Home Sweet Home

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Thatched roof a mud house at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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We all want a dream home. Some of us have it by birth and some of us want to build our own. A house is primarily the summary of the efforts/hard-work of a persons career. Whenever he/she decides to build his/her house, they make sure that they give it their best shot. Some are able to build their house as per their dreams but some have to compromise and use a thatched roof instead of expensive concrete. Well, not all dream are full-filled but the love they have for their homes is equal. The warmth with which our homes welcomes us each day is quite remarkable. We can travel to any destination in the world or have a stay at the best of the hotels but nothing beats our home...Home Sweet Home.

Composition


The photo falls under the Minimalism as Less Elements Category. I used the lines to my advantage. I have put their intersection point on top right to bring in the rule of thirds. Blue Sky is always a highlight in any frame and if you can make it contrast with the subject, then nothing like it.

Not a Tsunami

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Long shadow of a water outlet on a wavy textured Indian wall.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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We are so afraid of failure that we tend to be over-cautious in life. Even small hurdles start looking very big to us and with each such hurdle we tend to lose some self-confidence. The wall below has been shot from such an angle from where it appears to be forming a strong sea wave. The message here is that we need to take setbacks in our stride and not interpret them as the big destructive Tsunami waves and just move on. Life is a struggle isn't it, and would it be fun if it was easy?

Back to the composition


The photo is Minimalism as Less Elements. The primary subject being the metal pipe and its shadow. Shot is taken from the right hand-side, rather than straight from the front to make the composition interesting and add the wavy depth. The highlights have been enhanced further during editing. Yes, it is bright and a hint over exposed, I did try a darker version but later reverted to this.

Shadows Speak

Minimalism as Less Elements 


A minimalist photo of Long Shadow of a light mounted on the wall.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Is there Art in shadows or are shadows Art? Well, both are true. Each shadows has a story. It speaks an unspoken narrative to the viewer. What the narrative or the story is?,  depends on what he/she has been through, in their life. I have given you a lot of interpretations on long shadows before, for example I have related it to Intrinsic Value. But, this time around I want to know your interpretations, your story? Please mention that in the comments.

To compose, I shot this from a distance as the wall belonged to a complex, that was covered by a large fence. The window could have been avoided but it has been included on purpose, as it makes the viewer guess the rest of the structure. ("parts-of-the-whole" Minimalism). I did title this as Minimalism as Less Elements as this is not the best example of Parts of the Whole Minimalism and has just two elements i.e The cropped window and the lamp.

Shooting Long shadows in black and white, is probably one of the best examples of Minimalist Photography. Such photos tend to be more appealing to the viewers. 

V-Shaped Recovery

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of A downward trending red line leading to an upward curve of a street light.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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When everyone gives up on you, don't lose heart. It is that very point from where you hit bottom, a V-Shaped Recovery happens. The same happens in the economy and the stock markets. I am sure many of us have seen those examples unfold in front of us many-a-times before. 

So next time you feel that all is over, feel a little upbeat and hopeful. You might just be hovering near bottom. Life has the tendency to average out either extremes and everything eventually reverts to mean. I used the downward trending red line of a textured wall (texture representing struggle) to make it visibly connect to the starting point of an upward curving street light thus creating the alphabet "V". The upward curve lies in clear blue skies, signifying good times. To compose, I used random twisting and turning of the camera in my hand to the point where I could visually connect the line and the curve.

This shot was taken at a Petrol Pump on Ajmer Road, Jaipur. Another Look-up Minimalist Photo that I took on that pump was this Sky is the Limit

The X Factor

Minimalism as in Small Objects


A minimalist photo of A small little bird sitting on a wire next to an X shaped street light.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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My subject here, is the small little black bird sitting on a wire next to the "X" shaped street light. And hence, this falls under the Minimalism as in Small Objects, as the type of Minimalism in Minimalist Photography.

