"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before” (Robert Mapplethorpe)

"Ignite the imagination and light the slow fuse of the possible" (Emily Dickinson)


I coined the term Ministract back in 2008 because often I didn't know if my pictures were minimal or abstract. If (a big if) ministract has a unique meaning then it's about the fertile territory that exists at the intersection of abstract and minimal photography. But that sounds a bit arty farty so perhaps it's just what I call my pictures :-) Anyway, a few other people started to use the term too so in 2009 I created the Ministract group here on Flickr.

Ministract \ˈmi-nə-ˈstrakt\ - Of or pertaining to that which might be minimal, might be abstract or might even be both... They could be B&W or colour, square or not, focussed or schmocussed.

Guardian Camera Club portfolio review

Photos of daruma* (117)

daruma*'s favorite photos from other Flickr members (30,448)

Following (98)

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Testimonials (19)

  • view profile

    Jerzy Durczak (a.k.a." jurek d.") says:

    "as if he needs another one...
    But the truth should be told (again and again)...
    Tom can see what others cannot see.
    His a seer, an artist, a very generous and perceptive critic, a strong Flickr presence - the groups he administers are top quality... As the young ones say: 'He rules!'

    Of course, everybody knows all this... but the truth should be told (again and again)."

    May 11th, 2010

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    kate mellersh (come to a halt) says:

    "My experience of Tom is of a seeping warmth ... from his comments, his images, his groups. When I came to assemble a gallery tribute to your work, I found I wanted to call your images 'scapes' - like a landscape, they have an immersive quality. I feel I can climb in and inhabit them in a way which is unique. Much of this is related to your love of soft focus, extreme DOF, the beguiling Hocus Schmocus ... the rest I suspect is a rare sense of feeling entirely welcome and invited - a precious and unusual thing. Someone recently described Tom as 'a giant on Flickr'. They were right.
    My gallery, I suspect not the first ...

    January 22nd, 2010

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    helmet13 says:

    "For me, inside your stream there is understanding of the essential of a view, not of the subject you look at.

    A picture is not an illustration for a text - text is not a comment to a picture. Both served as a starting point for a special visual vacillation similar to that sense of loss, known as Satori.

    Thank you very much for your wonderful pictures and for your friendship."


    January 2nd, 2010

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    jotka26 says:

    "what! I cannot bother you with sumphin' rude or nasty? you really want me to say all this ego boosting crap? things like: he's handling carla (that's the lousy name of his pretty much working 5D) with care... sometimes! every once in a while he's shocking the whole flickr audience with a real stunner... mostly when he comes along with a breathtaking architectural shot or when he's showing some technical skills and offering us some of the finest details of ordinary things like vents, leaves, chairs, the seaside, etc. etc...
    he has a waggish sense of humour... sometimes. believe it or not, he is creating new words for the masses like ministract, maxistract, mediumstract, a.s.o. ...
    when he comes along with these thingys do NOT ask him: Tom what happens to your mirrorframe? are you sick? is the earth moving in little scotland? will we be able to see sumpfin' on your next image?
    just relax folks... this phase will never last too long! and when it's over he will come up with some A-class masterpieces and he will show us his talents again!
    from the very first moment I met him, I knew this guy is some big fun! Tom, it's good to know to call you a friend ...jot.
    (written on November the 9th, 2009)"

    November 8th, 2009

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    wjosna says:

    "Lord of "Schmocus", King of "Ministract" claims that has been dancing with photography for only 18 months - well - If this is the truth, I'm scared to think, what can happen in the next couple of years....
    On little more serious note... I admire works of Tom, because his way of looking at this world makes me smile, makes my brain boil and makes my soul sing because I see magic there...
    He is visual magician and fantastic contact too:)
    Thank you Tom!"

    September 22nd, 2009

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    Anima Fotografie says:

    "Put quite simply...Tom makes the ordinary look extraordinary, an incredibly rare talent indeed! When I'm in need of some image inspiration this is where I know I will always find it...


    August 22nd, 2009

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    Parthurpics says:

    "Two qualities I'd like to highlight: 1) in his photos, Tom consistently shows a highly creative eye and an-ever expanding range of technique; 2) as a human being, he is one of the most modest people I know, constantly telling anyone and everyone that he's just a beginner and that his work is not that great. In fact, as an overall portfolio, his is one of the best on Flickr"

    July 28th, 2009

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    p r i m e r says:

    "It's difficult to really explain how much I love Tom's work because his work is so different than mine. In many ways, I view Tom's photography as the exact opposite of my own work -- he focuses on the details, the things I would normally walk by and not give a second look to. For me, that is what makes Tom's work so inspiring to me. He sees the things I don't -- just looking through his photostream shows me an entirely different world that is out there and new ways to capture it. He sees angles, geometry, and light and creates art. Everyday, I look at Tom's newest shot in awe and study it to figure out how I can see the world that Tom sees through his camera lens. It's all entirely amazing to me."

