Minimalism in Photography – Vehicles & Transportation

How to take a minimalist photos of transportation and vehicles? You can take the details of vehicles, tracks, roads and a lot of different things connected to transport of people or goods. Since I am traveling by train, I often take photos of it. I like the old locomotives. Some are beautifully newly painted, others are old and peeled. But they are always very interesting motive for minimalist photography.

Do you like minimalism, taking photos and…

  • trains
  • buses
  • cars
  • aricrafts
  • bicycles
  • roads
  • ways
  • … or anything associated with transportation?

Thats great. It seems that taking minimalist photos of transportation could be the right photography niche for you!

I have prepared some tips that will allow you to take even better pictures.

Tips to take better minimalist photos of vehicles & transportation

  1. I think there are two main approaches to photographing vehicles.
    1. Close up. Your subject should occupy the entire space of the image. When you find a suitable object to shoot, such as an old bus, look for interesting shapes and colors. It can be a tire, a window, a door and the like.
    2. From distance. A classic minimalist photography where the subject, in our case for example a train, is only a small part of the photograph and the rest is filled with an empty area – sky, building, landscape etc.
  2. Be prepared. Keep the camera still with you. I carry a camera constantly in a backpack. I’ll even carry it to work. And do not think I’m going to shoot some nice photos every day. Actually, I usually do not pull the camera out of my backpack and someone might say I carry it with me unnecessarily. But when I sometimes find something interesting to shoot, I’m very glad to have it with me.
  3. Look for colors. Especially if you shoot vehicles up close, look for significant and interesting colors. I prefer old trains or buses that are repaired and newly painted with bright colors.
  4. Look for old vehicles. Old trains and buses are a much more interesting subject for minimalist photography. New vehicles have plastic parts and do not have visible screws or hinges at the door. And that’s what makes the photo better. On the old things is more visible human handwork, and they are not full of low-quality and cheap materials that do not work well in the photos.

Buses on minimalist photography

In the following cases, you can see how minimalist bus pictures can look like. Note that one of the main elements of the photos is always the color (and also the tire 🙂 ).

This yellow tire detail photo is the first of its kind for me. After I created this photo, I started to enjoy this style. Now, whenever I see such an opportunity, I try to create a similar photo. I shot it at the railway station in Uhříněves on the outskirts of Prague. It is a regular bus line of czech manufacturer – Karosa.

The photo is divided into sections according to the golden rule, as you can see in the picture on the right.

Photo according to the golden rule.
Photo according to the golden rule
Yellow Bus - minimalism in photography of vehicles
Yellow Bus

This photo was also created in Uhříněvs, this time at an event called the “Railway Day”. With this old Škoda 706 RTO bus, we were with our family to ride. I was attracted by the combination of colors and the visible manual work used in production.

Old Škoda Bus - minimalism
Old Škoda Bus

Another photo of the yellow bus I photographed in the same place as the blue bus above. It was a rather ugly Karosa bus, but I still took it.

Yellow 80' bus - minimalsit photography
Yellow 80′ bus

Trains on minimalist photography

Interesting are mainly old trains and it does not matter if they are newly painted or with old peeled paint. I take photos of the locomotives mostly on the way to work because I drive through two railway stations – Hlavní nádraží and Smíchovské nádraží in Prague.

The following photo of the orange diesel locomotive was created at the Smichov railway station in Prague. The contrast of the old train and the new paint worked beautifully. And how the new coat shone on the distorted sheet of the locomotive! 🙂

Orange Locomotive - minimalism in transportation photography
Orange Locomotive

Next photo is an example of an old painted old locomotive. I photographed the locomotive while waiting for a train in Prague – Uhříněves.

Minimalist photography: Diesel Locomotive
Minimalist photography: Diesel Locomotive. This photo is an example of a blasted old locomotive. I photographed the locomotive while waiting for a train in Prague – Uhříněves. Despite the considerable wear and tear of the train, it still has its beauty.

Ships and boats on minimalist photography

Shooting minimalist photos of vehicles, this does not mean just taking trains and buses. Boats are also very interesting. Most of my photos come as usual from Prague.

Next image is the Admiral Botel on the Vltava river in Prague. Window, ventilation and interesting color design of the side of the boat makes the core of this minimalist photography.

Minimalist photography: Colorful Ship
Minimalist photography: Colorful Ship.

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