Minimalism in nature photography

Minimalism is one of the interesting and powerful concepts or styles in photography, irrespective of the genre. ‘Less is more’ is a popular phrase which says: “that which is less complicated is better understood and appreciated than something that is more complicated”. This is the crux of minimalism. And its benefits can be seen in nature photography too.

My personal understanding and opinion is that a photograph is minimalistic, if, apart from the subject in topic, there are very few distracting elements. Strong composition and powerful colours ideally act as complementing pieces. The image should draw attention to the subject, hold the viewer’s attention for a few moments as he/she attempts to interpret the same. 

Here’s a Red-naped Ibis ( Black Ibis ) moving along a green carpet. Just two elements here, the green of the field and the bird, nothing else to distract the viewer.


Here’s another with just the bird and the grass as the elements. The light and colour adds to the feel of the image. 


Strong diagonal or vertical lines, circles etc. create a powerful composition. These could aid in leading the viewer’s eye towards the subject as well. Here’s a gull floating around peacefully at sunrise. The silhouetted reflections of the reeds on the water kind of balances the image here.


Here’s a snail and the lines of the leaves against a white canvas, making for an attention grabbing composition.

Lines and circles

The diagonal lines in this image lead in to the jumping spider and the powerful colours complement the composition as well.


Again, the strong colour of the muddy water and the popping-out eyes of the frog give a high impact image. Also, depicting the strong association that frogs have with water.

A minimalistic image can many a times be a story telling one too. Here’s a damsel fly caught in the grasps of a spider, depicting the unpredictability of life. Once a happy, free flying damsel gets trapped in a spider’s web and meets its end.


View of a temple’s gopuram ( the tower ) through a small hole. My idea here was to convey how narrow and constricted our thoughts on religion and its practices have become.


A fishing boat docked on the wide expanse of the Sundarbans, depicting the lonely, tough, unforgiving life in the backwaters.


A moment of reflection here. The foreground kind of leads one to the little bird perched on a dry tree stump, giving a feel of as though the bird is deep in thought. Distractions, if any, are very minimal, making for a good composition and image.


These are just a few examples of how going minimalistic can have a positive impact on one’s images. In-fact more information can be conveyed by having less of distractions in the images, else, the interfering elements will invariably draw the attention of the viewer away from the actual topic or subject matter.

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