Minimalism was a movement that commenced in the 1960s and was rooted in the principle of Keeping it Simple – stripping everything down to its bare essentials, scooping out the unnecessary bits and just leaving just the key aesthetic elements behind.
When I hear the word in connection with photography, not that I have come across this usage often, I am left with the visualization of strong geometric shapes, strong leading lines, plenty of negative space, strong contrasts & textures and strong use of shadows & lights. For some reason that I am not able to put my finger on, black & whites tend to evoke more possibilities of this visual treatment, atleast for me.
One of the key components to getting this right is to compose well – given that there is very little else to distract the viewer from the visual, the subject and the story.
I reckon that I ain’t going to walk around with a camera telling myself that I will attempt to make minimalistic images, but when the opportunity presents itself it is important to recognise it and try and do something with it. While reading up about this style in photography, I stumbled onto this article that was quite minimalistic and illustrative.
This image of the Kentish Plover was shot a couple of years back in the beaches of southern Kutch. Isolating birds in that place was quite an arduous task and required one to crawl with the camera & tripod while having a few dozen eyes on ones head so that one could be aware of the movements all around. Fortunately, for me, some of these subjects were obliging and I got back with quite a few nice images from that trip. I stumbled upon this particular one last week as I was randomly going through my hard drive. I seem to have missed this earlier and processed it – what jumped at me was symmetry of the horizontal lines of the water and the sand in the background & the focal plane leading to the bird, the oodles of breathing space for the subject with the bird itself seemingly popping out of the frame.