This photo asks for a lot of editing in Photoshop and knowledge of the 0-255 range. Where 0 is pure black and 255 is pure white. Around 128 should be middle grey. You should hover over the black, white and grey areas of your photo to find out exactly how your photo will turn out when you send it for print. What looks black in the monitor screen may not necessarily be black. The message I wanted to communicate with this photo is that one might be just as alone as the little bird sitting on the wire while he/she is working hard to be different from others, but with persistence and hard-work, one day your uniqueness will give you that "X factor", which makes you successful in life. Remember the keyword is "Persistence". For example, I do not have an immediate audience for my Minimal work in my city or country, but I continued with my Minimalism for a couple of years. Now, people have started recognizing my work locally as well. I know its a long way to go but I am all prepared for it.

Similar Post: Bird Vs Lines

Sky is the Limit

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Red and blue lines at a petrol pump in Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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This shot I took at a petrol pump. I had to ask permission from the owner for it. I shoot at random locations and that is how you should shoot as well to find interesting shots. What made me stop at the filling station was the excitingly colored roof. I applied the usual rule of thirds and placed the red line at the bottom and the blue bar on top right, leaving ample space for the sky. That is just about the ingredients you need for a Minimalism as Less Elements Minimalist Image.

The message here is that once you cross the initial hurdles in life (where most people give up) or the Red Line, then no one can stop you from being successful. Sky is the limit for you.

Another Shot from the same location: V-Shaped Recovery

Tell you later Syndrome

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Building under construction covered by a green cloth.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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While I was on my way back, from last Sunday's photo-walk, I spotted this under construction building to my right. I immediately stopped my scooter by the roadside and pulled out my camera from the bag and hung it around my neck. I was still wearing a helmet as I knew that I had to only take one quick shot and move away, as a lot of traffic was coming from behind. It wasn't easy to shoot as I had to keep one eye on the subject and the other on the rear view mirror. The green cloth that covers the building is used here as the primarily element.  Therefore, the photo falls under the Minimalism Category: Minimalism as Less Elements.

I have given it about 3/4th of the total space available in the frame to the green cloth. This is a special photo as it hints at something that has always puzzled me. And that is the "Tell you later Syndrome." As you can see above, one can only find out about the final look of the building, after the construction work is 100% complete, as till that time the building shall remain covered with cloth. The same happens when I ask some of my friends as to which job interview they went to? or what is the new project that they are working on? etc and generally their answer is "I will Tell you later". They try and hide their plans the same way, maybe due to lack to self-confidence or maybe due to superstition. Many of my friends have this habit and I am sure some of your friends or even you may have it. But the question is Why Hide? What is the point of hiding? Aren't friends meant to be the ones with whom we share without hesitation? Why do people think that if they reveal what they are planning to do before they pass the initial hurdles, that plan will fail?. They fail to realize that whether we talk about it openly or not, the outcome just wont change. There is no cause and effect relationship here.

It Happens only in India

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of A plastic bag containing water, hung on the railing of a staircase.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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It was a very hot sunny day. I almost got dehydrated due to lack of water. I stopped by at a local kiosk inside the main entrance gate of Amer Fort, Jaipur and purchased a nice cold bottle of mineral water to rejuvenate myself. While I was heading back from the fort, I came across this staircase. I got particularly impressed by the "Jugaad" or the alternative stop-gap arrangement made for water, by a villager to carry and keep it away from heat. He probably filled the plastic bag with water on his way up to the fort, from a local roadside water tap. Since the heat was fierce, he cleverly hung the bag on the side rail of the staircase. The staircase was under shade, and that helped the villager bring down the temperature of the water by a few degrees. Hats-off to him and his idea. Well, It happens only in India, we have an alternative solution for almost everything.

A word on the Composition. 


The photo falls under the Minimalism Category: Minimalism as Less Elements, with only tow elements in the image, i.e the staircase and the plastic bag.

I focused on the plastic bag and used the geometry available to add interest to the composition. Shooting vertical was intentional, so as to show the ascending staircase disappear on its way up and and to leave a little room for imagination.

Middle Class

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Shadow of three clothes drying on a Clothesline
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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He was the only earning member of the family and sadly he could not make it through to the big league. "Fortune favors the dishonest and not the hardworking" was the summary of his life experiences. He was born in Middle Class and he stayed that way for the rest of his life. The clothesline here narrates the story of thousands of middle class households, whose misfortunes are probably a result of rampant corruption.

