30 September, 2014

Source of Happiness

Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors 

I was walking past the galleries of St Xaviers College Jaipur, where I went to view IMERA, their annual Photo exhibition this Sunday. I had my DSLR hung around my neck as usual with that broad black Canon strap with the thin red border. I was hunting for some minimalist subjects, but wasnt able to find any for a long time, suddenly I looked up to the sky and found these beautiful arrangement of colors and there you go I had the shot that I wanted. Similarly, in life we are mostly unhappy with the things around us and we kind of get into the trap and fail to engage or find things which can make us happy like hobbies like art, photography, interacting with people, traveling etc. It is not difficult to be happy in life all that we need to do is to find your source of happiness and I bet it exists for all of us. Now coming to the composition part, Minimalism as few distinctive colors is not that tough, you need to actively look for color contrasts, once you spot them switch to the camera's LCD mode with the 3x3 grid on and try to place your subjects creatively, I mostly shoot from the LCD Screen although focusing as a result is very slow compared to the viewfinder but you can definitely make stronger compositions.

A Minimalist Photo of Decoration at St Xaviers College Jaipur During IMERA photo exhibition
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

27 September, 2014

Eight Squares

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

The best part about windows is the geometry they carry and these eight near perfect squares were just too good to ignore. I have shot a lot of windows in the past by clipping their corners etc but this time I decided to fill the entire frame with them. To make the composition interesting I used a vertical line in the center of the frame to split these squares equally into two sets of four squares each.

A Minimalist Photo of Eight squares of two windows complimented by lines and beautifully split into two sets of four squares each.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

23 September, 2014

If Windows could speak

Minimalism as Less Elements

"If windows could speak, they would have many stories to tell. They record life on the streets and what happens inside the house, the seasons that pass by and the moments of joy and grief. They bring in the first rays of light and the fresh air that we breathe. We have them all around us but we fail to recognize that life within them too exists." This Shot was taken near the Jharkhand Mahadev Temple in Jaipur. I was preparing for a street shot and was waiting for people to pass by this large textured white wall. Suddenly, I noticed this beautiful geometric "Caged" and silent pink window and immediately I decided to change my shot to a minimal one.

A Minimalist Photo of A caged and silent pink window on a large white textured Indian wall.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Bathing in the Sun

Minimalism as Less Elements

Here you have simple geometry bathing in the afternoon sunlight. The composition comprises of one rectangle on the left hand and one rectangle on the right, with empty space/distance between them. The little curved line, formed by the metal pipe under the two geometric part-rectangles, acts as the supporting element which balances off the composition. The advantage of shooting in bright sunlight is that the walls are well lit and you can use shadows to your advantage. Shadows always give your photos an artistic feel.

A Minimalist Photo of Simple Geometry on a yellow wall bathing in the sun on a warm sunny day.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

21 September, 2014

The Rusted Curl

Minimalism as Less Elements

A Minimalist Black and white photo of curved Rusty metal.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
Buy Now

This Minimalist Photo - The Rusted Curl 

... was taken on a photo walk with a couple of my photographer friends to the famous Govind Dev Ji Temple in Jaipur. As usual I avoided the street shots and focused on the Minimal ones. On our way back I saw a beautiful rusty railing in front of a house.

I was on my 50mm prime Canon lens and I just could not resist to close in on the curly rusted metal. Some of you may ask but why rust in black and white? Well black and white gives the photo more of an Art feel and also accentuates the shapes i.e make them more prominent. And since, I have told you this was rust, there goes your imagination.

The Composition is fairly simple and straight forward. Please find below a similar Minimal Photograph.

Similar Minimalist Photograph: Silver Curl

17 September, 2014

Adamant Shapes

Minimalism as Simple Geometry 

The best part about going to the same place again and again is that you get newer shots every-time. The trick is to use a different lens each time you visit that place. Jawahar Kala Kendra - Jaipur is an all time favorite. This shot is basically a dimension play where 3D looks like 2D. The square within the rectangle on the left was the nearest to the frame followed by the edge of the receding wall (that dark vertical patch) and then the electric switch.

