Max van Son offers his thoughts on minimalism
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR MINIMALIST IMAGES?
I have a conceptual approach when I am searching for subjects. It’s not just the objects themselves, but I am looking for an interaction between elements. Possibilities include a repetition of objects, an interaction between bright contrasting colours or different hues of one colour, contrasts between small and large or use of negative space in relation to the main subject.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON A COMPOSITION?
Due to my architectural background I have developed a different approach to
photography. I am looking for the singularity and uniqueness of a subject. I think it is of great significance to bring out the hidden qualities and values of the subject. I create a more plain background or more negative space than in other compositions. I look carefully for a strong compositional element or a repetition of similar elements, then I make a choice to combine this with bright contrasting colours, complementary colours or colours of a similar tonal range.
WHAT ARE YOUR PREFERRED LENSES FOR MINIMALIST IMAGES?
The Canon TS-E 17mm f4L and Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L II. The tilt-and-shift lens is of very good quality and is suitable for both minimalism and architecture. With this lens it is important that you stand (very) close to the subject, to keep distractions out of the composition as much as possible. The telephoto zoom lens is very suitable for details and fragments of a building or facade of a large(r) distance. It is easy to zoom in and to consider what I am going to include in my shot and what I am going to leave out.
MAX’S TOP TIPS FOR MINIMALISM:
Focus on one or two objects and do not use too many different colours.
Pay close attention to the background. Avoid distractions as all attention must be focused on the main subject.
Don’t forget to take pictures in black and white. Due to the omission of colour, the sense of minimalism can be increased in certain compositions.