More often than not, less is more. As landscape photographers, we are constantly overwhelmed with a variety of details in each scene due to the vast beauty Mother Nature has to offer. Come along with me on this episode of Photographing Iceland where we cover tips on how to capture minimalist landscape photography.
I came to Strandarkirkja, a lone church in Iceland with a preconceived idea of photographing this church in a minimalist fashion, isolating the church as the main subject and letting the rest of the landscape be a part of the frame without overpowering it.
Tip #1: Decide on Composition
First, decide on what elements of the scene you want to include in your frame. This could potentially mean switching from shooting in landscape orientation to portrait depending on what you want to conceal vs. reveal. When I arrived I noticed this wall in front of the building that was distracting the view and immediately thought to capture the scene from a lower angle to hide it.
Tip #2: Choose the appropriate lens for the scene
Changing my perspective and moving closer to the ground required me to choose a lens that would still allow me to keep the scene minimalistic, filling the majority of the frame with sky. Using a wide-angle lens @ 16mm, I was able to capture a greater portion of the sky and used it as negative space to emphasize the church.
Tip # 3: Dial in the proper exposure settings
Starting at ISO 100 to maximize dynamic range, I bumped up my aperture to f/11 to capture the detail of my foreground. From here I will check my Histogram and dial in the appropriate shutter speed to ensure I don’t blow out the clouds and sky in the scene. Here is the final result:
Join me on my Youtube landscape photography journey as I travel around the world capturing the beauty Earth has to offer. If you enjoyed this video you can tune into my Photographing Iceland Series which includes 30+ episodes filled with shooting tips, gear recommendations, and travel advice.