Weekly Theme #14: Minimalist Photogrpahy Challenge

The color red caught our eye last week as we explored the shooting challenge together in our weekly theme. As I suspected, red turned out to be a very popular subject. This week we’re trying out minimalist photography–I hope it’s just as popular! We had a boost in entries last week, which is exciting because that means more opportunities we all have to share and discover some inspiring new photoblogs.

Here’s a list of our top three entries for the color red weekly theme:

Weekly Theme #13 Winners:

  1. October Red by Bassman
  2. Not So Simply Red by Paula
  3. Weekly Theme #13 by Leslie

Now, click through to this page and peruse the additional entries we had into our color red theme. Be sure to hand out some likes and comments while you’re browsing! Just come back here when you’re done because we have some important information to discuss. You know, like our next weekly theme…

Weekly Theme #14: Minimalism

As I mentioned before, our theme this week is minimalism. I’m looking forward to shooting for this challenge, since minimalism is something I try to practice during the day to day. This week, let’s shed some of the excess and keep things simple.

How To Participate:

Deadline: November 13, 2016

How to submit: Add weeklytheme14 as one of the tags in your post on the PhotoBlog platform

Check out the submissions: Check the tag weeklytheme14

Vote on your favorites: Like and comment on your favorite posts

Finding Subject Matter

Minimalist photography is less about what the subject matter is and more about how it’s styled and composed. Just about anything can be a subject for a minimalist image. If you can find an interesting way to isolate it and photograph it, it’s a good subject. Amazing minimalist photos have been made with subject matter that ranges from candies to trees to towering skyscrapers.

People can also be subjects. For example, take a minute to admire this awesome shot from Adrianshot:

Minimalist photo of man walking in front of windows.
Photo by Adrianshot

And don’t forget to look to nature for inspiration, too.  I especially enjoy this photo from Daniel Sjöström.

Photo by
Photo by Daniel Sjöström

One really spectacular subject I can think of is the moon. Luckily for us, the supermoon of the century is scheduled for next week (November 14th, 2016)! By then, we’ll be starting a new weekly theme, but since you’re going to want to get some practice in beforehand, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to practice both your moon photography and minimalist photography at the same time. Score!

Guess what? It gets even better. We just published this great guide to photographing the moon, be sure to check it out while it’s still hot off the press!

The Key To Composition Is In The Details

Don’t be fooled by the look of simplicity in some of the best minimalist photos. Taking brilliantly simple images can actually take quite a bit of thought and design prowess. Since there’s nothing distracting the eye from the subject, it’s the photographer’s job to make sure the subject is situated just right to make the composition interesting. It’s a lot harder than it seems!

I found a lot of helpful tips in this list of composition rules, especially the section about negative space. Utilizing lines, patterns, and color theory are also relevant and often used in minimalist photography.

Here’s a good example of how color theory can be used in minimalist photography. This photo was shot by Ilnur Kalimullin.

minimalism-photography_complementary

See how the color of the background complements the color of the subject? The use of complementary colors is a great way to add visual aesthetic to a minimalist composition. But don’t limit yourself to just one composition rule at a time. Challenge yourself by mixing several rules in a single frame.

Keep It Simple

With this minimalist challenge, we’ll be practicing a very important skill to our photography: editing. No, not the kind of editing we do in post-production with tools like Lightroom and Photoshop. The kind of editing that pertains to composition.

Take this photo by Rodion Kutseav, for example. Imagine the photographer took a couple steps backwards to capture a wider angle and suddenly a door was introduced into the equation. Do you see how a door could be distracting from the subject, thus degrading the quality of the image?

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

Being able to think critically about what should and should not be included in a composition is a critical part of creating appealing photos. Though it’s very much a matter of personal preference, I’d say a good number of photographs–mine included–could benefit from simply having less stuff competing with the subject for valuable eye time. What better way to bring that awareness to mind than by practicing minimalist photography?

Show Us Your Best

Keeping it simple is the number one rule of minimalist photography. As long as you remember that, you’re well on your way to creating an intriguing minimalist photo. Now, are you ready to get some practice in? Grab your camera and get out there. We’ll be waiting for you to report back in with a progress report. 🙂

Remember to tag your minimalist photography posts with:

weeklytheme14

That way they’ll automatically be entered into this week’s theme. You’ll need a PhotoBlog account, so if you’re new to the community, be sure to head over there and sign up. It’s totally free and we have a lot of fun around here sharing our photos and stories. There’s really no reason you shouldn’t join us. What are you waiting for? Get to it!

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About the author

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is an adventurer and photographer based in Hawaii. When she's not climbing volcanoes or swimming with sharks, you can find her here on PhotoBlog serving as the fearless leader to the wonderful editorial staff.

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