It's Week #52: Black and White Minimalism!

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Week 52: Black and White Minimalism

Photo by: Terri Anderson – Week 3: Black and White (2017)

Minimalism mainly originated in the late 1960s in New York in the visual arts and music. The Minimalists believed that a work of art should refer only to itself and not be an imitation of something. For example, a painting of a girl represents a real girl in the real life. Or sometimes the painting can echo an experience or an emotion.

The minimalists, however, want the viewer only to respond to the piece of art in front of them at the very moment. The material that it is made out of and the shape of it IS the art.

So how can this work in photography? Our photos are not made out of clay or layers of paint and they do not have any real three-dimensional shape to them.

But as our journey throughout this year has shown us, we do however various design elements in photography that we can play with. We can strip away all the unnecessary noise, backgrounds, and fluff and represent light, lines, form, shadow, texture, and space in our photos. Colour is also part of this group but this week we will play with the absence of colour!

Use what you have learned this year and create a beautiful black and white minimalist photo that does not represent anything else except a beautiful black and white minimalist photo.

Tips and Tuts for this week:

  1. Make sure that ALL of the attention is focused on the subject and no other elements are stealing its attention.
  2. You will often hear that ‘less is more’ with minimalist photography. Here are 70 examples to illustrate this.
  3. Negative space is an important element of minimalism, so pay close attention to the space around your subject.
  4. Seven ways to make your minimalist photography more minimal.
  5. Learn how to take awesome black and white photos here, here, here and here.
  6. Explore the minimalist work of Canadian painter Agnes Martin. Even though she was a painter and not a photographer, she used some of the basic elements of minimalism – color, shape, texture, and line – to express her vision.

Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at the “Black and white” albums of 2017, 2016 and 2015. The “B&W minimalism” album of 2016 and the “Negative Space” albums of 2017 and 2016. The And of course the Googles. Oh, you sweet Googles.

Extra Credit: ND filter

For some extra credit joo-joo, use an ND filter. You can find some advice and tricks here.

Photo credit: Richard Martin – Week 2: Black and White – 2016
Remember, it is not necessary to keep this
Extra Credit challenge in mind while shooting.
It’s extra credit!*Please note!! You can only submit ONE photo per
week, for the week’s challenge. This photo can
include the “Extra Credit” part of the challenge,
or the “regular” challenge, but you can never submit
more than one photo!

Past Challenges 2017

Past Challenges 2016

Past Challenges - 2015