Steps Door Squares

 Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A Black and white Minimalist Photo of Steps leading to a closed door on the street right outside the Jharkhand Mahadev Temple in Vaishali Nagar Jaipur.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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To shoot a little different you have to think a little different. 


I took this shot right outside the Jharkhand Mahadev Temple, in Vaishali Nagar Jaipur. Although I do go to the same tourist places like everyone else, but I prefer to shoot in the vicinity and not at the spot itself. The area around the spot generally has the best possible Minimalist shots,  as there are people living around it. There is usually a small market nearby and shopkeepers paint their shops, windows and walls in attention grabbing colors in an attempt to grab customers attention. At least that's how it is in India.

About the Minimalist Composition


What caught my eye here was the staircase on the right which probably is cemented now and closed for use. To compliment the zigzag staircase, I used the squares available in the big closed door. I purposely took the shot from the side rather than from the front to get the right composition and balance in the frame.

And there you have it "Steps Door Squares" - a Minimalist photo full of Simple Geometry.

Terrace Railing

 Minimalism as Less Elements


A black and white Minimalist Photo composed using a terrace railing.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Sometimes you need to point the camera up very high to find Minimalist Shots. 


The above photo is an example as to how to use the railing of a terrace of a high rise building, to compose a Minimalistic Frame. I turned the camera to the vertical position, in order to add a fresh perspective and to leave negative space under the railing. The negative space in turn enhanced focus on the lines. I then converted the photo into black and white, to do away with the color distraction in the photo. Black and White also aided in bringing an artistic feel. 

Refrigerator of the poor

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo composed by using Yellow pots made of earthen clay used by traditional Indian Households and Villagers to store and cool drinking water.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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This is Minimal of Less Elements because only a Single Element is used here as a subject i.e. the Earthen Clay Water Pots / Refrigerator of the Poor


These pots are generally used by traditional Indian households and villagers to store drinking water. They help in keeping the water at under the room temperature or even lower. They are very effective in the summer season and therefore are also known as the Refrigerator of the Poor,

The poor cannot afford expensive white goods or electric refrigerators. Sometimes, people wrap these earthen clay pots with a wet cloth and that further insulates the water from external heat and enhances  cooling. Yes, it works. I had them in my house too when I was a kid.

Now back to the Minimalistic Composition. 


When you encounter such a large arrangement of pots or anything, it is very difficult. Sp, First compose in the mind and then point the camera at the subject. I would suggest you to look through the camera continuously via the LDC Screen and move it in all possible directions. Stop where you think you've got the composition you were looking for, then switch over to the Viewfinder and Snap the photo.

Hope you enjoyed the shot. I wish you all a great day/evening. !

Husband and Wife

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


Minimalism as Simple Geometry
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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This was taken yesterday, post the Diwali festival. Me and my friend Manav went to the old walled city (Johari Bazaar) in Jaipur to take a few night shots. I was officially out for street photography and was walking past two middle aged men sitting on the side of the street selling this beautifully lit "spinning tops". I could recall that in childhood I used to play with one of these. At First, I thought let me not take a shot but later I questioned myself, why not? These are circles and I could use them as a subject under the Minimalist Photography category: "Minimalism as Simple Geometry".

I always try to click newer shots and not repeat subjects to keep things fresh. The tops were spinning very fast, initially I tried to use a faster shutter speed but I was not able to create an artsy shot, so I switched over to a shutter speed of about 1/30 roughly and an f stop of 1.8 on my 50mm prime lens which resulted in these smoothed even out spirals or lets say circles within circles.

They were in a pair and spinning in close proximity, so I thought why not keep the title of the post Husband and Wife. I have kept the subjects on diagonal ends and tried to leave empty space between them this way.

Creased Plastic Cover

Minimalism as Less Elements  


A Minimalist Photo of Creased plastic cover over a stall at an exhibition at Jai Club Jaipur to block heat and sunlight.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

I was roaming on the streets of MI Road, Jaipur hunting for Minimalist shots on another Sunday Afternoon. It has to be a Sunday,a s I am mostly a Sunday Photographer, working six days a week at my retail store. Soon, I decided to head over to the back-lanes and while I was crossing past Jai Club, I found a nice big red wall with a yellow patch on it. I took about 3-4 shots of it but when I reviewed them on the LCD screen I was not happy, so I decided to look elsewhere.

This Creased Plastic Cover was located right above the wall that I had just ignored. 

It was was acting a block for sunlight for one of the stalls participating at an exhibition being held at the club.

