17 February, 2017

Reflection of Glass Door Handle in Mirror

Minimalism as Less Elements

A Minimalist Photo of the Reflection of Glass Door Handle in Mirror
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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One thing that I have learned over the past few years in photography, is that the photograph that you take/make does not need to be 100% technically correct to be a good photograph. If the composition supersedes the technical error, the photo is still considered good. 

Composition wins hands down over technicality.

I remember, one day when I was talking to Vera, one of my biggest Art Buyer who has purchased over 30 of my Minimalist Photographs, mentioned to me that, old black and white technically incorrect street photographs, sell at huge prices at auctions. She further added, "as a photographer you may put more emphasis on the photo being technically correct, but the buyer lays more emphasis on the composition and the overall appeal of the photograph. What story it has to tell, what mood or feel it takes you to and likewise".

While I was editing this Minimalist Photograph, I recalled what she had mentioned. If you carefully see, the Blue metal door handle is not fully sharp on a closer look, whereas its reflection in the mirror is fully sharp. If one looks at the picture from a normal thumbnail point of view, the photo looks fine. But on full zoom the technical shortcoming is visible. 

So, I initially though I would rather not post this photograph. But then, I told myself, wait what I want to communicate here is far more important. 

I wanted to show how the Reflection of Glass Door Handle in Mirror helped in forming an Abstract Heart-like shape. And that is pretty evident here, that that;s the main highlight of the photograph. Therefore, I changed my mind and posted this.

Back to the Composition: It's Minimalism as Less Elements. The main element just being the Abstract Heart-Shape.

The photo was taken during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 organized at Diggi Palace Jaipur.

Lens used: Canon 50mm F/1.4 prime lens

Camera Mode: Full Manual

Lens Focus Mode: Auto Focus

Camera Focus Mode: Manual - Center Point Focus was selected as that is the only "Cross-type" focus point in my Camera (Canon 600D). I first locked the focus and then recomposed the shot to apply Rule of Thirds to get the Negative Space on the right. 

Hope you liked this little effort of mine to explain my intentions behind the shot.

13 February, 2017

Brass Water Tap on Pink Indian Wall with Subtle Texture

Minimalism as Less Elements

Minimalist Photograph of Brass Water Tap on a Pink Indian Wall with Subtle Texture
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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A Minimalist Photograph of a Brass Water Tap on Pink Indian Wall with Subtle Texture

Today, Lets get back to the basics. The Minimalist Photograph above, is an ideal example of Minimalist Photography

Just Two Elements:

a) The Brass Water Tap &

b) The Pink Textured Indian Wall

Also note the use of extreme Negative Space or Empty Space

Use of these basic elements contribute to the most simple and basic form of Minimalist Photography also know as Minimalism as Less Elements. In Total there are 8 Types of Minimalist Photography including the above form/type.

Mind you, composing such simple photos and making them look good, is not as easy as it may appear. 

You need to have a combination of:

a) the right subject

b) the right angle and

c) the right colors

to make such Photos Pop, despite being so simple in nature.

The How and Why or the Behind the Scenes Confusion:

I almost walked past the subject thinking, 'ah just another pink wall and a tap'. Then I told myself "wait, its a Pink Wall, and the pink looks pretty pink and beautiful."

Once I had decided that this pink would do the trick, the next challenge was the composition.

One option was to go down on my knees and either click the photo from the front or from the side. But again I told myself, "wait Not Again, that would be too boring, you have done that before" 

So I again got up and started to walk away. A thought crossed my mind while I almost again walked past my subject and I told myself

- "its OK, don't take things so seriously, just take a shot and move on. Go home and have a look at it in the computer. If you don't like it, press delete."

So, in a very lazy manner I turned my head back and since I was not convinced much, I did not even bother to bend down and I pressed Camera Shutter button standing almost adjacent to the pink wall. 

This laziness gave me this unique angle :) and once I reviewed this shot on the Camera screen, I instantly knew I had my shot. 

So, who says being lazy is bad. Sometimes its good !

The shot is more like A Batsman's Late-cut in Cricket. i.e When he cuts the ball at the very last minute, turning his bat confusing even the wicket-keeper.

