Twisted Geometry

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A lookup Minimalist Photo of the Corner portion of an Orange architectural structure representing twisted geometry.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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This photo falls under the Minimalism as Simple Geometry category. The intent here is to show Lines. There are various ways one can show lines in a photograph and this is one way. To begin with, pick a corner of a geometric structure well lit with sunlight. Then, twist and turn the camera and try multiple placements of the subject using the in-camera 3x3 grid lines.

Pick one such placement that appeals to your mind and its done. Later, in editing you can add a bit of sharpness and grains. Grains look really nice on some photos, they are added on purpose here. There are two ways of adding them a) Use a high ISO setting of about 800-1600 on a crop-sensor camera or slightly higher on a full-frame camera or b) by Simply adding them using a photo editing software.

You can also brighten the photograph a little or adjust the hues and saturation, if you aren't satisfied with the original photo. Please make sure that you don't over do the editing part.

A call from the Unknown

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A Minimalist Photo of Entrance Stairs of Hawa Mahal Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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When you are out for a walk alone, sometimes you get lost in thoughts and become blank after a few minutes. And then there is a sudden connect with the unknown. You feel as if someone is calling you. Not by your name but through an unspoken language, probably through the vibes. You get confused and for a moment you think you are either dreaming or have lost touch with reality. On the other hand you feel,  this is where I belong. In the state of nothingness, in this disconnect with the real (unreal) world. For a moment you don't feel your body, you forget about your identity and your surroundings. You feel as if you are the light, the energy, or one of those invisible particles that binds "space" together.  This experience, is what I call as "A Call from the Unknown". I have had many such experiences, but till date I am clueless as to why they happen. If you have had any such experiences please do share them in the comments. In the image above, I have used a disappearing staircase, which aptly represents The Unknown. As whenever you see such a staircase you feel as if its calling you. It wants to take you somewhere. A place where you came from, a place where you truly belong.

Composition


The photo falls under the Minimalism as Simple Geometry category. To begin with, I moved to my left, went down on my knees and took a few shots from a very low angle. I re-framed and made sure that I clipped the staircase nicely, so as to make it disappear in the frame. Bending down on my knees was quite an exercise. I am a lazy photographer so that was probably equal to a week's exercise in the gym. The shadows were of great help. Those 4 little right angled triangles that you see on edge of the steps came from that and of course the vertical lines got highlighted as bold characters.

The Big Gamble

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of Long shadow of a wall mounted light bulb.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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At times what you do is "put all your eggs in one basket". You place a very big bet on something despite being fully aware that the odds could be 50:50. The long shadow of the light bulb is the big bet or "The Big Gamble" I am talking about. It falls right on the line created by the light and shadow differential, hinting that the bet could go either way. The bet could be a big home loan, a bet in the stock markets, or even a marriage based on blind faith in your partner.

Composition

The photo falls under the Minimalism as Simple Geometry category. How I spotted this was fairly simple. Look-up whenever you see slanting sunlight coming in from an opening. What made me click this, was of course the elongated shadow of the bulb and the yellow wall. I mostly have my Canon zoom lens on, but here I did not need zoom that much. I was fairly close to the subject. The challenge here was the elevated angle of the shot and attaining the right exposure. It is suggested to use exposure bracketing in such shots.

Note: Avoid center placement of subjects.

Love Story

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A Minimalist Photo of Two pipes in close proximity or in love, against a red wall
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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He was struggling in his Life. He wanted to achieve what he had dreamt of, but he did not have that special someone to share his success with. Therefore, his efforts lacked conviction. He met her by accident and there was an eye contact. She immediately knew he was the one. For him, he just could not look beyond her eyes and those eyes became his reason to live, his reason to work, his reason to dream and achieve big. His life, now had a purpose. She accepted him the way he was. She was not interested in his past. The bond was instant and deep. A few years later, the man's dreams were realized. He had made it to the top. And the eye contact lasted forever. If you carefully see, tow lines or pipes to whom I was referring as him and her, enter the frame from the left against a red wall, red meaning struggle. The closeness of the two pipes depict the trust they had in each other.  Once they traveled some distance together towards the right of the frame, they took that giant leap together by moving upwards, which was a result of her conviction in him. He generally used to look for a safety rope before climbing a mountain. She was his safety rope. He knew this time that all the risks he shall take will pay off. Well, the general perception today is, where there is money all is merry. But they forget that one cannot buy love. Their perception is wrong. In fact it is the other way round and I quote: "Once there is love, everything else eventually falls in place".

