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Learn to See Visual Clutter

Lesson 3 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

Learn to See Visual Clutter

Lesson 3 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

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Lesson Info

3. Learn to See Visual Clutter

Lesson Info

Learn to See Visual Clutter

learning to see. Visual clutter is another very important concept in creating minimal images, removing distractions and simplifying your frame is going to bring that subject to the forefront by learning to see the clutter and the distractions. You're going to be able to start extracting it and getting it out of your frame. When I speak about clutter, I'm talking about fences, cars, people, telephone poles, color itself various and opposing textures. Anything that jars the viewer out of your frame and takes them away from your backdrop and your subject. Many objects make great minimalist subjects. So it's more important to concentrate on that space that surrounds the subject and making sure it's free of distractions. Our first image here is of two first seals in Antarctica. This was just after landing. We had just got out of the zodiacs and we were kind of roaming around and exploring a bit. It's not instantly obvious what it is. I want you to look at when you're looking at this photo. ...

I've got, you know, a person up on the top left here on the ridge line, there's some icebergs in the far background. There's like a lump on a rock and that's actually one for seal on the left side. And then there's another dark lump on a rock to the right side. That's another first hell! So it is a photo of two fur seals in Antarctica, but it certainly isn't clean and it's not obvious what it is. I want you to look at. So we're gonna start removing some of those distractions. I'm going to show you what I was doing. I was moving around, I was changing perspective using different kinds of gear, like playing with wide angle or telephoto and really trying to clean this thing up. So here's the second image and you can see that already it's much cleaner. I've gotten rid of a lot of the distractions in the first one. You know, there are no exposed rock, the human is out of the picture. So ri isn't drawn there because like I was saying that human element takes a lot of weight just automatically for us. Here we are now getting even closer to that idea, it's much more obvious that I have to first seal side by side, you know, there's not much going on in the foreground and not that much going on in the background anymore, There is still some detail there. So this, you know what, This is a really clean image. I still don't know if I would categorize it as minimal. Um, and even maybe the final image, I'm gonna show you wouldn't be for some people what they would consider to be a minimalist image, but it's certainly gonna be a lot cleaner and a lot more minimal than this one. And that's this, this is the final image. So for this, I got really low, I used a very wide aperture so I could blur out that foreground and then the background. I made sure I shot against almost a clean, perfectly stark white snow bank. So there really is no distraction in the background, very limited amount in the foreground, basically just enough to give you a sense of depth, so it's not super flat, and then your eye goes instantly to this first fur seal who's posing quite nicely for us, and that perfect sort of opposing angle of the second for seal that really pairs well, with the with the first having them basically branch out opposite of each other like that. Compared to our first image when we first hit shore. This is much, much cleaner and much more minimal.

Ratings and Reviews

Brittany Riggs
 

Lovely and information. The information was relevant and ended up helping a good bit.

Vincent Zuck
 

Very interesting class, in a very unusual location (Arctic), which blended together to give a top notch class. I learned a lot about Minimalism as applied to photography, and Minimalism as applied to post-processing. Curtis is engaging while teaching and demonstrating on site, or back in his "office". I really enjoyed this class. Thank you Curtis.

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