Saturday, April 19, 2014

Contemplative Possibilities - Minimalism

   When I was gathering images for my post on the contemplative possibilities of rust I had considered using this image.  But I saw the image as evoking another possibility for the contemplative photographer, minimalism.

   Minimalist imagery may have only 2 or 3 elements.  It is pared down in the extreme.  It is the difference between a vase over-flowing with flowers and the single bud.  There is a decided Zen-like quality to minimalist imagery that I find very tranquil and soothing.

   The rusted chain whose orange color contrasts so beautifully with the blue-grey of the stone was more about design and composition that it was about the literal elements of chain and stone.  This is the "artist in me" responding to the landscape.  (I talked about that way of relating to the world in a post on the five ways of contemplative photography which you can read here...)

   I have to admit a passion for this way of regarding the world.  Simply enjoying the inherent abstract design possibilities of a landscape element is a wonderful way to spend time with your camera.  I love to get in close and explore the minimalistic and abstract possibilities of what I come across.  You can see 4 simple techniques you can use to explore minimalism in your camera work here

Less is More.

   Taking away any external reference to place or time heightens the universality of abstract images.  I know this image was made on Inis Oirr in the Aran Islands of Ireland but it hardly matters.

   The image on the right was made in Kentucky but, again, it doesn't matter.  It was the contrast of the warm red brick between the white washed brick that caught my eye...simple yet open to many contemplative possibilities.

   I have referred to these sorts of images as Simplicities and you can browse my Pinterest board for other examples by following the link below.  You might like to try your hand at minimalist imagery.  It is an excellent design exercise for training your eye to see the essential elements of a subject.


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