Minimalism - Mentoring Assignment

Minimalist Photography - Mentoring Assignment Report

The genre of minimalist photography is challenging in many ways as my students on the monthly mentoring course have found.  Trying to find a subject that exists in space is itself difficult when we live in built up areas where clear space (other than the sky) is sparse.  

Combine that issue with also trying to design an image that combines the essential element of space more than subject but convey a strong relationship between the two elements then its easy to see why this was a challenging assignment for many.

Minimalism in photography is one of those genres that overlaps boundaries in definition.  When does image classify as minimalist or move to abstract or even just close-up? For this assignment brief I chose the definition of:

 “Pairing down, to me, means reducing the elements in the frame to simplicity. That is to say, can I reduce the colour palette down, can I reduce the tone and textures and most importantly does the space dominate the frame but still give a focal point to the subject.”

The subject itself generally fills less of the frame than the surrounding space – the surrounding space also has to be relevant to the subject to join the two elements and help to show the narrative of the composition.  The relationship between space and subject is therefore essential for the two elements to balance the composition.

Below is a selection of interpretations of the assignment brief that I felt should be shared.  Not because I necessarily felt they were perfect examples of the purist definition but because I felt that the photographers had taken on-board the concept and create images where the majority of the frame was dedicated to supporting the subject with some context and relationship.


Loraine Bryan

Sue Keating

Kirsten Pearce

Matthew Battison

Con McHugh

Kirsten Pearce

If you are interested in joining in the monthly photographic assignments please sign up to the photography mentoring programme.  You can start and stop whenever you want and at just £20 for a month it's a great way to develop your photography skills with my support and input without having to attend a class or location to receive instruction and advice.

http://www.alanranger.com/photographic-mentoring

Please feel welcome to add any comments to the post. Thanks