Well, I could have also titled this as A Photographers Late-cut ;) but since this is a blog which would be floating in the Ocean of World Wide Web, its better to have Photo related, SEO friendly titles, so that the photograph gets fetched by Google's bots for the right keywords a user punches in.

Such Photos are the opposite of Look-Up Photography, that I had spoken about in my previous post. Rather this category is called the Look-Down or Looking Down Photography.

If you have a thing for PINK. Below are some more Minimalist Images PINK IN COLOR

Repeating Curves Versus Lines in Black and White

Minimalism as Less Elements

A Minimalist Photo of Repeating Curves Versus Lines in Black and White
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I am back today with some Black and White Minimalism.

This shot was taken at a Heritage Building in Jaipur. What prompted me to take this shot was the Diagonal Shadow Line coming in from the right, and joining the Arc with repeating curves, at the bottom of the frame.

While the Diagonal Shadow Line was on its way down, it also happen to cut very beautifully, the horizontal lines just above the big arc. That was the icing on the Cake :)

This was a yellow colored building, but since I wanted to put more emphasis on the visual play between the lines and the arc, I did away with color and converted the photo to black and white.

Color, sometimes distorts or interferes with the eye, especially in photos where you want to show the interplay of geometry. 

Minimalism Categorization:  Minimalism as Less Elements, the elements being just the lines and curves and the empty grey wall.

This again a Look-up Minimal Shot, just like the one in the previous post.

Soon, I shall also be posting some Look-down Minimal Shots. 

So Stay tuned !

Also, if you don't want to miss out on posts please click the link below to subscribe to this blog.

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12 February, 2017

The Odd One Out

Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes

A Minimalist Photo containing Four Windows out of which one unfinished window stands out as the odd one.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai

A Minimalist Photo containing Four Windows out of which one unfinished window stands out as the odd one.

The Photograph above falls under the popular "Look-up Photos" category.

You can also explore the hashtag #lookup on Instagram or Twitter to get a better Idea what exactly do I mean by the term "Look-up".

To subject, i.e the Four Windows in Repetition on the creamy wall, was pretty far away from me and I was standing right across the road. 

To shoot such long range Minimalist Photos, one needs a Telephoto Lens, Prime Lens, or otherwise. 

My Canon 100mm prime IS USM L Macro Lens works pretty well for me, for this purpose. It fits quite nicely on my Canon T3i Rebel or 600D Camera, and delivers some nice sharp photos.

Since my camera is a Crop Frame Camera rather than a Full-frame, the range of coverage of my Macro Lens increases from 100mm to 160mm. 

This is because of the 1.6 crop factor of my camera. 100x 1.6 = 160mm

You can also use a Zoom Lens for such shots, but mind you, the moment you zoom in you start losing quality.

I prefer Prime Lenses. Of course, they are expensive and then you need to have many of them to cover different ranges. But, the quality speaks for itself and you save a lot of time on post-processing.

"The more you shoot with prime lenses, the less time you spend in Photoshop editing photos."

Well, lets move on to the composition


The above photo falls under the Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes category of Minimalism

The unfinished ODD ONE OUT Window caught my eye, along with those 3 Beautiful Rectangles in each of those windows. I first planed to shoot this from the side, in the landscape mode. But that was not doing justice to the composition. So, I decided to walk right in front of the building and shot Vertically or in the Portrait mode. Now, the frame looked balanced.

I was standing across the road and there were many High-tension electricity wires above me. The black wire that you see on the top slanting towards the right, is one of those wires. 

I planned to omit this wire at first, but later I felt, that it would be better to add it to the frame rather than exclude it.

Hope you liked my little effort on the Photograph. If you have any comments or views on it, please leave them below.

To view the full Camera Gear and Lenses that I use or having been using over the years, click here: Camera Gear 

09 February, 2017

Black Ball Reflection

Minimalism as in Small Objects

 Photo of a Black Ball and its Reflection on a Table
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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What we have here is another Macro Minimalism Photograph. The Subject, is just a small round Black Ball that I picked-up under my Coffee Table.

The table was covered elegantly with a glossy silver mica. The light was coming in from the front and behind me there was a big white wall. 

What I found interesting here, was the small little reflection of the Black Ball being created on the silver-ish and smooth surface of the Coffee Table.

