Smart Photography: A Comprehensive Guide (+ Tips)

Minimalist Photography: An extensive Guide (+ Tips)

your comprehensive guide to minimalist photography

What is minimalist digital photography, and how can you capture spectacular minimalist photos?

Minimalism is a popular artistic method, and it’s a great way to spice up your images. (It’s also a good way to generate lots of attention on social networking. ) But beginners frequently struggle to get to grips with minimalism, which is where this informative article comes in handy.

Below, I offer a heavy dive into minimalism. We share:

  • What minimalism photography really is
  • Key aspects of minimalist images
  • A handful of easy tricks and tips you may use to improve your own minimalist shots

When you’re ready to become a minimalism expert, then let’s jump right in, starting with the basics:

What is smart photography?

Minimalist photography , also known as minimalism digital photography , is a type of image-making that relies on simplistic compositions , large use of clean space , and eradication of clutter.

Thanks to their simplicity, plain and simple photos often have a characteristically meditative effect:

minimalist photography boat on ocean

Note that minimalist pictures generally feature some form of primary subject (e. g., the boat in the image above). But subject presence can be kept to a minimum; right here, minimalist photographers often focus out for a small-in-the-frame subject surrounded by empty area.

Some professional photographers are real minimalists, choosing to capture images that are as simple as possible (e. gary the gadget guy., a single tree surrounded by white snow). But additional photographers incorporate minimalistic components into their work alongside non-minimalistic elements. Either approach is fine – just do what feels right!

Key elements of minimalist photography

Minimalism can be applied to pretty much every genre associated with photography, including portrait, scenery, still life, architecture, as well as street shooting. But smart photos do have a few essential characteristics:

  • Negative space . Minimalist photos tend to feature lots of empty, or negative , area. Negative space is composed of expanses of pure color or even texture, such as a broad stretch of ocean or a grassy lawn. (And featureless white skies are a minimalist staple! )
  • A small main subject . Minimalist compositions keep the issue small in the frame to ensure that they’re dwarfed by damaging space. As I discuss below, this can be done with a wide-angle lens or even by capturing from a distance. In cases where the main subject isn’t small within the frame, it should be exceptionally basic (e. g., a few streaks of paint on a wall).
  • Limited clutter . Minimalism stresses simplicity, and minimalist pictures tend to feature a main subject matter, lots of empty space, plus nothing else. Minimalist photographers carefully refine their compositions till no extra elements – such as poles or telephone lines in the background – exist. The more clutter you are able to eliminate from your shots, the greater minimalist they’ll be.

If you like, you can look at the above list as a recipe for minimalist photos. If you include all three products, you’ll end up with a decent minimalist shot – and as you become more familiar with minimalist compositions, your results will become increasingly more powerful.

ice cream cone on a red background
Note the hallmarks of minimalism: A comparatively featureless background, a small-in-the-frame subject, and lots associated with negative space.

How to catch minimalist photos: 4 easy tips

Now that you know exactly what minimalism is about, and you know the basic features of all minimalist photos, I’d like to share a few ideas to enhance your shots.

1 . Pay attention to the background and the location

beautiful minimalistic silhouette

Minimalist photos rely on simplistic backgrounds full of negative room. Choose your background meticulously, and you’ll be ready in order to capture plenty of great minimalist shots.

My advice: As soon as you arrive on location, start by looking around for stretches of negative area. On a beach, for instance, you might notice the sky, the sea, the sand, and large cliffs or rocks.

Then you can try to locate subjects that are surrounded simply by these wide areas of undesirable space, such as a gull above, a sailboat on the water, a bird nesting along a cliff face, and so forth.

If you’re serious about minimalism photography, you can take this a step further:

You can deliberately select your outing locations based on their minimalist potential. Listed below are just a few locations that offer lots of minimalist opportunities:

  • Beaches
  • Deserts
  • Tundra
  • Industrial places (with lots of empty walls)
  • Farmland

Alternatively, if you like to do product or facilities photos, simply place your own subject in a lightbox or even against a white background. Be sure the background is okay lit, then take high-key shots to your heart’s content!