A Minimalist Photo of Shapes in black and white at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai

16 September, 2014

Father and Son

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

The thick long bar on the top can be interpreted as an elongated rectangle. That rectangle represents father here. He lived a very long life, fought hard for his bread and has grown very old now. With age comes lack of enthusiasm and therefore he has turned very dull and boring. The son, or the rectangle just below the elongated one, on the other hand is young and vibrant. He has a long life ahead of him full of opportunities. His father has always supported his dreams and therefore you see the closeness between the two geometric elements. We can say the closeness represents love in the relationship.
To compose, I was on the 55-250mm Canon zoom lens. This was shot from a distance at the bani park circle, Jaipur.  Shot was taken around 4 pm in the evening. They highlight of the shot is the reflection of the trees in the smaller rectangle and that precisely, was the primary motivation to take the shot.

A Minimalist Photo of Two Rectangles on a colored wall
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

15 September, 2014

Wounds of the Past

Minimalism as Less Elements

A Minimalist Photo of Round unfinished cement patches on wall
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

The main subject here is unfinished roundish cement patches. These patches came across as wounds to me, when I looked at them for a time slightly longer than normal. We all have a past, and for some it is good and joyous but, for some its a sad story. Some wounds are so deep, that they probably never heal and some are on the surface. This, is the artistic interpretation of the frame, otherwise I have primarily used lines as the core element.

Now, lets discuss the composition. The photo falls under the category of Minimalism as Less Elements. The elements being:
a) Lines
b) the abstract cement patches on the wall.

So they make two elements in total. The literal application of the rule of thirds is on the left, where the two vertical lines are. There was no other way of applying the rule here. Hope you enjoyed the shot. Feel free to share. Thank you

14 September, 2014

Little Steps

Minimalism as Simple Geometry 

This was shot at Diggi Palace - Jaipur during the annual "Literature Festival". I bypassed all the areas where there were people and headed straight to the backyard. I was really very lucky to have spotted this wonderful arrangement of ladders. The photo is all about "Lines" i.e. simple geometry here. The special blue wall and the light coming from the big open gate from the left, enhanced the visual composition beautifully. I could have taken this shot from the front, but to add a bit of perspective to the image, I took it a little from the side. At the same time, I also made use of the diagonal line coming in from the left, and making it end towards the bottom right of the frame. This, along with the slight off center position, makes the photo look very different than normal.

A Minimalist Photo of Metal Ladders at Diggi Palace Jaipur Literature Art Festival, against a blue wall.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

12 September, 2014

Corner Shot

Minimalism as Parts of the Whole

This shot was taken at the Diggi Malpura road. I was heading to the Diggi Kalyan Ji Mandir/Temple for a cultural festival/event. We were about 10 people, all a bunch of photography enthusiasts. We reached our destination half-an hour late, as we found a lot of traffic on our way. Once we got off the car, we realized that, we had to walk about one kilometer by feet to the temple gate. This was completely unexpected. We were already tired, but we had no choice but to follow the tradition. Thousands of others were walking bare-feet next to us.

That explained, now lets get back to the photo. I spotted this bright vibrant, colored wall to my left, with water taps on it. This was basically a water dispensing place for people to have water, while they were on their way to the temple gate. I stopped by, to drink some water in order to prevent dehydration. It was a very warm, sunny afternoon. The marble slab you see, was the bottom portion of the water dispensing outlet. There were about 8 taps installed in total. The marble slab was basically a very large rectangular structure. I decided to create my own little rectangle from it. I carefully clipped the corner of the rectangle and instantly, I had my own. To add negative space, in lie of making the photo a classical minimalist one, I placed the rectangle that I cropped, on the top right corner of the frame. This, actually made the photo fall under two categories of Minimalism, a) Minimalism as less elements and since my subject is a part of the whole structure, therefore b) Minimalism as parts of the whole. Well, I chose point b) as the classification of the photo, you can choose the one you want.

