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Tips for achieving minimalism in photography

The post Tips for achieving minimalism in photography first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Karthika Gupta.

Minimalism nowadays seems to be a hot topic of discussion in almost every facet of life. It has found its way into a lifestyle that is often associated with a certain way of life, with creating and even with a certain way of traveling. Although the interpretation is subjective, the Webster dictionary defines it as a ' style or technique that is characterized by extreme simplicity and simplicity & # 39 ;.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography Jaipur Fort India

Many of us are drawn to the ' less is more ' concept, with simple lines, geometric patterns, bright shadows, colors, and isolated topics. Sometimes these elements occur automatically in our environment and at other times requires some manipulation in terms of loosening and removing elements from the frame.

The key is to train your eyes to assess what it takes to make a strong story. Here are some tips and examples to help you in your search for minimalist images.

Tips for achieving minimalist images

1. Composition techniques

One of the most important elements of minimalism is the concept of less is more. Keep it simple, light – concise.

Keeping it simple does not mean that it must remain boring.

Contrary to what is often thought, a minimalist approach requires a lot of creativity. Well-placed topics and key elements that help a story communicate are all challenging to always get it right. These concepts often require a lot of practice until it becomes the way you see it.

Start asking yourself these questions before you bring the camera to your face to take the photo. Take the time to compose and don't be in a hurry to click and move on. Think about it. Sometimes, if it's not obvious, look through the viewfinder and see trim the recording instead of unwanted unwanted distractions.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography Portugal

I had no room to go back and take a wide-angle shot. So in the post I just added a few layers and rendered the scene farther than it really was, and added negative space.

In situations where it is not possible to remove annoying objects from the frame, use the depth of field to isolate your subject from the background by shooting with an aperture as wide (smallest number) as your lens allows. This actually blurs the background, leads distracting elements and gives a sense of minimalism. You need a lens that can give that bokeh effect effectively.

2. Colors and textures

Bright colors or even contrasting colors help with the minimalist approach by adding the right amount of contrast. The key is not to go extreme, but to choose one or maybe two colors that work well together and use them prominently in the image. Sometimes even adding a bit of texture to the image can help improve the visual appeal, such as the sand lines in the image below.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography

First view the color wheel and familiarize yourself with contrasting colors. But don't just concentrate on that. Trust your eyes to catch situations like this to practice minimalism – even if it's on your phone (like this photo).

3. Leading lines and patterns

Lines and patterns, if executed correctly, can also help with the minimalist approach. However, try to keep it simple. Leading lines and other geometric shapes can be great backgrounds for minimalist photos.

But if there are too many elements in the frame, the image may seem chaotic and busy, which is not the minimalist, clean way.

Sometimes everything is needed to find a creative perspective for photography. Experiment with different angles – straight on, up or down until you get a photo that shows your vision for the image.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography Portugal

A typical main line leads the eye and the camera to this lady who dries her carpets (who add a pop of color to an otherwise monotonous scene).

4. Negative space

Learning to deal with negative space is a huge advantage when you embrace the minimalist movement. Due to the negative space, the main subject can breathe freely. It gives a feeling of lightness in both place and space. Negative space is a great way to isolate your subject so that the viewer can easily interpret the story you are trying to convey.

Remember negative space does not always mean a single subject and it does not always mean photography as a rule of third parties. It means allow less clutter in the frame. Negative space, together with the posing, can add a lot of drama to an otherwise simple portrait.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography Horses in shadow

5. Tell short stories

One of the best ways to practice and perfect minimalist photography is to tell a story. Ask yourself if the elements in the frame help the story forward or hinder the story. Sometimes a human element is needed to tell the story, and sometimes it is not necessary. Symmetry, lines, patterns and shadows play the role of telling the story.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOns Minimalism in Utah photography

In the image above, the lack of a human subject is overcome by using both the yellow median and the curve in the road to communicate the feeling of communicating off the beaten path. There really wasn't a single car for miles, and we had this beautiful landscape all by ourselves.

Sometimes the story and the environment come together spontaneously, and it is the photographer's job to see it and respond quickly. Other times it requires a little patience for the right subject to walk through the frame.

The good thing is that a minimalist approach to photography can be applied both in nature and in an urban environment. You can practice anywhere, so go there and open yourself to a different way of looking with your camera – regardless of the genre.

6. Post-processing

Minimalistic photography does not stop when you take the picture. You can also extend this concept to post-processing. The easiest way to approach minimalist photography in post-processing is to keep the image treatment simple. Avoid highly saturated images, lots of contrast and intense color corrections.

With portraits you do not correct all imperfections of the skin and tone. Show the natural beauty of the subject without retouching too much.

The image below uses grain and emulates a film look. This contributes to minamalism.

Karthika Gupta CulturallyOurs Minimalism in photography Lifestyle Redactie

A simple lifestyle editorial focused on loneliness and idleness was the embodiment of minimalism. The post-processing supported the story with a very light and airy appearance.


In photography, minimalism is a visual statement whereby the story of the photo is simplified, elements are reduced and space is added. Not only has minimalist photography become its own genre, but photographers who specialize in the discipline have found their own way. They have created an attractive space of art and creativity that we can all enjoy. As industry professionals, we must pay attention to this trend and see how we can apply it in our own work.

Feel free to share some of your minimalist images with us in the comments below.

The post Tips for achieving minimalism in photography first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Karthika Gupta.

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