I get inspired by the charm of minimalistic landscape photography

Minimalistic landscape photography
The Poem of Silence - “Due to my interest in minimalism, I prefer to use simple and quiet combinations,” says Nodeh (Image credit: Mostafa Nodeh)

1. Color reduction

The transformation from color to a black-and-white image has a dramatic impact on the visual appearance. It means that the viewer isn’t distracted by bright colors and, instead, the focus is on the structure and texture. “One of the characteristics
of a good photograph is its feeling and effect on the viewer,” says Mostafa. Here, this black-and-white image transports the viewer’s feelings and takes them into another world. With the color almost fully reduced, the different elements in the photo are contrasted visually and the tree stands out even more.

2. Focal point

Mostafa opted for one of photography’s most common and effective methods for focusing on the main subject, the rule of thirds. Imagine two horizontal and vertical lines dividing the picture evenly into three parts and intersecting at a total of four points – the composition is often at its best when the subject hits one of these points. “I try to place the main subject of the photo as much as possible on the intersections, so that the composition captures attention, directing the viewer’s gaze to the subject,” Mostafa says.

3. Negative space

In terms of its size, the tree is the smallest element in the photograph, but it is also the most significant. It is enhanced by the wide background, which provides a negative space that artfully highlights the tree. “The combination of clouds in the background makes this a simple monotone photo,” Mostafa says. The structures of the clouds are reflected in the outer elements of the tree, creating an interesting interplay, while the extensive background gives the overall image a surreal effect.

4. Austere simplicity

The photograph radiates a sense of calm and opens up an expanded view of an image that no longer seems to be quite real. “To me, minimalist photography is an art, in the same way that artists learn how to omit the extra elements that seem to be essential in everyday life,” Mostafa says. By reducing the image and concentrating only on the key elements, they are depicted in their essence. Mostafa has twisted the concept of time and space, offering the viewer room for speculation and further imagination.

Tech details

Canon EOS 7D II

(Image credit: Future)

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Aperture: f/10

Shutter speed: 1/400sec 

ISO: 100

Photographers portrait
Mostafa Nodeh

Mostafa Nodeh is a self-taught photographer based in Guilan, on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast. He is known for his captivating minimalist landscape photographs in black and white, which are inspired by conceptual photography and rooted in themes, ideas and symbolism.

Others in the Why Shots Work series


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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.

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