The Composition


The Photo falls under the Minimalism as Less Elements Category. I treated all shadows combined as a single element. The photo therefore a a bit maximally minimal in nature as the shadows are spread across the frame. Rule of thirds is not necessarily required here but you can still apply it by leaving some empty space under the subject.

Other Minimalist Photos using Clothesline as a Subject:

 

A Line is a Dot

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A minimalist photo of an orange colored Ascending Staircase
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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There is a famous quote by Paul Klee, a Swiss painter that reads, "A line is a dot that went for a walk." Whenever I shoot lines, this quote comes to my mind. Lines are nothing but a combination of many small dots. Likewise, an ocean is nothing but millions of drops of water. A step by step approach to our daily life problems is key to sail through them. No one ever achieved success overnight, neither was Rome built in a day. No matter how tough the times are, all that we need is a start, be it a very small or minuscule one. Big is nothing but many smalls put together.

Composition


The photo falls under the Minimalism Category: Minimalism as Simple Geometry. Simple geometry being the lines. I stopped by this auspicious staircase that I found in the old walled city. Auspicious, for its orange color. I then moved to my right and used the side rail to show contrast i.e. the line formed by the side rail going up and the ones formed by the steps heading right. 

Balance of Nature

Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors


A minimalist photo of A colorful metal shutter with lines
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Black is the color of death and negative news. Yellow is the color of the sun and represents vitality and strengthens the nerves and the mind. This photo perfectly depicts the balances built within nature. One extreme is offset by the other. Days are followed by nights and bad times by the good. Everything is brought to a point of balance. The artist who painted this sub-consciously knew about this fine balance. I just loved the beauty of it.

When shooting Minimalism as few Distinctive Colors make sure you capture the intersection point or the point where most colors meet. Later, apply a few rules of photography. Lines act as a bonus here. I got lucky on this one and I wish the same for you.

Namaste Auntie

Minimalism as Less Elements 


A minimalist photo of a Rusted handle of a terrace entrance door
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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It is generally observed that people who are blessed with good looks lack maturity and those who are mature tend to lack good looks, of course there are exceptions. When you are young and smart in your early stage of life, you tend to make a lot of mistakes. And when maturity starts hitting you, you tend to lose your cosmetically perfect looks. It sounds more like a zero-sum game. As we can see above, the handle of the terrace entrance door has the courage and maturity to face the harsh sunlight only after losing his good looks to rust. He now comes across as a strong character. 

I found this shot on a visit to a friends place. I was climbing up the stairs to get access to the terrace and on my way up I met my friends mother, who was combing her daughter's hair. I greeted her with the regular "Namaste Auntie" greeting and then she moved to one side to make way for me. While I was about to reach the terrace I spotted this beautiful rusted door handle. I instantly told my friends mom "Thank you auntie for not getting this painted, you just made my day." and she started laughing. She probably thought I would have asked her as to why she did not get this painted. Well, I smiled back at her and calmly took the shot. I placed the handle on the left but kept room for the shadow. In such shots don't get confused by the shadow. Place the subject's shadow on the rule of thirds alignment rather than the actual subject to get the Minimalist Composition right.

Optimism Pays

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of A plant prospering in the crack of a wall
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I am personally a neutral person, neither an optimist nor a pessimist. But the above photo explains so beautifully that optimism backed by hard work and a never say die attitude eventually pays rich dividends. The plant above has managed to prosper within the crack of the wall and without proper soil to grow. And we keep complaining either of lack of resources or the lack of opportunity rather than focusing on our efforts. One day God, Luck or Randomness (depending on whatever you believe in) will come to you, but it should find you working in order for it to reward you. The mantra being "Work hard, but wait for your turn.". Patience is key.

Composition 


The photo falls under the Minimalism as Less Elements category. To shoot such shots in peak afternoon make sure you use exposure bracketing and do not forget to carry a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. I bent down on my knees to bring the plant to a little close to the eye level and added a horizontal line on top right to balance the composition.