Composition


The composition is Minimalism as Simple Geometry i.e Lines. I sat down on my knees and went very close to the subject. Light was poor, so I increased the ISO a bit. I actually took this shot horizontal but ended up posting it as a vertical one. I flip-flopped it about 18-20 times to see at what point do the lines connect the most to my sub-conscious mind. Going upwards was the answer. It is a very simple composition with lots of negative space. Remember to look for pipes against colored walls the next time you go to a mall or a shopping complex or even a friend's house.


Other Minimalist Photos with Red as a Primary Color:



- Challenging Circumstances



- Low Hanging Twig of A Plant Against a Red Wall



- Open Door and Water Outlet on a Red Wall

Knot in a Relationship

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of A Knot formed by a clothesline.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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"At times you stumble upon people in life with whom you should ideally not tie the knot of a relationship with. But a wandering heart never listens.". You find that are the odd one out in your family. You are the complete opposite and you feel that nobody can ever understand you. And then you stumble upon a person who respects you for what you are, for what you say, for your views on life. He/she supports you and instills confidence in you. Suddenly you have a reason to smile, a reason to live, but you realize that maybe you cannot enter into a relationship with that person as it might be socially unacceptable for whatever reasons. But you eventually fall for him/her. You tie the Knot. To compose, I went really close to the subject, as the backdrop was not well lit and to properly expose the subject. I wanted to emphasize on the knot and therefore I kept the background out of focus by using a lower f-stop.

In Minimalism, I personally like to keep everything in focus, and for me a shallow depth of field is "cliche". But this shot is an exception. My general advice to all those new to minimalism is to use f-stops such as f/7 or f/8 and always try and click shots where everything is in focus, especially when shooting geometry.

Other Minimalist Photos using Clothesline as a Subject:

 

Lines Vs Square

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A Minimalist Photo created using lines formed by the Light and Shadow combination, on a hot sunny afternoon at Jawahar Kala Kendra - Jaipur.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Lets get back to Simple Geometry today. 


We all love geometry, don't we? As soon as I spotted these lines created by the Sun, my eyes opened as wide as they could. And for a few minutes I kept admiring their beauty. I was thanking my stars for what I had stumbled upon, but there was a problem. Shooting only the lines was a shot too simple and mundane. So, I shifted my eyes left, where there was a big window.

To add a bit of spice to the shot, I thought it would be a great idea to carve out a square from the window and show its interaction with the lines. Therefore, I titled this Minimalist Shot as Lines Vs Square.


I took multiple shots and it took me a while to bring the two visible sides of the square to approximately equal lengths . Later, I adjusted the levels in a photo editing software to make the shadows appear darker.

Hope you enjoyed the shot. Wish you all a great day/evening.


Other Minimalist Photos that also contain a Square:


Circle Square Waves


White Square


Right Angled Triangle Vs The Square


10 Squares

One Last Push

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of small plant behind a green hedge manages to grow taller than it despite not being able to receive enough sunlight.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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I went out for a photo walk after a very long time today. I was just not in the right mood to click photos and I had a disconnect with my sub-conscious mind lately. My conscious-mind on the other hand remains preoccupied by constant confusion and questions about reality such as, Whether reality exists? or is Life merely an illusion?. When you wake up in the morning, do you actually wake up? or you wake up within a dream and go back to sleep each day within that one very long dream?. Maybe, you have never woken up and What happens when you actually wake-up? Amidst all this confusion, today I finally decided to go out for a photo walk to refresh myself. I went in the vicinity of the famous Jantar Mantar. I have the knack of spotting Minimalist Subjects especially where the continuity is broken by a subtle change. In the above image, what I initially spotted was two colored lines (i.e the red wall and the green hedge) going from right to left. Then a sudden and subtle change in form and the plant appeared right above the green line. Spotting such subjects is not easy and doesn't happen in your initial shots. It generally takes about 10-15 shots for you to get into the flow and in a better state of connectivity with your sub-conscious mind. Mind you, always go alone to shoot or else you will keep shooting from your conscious mind.

