Less is More: Using Minimalism in Your Shots

In the world of art and design, minimalism is a style where the subject is trimmed down to its bare essentials. If you were to research on minimalism, you will find it is used in various forms from architecture to paintings, even writing and music. It is also a popular style in photography because not only can a photograph be stunning in its simplicity, but it can also push the photographer to improve his skills.

Here are some quick tips to use when practicing the minimalistic style:

Accentuate the subject – when your subject is surrounded by empty space, there is nowhere else to look but at the point of interest. Nothing is distracting the viewer from what you want him or her to see. This also means that it is your duty to make the subject appear striking. A lot of people complain that they cannot find any interesting subjects; all they have are 'boring' trinkets lying around their house. That is no excuse, the most 'boring' subject such as a broken tile can look fascinating if you take the time to be creative with your shot.

Good composition is essential – the placement of the subject in the frame is very important. Since the photo is so bare, the subject has to be composed strategically to maximize the impact of the shot. Otherwise, it can look very dull. Play around with your subject's colors, lines and shapes, cut away at the extra details until you are left with the essence of the subject.

Give importance to negative space – this is most evident in minimalism shots. Negative space is that which is not occupied by the subject. A lot of minimalistic photos show the subject taking up only a small portion of the frame while the rest is empty space. You would need to concentrate on making negative space relate with the subject since it covers majority of the frame. In a sense, it is as much the point of focus as the subject itself.

Although they may look very simple, shots using the minimalism style can actually take more effort to produce. Every single element has to be deliberate, from the position of your subject to the choice of background. Practicing this style is a very effective way to sharpen your powers of observation, your skills in composition and lighting, and just as importantly, it challenges you to think creatively to bring the best out of your subject.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2010 at 11:00 am and is filed under Articles, Composition, Miscellaneous, Photo Inspiration, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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