Minimalist photography is a genre that increased in popularity following the introduction of digital photography. Based on simplicity, the challenge is to eliminate all but the most necessary elements of a composition. When creating a composition the focus is on limiting the number of objects and using elements like line, colour, objects, shapes and texture.
The mantra is “less is more” in the attempt to explore how much information can be taken out of a composition, before it loses its impact or fails to tell a story.
So look for geometric patterns, architecture is a great source offering entire walls of patterns, staircases, doors and windows, and not forgetting bridges and cranes. Textures are also important, especially those with patinated colour, in fact some minimalist compositions just feature texture as the key composition component.
A few samples all shot with a smart phone…
Another essential component is negative space, defined as the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. It’s an element that becomes very evident when the space around a subject, rather than the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape.
So using as few details as possible, the image still needs to tell a story or concept. By incorporating an interesting subject, the right elements, lighting, and angles, not only can you create a story, but you can provide the viewer with a glimpse into a moment in time.
In essence minimalist photography forces you to view the world differently, and look beyond the obvious for hidden photographic opportunities.