Today’s post is not about how to grow grass or plant flowers in your yard. It is about honoring the art of landscape photography.
The term landscape photography means different things to different people. To me they are medium to large shots where “nature” dominates a scene. I admit that I include waterscapes in the category of landscapes. On rare occasions I might include a building like a barn or some other such rustic structure. I do not however call cityscapes landscapes. I also use the term landscape to categorize most medium to large sunrise/sunset photos that are based on the land or sea. I do that even if the image is void of detail. A total silhouette. On rare occasions I use the term scenic interchangeably with landscapes but that is rare. Most people who use the term scenic are belittling or making less significant the art of landscape photography. I used to find that this cheapening of landscape photography was being done by photographers who photograph only wildlife. That has changed over time as almost all photographers make pictures of multiple subjects today.
This month’s issue of Landscape Photography Magazine has an article with Georg Popp and Verena Popp-Hackner. They are a husband and wife team from Vienna, Austria. They are a part of the dying breed of large format (4×5) film photographers. As you can see below, they are good at what they do.
Charlie Waite is a photographer who shoots with the philosophy that the world is his palette. He shoots in every corner of our planet. He has his own style and that is becoming very, very difficult to find. Much of what you see today seems to be cloned from one or two top landscape photographers. If you look at Charlie’s first two images, you see that he “creates” images and does so without gimmicks. Most of us would have walked right past these first two scenes. Perspective is the word that comes to mind. In a world with too many sheep and not enough shepherds, Charlie is the latter.
Adam Burton is a UK based fine art landscape photographer. Once again I purposely sought out a photographer who has a little different style than the bulk of today’s landscape photographers. As you might expect from a photographer who is lives in a land surrounded by sea, many of Adam’s landscapes are seascapes. He has an obvous compositional style, and he repeats it from image to image. That style is interesting and beautiful. He is a fantastic artist.
Below are a few of my own images. I selected pictures from the sunrise/sunset/ portion of my landscape files.
The job isn’t done until the light is gone…..completely. This image was made at White Sands National Monument. I spent an entire day capturing photos of the white sand. As the day and the light matured, it became the brownish sand, then the golden sand, then the pink sand. After the sun disappeared I still found pictures. Never say never. I think the bright spot in the lower right of the picture frame, that was created by the setting sun, makes this mountain silhouette a worthy image.
Sometimes a scene is so pure, and you get so caught up in the peace that surrounds you, that you have to remind yourself to make pictures. Such was the case this morning. My goal was to keep the visual purity intact, and remember what I was there for. Creating images is a joy, but there is still a job to do.
When I find a sky that has both beauty and power, then that sky becomes the main theme of my picture. The wetland and trees that was in front of me, became a perfect anchor for my “big sky”. I divided the two up, in just the fashion that I thought would be the most powerful.
I have shown this picture once before. Some of you may be saying to yourself that I am sure I have seen this image more than once. Skies that are lit up top to bottom, left to right, in a glorious red blanket, are very common. I have shown at least five images similar to this that were made in different locations and on different times. It pays to get up early, and to keep your cameras unpacked until the last ray of sun has gone to sleep.
Those of you who have been around (or read) me for a while, must think that I have no clue what kind of photography is my favorite. When my subject is landscapes, I love photographing landscapes, when it is wildlife, I love wildlife photography, if it is just birds, then birds are my special subject, if it is macros, well macros are fantastic, whether they be flowers, insects, patterns or whatever. If I take a side trip and make some images of old buildings, you guessed it, then my love is photographing old buildings. Well, the truth is, that the enthusiasm I have for all of those subjects is genuine. It’s a wide world and nature is the biggest part of it…..and yes there are other subjects that warrant the time of a photographer as well.
Photography is all about showing what you see and how you feel about everything that matters to you..
Thank you for stopping, Wayne