A Minimalist Photo of White marble rectangle on an apricot colored wall
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

11 September, 2014

The White Door

Minimalism as Less Elements 

The shot is taken from a balcony on the first floor of a building. The White door in front is placed at the same height as the subject. I have tried to show visual depth in the frame. Negative space on the right is used to bring the hunting eye directly to the subject and let it admire the door's simplicity. The open door creates a sort of a mystery mood. In reality, the wall was actually red, but in black in white the depth could be felt more, so I kept the shot black and white.

A Minimalist Photo of Side View of White Door at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

10 September, 2014

Ascending Staircase

Minimalism as Simple Geometry 

Shot at about 6 pm in the evening at Jharkhand Mahadev Temple in Vaishali Nagar, Jaipur. 
Staircases make for very good Minimal subjects and seem very easy to shoot, but that is not the case. They are very tricky to shoot as you need to take care of the vertical lines, horizontal ones and the diagonal ones usually the rails and of course the symmetry. I would suggest take at least 5-6 shots every time you shoot them.

A Minimalist Photo of an Ascending staircase at Jharkhand Mahadev Temple Vaishali Nagar Jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

The Get-together

Minimalism as Parts of the Whole

A Minimalist Photo of a Semi-circle, line and a rectangle representing a get-together
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
Buy Now

Just like how friends meet for a cup of coffee or tea in the evening, here Simple Geometry is hosting a get-together.

The attendees being

a) An Arc
b) A Line
c) A Rectangle.

This Minimalist Photo falls under the Parts of the whole Minimalism, category of Minimalist Photography, as only a snippet or a part of each shape is shown.

The rest is left for the viewer to imagine.

The shot is taken at a low angle, and yes I was on my knees for it. I could have taken just the bicycle tyre as well in the frame, but that would have been too vanilla a shot.

Three elements, definitely makes it more interesting. But note, if there were more than three elements, doing justice to Minimalism would have been difficult.

More Bicycle Photographs:

  • Option A versus B 


  • The Tring-Tring Era 


  • Bicycle Bench Lines 


  • Bicycle Tyre versus the Rectangle

09 September, 2014

Vertical Rectangle engulfed by the Square

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

Here, geometry within geometry is placed and dimension play is used. I placed that vertical rectangular door in the top right corner, within a white square. In fact, the white square lies within another white square(i.e the white outer border). Spotting geometry is one thing and having fun with it visually is another. That is the thing about minimalist visual art. One should know how to have fun with the elements in the frame. The best was is to keep experimenting, placing the elements in different places/corners in the frame. One should also exercise caution, as sometimes, over experimentation kills the shot rather than enhancing it.

A Minimalist Photo of Vertical Rectangle engulfed by the sqaure
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

08 September, 2014

Piano Keys

Minimalism as Less Elements

This is a shot of the geometry under a circular staircase, which I spotted at Ganpati Plaza Jaipur. I was at the Canon Camera shop to purchase an external flash. I thought that would be a good add-on for my camera kit, so I bought this Flash for myself. I also had this at the back of my mind that maybe someday, I would get into commercial photography and I might need this thing then. So why now buy it now and experiment. Soon after I purchased that expensive add-on, I roamed around for some minimalist shots. I kept on wandering and looking here and there, and I was struggling hard to find some geometry. There was this spiral staircase near me, that lead to the first floor. I thought it would be a good idea to step a bit away from the staircase and try and capture its spiral nature. I did so, but the shot had a lot of distracting elements in the background. I tried many a shots but I wansnt able to crop those elements out or make the frame look interesting. So I gave up on that shot. Right under the staircase there was this geometry, so I went under the staircase and zoomed in. I found this rhythmic curve being formed, and that quickly reminded me of Piano Keys. And Bingo, I had my shot. I kept the shot going upwards slightly to add a sense of dynamism.

