Different Therefore Cornered

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of a red leaf at Smriti Van, Jaipur.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
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Take a different stand or opinion and you shall be cornered quickly. Now-a-days there are very few people who respect "difference of opinion" or the uniqueness of people. Suppose you choose a career that is not very popular like, enrolling for a fine art course or sculpting rather than business management or finance or science, people start viewing you differently. Some may even stop hanging out with you. Behind your back they will tell to others that something is seriously wrong with you, and that you are not a normal person. Well, I fail to understand how does if matter that you choose what. Even for me, whether I choose to do Minimalist photography knowing the fact of it being non-mainstream and I wont be able to make premium dollars for it, or I do wedding or product photography its completely my choice.  Why do people get bothered?. People are diseased with "crowd-behavior" and they want others to do the same. Why do they forget that at some point even the most popular genres of work were not so popular and it took a group of few individuals who believed in these genres and made them popular.

Composition


Coming back to the shot, I found this beautiful red leaf at Smriti Van Jaipur. The photo-walk was organized by the local Instagramers Jaipur team and me being a power user decided to attend it. Quite a few of my work is listed on Instagram and you can follow me there via my Id: @prakashghai

I have taken many leaf photos earlier but this one was special as the leaf was red in color. How could I not make a minimal composition with that, is what I told myself. I wanted the focus purely on the leaf and therefore I placed the leaf on extreme top right, making the shot fall under the Minimalism Category: Minimalism as Less Elements. I chopped off most part of the distracting blue fence. It was spoiling the color palette and was making my shot look more maximally minimal in nature rather than minimally minimal. I used leading lines in reverse this time, beginning from the left of the frame and broadening as they approached the leaf and hence pointing at the subject.

The Lucky Shirt

Minimalism as Less Elements


A Minimalist Photo of a Lucky green shirt drying on a clotheslines in India
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Anil was a small construction contractor working in Jaipur and he had about 20 day laborers working under him. This green shirt was his favorite and it was not just for its color. Whenever he used to go out on field for negotiating a new construction contract wearing this shirt, he used to bag that contract.  Yes, he was very superstitious and this became his "Lucky Shirt". This kept on going for about 15 years. He had just turned 44 and on his birthday he got a call for a very big contract. It was about 20 times the size of the regular contracts he used to receive. This was his make or break moment. He promised his wife and two children that after successful completion of this contract he shall buy a new house for the family and also a nice new four-wheeler. As usual, he got dressed in his Lucky Green Shirt and headed for work. On his way, something terrible happened. Anil met with a very serious accident. A stranger rushed him to the hospital. He had suffered from serious head injuries. By the time the doctors started the treatment, Anil had already passed away. That stranger who brought him to the hospital completely broke down and with his shivering hands he took out Anil's cell phone from his pants. It was time to pass on the bad news. He made a call to the last dialed number on the list and it turned out to be Anil's wife Sunita. She could not believe her ears, she was certain that such a thing could not happen with Anil as he was wearing his lucky green shirt. She rushed to the hospital, but to her vain all that she found after reaching the hospital was her husband's dead body.
Was Anil's shirt really lucky or were these merely a series of coincidences? Do we learn anything from the story or Whatever happens just happens? To be or not to be "Superstitious" that is the question.
 (PS: this is a fictional story)

Composition


I spotted this shirt drying on the footpath next to a busy street, where some nomads lived. They only had a plastic tent to cover their heads. I loved the color palette and therefore decided to go as close as possible to the subject and carve out a frame. I loved the partially un-dry nature of the shirt with water accumulating down its sleeve, forming a nice light to dark gradation of greens. I let the metal clothesline run diagonally across the frame beginning from top left, and let everything else fall in place.  Negative space was not an issue and I also did not want too much of it, as I wanted the shirt to have more attention. The texture of the wall particularly interested me and that is the key highlight here. And there you have it. A Minimalist Photo of a Green Shirt. :)


Other Minimalist Photos using Clothesline as a Subject:

 

If Tomorrow Never Comes

Minimalism as Less Elements


A black and white Minimalist Photo of a window at a building under construction being illuminated by the light coming from outside.
Photo By © Prakash Ghai
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Each day I sit next to the window thinking about you, dreaming that one day we will be together. I tell myself to be patient and let nature do its job. But sometimes I am very fearful. I know that we are destined to be together, but what if "If Tomorrow never comes?.

