CHIC MIN­I­MAL­ISM

Practical Photography (UK) - - Technique Guide -

MIN­I­MAL­ISM BE­GAN as an art move­ment af­ter the end of the Sec­ond World War, and re­ally gained trac­tion in the early 1960s. But this clean, stripped-down aes­thetic has per­me­ated so much of mod­ern life – as any­one who has ever bought Swedish flat-pack fur­ni­ture will at­test – that it has be­come one of the most in­stantly recog­nis­able styles of art.

Pho­tog­ra­phers have fallen in love with min­i­mal­ism in their droves; it’s a style that lends it­self per­fectly to a medium that is con­cerned with fram­ing life through a lens and editing out the dis­tract­ing el­e­ments. But you don’t have to trek out to epic seascapes or in­vest in ex­pen­sive ND fil­ters to get the min­i­mal­ist look – ev­ery­thing you need can be found in your kitchen.

Clean lines, sim­ple con­cept

Cre­at­ing a min­i­mal­ist mas­ter­piece is the po­lar op­po­site of the Baroque still life we put to­gether ear­lier in this fea­ture. Where that was a case of adding more and more el­e­ments to fill the busy dimly-lit frame, our min­i­mal­ist com­po­si­tion con­tains just three con­stituent parts, only one colour and a flood of nat­u­ral light.

A white plate on a white back­ground would be enough to sat­isfy the brief, but that might have been tak­ing things a lit­tle too far. The ad­di­tion of the sin­gle green salad leaf acts as an an­chor, with­out de­tract­ing from the min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic, and its place­ment on a line-of-thirds gives the com­po­si­tion more power.

By shoot­ing from di­rectly above, the shape is kept sim­ple and sym­met­ri­cal, and the soft light from a north-fac­ing win­dow adds a serene qual­ity that per­fectly matches the sim­plis­tic mood that we were aim­ing to achieve.

Left & above The sim­ple pared-down min­i­mal­ist look can draw the eye as much as a more clut­tered scene.

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