How to Create Mystery and Tell a Story With Minimalism in Landscape Photography

Minimalism is a nuanced animal: if you really nail it, the clarity and sheer power of your expression is palpable, whereas if you miss your mark, the photo looks empty and devoid of meaning. The tough part is that the line between these two is razor thin. This helpful video will discuss what makes a successful minimalistic landscape photograph.

Coming to you from Photo Tom, this great video features him examining the work of Michael Kenna, whose landscape photos are both entrancing and ethereal. Especially in today's collective taste, we're used to seeing vibrant, multilayered, complex landscape shots bursting with color and nuance, and of course, while there's nothing wrong with that, I think it's both interesting and instructive to take a look at the other side. What makes good minimalism so fascinating to me is that it's such a remarkably succinct distillation of creative expression: there's not a single element whose presence and placement isn't absolutely essential to the success of the image, and that includes the usage of negative space. Even if it's not your aesthetic cup of tea, it's well worth studying for the compositional prowess it shows off that can be applied to most any style. 

[via Photo Tom]

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2 Comments

wow nice tutorial

Mike O'Leary's picture

I love Michael Kenna's work. Wonderful breakdown of his images.