Last Sunday, I was sitting idle at home relaxing and thinking where to go for a photo-walk. I ran out of options and was very reluctant to go the places I had been before. It is 15th June 2015 as I write, and on 3rd of June "Jaipur Metro", the new Public Transport service via Train was inaugurated in Jaipur. The train station is a mere 100 feet away from my house, so I thought it would be a nice idea to go there and shoot the new building and its creative architecture. I had planned to shoot that very popular "Still man, moving train" street photography shot which I had been longing for. I entered the placed and asked the security guard if photography was allowed. I was expecting a positive answer from him, but he replied that "photography is only allowed for those who have official written permission from the operations head". I was very disappointed. None of the public places in Jaipur allow photography (apart from the heritage tourist places) and I happen to miss a lot of quality street shots for that reason. I have seen many of my international photographer friends on Facebook post very good street shots taken at public places. I thought why not try taking permission, so I went to the inquiry counter and asked for the operations head, but he was not at his desk, I told myself, "forget it". And I decided to leave the train station.

While I was on may way out I saw a staircase which was under construction. I took that staircase and that lead me to this dark big hall with only a window letting in some light. I felt a little better as I knew I had my Minimalist frame right in front of my eyes. To compose, I placed the window on the right and the slanting rays of light running across, just under it. During editing, I enhanced the highlights and darkened the shadows.

Conditional Love

Minimalism as Simple Geometry


A minimalist photo of Two yellow circles on the wall of an over-bridge. One of them being cut by a triangle formed by shadow.
Photo by © Prakash Ghai
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What is Love? I am "Not" too sure about that, but are you? People talk of love as a feeling which they get into unknowingly. It starts-off as an initial attraction and later turns into extreme concern and care for that special person. When in love, you do not tend to acquire or gain something from the other person, rather you become selfless and try to be as giving as possible. And of course, that person hardly ever leaves your mind, whether in sleep or when you are awake, in happiness or in sadness. OK, but with all of this the real question is,

Is Love really love? and well especially now-a-days? People see and learn all of this from movies and of course through real-life experiences. As soon as something similar happens with them, they jump right to the conclusion that it is "Love". Well, they don't just stop there, rather they move a step further and claim that it is "TRUE Love". How true are their claims can only be found out during testing times. In most cases they take a step backwards and re-classify their feelings as mere "Infatuation". Why? because their loved one is in trouble, or is in testing times, in bad circumstances. Rather than supporting his/her partner they just turn away from them in search of someone else who is free of all the negativity and full of optimism, carries a smile, etc etc. No one wants to accept the reality that there are ups and downs in everyone's life, and measuring, loving and judging people based on their circumstances, is being a very shallow individual yourself. I wanted to show the same scenario with the picture above where two yellow circles or two people were in a close relationship to begin with. Buy as soon as one of them ie the circle on the right started facing testing times (depicted by the triangle created by the dark shadow or problems.), the other one distanced himself from him. There are similar cases in real life and in most cases "Conditional Love" or rather "No Love At All", is being misunderstood for "True Love". In the past, I have had many friends face similar issues in their relationships. What is your take on it? Why is it that people are so shallow now-a-days? Some are even afraid to fall in love. Share your thoughts below. I would be happy to read your insights.

Composition


The shot falls under Minimalism as Simple Geometry category. I tried to use negative space a little differently this time, I placed it between the two circles. Getting the Triangle created by the shadow right, was a little tricky, as a) I was in the middle of a busy street loaded with traffic and b) Shadows change very very fast and If I had taken more time to shoot, the shadow might have engulfed the entire circle and that kind of a shot would have had less visual appeal.