Column: Wānaka Camera Club

‘Leave some for me’ by John Grey

In photography we often hear that ‘less is more’ and this expression couldn’t be more apt than when appreciating minimalist images. Minimalism is a style adopted by artists using a minimal amount of components such as colour, shape, line and texture. It is considered an extremely subjective concept, leaving interpretation up to the viewers own perception of the work. 

The fundamental rule for minimalist images is to keep it simple by trying to pick a striking and engaging subject that will catch the eye and hold the viewer's attention. The subject has to be the strongest element of the picture even though it may not take up much of the frame. What we leave out of the image is as important as what we include. The space around the subject will accelerate its prominence. Indeed the use of negative space as part of composition is integral to the success of the picture. 

Achieving a strong composition in a minimalist image is a key element in enhancing its impact. The ‘rule of thirds’ can be useful when composing our picture as can the inclusion of strong shapes and lines. Be sure to focus in on the subject and if possible select a depth of field that will make it stand out and draw the eye into the shot. If the form of the subject is strong enough in its own right then single colour, including both the subject and the background, can work well. However at other times the use of bold colours can give impact to a photo. Look for colours that either compliment each other or a range of contrasting hues. 

With practice we can train our eyes to search out interesting subjects. A great example of a minimalist image is John Grey’s ‘Some for Me’ which achieved an Honours award. John took the picture with a Canon 5D Camera attached to a 500 mm f4 lens (to get close and to blur the negative space making the subject more prominent. Aperture was set at f10, shutter speed at 1/500 sec and ISO at 800. 

Wānaka Camera Club is dedicated to helping improve the skills of anyone interested in photography. We welcome anyone who would like to join us, irrespective of photographic ability. Our next meeting Monday February 10, 7.30pm St John’s Rooms, Link Way, Wānaka.


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