Michael Schlegel Reveals the Otherworldy Stillness of the Fanal Forest

All photos by Michael Schlegel. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Craving for your regular dose of dreamy landscape photography? Today’s spotlight is on Berlin-based Michael Schlegel and his beautiful minimalist depictions of the Fanal Forest. Form and mood are the stars of the series, both of which shine in black and white. If you’re looking into ethereal takes on landscape photography, this collection will do well to inspire you and give you some ideas.

Shooting in color is often the option for many landscape photographers, and it might as well be the best course if the focus is on striking color palettes or textures in varying hues. But going the black and white route can be a great way to infuse drama and minimalism into the scenes that you’re capturing. Schlegel’s Fanal series, taken in the titular Fanal hiking trail of Madeira in Portugal, prove to be great examples.

The foggy setting, coupled with the otherworldly bends and twists of the trees, are perfect for the minimalist black and white treatment, as our featured photographer has done here. With the scenes broken down to their eerie elements, there’s nothing to distract us from the serene yet somewhat spooky mood that is heightened by the black and white imagery.

Schlegel gives us clues on how magical the misty forests of Fanal must be in actual, but it’s also easy to imagine these as surreal snapshots of a monochrome dream. Each photo feels like walking into a bizarre dream sequence, and that could very well be the strength of this beautiful series.

But what if you’re not in the mood for black and white or simply curious about how scenes like these would look in color? We suggest checking out the fairytale-like snaps of Kilian Schönberger.

Don’t forget to check out Michael Schlegel’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of his minimalist landscape photography.