This is my favorite advice on minimalism photography thus far:
It refers to the simplicity or minimalist nature of a photograph. The photograph has a varied meaning basically means what the photographer wants it to mean (is in the interpretation of the photographer). Like most photography, it can be done well, or done leaving the viewer wonder if “it is minimalist or a bad job?”
What makes the difference in minimalism is the subject. Without a subject a photograph is missing some involvement with the viewer. It needs to answer “What is this photograph about?”, after the viewer looks at the sky, horizon, and water. A human being on the beach adds another layer to the photograph, it is still minimalism and the possibilities are endless.
SIMPLICITY DOES NOT MEAN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS ABOUT NOTHING. NOTHING IS BLUE SKY.
1: A zen like state is the concept on minimalism. if you are calm and relaxed and have time on your hands your likelihood of getting a better photograph increases. This can be said for many photographic works but is especially true in minimalism.
2: Concentrate on a single subject. Is there a minimalist subject in a street full of people? No chance for minimalism here? Think again and start to see differently. A pigeon has just landed on an awning; a bicycle was just leaned against a lamp post; A shopping bag was just set down and stands alone. These are examples of potential minimalist photography. The photographer through creative angles can create a minimalist photograph even in busy places.
3: Break the subject down even finer. The bell on a bicycle, a reflector, or a seat spring are all potential subjects.
4: Know when to use blur and when to focus. A flower in a garden can be a subject of minimalism if you eliminate all of the other flowers, the tangle of vines and whatever else may fall into the picture. Blur can be an effective way to create minimalism. A fast lens will be needed. An aperture of f1.8 at a minimum and f1.2 is even better. Still you may need to use software in your digital darkroom to manipulate the background enough to call it minimalism. Focus is needed vast areas with a single subject like a person walking on a beach.
*5: The rules of composition still apply. The rule of thirds, leading lines, space for subjects in motion etc. still applies. The rule of thirds simply put is the subject should not be centred but should be about a third of the way to either side of the photograph and a third of the way from the top or bottom of a photograph. The rule of thirds therefore discourages putting a horizon in the middle of a photograph and putting your subject dead centre or too high or low in your photograph as well. The rule of thirds may even apply more in minimalism. When the photograph is simplified as much as possible the rule of thirds becomes more evident and it may be important to use the rule of thirds as a result. You be the judge and consider some creative cropping to achieve this in your photograph.
- 5 Tips for Minimalist Photography (janmaklak.hubpages.com/hub/Great-Minimalist-Photography#)
- The Rule of Thirds (lightwrit.wordpress.com)