MINIMALIST PHOTOGRAPHY: LESS IS MORE

Today I want you to change the way you see things. Do not take photos with too much color saturation. Do not overload your frames with too many elements. That is bad, very bad. It causes rejection, tires your eyes, stuns, and makes people want to look away from your photo. Photographic minimalism consists in saying a lot with very little. With a photograph rich in elements we would all be able to say something, more or less. The challenge is to photograph few elements, few colors, and with that being able to say something. Anyone could photograph a stone, a foot, a glass, but how many are capable of transmitting something with so little? That is the grace: photographing a waste, a foot or a glass being able to tell a story, generate an emotion, cheer up, sadden, provoke tenderness, passion, panic, doubt, peace, nostalgia or love. Photograph small things. Photography scarce things. Practice minimalism.

BUT ... WHAT IS MINIMALISM?

Minimalism is not just a type of photography or a fashion, minimalism is a philosophy, a current that ranges from decoration to music through photography. It is a lifestyle. Do you need to be minimalist to achieve a minimal picture? Not necessarily. However, it will help you to know some keys to achieve a minimalist photograph with interest. Less is more, but as long as that less is well executed and taken care of;). In today's article, I'm going to tell you those keys so you can achieve your first minimal photography . One that likes, that attracts, that seduces.

WHAT IS A MINIMALIST PHOTOGRAPH?

As I have advanced in the introduction, minimalism tries to reduce to the minimum expression, to eliminate everything that is left over, to abstract, to reduce to the essential. How does this apply to photography? Choosing a single subject and make it the unique protagonist of the image. Everything else is left over. It is removed in any way it can, but it is removed. There can be no elements that do not have to do with history, that distract, that look away. It's about showing the beauty of the simple, seducing with the minimum information. It is a simple photograph, at a visual level, of economy of elements, but not of content. A sober, clean photograph . Now you will wonder how that is done, right? Let's see it.  

TIPS TO ACHIEVE A MINIMALIST PHOTOGRAPH

As I said in the introduction, being a person who has a very internalized lifestyle can help a lot, but it is not a necessary condition. If you follow these tips you will see how you do it;).

1. UNDERSTAND MINIMALISM

While it is not necessary to be a minimalist in all aspects of your life, knowing this current and understanding it will help you when viewing your photo, looking for ideas, framing, looking with minimal eyes ... would be good if you read something related With this philosophy, you will try to understand his way of understanding life and art, especially.

2. TAKE CARE OF THE COMPOSITION

Very, but very important is to pamper the composition in a minimalist photograph. If there are one or two elements in the image and they are misplaced, you will have completely ruined the idea. Take care of the lines, if they are straight, they have to be straight in your image, unless you are forcing a diagonal. In that case it will be intentional, not an unforgivable oversight. Skip the rules, whenever you can, that bring creative value, but you know ... consciously. Take care of the balance, apply the rule of thirds when it is convenient and skip it when you think it is necessary. But, please, pamper the image, control how you arrange the elements within the frame, because every inch of your photography counts.
Look for a clean, careful composition.

3. OBJECTIVES

You can take minimalist photography with any objective, from a TV, which will help you isolate the subjects with blur (using wide openings) to a macro with which you can decontextualize or abstract. Passing, of course, for more standard focal length targets , such as 50mm. Each type of objective will offer you different opportunities . If you have several, play, experiment, discover. If you only have one goal, squeeze what it offers you to the fullest.
From macro to tele, that the objective is not a limitation.

4. COLOR

Use color as the protagonist of your minimal photography Bright colors and strong contrasts can make sense of your photography. Look for contrasts in the complementary colors, play with the intensity in the edition (better adjust the intensity than the saturation or you will create unreal images) and take advantage of the hours of hard light so that the colors look brighter.
Compositions based on color.

5. BLACK AND WHITE

If the color itself is not the protagonist of the image and you think it can only distract you, remove it, as you would with any other element left over from the scene. Now, do not photograph directly in black and white. Unless you want to get a quick idea of ??whether it is an image that can look good in grayscale. Color photography and later, in the editor, convert it to black and white.

6. FUNDS

Look for plain, white, black backgrounds, or any other color that does not distract or add information. It is worth adding value to the image, but not unnecessary information. You can eliminate an annoying background by changing the perspective, working in long exposure to achieve a silky effect of the water or using very wide openings that blur it completely, to give some examples.
Clean, smooth background, without distractions.

7. TEXTURES

Textures can be a good protagonist of your minimalist image. You should know that you can enhance them with a hard and lateral light. Black and white also enhances them. Textures you can find in nature, architecture or discover them with a macro, give life to what is not seen with the naked eye;).
Textures to caress.

8. GEOMETRIES

The geometric shapes that the brain automatically recognizes can be great protagonists of your minimalist photographs. The shapes, the lines, the patterns ... If you don't know where to start, I leave you a clue: architecture.
The architecture is full of geometries.

9. THE LOOK

Change the way you look when you go down the street. Focus on the details, in unique protagonists. It doesn't matter if you carry a camera or not, it's about training your eye, your look. Try to see with a new look, more innocent, as if they were the eyes of a child. On the way to work, or home, or taking a walk, look around, try to isolate a subject, or an object. Think about how you would frame it. This exercise will come in handy.

10. EMOTION

I have advanced it before, it is a simple photograph at the visual level, but not of content. Your purpose as an artist is to move your audience, with more or less elements. In this case with less, which does not imply that you can not get excited. Use colors, lines or negative space to provoke emotions.

11. HISTORY

Just as you can get excited with the minimum number of elements, you can also tell a story. Even do both. How to tell a story through photography you have very well explained here , now, applied to minimalist photography, try to focus on a single element, or two, if necessary, eliminate everything that is on the scene. I leave you with an example.
How to tell a story with the minimum elements (@ejota_seventyeight)

12. INSPIRATION

Get inspired It is the best thing you can do if you have not practiced minimalist photography before, if you are not sure what it is or how to get it. Stroll through galleries of minimalist photographers and soak up their work. It is not about copying it but understanding how it works, how it can be conquered with an image taken to the limit of the simple. To do this, I leave you some examples, take a walk and enjoy your work. You will see how, by making all minimalist photographs, they each have their own style. Over time, if you like this type of photography, you enjoy it and practice, you will end up finding yours.
    • cianogrigio
    • Emilio Chuliá
    • Sergio Murria
    • vishalparadigm
    • Anna Devís y Daniel Rueda
    • huxsterized
    • cimkedi
In black and white:
    • Pejuang Subuh
    • Andrej Šafhalter
    • Joe
Finally, a gallery of minimalist photographs: You like? With this inspiration shot I leave you. Dare to share your results with us! I hope you found it useful and practical. If so, do not hesitate to share it on your favorite social network;). Your generosity will be eternally grateful to you;). Thank you and see you soon!

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