    July 13th, 2009

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    ps70 ...,,.,., says:

    "“I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before”
    (Robert Mapplethorpe)
    "Ignite the imagination and light the slow fuse of the possible"
    (Emily Dickinson)
    Ah, Tom. When I found your incredible stream Mr. Mapplethorpe´s and Mrs. Dickinson´s words came alive!
    Love your incredible work, Tom
    and I enjoy your friendship here on Flickr!
    Big hugs for you, Genius!!"

    April 19th, 2009

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    M-J Turner says:

    "Since Tom is a minimalist I will keep this short:

    If you want to give your eyes a treat today, then let them dazzle at the unique visions this amazing conceptual artist produces. With every image he leaves your mind boggling as to how he has captured such immense minimalistic beauty - his photostream is literally sui generis.

    Believe that your eyes will say 'Thank You' : )"

    March 25th, 2009

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    Alex Bamford says:

    "DO give up your day job."

    March 30th, 2009

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    sunny-drunk says:

    "This Guy's Photo's come with a Government Health Warning.......
    Unless you want to damage your health............that's Eyesight and Sanity
    please avoid contact with this joker's images.
    If however you wear glasses with extremely thick lenses or are preferably blind... these pics pose very little danger to further deteriorating vision.
    However beware...........Sanity is another issue.......
    It is a proven medical fact that since Losy has been viewing these images I have noticed a rapid decline in her cognitive behaviour(whatever that means?)......
    If you must view these damn pics............get someone else to view and describe them........from a distance.......of at least 10 feet.
    In that way your sanity might be preserved .......!!!
    By saving your eyesight and your sanity......it will leave you with more time to enjoy my stuff instead.

    A well Wisher........."

    March 15th, 2009

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    losy says:

    "I had some free time today and was 'googling' - does this word exist at all? Anyhow... here is a very interesting finding: "Daruma is a traditional Japanese doll said to bring people happiness"!! :-))
    And here is another discovery... Looked up Daruma's profile...:-)) and saw his rhythm of uploading pictures...!!! Go and see and it will tell you that Daruma cannot be a Doll.... rather an accountant or another kind of very orderly person!!
    Daruma... one thing is certain... "you bring people happiness with your great new group 'ministract'.".. You do not need to be a doll but lately... looking at your wonderful uploads, I realized.... I need to see an optometrist...or is it you... who needs an appointment ...? ... Not to worry.... I will squint my eyes..."

    March 7th, 2009

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    Nganguyen says:

    "Tom is such an inspiring photographer on Flickr. Though his stream is dominated by amazing abstract images, his landscape and macro photos are no less impressive. He always captures the beauty of things from various perspectives and I am usually amazed by the terrific angles he chooses. Beside the beautiful photos, I also enjoy his captions, which are carefully written and provide us with information related to the photos or, sometimes, meaningful quotations. Flickr is not as interesting every time Tom is away :)"

    December 16th, 2008

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    Joebelle says:

    "Daruma*'s images are an atlas of a hidden world, unseen but in plain sight. The everyday and mundane object, like a ventilation grill becomes a beautiful compostion of geometry colour and texture. I wish I could see the world as he does, but as compensation for this inability I am always rewarded by viewing his photostream."

    November 15th, 2008

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    Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) says:

    "Whether its plant life, exotic locales or buildings, if its Tom ( durama) photographing it, you can bet you'll be seeing something in a way you have never before. His unique way of looking at the world is sure to draw you in. But he's more than just a great photographer.He's someone who always has interesting and positive things to say about others' work as well. I'm happy to have met this flickr-friend, and am sure you are too."

    October 24th, 2008

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    Copenhagen Street Photography says:

    "First time I wrote to Tom he said that he just had started taking serious pictures for a few month. I looked at his photostream and couldn't understand that this was a work from a nooby....
    He has the most wonderful building pictures on Flickr. His ability to see lines in different ways and composition is surprisingly refreshing. I usually use him as a reference when other people ask me about how some of their pictures should have been composed.
    Tom travels a lot (apparantly) or is just on the move. You get the feeling that no matter where he is, he always gonna bring some lovely pictures back home.
    He is a good flickr friend and it is inspiring having him on my contact list. Thank you."

    October 21st, 2008

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    Majocesa says:

    "Basically - Tom is one of my favourite people here on flickr !!!!! He is a great photographer, a great guy and gives me my daily dose of fun (making me often laugh out loud sitting here all alone at my computer) - something that even mastercard can't pay for !!! He has rapidly become one of the people that I truly enjoy keeping up with - not only for his photos but for the type of person he is ........ for that I thank you Tom xxx"

    July 4th, 2008

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    Jenni Holma says:

    "I'm lucky to have Tom as a contact. He's a very nice bloke and once you check out his stream I'm sure you'll be aware of his skills as well. This guy's flower photography whispers secrets of another world that is right there in front of our eyes when we still fail to see it in it's full glory. Tom has an excellent eye for shapes and compositions that is evident in all shots taken by him and he's able to appreciate the beauty there is around us. I look forward to see his future work!"

    June 26th, 2008

Tom McLaughlan
April 2005