulate their style. I was wondering if I could use your photos? I really enjoy your photos and I find myself taking very similar pictures. Also is there anywhere I could find out more about you as a photographer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello There, Thank you for your interest in my work. Yes, you could use my photos/blog notes to share it with co-students/friends. I am also on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/prakashghai/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/prakash.ghai

      Delete
  4. https://www.instagram.com/piggi33/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Some minimalistic, some other https://www.instagram.com/jj_laaksonen/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jari Laaksonen for your link submission.
      I particularly liked that black and white minimalist bicycle shot on your Instagram Timeline.

      Delete
  6. Hello Prakash, I'm very impressed with your work and your way of seeing things minimal. I follow you on Instagram and saw the article "What is Minimalist Photography?"

    I would be happy if you and some of your follower visit my IG account at: https://www.instagram.com/contratempo_photodesign/ to see a few of my minimalistic photographs.

    Warm Regards, Paulo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Paulo, Just went through your Instagram Timeline. Your profile is really interesting. Some of your minimalist photos are extremely extremely good. Well done.

      Delete
  7. Hello Prakash,
    Love your work and seeing other talents in the LearnMinimalism feed on Instagram.
    On my IG account, I explore minimalism and also texture, shadow and color.

    https://www.instagram.com/jean__morin/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jean. Thank you for taking time out for this.

      Your Minimalism work is "Phenomenal"

      Such great vision.

      Well done. My compliments.

      Delete
  8. I've been following your "learnminimalism" project for a long time, and it's always a pleasure to discover your work.
    https://www.instagram.com/kiks_way/ :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I too have been following rsa_minimal from a long time. Nice community. Thank you for following the "LearnMinimalism Instagram Community" and using our hashtag #LearnMinimalism

      Delete
  9. Big fan of learnminimalism, keep it up! I do minimalistic stuff using only the camera of my phone :

    https://www.instagram.com/attentaatti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for writing in and following our Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/learnminimalism
      Had a look at your work. Very Interesting.
      Good luck with the selections.

      Delete
  10. I have always loved your work and your dedication towards it. Keep up the brilliant work, sir :)
    -prachi
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BG01f2QA5Up/

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a big fan. Keep it up the good stuff!
    https://www.instagram.com/jazmatialaa/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for writing in. Your work is brilliant.

      Delete
  12. Big fan of minimalism photography & page Learnminimalism !
    Greetings from Lithuania !

    https://www.instagram.com/andrius.blyksnis/

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm just a beginner in this category and thanks to Prakash I learned a lot from him and his website.. :)
    My account- www.instagram.com/veesv_minimalism

    ReplyDelete
  14. https://www.instagram.com/ruby83/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for creating awareness about minimalism. May be now I will also give it a try

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Prakash, I love your work and your articles. I moderate on the Martin Leach Minimalism Contest and Minimal Photo and Art communities on G+. My greatest love is B/W minimalism. I'm considering starting my own B/W Minimalst community on G + and was wondering if it would be ok to name the categories, based on your article, Types of Minimalism. Thanks in advance Keith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello There- Send a message on Google+ or Facebook
      Need more clarity

      Delete
  17. Prakash, I suggest that you highlight this post by placing it on the top of the side menu. I was trying to search what minimalist photography means and had to spend some time locating this post. It would help the new visitors to your blog if a link is given at a prominent position.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love photography, every aspect of it. Didn't know about Minimalist, until now.
    Your explanation is wonderful. I've learned so much from this, it's amazing.
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've never heard of minimalist photography but I love the concept of it and there is no arguing the beauty and depth of your photos!

    ReplyDelete