I had my Macro Lens on, and it took me about 4-5 shots to get this right. 

I was on Full Manual Camera Settings with Both the Camera and Lens's focus settings set to Manual as well.

Since I wanted to emphasize the Black Ball's Reflection, I placed the subject only following the left rule of thirds, and avoided the bottom rule of thirds alignment. As you can see, the Black Ball is near the center row of the rule of thirds grid, while its reflection slips towards the bottom row.

Minimalism Category and Composition:

This Minimalist Photo falls under the Minimalism as in Small Objects category of Minimalist Photography

The intention is clearly to show its small size, against the large empty spaces. 

To enhance emphasis on the subject, a lot of Negative Space has been used.

05 February, 2017

Rhombus and Rectangle

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

A Black and White Minimalist Photograph of Rhombus and Rectangle created by Light and Shadow play of Nature
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Black and White Minimalism with Simple Geometric Shapes, is what I have a personal bias for. Such images just hit the head. 

Geometry per say, communicates something at a subconscious level. I simply cannot put that into words. 

What I found interesting here, was the Rhombus or Diamond like shape appearing on the white pillar and a subsequent Rectangle being formed on the floor, extreme left.

This kind of placement of the two geometric shapes, balanced the frame nicely. 

Also I knew, this would look better in Black and White, so I simply de-saturated the image in post processing.

Photo Highlights

  • The photograph falls under the Minimalism as Simple Geometry category of Minimalism.  
  • Light and Shadow Play by Nature, always makes the photo stand out. The reason being, when nature is in action, it always paints a pretty picture.
  • The dark scratches on the wall adds extra zing to the image. 
  • Location: Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur
  • Lens: Canon 50mm F/1.4 prime 
  • Shot Handheld

02 February, 2017

Distant Brown Chair

Minimalism as in Small Objects

A Minimalist Photo of Distant Brown Chair.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I met a blogger at an Instameet recently and we discussed a few blogging basics that day. While on my way back from that technical meeting, I stopped at Cafe Coffee Day - Civil Lines, Jaipur, which is very near to my house. 

I thought it would be a good Idea to have a chilled glass of my favorite Tropical Iceberg Coffee.

So I ordered one for me, along with a Chicken Sandwich. To sit, I chose the window seat right next to the  billing counter. 

While I was waiting for my order to arrive, I noticed some reflections in the big wall to wall glass window adjacent to my seat. 

I thought maybe, there was a Minimalist Shot in those reflections. After composing a few frames roughly through my eyes, I decided to stop trying as the clutter was way too much. 

Meanwhile, my order arrived. 

The famous tagline of Cafe Coffee Day goes "A lot can happen over Coffee". 

Well, it played out quite well for me.

After, about 4-5 gulps of Tropical Iceberg Coffee, I noticed this Distant Brown Chair, through the glass window next to me. The Chair was placed inside the small room of the Security guard of the building.

Although it was night and the light wasn't much, thankfully the security guard's room had this bright white illuminating light falling on the Distant Brown Chair. This presented me with a great opportunity to capture a decent Minimalist Photograph.

I was on my 100mm Canon f2.8 Macro Lens (affiliate link). I set the lens to "Manual Focus" and punched in the following settings to take the shot:

Camera Settings: 


  • ISO speed: ISO-400

  • Exposure time: 1/20 sec

  • F-stop: f/2.8

Well, in the end I was satisfied with the composition and now I can safely say that at least for me "A lot did happen over Coffee".

More on the Minimalist Composition

a) Minimalism Category: Minimalism as in Small Objects, the small object being the Distant Brown Chair

b) The Rule of thirds* is not applied here. The brown chair is placed almost in the center. 

I broke the rule. :)

*I always mention that one should never place subjects in the center of the frame. But here, I did place the subject in the center and the reason is: the Vertical White Rectangular box, within which the Distant Brown Chair is placed, makes the chair appear Off-Center visually. I hope you understand what I mean with "appear off-center visually, despite being in the center.

Also, both ends of the frame, i.e left and right are dark and blurred, that further justifying the lack of rule of third requirement rule.

With that "Off-center and Rule of Thirds MESS", its a wrap for the day !

I send you all warm greetings from India once again, its really cold thanks to unexpected winter rain :)