Photos of the Week: Minimalized Photos

Minimalized Photos? Is this a new word? In your auto spell check, it doesn’t exist, but, in Photography and Art, it is a real important type of photography that almost everyone loves it. If you haven’t heard of this, then read on, because we are going to introduce the best minimalized photos I have been able to find. Comment at the bottom how you feel about these photos.

light sea dawn landscape
Photo by Pixabay on

The idea of minimalization is to have an important subject, but lots of surroundings around it, like you see above. There have been a few great photos lately that have really been loved on the internet. Check these out:

Portrait of couple taken off the reflection in water.
Hackney Wick Swan

Minimalist photos are often called: NEGATIVE SPACE PHOTOS. See how you have so much space in all these photos? That is Negative Space, or Minimalist photos.

I hope you found some photos that you liked. This seems to be a trend of photography that is just coming to life now. Stay tuned for more great photos !


I have heard it said, “if you want to become a good photographer, you have to take 10,000 pictures”. And may I add, if you want to become a good photographer, while you are taking those 10,000 photos, make sure you are practicing and learning how to take pictures, not just snapshots.

branches cold conifers environment
Photo by Pixabay on

If you go out for a walk in your neighborhood, could you find any photos to take? When I go for a walk, I am looking for photo opportunities everywhere. I don’t think my family likes walking with me, because I am always stopping to take a picture of something.

In order to FIND a photo to take, I think the most important thing to learn is:

Know the rules to composition.
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – You have to see the leading lines in a photo.

Memorize the rules of composition. Every time I go out for a walk, I see the rules of composition right in front of me. Can you see the leading lines? How about the rule of thirds? Can you take a photo and put it in the “thirds” format? Do you know the rule of space? Rule of odds? And also, do not put your horizon down the middle of your photo. And finally, can you see patterns?

Let’s go through these rules one by one, and give you an example. Then if you want to master this process of “seeing a photo”, it will be because you have memorized composition rules, and now you recognize them when you see it.

Leading lines:
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – See the “leading lines” in this photo? There are several leading lines in this

In this night photo above, you can see the lines from the fence, the sidewalk, the road, the line down the roads. This one is easy to see. Look for those lines. One thing in general with this, is you don’t want the lines to be straight down the middle or go from side to side. They most generally need to go diagonally.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell – These leading lines go right down the middle.

Can leading lines go down the middle, or from side to side? Hey! Some rules are meant to be broken. As in the photo above, how often do you have a clear shot of a very straight highway as far as the eye can see? So take it, if it tells a good story.

Rule of thirds:
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – The idea of “put the subject in the third part of your frame” is so spot on.

I could have put that sign and seagull right in the middle, but, this looks so much better. This one takes practice. But, once you take some photos, and notice your subject is right in the middle, you will recognize that it doesn’t look right.

Rule of Space:
sea dawn nature sky
Photo by Nuno Obey on

If this boat was moving, you need to give it somewhere to move into. So leave some space in front of the boat. If this boat was more to the left, it would actually look awkward. This is just a function of the brain.

light landscape sky sunset
Photo by Pixabay on

This photo of the cat, is another great example of giving “space”. The cat is looking into an area that might have something. Our brain would feel the photo to be really awkward if the cat was on the other side of the photo. Is this photo also a “rule of thirds”? Yes, I believe so, as long as you put it in the correct quadrant of the photo.

Rule of odds:
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Rule of “odds”

This particular rule is sometimes impossible to get, but the idea is that put your subjects in odd numbers. Like 3 flowers, instead of 2 flowers. Or 5 buffalo, instead of 4. As you take pictures of multiple subjects, now you know the rule, you will look for that.

alphabet blur board game business
Photo by Pixabay on

Rule of odds worked on this one: there is 5 subjects.

pattern formation wild animals south africa
Photo by Pixabay on

Rule of “Odds”. Here is a great example: in your mind, take out of the giraffes. Then put it back in. See how much nicer 3 look than 2. Hard to do all the time, but, you will have more people like your photos if you can do odd numbers.

Look for patterns:
Photo by Lanny Cottrell

Is this a photo of patterns? Well yes, a forest is a pattern of trees. They look good like a forest, which falls under the “pattern” rule.

sliced orange fruits
Photo by on

In “patterns”, you look for a type of photo that most likely takes up the whole picture with a large quantity of the same thing, like above.