More on the Minimalist Composition


I made sure I placed the beginning point, (from where the plastic was starting to accumulate and crease) right at the top left corner. I connected its extending flow to the bottom right. Yes, I was zoomed in and had my Canon 55-250mm lens attached. Zoomed aided my in doing away with the extra elements in the frame, binging in the clear focus and attention on my subject that is much needed in Minimalist Photos.

Blessed by the Curve

Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes


A Minimalist Photo of Rectangles in repetition at Akshardham Temple Jaipur, being blessed by the curving shadow of the street lamp.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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The big question is once you have been to many of the places to shoot Minimal, where do you head to? 


You need newer subjects all the time. The answer is "Anywhere". I thought I had exhausted all the places to go to, for shooting Minimalism, but then someone recommended me the "Akshardham Temple" dedicated to the Hindu God Swaminarayan.

Initially, I was unsure whether I would find anything worthwhile there, but I knew once I am out there with the camera I will get something or the other. All that I need to do is to observe carefully the structures in the vicinity. I was looking towards the temple and was wondering what to click. All that I could see was the Temple's Structure and a garden with some trees and 3 rabbits playing hide and seek with the people that had come there for a visit.

It was about 4.40 pm in the afternoon and was very warm. I stepped back and got myself placed nicely under the shadow of one of the trees. I looked up and spotted this curved lamp and I knew that its shadow must be forming somewhere. I spotted its shadow right behind me on a wall consisting of a big rectangular window with sub-rectangles in it, Repeating themselves. I knew I had my Minimal Shot i.e Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes.

In India, when the elderly give blessings to the younger ones, they generally place their hands over the heads of their children (forming a curve with their hand) and wish them a long and prosperous life. I infer this shot in a similar way where the shadow of the Curved light acts as the hand of the elderly blessing the younger children i.e. the sub-rectangles and wishing them well for the future.

Therefore, I titled this Minimalist Photo as "Blessed by the Curve"


Hope you enjoyed the shot. Have a nice Day/Evening.

Other Minimalist Photos Taken at Akshardham Temple, Jaipur


The Triple Split


Hypnotic Tree

Fill in the Blanks

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of Electrical pipes coming out of a cement wall at Jantar Mantar Jaipur, during repair work.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Albert Einstein had said "Imagination is more important than knowledge"


Here is a Minimalist Photo that will make you do exactly that, i.e Imagine. Such Images immediately involve the brain and it tries to make it guess the complete structure or to simply put it, Fill in the Blanks.


Well, we are just programmed in such a way. This theory of filling the gaps based on guess work and was once telecasted on the Discovery channel I remember. I always keep note of such interesting stuff and whenever I get a chance I just pounce on it.

More on the Minimalistic Composition


To shoot this, you don't have to work much for the composition, rather just leave regular negative space. The majority of the hard work here involves of being extremely observant. You never know where and when you would spot such a subject. I was on a photo-walk with my friends to Jantar Matar Jaipur, and we had planned to clicked architecture that day. I spotted this right after our brief huddle. In editing I did try to pop the dull yellow wall and I guess it looks decent now. 

10 Squares

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

 
A Monochromatic Minimalist Photo of Nine Squares in Repetition within one a big Square.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Shapes communicate well with the sub-conscious mind especially when it comes to Simple Geometry. I personally love Squares, All four sides of a square are well measured and equal, psychologically hinting at a perfectly planned and a well crafted Life. That could be my reason as to why I love Squares.

What is the Simple Geometry shape that you love? and Why? Leave your answer in the comments. That would be interesting to know.

Many observers would see this as 9 squares, but a hardcore Minimalist has the ability to zoom out and consider the window itself as 1 big Square having 9 squares in repetition within it, making a total of 10 Squares.


Perspective is what matters the most in Minimalism and a change of perspective can do wonders for your photography, not only Minimalist Photography but other compositions/photography genres as well.


Other Minimalist Photos that also contain a Square:


Circle Square Waves


Lines Vs Square


Right Angled Triangle Vs The Square


White Square

Engulfed by the Blue Sky

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of A red wall engulfed by the blue sky, as seen through the big white window.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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This big white window is right next to the exit of Indian Coffee House cafeteria at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. While I was heading out I spotted this and the shadow of the trees falling on it caught my attention. I immediately realized that I had a great opportunity for creating a Minimalist Frame.

Initially, I tried composing from the front but that was too mundane. Therefore, I moved to the side and turned my camera vertical. I kept moving until I could find something worthwhile to add to the frame.

As soon as I found the red wall "Engulfed by the Blue Sky", I stopped, composed and then recomposed. Finally after some 4-5 shots, I got the frame the way I wanted.

