Continuing my snowy themed posts I thought I would have a look this time at creating ultra minimalist landscapes during these winter conditions. In some ways photographing in the snow is unique and can lead to photos that cannot be produced in any other conditions and these minimalistic are an ideal example.
I find that in order to create a ultra minimalist image you need to be at one with the landscape, I know that may sound a little meta physical but essentially you need to be in a relaxed frame of mind with a single focus… to create a minimalistic photo. I find that these photos depend upon the location and quite deserted locations away from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities help my mind relax and start thinking about this kind of image.
As per my last snow related post the best conditions are heavy overcast days which leads to flat featureless snow without shadows and imperfections which is an ideal starting point for this kind of ultra minimalistic work.
The photo above was taken in Japan in the middle of winter with a good few feet of snow on the ground, I was drawn to the shear simplicity of this shot with the grey sky and snow indistinguishable from each other and just the bold lines of the trees running across the hillside. It was even better that the trees came to a point creating a triangle across the photo. The photo just contains two elements, the trees and the surrounding snow and sky that appear to be the same thing.
The second example above was taken near home and again the conditions were ideal although quite different to the first photo from Japan. A heavy brooding sky was considerably darker than the snow covered foreground almost inverted from what the scene would appear like without the snow. I created a composition that was as symmetrical as I could get it with the tallest part of the snow covered hill in the centre of the frame. I played around with the ratios of snow to sky but felt a third of the shot being light snow and two thirds dark sky balanced well.
The final image above was another one produced in Japan and was in the middle of a blizzard, it was incredibly difficult to even keep the lens free of snow, fortunately the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens has a rather large hood that is ideal to keep snow (and rain) off the lens. The wind was howling and it was probably about 10 degrees C below zero so it was not the nicest conditions I have photographed in, in fact I framed the shot on live view and took one shot a stop over from the metered reading and dived back into the warmth of our 4×4. This is the benefit of knowing the characteristics of your gear inside and out so you can work quickly and capture the shot before Hyperthermia kicks in