Weekly Photo Challenge: Simplicity

I’m back to using my photographic Random Inspiration Generator for this week’s challenge. It’s a pretty basic tool, but when I need a kick in the pants for what to photograph, this is where I go. Use it as much as you want!

I spun the dial (well, clicked the button) and this week the challenge is to….

Photograph Simplicity

This photograph is all about the shape of the fern – one arcing line.

I love this challenge! I admire photographers who specialize in minimalism and follow a number of them, but it’s not necessarily something that I’m very good at seeing myself.

I’ve heard it said (I think most recently by Rick Sammon on Nick Page’s Landscape Photography podcast) that photography is about leaving things out. Painting is additive; Photography is subtractive.

Photo Minimal Stairs
Towering spiral staircase on a blue sky background. There’s an oil refinery attached to this staircase, but I’ve edited it out of the photograph to explore the minimalist shape of the stairs.

This week our challenge is to photograph the simplicity of a scene which may mean making choices on what to leave out.

Actively look for simple scenes – which doesn’t necessarily mean the photograph has a simple idea – it means finding the core of the image. Simplifying.

Tree in field
One of my early images entitled “Simply Tree”. What you can’t see in this image is the huge box store, parking lot, chain link fence that I’m composing around. I saw the tree and the potential of the composition and then I figured out how to get all of life’s clutter out of the frame.

Experiment with minimalist photography or take a simple idea and explore how you can capture the idea though your lens.

I photograph this bridge often and how complex or simple my composition is up to me.

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You can interpret simplicity to mean photographing a simpler time or recapturing a simpler mindset in your creative photography.

Children play in summer
Children play in summer

It helped for me to look at synonyms of the word “simplicity” in a thesaurus. Some of the words that helped me think differently about the term were: clarity, directness, unity, ease, singleness clean lines, innocence, naturalness.

The words brought to mind the simple directness of this road.

Road in southern Colorado
Open road in southern Colorado

Simple scenes don’t have to be boring. The waters of the lakes of Scotland were rough and the sky complex and changing, but this one boat sailed – at least from my vantage point – calmly through the chaos.

Sailboat on Loch Lomand, Scotland
Sailboat on Loch Lomand, Scotland

This week, take a breath, clear your mind – then take out your camera. Find the simplest version of what you’re photographing – find the core of the image. Find your center as a photographer.

For more photos, follow me on social media: Facebook,Instagram, Website, Flickr

31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Simplicity”


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