Taking Minimalist Photos

I love taking minimalist photos. There are many ways to create minimalist art. Today, I’d like to focus on close-up photos of objects and surfaces. It’s surprising how these kinds of photos can capture an abstract minimalist look.

Taking minimalist photos: Abstract of concrete wall close up.
Photo by Dan Erickson

Last summer, while my daughter and I were on vacation, we visited an old military fort: Fort Casey.

I noticed that the old concrete walls of the bunkers had all sorts of abstract patterns and textures. I took a few shots and found the result to be very minimalist in nature. 

Taking Minimalist Photos Can Be Abstract

Taking minimalist photos: Abstract of concrete wall
Photo by Dan Erickson

At first look, these abstract photos of concrete walls may not seem appealing.

But if you’ve ever visited modern and abstract art displays, these two pictures are similar to many of the pieces you might see on museum walls. Imagine these photos as very large pieces on a single wall.

Taking minimalist photos is about capturing images that are simple. These two abstract images are very simple.

Next, here’s a close up of an old set of doors on the back of a building next to the hotel we were staying in.

Taking minimalist photos: Wooden doors with handles.
Photo by Dan Erickson

Taking photos of doors and windows creates a minimalist look. I think this is especially effective when the subjects are old and weathered.

Look for old doors, old windows, and old handles. Try a few shots for yourself. You might be surprised with the results.

Try Taking Minimalist Photos Around Home

Taking Minimalist Photos: Old dresser
Photo by Dan Erickson

At the beginning of the year when I decided that I’d add my own photos to some of my posts, I spent a few hours taking pictures around my home. Here are a couple.

The first is a photo of the antique dresser in my bedroom. The second, a simple jar of honey on the kitchen counter.  

Simple clean spaces with one object at a fairly close range helps to create a very minimalist effect. Try it yourself. 

Taking minimalist photos: A jar of honey.
Photo by Dan Erickson

Equipment For Taking Minimalist Photos

So you might wonder what kind of camera a minimalist photographer might use. I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that question, but here’s a list of what I use:

  • An iPhone 6

That’s it. For me, part of being minimalist includes using the least amount of equipment to get the most accomplished. My phone also works as my Internet connection while I’m traveling, my map, and of course, my phone and more. That’s minimalist.

I’ve owned a few other point-and-shoot style cameras, but they wind up creating extra stuff to lug around and keep track of, and an iPhone takes decent photos for digital use.

In the future, if I get more serious about photography, I might choose to buy a higher quality camera with a variety of lenses. For now, I’ll keep it simple.

Try It For Yourself

Now it’s your turn. Try taking a few minimalist shots around your house. Take a walk and look for details. Isolate unique subjects and have fun.

Follow my ten-step challenge to live more simple, Start here:

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