It's Week #31: Minimalist

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Photo by: Martha Spelman –  Week 9: Negative Space (2017)

“Less is more” is the core thought of minimalist photography (and this guy). It is a very simple but dramatic way to compose your photos. Focus on one key element and keep the rest of your composition clean and clutter free. There is something very relaxing about the ‘cleanliness’ of minimalist photography because we live in such a visually saturated world.

Minimalism is a style often used by 20th century artists, urging us to pay attention to a specific element such as textures, colours, shapes and lines..


Tips and Tuts for this week:

  • Keep it simple. Remember that ‘simple’ does not mean boring. Pick a striking and engaging subject that will catch the viewer’s eye.
  • Composition. The placement of the subject is key in a strong minimalist photo. Make use of negative space. The “empty” space in your photo will draw the attention of the viewer towards the main subject. Remember that what you leave out is a just as important as what you show. Linear lines and the rule of thirds can help you decide how to compose the subject.
  • Textures and colours. Complementary colors or contrasting colors are often used in minimalist photography to highlight the subject. Since there are only a few elements in your photo, don’t be afraid to go as bright and colorful as you can!Minimalist photos are often based only on texture and color, so look for engaging textures such as peeling paint, wood grain or sand ripples. If there is any direction to the texture, you can play with it in your composition. Make sure also to use light and shadows to bring out the contrasts in your texture.
  • Take it to the Street. Look out for lines and geometric patterns. Strong horizontal and/or vertical lines give a solid structure to an image. Modern architecture often has excellent examples of minimalism.
  • Blur your background. You can also isolate your subject by keeping your aperture wide (low number) and just focusing on what you want to pop off the screen while leaving the rest of your distraction-free composition nice and blurred.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our “Minimalist” album from 2013 and our “Black and white minimalist” album from 2016. And of course, The Googles! Oh, you sweet Googles.


Extra Credit: Nude!


For some extra credit joojoo, photograph a nude subject. The human body is one of the oldest subjects captured by artists, and a minimalist approach can yield some pretty cool and abstract minimalist photos! Both “Low Key” and “High Key” approaches will yield very unique results. You can look at our “Body” challenge from 2015 for some inspiration.

Check out The Googles for more inspiration!


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 2016

Past Challenges - 2015