Synchronized Geometry

Minimalism as Simple Geometry

 
A Black and White Minimalist Photo of Unique Side Railings of Staircases at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I have titled this as Synchronized Geometry because, these zigzag walls that you see are not merely walls, they are in fact concrete side railings of actual staircases. Generally, such railings are like flat diagonal lines but these are an exact copy of the zigzag geometry created by the differential placement of stone slabs within a staircase. 


More on the Minimalistic Composition


The photo falls under the Minimalism Category: Minimalism as Simple Geometry. Simple geometry is quite evident here. I have clicked the photo from the side to show contrast between two similar patterns or Zigzags. The bigger or the longer side rail has more repetitions, whereas the smaller or the nearer one has less. Another reason I shot this from the side was to show a bit of depth in the frame and to keep the angle unique.

Tea Stall

Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors 


A Minimalist Photo of a Colorful Shed of a Tea Stall near Jantar Mantar Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I was returning home on a Sunday afternoon after shooting some nice Minimalist Photos at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. On my way back I stopped at the road side "Tea Stall" to have a cup of Indian Chai, or Tea. 


It was about 12.30 pm in the afternoon and it was really very hot and sunny. I had the camera in my lap still switched on and I was looking at the streets hunting for a street shot for some street photography, for a change. Something prompted me to look-up and when I did I spotted this mix of great colors.

This is a temporary roof/shed made by the Tea Vendor to protect his customers from the heat of the Sun or Rain, while they sit and have tea at his Tea Stall. I took this shot sitting on the chair. Sometimes I get really lazy. I made sure that I gave the brighter color i.e yellow, more space in the frame.

I placed the other colors to the left of the frame, to form different sections. Thereby making this photo fall under the Minimalist Photography Category: Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors.


Another Minimalist Shot taken at the same location: Hide and Seek

White Square

Minimalism as Simple Geometry 


A Minimalist Photo of a white square on a black wall at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Shot vertically with focus point on the White Square. (See: Colored Version)


The walls were in fact red in color but capturing red as the actual red you saw, via your DSLR's aint that easy, unless you work with high quality prime lenses to shoot from. Or maybe the case is that I am jinxed to shoot red.

I mostly shoot with a multipurpose zoom lens as of now i.e. the Canon 55-250 mm. Sometimes it gives me great sharpness and color while I am not zoomed-in much and at other times, not so great results.

I never delete those not so great shots as I kind of recycle them.

Well, here is the trick. The shots in which you cannot fix the color even in editing, simply convert them to black and white. I follow this rule religiously, but keep in mind that you can only rescue a photo if it is well composed to begin with.

More on the Minimalistic Composition


I placed the white square in the bottom of the frame to follow the rule of thirds. The lines on the sides and above the square, balances the overall frame.



Other Minimalist Photos that also contain a Square:


- Circle Square Waves


- Lines Vs Square


- Right Angled Triangle Vs The Square


- 10 Squares

Cloud Vs the Lamp

 Minimalism as Less Elements 


A Black and white Minimalist Photo of Cloud passing by a Street Lamp and a bird flying by.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Here, I have shown the juxtaposition between two shapes/forms 

a) the Abstract Cloud, having no particular form or shape, Versus 
b) The Curve of the Lamp, which has a clearly defined form/shape. 

As you can see I have left negative space on the left, to make the interaction between the two forms/shapes stand out. It was a very tricky shot as and I had to maneuver a lot. I moved quite a bit to my left, to first get the cloud right behind the lamp visually. The cloud  was way above the lamp and there was a huge gap between them. To correct that, I moved near the lamp by walking towards it, and went down on my knees to bring the cloud down. The final adjustment was positioning the lamp right in the center of the moving cloud. 

The Minimalism Classification:


Minimalism Type: Minimalism as Less Elements

The Elements: Lamp, Cloud, Small Bird

Hope you enjoyed the photo and the behind the scenes action. Do leave your feedback below. Thank you. 

Similar Minimalist Shot:

 

- The Cloud Split

Kindergarten School

Minimalism as Less Elements


Kindergarten Schools are probably the best subject for a Minimalist as you have all those multicolored walls and simple geometry to play with. I was out with my Camera on the streets of Jaipur, Bani Park on a very sunny and warm afternoon and I was very lucky to spot this small little school as I go to random places hunting for subjects. Initially I got carried away by the multicolored walls but I always prefer to keep things simple, so I composed the shot using only the wavy roof and its shadow falling on the colored wall.

