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Minimalist Photography

Lesson 20 of 27

Location Session - Arctic Drone Flight

Curtis Jones

Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

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Lesson Info

20. Location Session - Arctic Drone Flight
In this outdoor demonstration we hook up a team of Sled dogs and launch our drone. Come along as we head out into the vast beauty of the Canadian Arctic at sunset to create a special minimalist image Curtis has been dreaming of for a while.

Lesson Info

Location Session - Arctic Drone Flight

mm. Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, fix my hair for you back out on the ice. And it's a beautiful night here in Iqaluit up on baffin Island, decently warm. Actually, son is gonna go down in a couple hours, so we've got a few hours to get out on the ice with Torsten and his dogs and hopefully get some fun shots. And the idea tonight, my goal tonight was to take the drone out and see if I can get just a fun different perspective to show you guys what you can do when you can't get that top down sort of scenario going. And I wanted to include the dog team. I wanted to get outside and just go for a run. But I also wanted to include them because it's something that I'll often shoot. And to be quite honest, I haven't had the opportunity to shoot a ton of drone footage of a dog team up here. It's usually cold or for whatever reason, it's too windy. But tonight is perfect. I did have a few issues earlier in the week with a drone, but I think that's all cleared up. So really simp...

le. We're gonna go out, we're gonna take, the dogs were gonna go maybe 56 kilometers and uh, maybe more, maybe 10, who knows. Look for some interesting patterns in the ice. Let the light sink a little further and get some nice kind of shadows, longer shadows casting uh, and get the team running and hopefully get some unique perspectives from the top just to kind of show you guys what that might look like and how you can really clean a scene up by getting that top down, airplane view. Mhm. Um, yeah, and above and beyond that. It's just nice to get out. So that's it. Really simple fun night out with the dogs. I hope you guys enjoy this and I think horses ready here in a second, so I don't want to be in a way when that team comes crashing through, I'll be jumping on really quickly so I'm going to get out of the way, pack my gear up, jump on the sled and we're gonna head out of here. Mm Oh, Oh. Oh, mm, mm, yeah, yeah. Mhm mm. From mhm Right, mhm Yeah, the drone that I carry with me most often when I'm out doing these kinds of trips is the DJ, I Maverick air, I really like this drone, it's quite small and lightweight, it's compact, it travels really well. I've brought this drone to Greenland Mongolia all across Canada, north american parts of europe and I haven't had much problem with it, it pairs really easily with my phone, it's quite easy to set up. One of the things I'd like to point out though is that a lot of these places, these locations you're quite far off the grid and you don't always have wifi or cell service. And this thing wants you to pair with the latest update our firmware quite often. So just make sure you take care of that kind of stuff before you head out into the unknown. It was really important to me with this concept to go out at this specific time of day. I knew that at sunset or just before sunset, the shadows, we're going to be long and the sun was going to be low enough that you'd get this nice relief, the sidelight that was going to highlight all the shape and pattern and form in the sea ice. And I wanted that to be a big part of this composition. I wanted towards the and his team to be quite small in this visual sort of sea of negative space. But I wanted that texture and shape and form to be there as well. If I had gone out and tried this shot at a different time of day or on a flat light day and overcast day, you would have lost all of that relief and all that texture and I don't think it would have been quite as interesting. So it was very intentional to go out just before sunset. The same thing would apply to sunrise shoots as long as the sun is low on the horizon. You're going to get these really nice shadows and you're going to really highlight and showcase all the patterns that are out there.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 


  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of creating strong minimalist compositions.
  • Use negative space with intention. Establish mood, control balance in your frame, and elevate your subject from the visual clutter.
  • Avoid common traps that can lead to flat or boring minimalist images.
  • Explore how much information to keep and how much to take away from the image before it loses impact.
  • Understand common gear and technique choices that complement the minimalist style.


Do you ever wonder why certain photographs linger with the viewer long after they see them? Why sometimes the smallest point of interest makes the biggest impression? How so much “nothing” can feel so compelling in a scene? Minimalism photography techniques can add a powerful storytelling element to any genre, they can evoke emotion, and bring balance to your frame. Using Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic as his backdrop, this class will outline Curtis’s approach to creating stronger images with a minimalist mindset.

Learn to use the creative techniques of minimalism to intentionally account for every inch of your frame. Discover how to minimize clutter, work with negative space, and master visual balance to boost the overall impact of your compositions. Working in a clean visual style students will learn to look for strong anchors, shapes, and lines while eliminating visual distractions. Curtis will share his experiences and images from some of the world’s most remote destinations to help kick-start your journey toward simplified, cleaner photographs that capture the essence of our world.


  • Beginner and intermediate photographers interested in outdoor and landscape photography.
  • Photographers who want to understand and create with elements of minimalism to help capture the strength and essence of your subject.
  • Photographers looking to create cleaner, simplified images that leave an impact on the viewer.


Adobe Lightroom Classic (8.4.1)
Adobe Photoshop CC (20.0.8)

Ratings and Reviews

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This is a brilliant course which I can highly recommend. I have done some Minimalist photography but still found the lessons very interesting. I enjoyed the discussion on colour vs. B&W. My favourite part was to learn how long it takes to plan a shoot, wait for the right conditions, even change the subject if the initial idea doesn't work and see the other images taken during the shoot before (or after) the final image. The presentation is excellent - love the cat :-).

Bradley Wari

Great Job! Great course! loved the bloopers, had a few laughs. I really enjoyed how he showed a little of how he worked the scene of a few of his images. showing multiple images and how he got to THE shot.

Deb Williams

Great class, good length and easy to follow along. A fantastic way to challenge yourself to look at composition differently and a course full of useful tips to try out.