This week, I entered a photography competition. The theme was ‘minimalism’. Ultimately, neither of my shots were chosen, but that’s okay. It was for the Observer, so not exactly low profile. I figured, if you are gonna enter a competition, make it a biggie.

Anyway , here they are. So, in a way, now they have been published.

Both photographs were taken in Portugal last summer. And both were taken very early in the morning, just before sunrise. That’s a marvellous time of the day. It means very few people and a gorgeous half-light. The first one is entitled A Hard Night’s Work Done. The normally small, but bustling, beach was deserted. All of the fishermen, bar this one, had returned to land with their night’s catch. There was only me, these fishermen and the Atlantic Ocean. Everything and everyone else had either long gone to bed or was yet to arise. It was perfect.

The second is entitled Only the Seagulls. Again, this beach is normally bustling with holidaymakers at this time of year. But now, it was deserted. All of the families, the kids playing, the teenagers splashing in the surf – all were still asleep. The sun loungers lay unoccupied. The fishing boat you can see on the left-hand side had returned after a successful night’s catch. Everything that was normally active here had temporarily been stripped away. There was only me, the seagulls and the Atlantic.

So…minimalism. For me, thinking of these photographs, it’s not what’s there, it’s what’s missing from what is normally there that creates the minimalistic feel.

A Hard Night’s Work Done
Only the Seagulls


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