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A Quick Intro to Minimalist Landscape Photography

Here we’re going to show you how to create minimalist landscape photography and give you plenty of examples, techniques and tips to get you inspired for your own shoot. Firstly, let’s answer; what is minimalist photography?

Minimalist photography is a form of photography that is distinguished by extreme simplicity. It focuses solely on the smallest number of objects and it is normally composed in a clean, clinical way with very little differences in the colours and tones of the image.

In the example below, we use long exposure photography to create a minimalist effect of a lighthouse out at sea.

Using long exposures in landscape photography is a great way to get that minimalist look. In this shot, it’s allowed the waves of the water to blend together to create this smooth effect. This eliminates the texture and tones of the water which further enhances the minimalist effect.

To view exactly how this shot was taken and the equipment used, check out the video up top.

More Examples of Minimalist Landscape Photography

In the landscape shot below, the minimalist effect has been created by a clever use of composition and by removing the color from the scene. The shot’s main focus is the rock and the majority of the image is taken up by the sky. The shot can be broken up into just 3 parts. Going from the bottom you have the line of water, the triangle of the rock, then a sky with only a graduation of grey.

The image has been broken down to the minimal of objects, colors and tones, thus given a perfect example of minimalist landscape photography.

Photo by Adrian, CC0

Here is another example of a long exposure landscape. Again, this effect has smoothed out the water and the color scheme of the shot is harmonious using only blues and purples with an accent color of orange. There is a small focal point within one-third of the frame which helps give the image a bit of interest.

A calming example of a minimalist landscape photo.

Camera Settings – f/16 – ISO 100 – 35mm Focal length – 120 second

Proving again that long exposures are a good tip for creating this effect, here with have a shot made up of very little shapes and tones. If you break it down, you have a triangle in the centre, flanked by the smooth toneless water and at the top of the image a rectangle of blank sky.

As with the others, it’s a shot showing very little color, tones and objects which is creating a lovely minimalist effect.

Photo by Fabrice Villard, CC0

To learn a few of the basic techniques involved in capturing images like these, check out the video up top. And feel free to share your own tips for minimalist photography in the comments!


About the Author: Marc Newton is a photographer, educational speaker, author, and founder of The School of Photography. You can find his work on his website, Instagram, and the School of Photography YouTube channel. This post was also published here.

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