“Cloudy Shapes” by Jos (Or Simplicity Means Colors Too)

"Cloudy Shapes" by Jos

"Cloudy Shapes" by Jos

We love simplicity here at Shutter Photo. Simplicity is one thing that we all, as photographers, strive to accomplish in our own works. The simpler a photograph, the stronger it will be. And it will get noticed. Of course, this is why we love the work of Jos. He’s introduced us to so much simplicity in his own abstract works. This weeks photo, Cloudy Shapes, is just one of Jos’s fantastic abstract photos.

Jos appears to be drawn naturally to architecture, but not in the manner that one might expect.  He focuses on the detail, the elements that really help to subtly define the feature.  He frames tight, which naturally results in abstract style photos.  But I don’t believe his intent is really to feature the architecture.  I believe his subject is the textures, the lines and the colors that he comes across.  The structure featured in Cloudy Shapes is beyond identification, at least to this reviewer, yet I don’t think that matters.  As is indicated from the title, the photo is really a comparison of shapes – the naturally formed shapes of the clouds, and the human created shapes of the structure.  And while I find that absolutely fantastic, the whole thing were to fall apart of there was too much contrast between the shapes.  I feel the element that really holds this whole photo together is the fact that there is very little difference in hues.

We are reminded that simplicity is anything but simple.  It’s a complex balance of elements – a juggling act between introducing compelling subjects, and making sure that they don’t overpower.  We must think of every aspect of the photo, including the colors.  Colors are important as they are the quickest way to the viewer’s emotions.  If you would like to create confusion, introduce a lot of colors or just a few strong but contrasting colors.  But when it comes to simplicity, it helps if all the tones are equal and the conflict between each color is not manifested in a way that makes the shot complicated.  This is why many photographers choose to use black & white.  But it’s the very reason why you love Jos’s color photo, Cloudy Shapes.

As I mentioned above, Jos is attracted to architecture and does quite well to exhibit the elements that make one building stand out from another.  He also experiments a great deal with abstract and minimalist photography.  If you are a fan of either, you should follow Jos’s inspiring photostream.  We featured one of Jos’s minimalist abstract photos last year here at Shutter Photo.


About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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