2 . Choose your lens with care

You can use any type of lens for minimalistic photos, yet certain lenses will suit specific environments, so other things you do, make sure you’re picking your lens carefully .

Minimalism often uses small-in-the-frame compositions, which requires 1 of 2 things:

  • A wide field of watch
  • Plenty of distance between yourself and your subject matter

You are able to achieve a wide field associated with view with a wide-angle lens, and you can shoot minimalistic pictures from a distance using a telephoto lens, but the two strategies are not really interchangeable.

For one, specific environments aren’t amenable to telephoto photography. If you’re capturing in a city with small alleys, a 200mm central length will be far too tight to get a nice small-in-the-frame impact, and a wide-angle lens would be the better choice.

On the other hand, wide-angle lenses aren’t always practical. What if you would like to capture minimalist shots of distant mountains against stormy skies? Unless you’re ready to do a lot of hiking, you will want a telephoto lens accessible.

So before you head out, think about the subjects you’ll be shooting and where you’ll be working. Ask yourself: Is a wide-angle lens useful? Is a telephoto lens a long time?

(And when in doubt, take each! )

Greek monastery in rock walls of cliff

3. Change your angle

As you learned within a previous section, a big part of minimalism involves removing mess from your photos.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy. Sure, family portrait photographers can ask their particular subjects to move or even put in a plain backdrop, but road photographers, landscape photographers, and architectural photographers rarely have got such a luxury.

So unless you are constantly in situations to retain complete control over the particular scene, you’ll need to create strategies to remove distracting components from your photos.

My favorite strategy? A simple angle modify !

The truth is, by adjusting your angle, you can quickly eliminate street signals, passersby, telephone lines, plus so much more from your photos. I like to crouch down low thus my subjects are presented against the sky (after all, the sky is pretty a lot always a great source of bad space! ). You can also try out stepping to the side or even getting out of bed high.

woman walking along minimalist photo

If you find a subject you like so you almost have a minimalist photograph, don’t fret. Take some time to slow down and try various angles; I bet that, after a bit of trial and error, you’ll find an alternative that makes the particular shot work.

Of course , if you find a truly excellent shot but it’s ruined by a single element or two – such as a person standing behind your subject matter – you can always remove the issue in post-processing. Speaking of which:

4. Easily simplify in post-processing when required

It’s best to get your compositions right from the start.

That said…

There are times when creating a smart composition in camera will be impossible, yet you really want to capture the photograph. For instance, you might be faced by a stunning silhouette before the setting sun, yet you notice a lamppost that’s situated just beside your issue.

In such cases, I suggest you take the shot (be sure to compose as if the intrusive object isn’t present). Then, in a program like Photoshop or Lightroom, you may use a Healing Brush or Clone Stamp tool to remove the offending item. Assuming that your main subject doesn’t enter the way, you can generally get rid of a distracting object in a few seconds.

Even though you’re faced with multiple distracting objects, post-processing software can be a major help. Just do not get in the habit of believing “I can remove that later” every time you’re taking photos of a scene; otherwise, you’ll become lazy and your photographic development will stall!

Plus, while post-processing is great, it’s not always feasible to remove every distraction with a bit of brushwork, so it’s best to do what you can while out shooting, in support of rely on software when essential.

farmworker in Laos minimalism

Minimalist photography: final words

A lot of beautiful pictures use minimalism to great effect. And now that you’ve finished this article, you can do the same!

So remember exactly what I’ve said about minimalism. Head outside (or into the studio) and take several shots! Now over to a person:

What type of subjects do you plan to photograph? What strategies do you intend to use to create minimalist, simplistic photography? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Simon Bond

Simon Bond

is really a specialist in creative digital photography techniques and is well known for his work with a crystal golf ball. His work has presented magazines including National Geographic Traveler. With over 8 years of experience in lensball photography, Simon is an specialist in this field. Get some excellent tips by downloading his free e-book!
Do you want to find out about crystal ball photography? He’s a course just for you! Get 20% off: DPS20.

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