A Minimalist Photo of the area under a circular staircase symbolic of piano keys
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

The Other Way

Minimalism as in Small Objects

Shot at Amer Fort - Jaipur. I began by trying to shoot just the Arc's as a minimalist subject. But, I was being constantly distracted by people passing by. That gave me an idea. Why not include people as well in the frame to compliment the Arcs. I readied myself for the shot by pre-focusing the camera. I pressed the shutter button down the half-way and focused on the edge of the last arc. I waited for someone to pass by. As soon as I saw this man coming, I pressed down the shutter button completely. The man was looking the other way and not in the frame made. This made the shot even more interesting. This is a way hinted at his disappointed with what life has given him. He now chooses, not to look even look in the camera or face people from the real world. He rather chose to look "The Other Way.

A Black and white Minimalist Photo of a Man dressed in white passing by arcs at Amer Fort Jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

07 September, 2014

Pink Flower

Minimalism as in Small Objects

This shot I clicked inside my house, right near the entrance gate. The special positioning of the pink bougainvillea flower in the crack of the wall caught my attention. This in a way represented the will of a person to fight and try to live "Against all odds", against the backdrop of challenges. Yes, the message was good. To enhance the focus on the subject, I used a shorter depth of field. The flower was kept on the left, leaving negative space on the right of the frame. Please remember to stay as close as possible to your subject for clearer shots. I agree but, that if you are a little far, then you get better or shallower depth of field. You have to just find the right balance.

A Minimalist Photo of a Pink bougainvillea flower stuck in the crack of a wall.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Rank Opposites

Minimalism as Less Elements 

I was on a visit to an earthen clay art exhibition at Jawahar Kala Kendra (Art Center) - Jaipur. The opposite placement of the artwork was particular interesting. I immediately saw a story and yes the keyword was "opposites". Once I clicked the photo I knew, that the viewers of this photograph can have their own varied interpretations. I did add a title to this photo, as blog posts require one, but "no title" does more justice to it. The photo falls under Minimalism as Less Elements Category, although the artworks are two but they in totality are interpreted as one element. There is no other element here. I turned the photo black in white because the outer surface on the clay art on the right, was multicolored. Black and white helped me do away with the color distraction.

A Black and white Minimalist Photo of two Earthen clay art hanging on a wall by a thread.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

06 September, 2014

Intrinsic Value

Minimalism as Less Elements

Sometimes, people fail to realize that they have far more potential hidden within them, than what they actually believe they have. This is depicted in the photo by the elongated shadow of the small pipe signifying( or the person), the huge potential hidden within them or their intrinsic value. They may or may not be aware of it. Most of us do not know our full potential. It is important to keep exploring and trying new ventures. That is one of the ways to find out. The main subject of the photo is the pipe, which is complimented by the vertical rectangle on the right hand side. Some grains on the right and the smooth surface on the left, acts as opposite textures. Keeping the frame vertical, helped me to keep the long shadow of the pipe well within the frame.

A Minimalist Photo of Elongated shadow of drainage pipe supported by a vertical rectangle
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Awaiting Prosperity

Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes

We all want a prosperous life, don't we? Also there are some, who want success the easy way. Well, success never comes easy and a lot of hardwork is required. But, beware, life is life. It is not guaranteed, that on working hard success is a surety. That is the unpredictable nature of life. It hands over fruits to the ones who are not even worthy of peanuts and vice-versa. Despite all this, the common man's job is to work hard. That is to only way for him to improve upon his chances of success. The big shadow of the gate here, indicates the preview of a probable success which lies behind the closed gate. One needs to keep toiling each day of the month/year, for the rest of his life to try and reach beyond. For most, the wait is really long. The question still remains, will Life ever be fair, in handing over success to people?

Pro Tip: never miss entrance gates, they are great subjects for minimalist compositions.

A Black and white Minimalist Photo of Big shadow of a house gate on street.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

05 September, 2014

Guarded by the Lines.

