Minimalism = Simplification

This past year has been a revelation for me. Conducting workshops often means I have to explain my motivations.

And often, trying to explain why some images work more than others brings me up to talking about those images of mine that are simple.

It's been interesting hearing members of this blog explain that they find simple images the hardest images to make. I'm certainly aware of this as I've seen participants on my Harris workshop struggle when presented with a beach full of .... space.

I feel this is because when we start in photography, we always think of capturing objects. Items that have a specific meaning - a loved one, your new car, your favourite pet, but as we progress, we should learn to understand that photographs work because of form mostly. It's irrelevant if the subject is something abstract or recognisable to us, for it to work well as a photographic subject, it has to be elegant.

Most beginners struggle with this. Give them a beach full of space and they become undone. I've heard participants say "but there's nothing here, I don't get it!". They can't see a specific focal point to the photograph, when in fact they should be thinking about how the light is interacting with the beach, how the tones are subtle, different through the sky.

Beaches I feel are a great study in simplifying composition, tone and colour. Being aware of the elements, how they interplay with each other, how a wave crashes on a beach and how the texture of the sand is altered, are all great studies to be involved with. Using a beach like this I feel, can only help you with your photography technique and the art of 'seeing'.