Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #202 – Minimalism/Maximalism

Seattle Ships

Sofia leads the challenge this week with Minimalism/Maximalism as the theme. She writes, “I invite you to think of which fits your narrative best, simplicity or ‘more is more,’ minimalism or maximalism, or does it depend on your subject?” You can read her entire challenge post here.

Over the years, I’ve kept mostly to the concept of filling the frame, but I do have a few minimalist examples. I’ve shared my opening photo before, but it’s probably my favorite. The simplicity of the image attracts the viewer immediately to the subjects, the two ships off the coast of Seattle.

The Fisherman
Outer Banks, North Carolina

Another high-key image that focuses on minimalism was converted to black-and-white and the exposure pushed to blow out the sky leaving only the beach and the fisherman visible.

La Jolla Cove-13
La Jolla Cove, California

Seagulls are the predominant birds near the oceans. This gull was watching me carefully as I captured him in flight.

Rain gutter

I have other minimalist images than just shots of the ocean. On the side of a structure, I spotted one of those unusual rain gutters. As each “upside-down bell” fills, it overflows, drips off the edge and the water flows into the bell immediately underneath it. They are fun to watch in action (if you don’t have to stand in the rain yourself, anyway.)

Rock Climber

In the Garden of the Gods Park, a lone climber scales up the side of a rock face. This Colorado Springs, Colorado park has some fascinating rock outcroppings. Making an image minimalist here is simple, shoot into the sun and adjust the exposure to the sky. The subject will automatically silhouette.

Supreme Court-4
Supreme Court Building

As I was touring the Supreme Court building, I walked past an open archway. Looking down, I saw the marble staircase leading to a mysterious door in the basement. The leading lines of the steps and stair rails drew my attention to the beautiful door at the base of the stairs.


Most of my garden shots focus on a flower that fills the frame. This dragonfly was small enough in the frame to allow for a large negative space filled with bokeh.

Chateau De Mores-11
Gas Lantern

In the Chateau De Mores, a house from the mid-1800s turned museum, a gas lantern and reflector mounted high on a wall provided lighting for a main hallway in the house.

Model Railroad-4
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

To conclude this post, I feature a single maximalism image, a very busy model train set at a Scottsdale, Arizona railroad park. This is but one of the train displays in the model railroad building.

Thanks to Sofia for this week’s theme. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s take on the topic so far this week, and I am sure there will be more before the week is out. Be sure to stop by Anne Sandler’s blog for next week’s challenge post.

I’ve posted my images on my Flickr site as well, so you can pixel peep in HD by simply clicking on an image, or you can visit the entire album and scroll through the images here.


  1. Funny John, I’d have thought you’d be more of a maximalist! I loved all of your minimalist images, especially the dragonfly and the staircase. That one really drew me in.

  2. For someone who says they don’t tend to take minimalist images, you’ve come up with some great examples! My favourites are the first one of the ships off Seattle and the dragonfly πŸ™‚ The gull made me smile too – great capture!

  3. Absolutely brilliant examples, John. Almost tempted to say you should do minimalism more often but I’d miss your beautiful landscape photos. That opener is magnificent.

    • Thanks, Sofia. I am not about to give up those landscapes, but I will think about doing more “minimalist” images. I will need to have some different ones to share the next time this challenge is revisted. πŸ™‚

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