Warning! Before you read this blog here’s a very important disclaimer. I do NOT claim to be an expert in minimalism. I am NOT trained in the mystical art of ‘proper’ photography. I am under no illusions that there are literally thousands of better minimalist photographers than me. Fact. What I have is an addiction. An addiction to Instagram. And over the years of posting pictures on my little account I have learnt a few tips and insights into the world of minimalist photography. So I thought I’d share my 4 top tips with you (along with fantastic examples of other instagrammers photos) to encourage you to have a go at joining me in this fantastic minimal world I inhabit…
Tip 1. Keep it simple.
I know this is an obvious rule for minimalism but simplicity does not mean boring or bland. The subject clearly takes centre stage in a minimalist shot so make sure you crop out or zoom in (or use TouchRetouch app if you’re sometimes a bit lazy like me – see below) to lose any distracting elements in the shot. (Photo courtesy of @ledart).
Tip 2. Composition is key.
Composing your shot is obviously very important. But what you leave out is equally important too. The area around the subject is called negative space and this can add interest to shots as well as the subject matter. Consider the shapes of the negative space to add impact to your subject. (Photo courtesy of @slowjam98).
Tip 3. Choose colour carefully.
Scrolling thru #minimal highlights a wealth of colour of various types. Some instagrammers find purity in black and white, others use extremely bright hues to emphasise their subject. All work well so long as the colours enhance the photo and don’t detract the viewer. Personally I would suggest you limit your colour pallette in the shot to give your photograph punch. Too many colours can sometimes create confusion. (Photo courtesy of @kristinenor)
Tip 4. Use apps.
One of my favourite things about Instagram is the amount of editing apps available. I’ve previously talked about the apps I personally use on this blog post. But it’s worth mentioning some of my absolute favourite sections of some apps below to help enhance your minimal shots…
Picfx. This amazing app allows numerous filters to be added. I’m a big fan of the PFX Film section and the Black and White section to add lots of zing to your shots. Also try clicking on the paintbrush icon for some fantastic colours and effects. I’m a big fan of ‘Soft Blue’.
TouchRetouch. I simply can’t live without this app. Being honest it takes a little time to learn the basics but once learnt, deleting unecessary elements of your photo is a doddle. Many of my pictures are saved by this app.
Diptic. Mastering Diptic is pretty straightforward but can really help manipulate your shots to add and subtract detail from your compositions. It’s brilliant for repeating a subject matter several times over as per my lamppost photo below.
I hope the above has been of use. Have a go at a minimal shot and tag me into it. I enjoy engaging with new minimalists and hang out. Give it a go – you never know you might just like the simpler way of life.
I’m Tony Hammond. I’m UK based. I’m a total Instagram-addict. I love watching tennis but I hate football. Find me on Instagram at @iamtonyhammond and say ciao!