Minimalism as Parts of the Whole

I spotted this Tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw) parked right in front of a slum. Yes, I was right outside the Tuk-Tuk driver's house. I was there for a photo-walk based on the theme Life in a Slum, with co-photographers. But guess what, I do not consider shooting poor people art at all. In fact, for me it is more like making fun of them. You may ask, so why did I attend the photo-walk? Well, I did so, to hangout with co-photographers, have "Chai" or Indian Tea with them, and discuss photography in general. They all were shooting the theme, whereas I was as usual busy observing details and was trying to spot geometry and colors. As I mentioned above, this was right in front of the Tuk-Tuk drivers house, my eyes lit up wide once I saw such bright colors and my initial reaction was "oh wow, finally." Since the Tuk_tuk was stationery, I had the privilege of going really really close to it. I bent down on my knees and I made sure that those "Circles" on left "fitted appropriately within the frame. The circles had this armor guarding them, hence I kept the title "Guarded by the Lines". These circles fall in the left rule of thirds 3x3 grid quadrant. Another rule of thirds is applied on top, via the yellow portion.

A Minimalist Photo of an Auto rickshaw or tuktuk in jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

03 September, 2014

Parallel Rectangles

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

Shot taken at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. I wanted to show the contrasting colors, yellow and blue along with geometrical shapes i.e. lines and the two rectangles. I placed one rectangle on the top left (rule of thirds quadrant) and one on the bottom right (rule of thirds quadrant). So the result was two vertical parallel rectangles being joined by one line entering the frame from the left running over to the rectangle on the right. Editing the blue sky took me a lot of time. Showing sky the way it looked to the naked eye or showing the blue as blue, takes a lot, believe it. It is basically a look-up shot, where you basic look up towards the sky and try and capture something. It takes a bit of practice capturing the look-up way. At first you would feel as if you are not able to spot anything worthwhile. The trick is to keep hitting the shutter button and reviewing what you clicked. This will give you a fair idea as to what to click and what to let go.

A Minimalist Photo of Yellow textured walls and blue sky
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

02 September, 2014

Predatory Feet

Minimalism as Low Detail

A black and white Minimalist Photo of the Close-up of a predatory bird's feet with sharp nails, sitting on a wall.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

This is a special shot, as this was taken when I used to shoot in moving traffic on the streets. I used to hang the camera around my neck, riding my scooter going place to place in search of minimalist subjects. The moment I used to spot something interesting, I would stop right there, in the middle of  traffic. I would just turn my head towards the subject and point the camera at it and shoot, while still sitting on my scooter. 
I spotted this predatory bird sitting on a wall close to the main road that leads to the Vishvakarma Industrial Area in Jaipur. The bird stood still and did not even move an inch. Since I was zoomed in, I did not interfere with her privacy. 

The lens that I was on, was a Canon 55-250 mm . This took about 3 hours of post processing as I had to take out most of details from the shot. Although it was time consuming but the result was this Low Detail minimalist photo, which was very satisfying to look at.

Tell me, if you enjoyed the photo. - Feedback awaited.

Juxtaposition: Geometry Vs Abstract form

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

The Juxtaposition between Simple Geometry i.e rectangles and the Abstract form created by the shadow of the "Gol Gumbad" or the Round Dome(in English) is shown here. Wow, that was long and confusing, isn't it? Sometimes, my head just spins while taking such tricky photos. I try so many different shots and angles and at times I end up erasing all photos of a particular shot/subject and start all over again. This did not happen this time around as finally, I got was I was looking for. What caught my attention, was the overlapping shadow of the Gumbad on the second rectangle and the way it was curving down to the right. Initially the shadow flirted for a while with the vertical line of the rectangle but she, probably was not interested and therefore the shadow slipped down further to the right. The key to the shot was, placing right the two rectangles, that's it. Once I did that, I moved a little to the left and the to the right, for adjustment and bang everything was perfect. 

A Minimalist Photo of Gol Gumbad Round dome at Amer Jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

01 September, 2014

Drainage Pipe

Minimalism as in Small Objects

This is Minimalism as in Small Objects, where my main subject is the drainage pipe. In order to achieve the desired result and to show the pipe as small, I took this shot from a fair amount of distance. Shooting from a distance also helped me add the green algae under the pipe, as a supporting subject.  You cannot find such shadows, like that of the pipe, on cloudy days or early mornings, so be prepared to go out on a sunny day. Carrying some water along is advisable or else you may well get dehydrated.

A Minimalist Photo of a Yellow wall and drainage pipe shadow along with green algae
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now