The American minimalist artist Carl Andre noted once in the show catalog of a minimal exhibition, “Art excludes the unnecessary“. He was introducing the minimal paintings of the famous minimal artist Frank Stella. And, the abstract painter Ad Reinhardt wrote about the reductive approach of art, “Art begins with the getting rid of nature“.
These statements, characterized by absoluteness, can raise of course a lot of questions and arguments. Yet, they reflect one thing. Those minimal compositions exert an undeniable magnetism due to their primal and term-less way they capture the whole. The way that minimal art is treated by people, has the same absolute character of its compositions and statements; people either acclaim it or wholly reject it.
In photography, one of the finest weather to make minimal compositions is snowy landscapes, especially when you choose to capture them in black and white. The snow transforms the land into a large white canvas with a lot of space for minimal explorations. All the natural details and colors are hidden under the white and one can focus on the simplicity of lines and forms. Abstractness and minimalism can prevail on the images.
In the practical field of camera’s adjustments, bright reflections and high contrast can be quite tricky and underexpose the scene. I usually photo-shoot raw to overexpose the image later, in the post-processing. Many cameras also have snow/beach mode that slightly overexposes the photo based on the meter reading.
After all, adjusting exposure is the ultimate question in photography, whether we are talking about analog or digital cameras. And, the snow gives us many chances for practicing!