“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” – Paulo Coelho
The holidays (at least in the USA) are often a time of excess – excess food, shopping, decorations, parties, etc. So I thought it would be interesting to look for simplicity within what often feels like chaos at this time of the year. This will also be my last photochallenge write-up for a while and I realized that the very first challenge I participated in was a minimalist challenge, so it feels like a full-circle moment for me.
This week I want you to take a minimalist photo inspired by the holidays around this time of the year: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice – or any other holiday celebrated in your part of the world at this time of the year. One approach to this week’s challenge is to take a photo of an actual object that is associated with the holidays: decorations, candles, cookies, etc. It might take some thinking as to how to photograph such a subject in a minimalist style, but consider lots of negative space, large color blocks, etc.
Another approach to this week’s challenge is to go the abstract route using colors, shapes, etc. that are often associated with the holidays. For example, Christmas might inspire red/green or gold/silver while Hanukkah might inspire blue/white/silver. Evergreen trees which are associated with at least a couple of holidays at this time of the year can be abstracted to triangular shapes. Christmas ornaments are often spheres, though finial ornaments are leaf-shaped and icicles are long, skinny, upside-down triangles.
Another way to simplify complexity is by removing color, i.e. B&W. Not every black and white photo is minimalist (far from it!), but feel free to use B&W or monotone as one of your tools for achieving a minimalist photo this week.
If you need some reminders about what Minimalism is and how to apply it to photography, I refer you to some of our previous minimalist challenges and the additional links they contain:
- 2021 WEEK 34: Minimalist Photography
- 2017 WEEK 43: Negative Space
- 2014 WEEK 26: Still Life – Minimalism
- 2013 WEEK 3: Minimalism
This week’s challenge summary:
- Take a minimalist photo inspired by the holidays this time of the year.
- Feel free to be creative with your interpretation this week, but please make sure to explain your thought process when you post your photo or we may flag it as not following the theme if we can’t figure out the connection.
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, December 12 and Saturday, December 18.
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2021photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2021 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.