Composition


I sat low on the ground and placed the plant on the top left corner of the frame, leaving some empty space on the right.  Note, there are actually three lines here, the third being created by the overexposed sunlit wall. The message here is, that when even a small plant can grow and prosper in a crowded and challenging environment, despite not receiving sufficient sunlight, even you can make it big in whatever domain you passionately work despite all the hardships. All that you have to do is to stick with what you are doing for an "Extended period of time" without getting disheartened. Nature eventually rewards but only those people who do not give up and loose the spirit. Maybe you think you are tired and exhausted and cannot work hard anymore but who knows, all that you need is that "One Last Push" and you will be on the right side of things, with you head held high just like that plant.

Partially Open

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of the Shadow of a Gate partially open
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Sometimes in life we are presented with opportunities that confuse us. We are unable to make a choice, as when we weigh the pros and cons of such an opportunity they are roughly the same or 50-50. The above image represents such a situation. The gate (or the opportunity) is only partially open, making it difficult for us to make a choice either way. I shot this when I went to the St Xavier's College photo exhibition with a few friends of mine. As a Minimalist I have made it a rule, rather it is a habit now, to always have a careful look at entrance gates of the places I go to. They are always fantastic Minimalist Subjects. You will find a lot of artwork and unique geometry in them. The one that I found was maroon in color, with a contrasting yellow/dark orange sort of a back-drop along with some strong shadows. Cant get any better, or can it?

I have shot gates before and this time to make the shot stand out I chose this unique angle. To begin with, I cut the gate into a small triangular shape by going down on my knees and then I used the colored wall's intersection point with the pale ground, as a line going out of the frame. The line created by the shadow of the gate acted as a split between the outward going line and the small line created by the triangular gate structure, resulting in a triple split.

Behind the Curve

Minimalism as Less Elements


A minimalist photo of Arcs of an heritage hotel in Jaipur
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Art, which takes you behind the curve or behind the current times, is far more effective than the one that gives you a glimpse of the future. Of course, this is a personal opinion. But the chances of art that reminds you of the past being successful are far more simply because it is based on something concrete, that which has happened for real in the earlier times. When we talk of future, it is all hope, dreams and imagination. Take the example above.

The photo depicts a style of architectural design that was very popular say about 100  years ago in Jaipur. If this photo was of the walls of a modern business complex with some multicolored plastic sheets etc, it would give us an entirely different feel. The photo would not have been as impressive.

Coming back to the composition, I was on my scooter chasing the rays of the sun. I generally turn in all those lanes where I see sunlight enter. Then I spot what kind of patterns are being made by the combination of lights and shadows. I spotted this at about twenty feet high to my left while I was shooting an extended shadow of a long pipe to my right fully zoomed-in on a busy lane. This wall belongs to an old heritage hotel. I shot this vertically to avoid the distracting elements and it was very tempting to crop out the wire on top of the frame during photo editing. But, since it subtly goes in the opposite direction i.e upwards rather than the strong downward movement of the two main arcs in the photo, I kept it, as it added a bit of contrast.

Be on Top

Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors


A minimalist photo of Red wall against the blue sky.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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We all want to be on top, be in the drivers seat and excel in whatever domain we are working in. We all have those leadership quality built-in by default. But, only some of us are able to achieve what we strive for. It is not that we don't work hard enough, we all do, but only some get lucky. That desire to be on top is well expressed here. The red wall signifies aggression and blue (generally related to oceans or water which covers a majority of the earth's surface.) here is used to portray the desire to capture or have it all. The subtle curve that goes to the right indicates the hurdles that come in the way. I strongly believe that every Minimalist Photo speaks and can be analyzed to gain insights into both a) our own sub-conscious mind and b) the messages hidden in nature. To compose, I placed the curve on the right and kept it small. Red was emphasized but not overemphasized.

Shooting Minimalism as Few Distinctive Colors is not that easy. You always have to spot the intersection points or meeting points of different colors. Here there are 4 colors that meet at a point somewhere on the right hand side of the frame. The distinctive colors being, Red, Blue, Black and Brown.