All photos by Philipp Apler. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Nature never runs out of stuff to amaze us, so we tend to turn to its wonders to fuel our creativity. Dunes and their surrounding landscapes, for example, often provide photographers with inspiration for abstract and conceptual approaches to landscape photography. We’ve featured a good number of works that show this, but if you’re looking for more examples to draw some ideas from, we’re glad to add one more to the list. This time, we put the spotlight on Berlin-based graphic designer Philipp Apler who draws our attention to the abstract beauty of dunes in dramatic black and white.
A quick look at his portfolio shows us that Apler has an affinity for powerful black and white imagery. His series, simply titled Dark Sand, is undoubtedly a testament to that, exhibiting an even more minimalist touch to the abstract patterns of the sandy landscapes. While the dunes and their unique patterns look breath-taking in color (just look at the impressive works of Navid Baraty, Tom Hegen, and Kevin Krautgartner), this monochrome take gives us an equally surreal viewing experience. Everything looks extra emotive in black and white, and landscape photos given the abstract treatment are no exception.
By shooting in black and white, Apler was able to achieve a greater emphasis on his composition. In turn, it allows the viewer to better appreciate how nature is brimming with art. He skillfully demonstrated this both in the big picture represented by the recognizable landscapes, and the rich details of the patterns, textures, and shadows. If you’re looking for something different for your landscape photography practice, you might be able to get some ideas from this body of work.