So a forest is a good pattern, and a cluster of fruit slices falls under this category.

Here is one more example of “Pattern” in a photo. Can you see it if you were walking around your neighborhood?

Put your Horizon in the third part of your photo.
Photo by Lanny Cottrell – Rule of horizon in the right place.

The “horizon” is basically where the ground meets the sky. Look at this photo above, and even though the photo seems to be about boats in storage, notice that the ground and the sky meet at about the lower 1/3 of the photo.

Photo by Lanny Cottrell

This photo is the most spectacular with lots of sky. So, in this case the horizon is in the lower third. If you put the horizon in the top third, you would get more water, but, isn’t the sky more spectacular?


You have to memorize these basic rules of composition, or you will never see the photo opportunities around you. Practice walking around the neighborhood and see if you can see any of these rules of composition to take pictures. Once you memorize these rules, and take more pictures, the closer you get to the 10,000 photos you need to take before you are good.

Here’s just a few more photos, using the rules of composition:

Leading lines
Horizon in lower third
Rule of odds (3 buffalo, not 2)


Sometimes we all get a little “itchy” to take some photos in the winter, while we wait for a good snow storm. This is a time to be thinking about “still photography”.

“Still photography” is an art in and of itself. It requires setting things up that don’t talk back to you, and getting the perfect light. There are a lot of things that you can use for subjects of still photos. Let’s first take a look at some of the photos I have seen lately, and then I will give you the tips on how to take good still photos:

pumpkins on a table
Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on

This is considered “Food Photography” in a sense, but when I first looked at it, I thought it was a picture of “fall”.

variety of pumpkins
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

Now, here is another form of taking still photos, and compare it with the one above. Which do you like better.

They are both really good still photos, and here are some points of taking good still photos:

1- Most people who are really good at this, find some kind of wooden table to organize their product. That is not always the main rule. But, seems to work well. It’s your canvas on which to draw from. Your drawing is the assembly of your product(s).

2- You may need to experiment with your “f-stop” or aperture. You want the subject to be in focus, but, you will need to control the depth of field so that it goes blurry, right behind, and I mean exactly right behind the subjects.

3- Lighting is a real key to doing good still photos. Here is another photo, that I think is amazing. But, can you tell which way the light is coming from:

Photo by Boni Photo

This lighting on this, and almost all lighting used in still photography is just by a sidelight, sometimes best from a nearby window. This gives it dimension and it often will just accentuate the product more. Note on this above photo that they did not use a table, but, an old box, or table, just something old. This helps create the mood for this photo. Step #1- again, look for something that will add to the photo by the table or background you choose.

4- Step 4, and all these steps, are just guidelines. But, this step #4 is to keep the background dark so that the lighting stays on the subject and the background is not important.

orange flowers in brown vase beside sliced orange fruit
Photo by Eneida Nieves on

Look at this photo, and especially the background. It is much darker and does not distract from the main subject.

5- If you don’t have all that old stuff, like a unique antique looking background, or table that looks like it’s old and aging, the other trick is to use a beautiful cloth, or blanket, or drapery material and just cover the table and backdrop:

Photo by Ploesteanu Anisoara

Notice with this above photo how the photographer used a drapery material or cloth to have the background and the table all covered. Wow! This could be done on a kitchen table if you want to do it this way. But, watch your lighting again.

6- Keep your subject material all the same type of group, such as: all food, flowers and pots, books and glasses, etc.

Photo by Luigi Scarpelli

Notice how this amazing photo kept to the subject: Food! There is no flower in there, just flour.

7- Keep your photo and subjects clutter free. Take photos that don’t have a lot of parts to the subject. Simplicity is the key:

Photo by Randy Benzie

Sometimes the most loved photos are just the simple ones. When you do that, make sure the light is good on the subject, shallow depth of field, and a dark background is the key to a winning photo.

Doing still photography, and practicing on the tips above is a very satisfying way of photography. There are some real pros out there, as you can tell from the photos I used today. Yours can be one of them too.

If you would like to share some of your photos with us, then submit them in the comments below, or send them to :

Here are some more amazing “still photos” to enjoy:

close up of paper against black background
Photo by John-Mark Smith on
twig with tender magnolia flowers
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on
red cherries on stainless steel bowl
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on