Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Minimalism Part III – Simple Subjects

Ella's Wagon
Welcome back to the third in a four part series of posts addressing minimalism in photography.  In the first installment, I talked about a definition of minimalism applied to photography.  In the second installment I tried to further define minimalism by contrasting to its opposite.
Bukha Fort Oman - 4
In this post I will look at one case of minimalism as I have defined it – a composition with simple (or no) subjects.  I’m sure you get the idea of a simple subject, and most of these photographs are reasonably good examples of this, but what about a photograph without a subject?  Is it possible?  Take a look at the next photograph and make your own conclusion.
NREL Atrium Light
I will admit that it is possible to make the argument that the light is the subject.  However, we perceive light in two ways; directly (from the source) or by reflection.  In this case, you have the source (1/3 bright white circle at the top center) and the reflection (the balance of the composition.  In this case, both the source of the light and the reflection are nearly formless.  So what is the subject?
The subject in the next photograph is much clearer.  The camel emerging from the fog is clearly the subject of this photograph.  But with the fog obscuring nearly everything other than the camel and the rails to either side, we are left with in a rarified atmosphere with little left to focus on than the camel.
In the Lead
The next photograph are of the columns of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.  By introducing a blur to the photograph (Lensbaby Composer) and keeping the spacing between the columns tight, the result is a greatly simplified subject.
Jefferson Memorial-3
The next photograph comes from Machu Pichu, Peru.  The leading lines of the terrace lead the eye to a small building on the edge of the mountain…like the camel emerging from the fog.  Again, the fog offers a great way to simplify the composition, remove distracting background elements, and leave the composition with a very simple subject.
Machu Pichu - 39
Finally, the last shot of paragliding in the Venezuelan Andes is a perfect example of a simple and isolated subject.
Parapente in Merida - 3
Up next; the fourth and final minimalism entry.  The final entry will feature sky and mountains as examples of minimalism.
Have fun, and go make some great photography!

No comments:

Post a Comment