Minimalism Assignment Winner • Marnix Van Marcke

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Reynisdrangar, Vik, Iceland • Nikon D810, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, f/6.3, 30sec, ISO 64

The Reynisdrangar rock formations are basalt sea stacks situated near the most southern village of Iceland called Vik i Myrdal. The formations shoot dramatically out of the ocean under the looming cliffs of Mt. Reynisfjall, resulting in a beautiful site. The rocks were one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones and are an iconic location well known by many landscape photographers familiar with Iceland.

The picture was taken from the Dyrholaey cliffs, a few kilometres west of Vik. Most pictures taken from this location include a beautiful basalt column in the foreground. However, I preferred to ignore it and to isolate Reynisdrangar into a minimalistic composition instead.

I consciously chose not to compose according to the rule-of-thirds as I wanted to emphasise the beautifully coloured monochromatic sky by placing the rock formation in the lower left corner. This offered the picture more tension, displaying the contrast between the dimensions of the 66 metres high rocks and the amazing winter coloured sky. The basalt sea stacks look tiny in this minimalistic composition but nevertheless dominate the picture. In order to emphasise the two main elements in the picture – the rocks and the sky – and not to distract the viewer by the movement of the waves, I used a 30 second exposure to smooth out surface of the sea.

I used my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a 10 stop ND filter and a solid tripod to capture this view.

I prefer to travel to Iceland during autumn or winter as during those seasons the light is amazing. This picture was captured end of January at the end of the day.

Marnix Van Marcke, Belgium

I started with photography as a hobby during the seventies. Very soon my hobby transformed into a passion for landscape photography. I am now a full time landscape photographer trying to photograph our beautiful planet.

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