A Minimalist Photo of the green wall and wavy cement Roof of a kindergarten school in Bani Park Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Golden Glow

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


Shot during the Golden Hour of photography i.e one hour before Sunset. The slanting rays of the evening Sun illuminated a portion of the shopping complex structure beautifully resulting in the Golden Glow and hence it caught my attention. Yes, it was my Canon 55-250 mm zoom lens again. When it comes to Minimalist Photography "Zoom is your best friend", of course acquaintances i.e other lenses help as well, Any lens is suitable to shoot minimal shots, I personally prefer the ones with zoom.

PS: Golden hour of Photography is both a) one hour after sunrise and b) one hour before sunset.

A Minimalist Photo of Slanting rays of the Sun illuminating building architecture during the golden hour of Photography.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes


Hawa Mahal or the "Palace of Winds" was made for the women of royal households so that they could have a view of the activities that happened on the streets. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Jaipur. The architecture is very unique and it is a must visit place if you plan to come to Jaipur anytime soon. Of course I would love to play the host. I took this shot with the camera a little titled in my hand, with my right hand protruding outward while the left pushed in a bit. This helped me to get a descending depth in the frame from left to right if you carefully observe. The camera was held at a higher level than my face and it was only possible in the Live View Mode or the LCD screen mode. 

A Black and white Minimalist Photo of Repeating structures at Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Photo By © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Blue Lines

Minimalism as in Repeating Shapes


Zoom lenses are effective to shoot such kind of minimal as you can zoom in and capture beautiful architecture and the patterns in it. Repetition looks very simple to shoot but hard to find and compose, try heading to a busy street with lots of shopping complexes and ultra modern buildings, they are the ideal place to be. Coming back to the composition whats special is that not only does the horizontal blue lines repeat themselves but the yellow ones that cross them vertically also do. Because zoom lenses in general don't retain a lot of color and contrasts you will have to additionally add them using a basic photo editing software.

A Minimalist Photo of Horizontal blue lines in repetition being vertically crossed by the yellow ones.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Circle Square Waves

Minimalism as Simple Geometry 


A Minimalist Photo of Circle, square and waves on a large sunlit wall.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
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Looking for geometry on the walls is one of the best ways to shoot Minimal, but make sure your are out there in the Sun. Shoot between 4-6 pm and you will find the best of shadows and the games they play. As you can see here I have left negative space on the right and placed my subject in the top left corner. I could have clipped or evened out the Waves using more height for the shot or through a software but those are kept on purpose as that repetition adds beautifully to the simple geometric shapes here i.e the Circle and the Square.

and there you have it. A Minimalist photo including Circle Square Waves !


Other Minimalist Photos that also contain a Square:


Parallel Universe

Minimalism as Low Detail


I once had a discussion for about half an hour with one of my good friends Gigi Starlings on Facebook about shadows and reflections. I showed her this photograph and she in return showed me a few of hers, primarily containing shadows. The next thing she mentioned was, that this might be the parallel universe we talk about and I was in agreement instantly. Shadows and reflections could be the other universe that co-exists with us but we fail to give it due importance. But I took it a little further and asked her what if, this is not the reality we live in and we infact ourselves are a mere reflection of some other universe (reality). Possible? Well, I would love to know what you all think of it. Coming back to the shot, This photo falls under the category Minimalism as  Low Detail which is very evident from the shot. I was walking around Ganpati Plaza, Jaipur (shopping complex) looking for some shots of windows and other geometric structures. I went there post a heavy shower and I was lucky enough to find this puddle of water right in front of me on my way back. Repeating shapes (yellow building) and the contrasting blue and yellows were too tempting to miss. Composing this shot was a challenge. I stepped backwards, bent my knees and took about 4 shots from various angles. I finally got the composition right. You would not get a proper or a size-able reflection of your subject if you don't shoot it from the right angle. Being on your knees is the best way to shoot such subjects.
 
A Minimalist Photo of Reflection of a yellow building in a puddle of water at ganpati plaza jaipur
Photo by © Prakash Ghai - Buy Now

Challenging Circumstances

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of a Green plant against a big red wall at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
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Despite Challenging Circumstances, represented here by the big Red wall, the plant or life is still able to grow and prosper.

That is signified by the Green color of the plant hinting at prosperity. If you notice carefully I have used two Rules of Photography here,
a) rule of thirds and
b) negative space

The former is the most important rule of photography and the latter is one of the most important rules of Minimalist photography. Photos with such a combination of rules are generally successful in impressing the viewer. Please Note: when using negative space it is always preferable to leave it either on the right hand side of the frame or on top and your subject should never be dead center.

More Minimalist Photos with Red as a Primary Color:


- Love Story


- Low Hanging Twig of a Plant Against a Red Wall


- Open Door and Water Outlet on a Red Wall