The minimalistic aesthetic is something I look for wherever I go. It’s easy to compose minimalistic scenes when facing out to sea; the ocean is a natural canvas. A pier or ship or any solitary object creates an object of interest. My theory is that minimalism provides more room for interpretation and connection to the viewer precisely because there is less to look at.
More difficult perhaps is minimalism in a big city. It involves framing singular aspects of objects in a way that give them space and room to breath. Unlike an open ocean, capturing minimalism becomes a puzzle within the visually crowded confines of a city. For whatever reason I’ve notice that German photographers seem to be good at this. Maybe it’s a reflection of the culture in some way.
A minimalistic aesthetic as it applies to architecture photography involves seeing things in an isolated way. It’s attention to the little details in plain site that escape most of us. It’s a pursuit that points out what we see but don’t recognize. In my opinion artful photography helps us see with new eyes.
As an aside, I have a very clear recollection of taking this old pier at Gasparilla Island. A few minutes later I slipped and broke my camera. That was over two years ago but it’s never far from my mind. Since then I am extra careful when handling my camera. However, the other day I dropped my camera on the pavement as I was getting out of my car. It dropped from about two feet and I was lucky because there was no damage. But I was rushing and that led to the mishap.
Anyway, it’s good to slow down when looking for minimalism in a city or the sea. By taking extra time we might notice the less obvious perspectives in plain sight. An additional benefit of slowing down is we’ll be less likely to drop a camera.
This is a long exposure cityscape of Sarasota I took one night while waiting for the full moon to rise above the bridge. I was fortunate in that there was no wind and the waters of the bay were still. While that’s great for photos it also means there are a lot of mosquitos. I had a can of repellant and sprayed myself from head to toe: a minor annoyance but its a small price to pay in exchange for perfect conditions.
I never know when conditions will be good for photography until the last moment. If I had all the time in the world I’d go out every night checking. As a matter of fact I did that this evening before I sat down to write this. We had some dramatic clouds and I thought to get in position, but nothing happened and I drove home without a shot. It’s a numbers game; sometimes you lose and sometimes you win.
Earlier in the day I took a three-hour drive looking for compositions, in the end I got only one. The effort that goes into my photography is not carbon neutral. I should probably look into an electric car or just take the bus.
So that the time is not a complete waste I’ll listen to podcasts. I can get drawn into the stories such that the traffic, distances and time are not so monotonous. Even if I come back without a good composition at least I learned something. My favorite is Radio Labs, but I also like This American Life and sometimes Tim Ferris.
A lot of effort goes into making a good podcasts and the same holds true for photos. I love doing it so I rarely notice the time, but most of the images I post involve many hours of traveling, editing, expense, and sometimes even spraying myself with insect repellant.
The DeSoto National Memorial is a park with trails through the mangroves at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. I keep coming here to capture scenes along the water. Like most parks in this area it closes at sunset. But in this case I lingered to capture the vibrant tones past dusk.
I get spoiled with our sunsets. Well not really spoiled, but I do get overloaded with so many sunsets this time of year. With a great sunset each night I get a little complacent and then all of a sudden I miss a really good one. That happens several times a week. I have an unrealistic desire to capture every sunset. I will be first in line to pre-order one of Elon Musk’s transporters as soon as it gets invented. See a good sunset, push a button and I’m at the beach. Guaranteed to never miss a good one.
When I decide not to go out I know I might be missing something. It’s hard to just sit back and watch without wanting to capture it with a camera. If I have to do a chore and don’t look outside I’m okay, but when I see colorful clouds I go a little crazy. I suppose it has something to do with why I got into photography in the first place, to capture and convey.
If I were a painter I’d probably feature sunsets as much as I do with photography. The nice thing about painting is you can portray a scene as you see it in your mind, there’s no rush to get to a location for the light. With landscape photography we are working with times of the day: two different approaches to convey scenes. In the end, none of it compares to the real thing. If you consider variations in color and shapes of clouds and textures of terrain you realize that whether we’re painting or taking photos, we are attempting to reproduce the work of a much greater artist.