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Why I don't post landscapes

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wsteffey
wsteffey  7 United States
5 Feb 2013 - 3:54 PM

(The following is meant to be provoke discussion. Please do not take it personally)

I enjoy looking through the many landscapes posted on this site. Many I find are really great and worth a second or even third look. But, I personally take very few landscapes. I post fewer. Why?

1. It's already been photographed. Probably thousands of times. Many are better photos than I would have taken. Unless you have access to privately held property it is going to be really hard to find something that hasn't already been photographed from every angle, at every time of day, in all kinds of weather (especially sunshine). On your next holiday, stop and take a look at the postcard rack at a neighborhood store. Or take a look through Google images.

2. Landscapes are the ultimate in "point and shoot" targets. Some years ago getting the exposure just right took a great deal of skill. Today photographers can just set their camera on HDR, wait until there is a break in the pesky tourists, and fire away. Alternatively, one doesn't even need to wait for a break in the tourist stream. Fire off a couple of shots in RAW, and set the exposure and white balance later, while cloning out the tourists. PS Elements even has an automated tourist eraser that works well.

3. Landscapes are too easy to fake. This Fall I set up to take a photo of the full moon rising over a palm tree at dusk. By the time the moon was going to be at the right height I would have lost the good light. No problem, I just took the shot in RAW, then adjusted exposure and color and moved the moon higher later. I cheated, and I'm not really proud of it. I have even created seascapes from several different photos taken at different locations in different years to see if I could fool someone. I did.

My galleries are filled with photos of horses, insects, lizards,and eagles, but very few landscapes. I'll probably add a few landscapes in the years ahead, but I'll always find more challenging subjects.

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Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318433 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:00 PM


Quote: It's already been photographed. Probably thousands of times.

Couldn't you apply that to any of the photos in your portfolio though?
Quote:
Today photographers can just set their camera on HDR, wait until there is a break in the pesky tourists, and fire away.

That will get you an ok result...landscape photography is still about composition and, more importantly, light. Without the perfect light which can take months/even years to catch, you won't beat the best.

Quote: Landscapes are too easy to fake.

True but then you enter the realms of digital manipulation, and again some people are better than others, producing images that are more creative, surreal or dramatically lifelike than others, so the challenge can be to become more creative or surreal or accurate.

mikehit
mikehit  46171 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:01 PM

I don't take too many landscapes because I am too damned lazy to get out at the best times. And when I have used the three reasons you quote, I think is is usually a self-justification after the event rather than a reason. I love it when a good lanscape comes off but for me landscapes is more about capturing a memory rather than creating a photo.

Regards the second and third points, I like to get it right in camera in the same way I like occasionally to make my own pastry and cook curries from the basic ingredients, so those don't really come into play the few times I concentrate on landscapes.

collywobles
5 Feb 2013 - 4:04 PM

Without copying and quoting all of your comment:-

Some landscapes have been overdone but you could have two togs take the same landscape and one could be great and other junk.

Point and shoot subject, thats almost an insult to any tog that gets up, goes out and tries to create a great image. When taking landscapes you do not just point and shoot if you are trying to create an image. Of course there are may of those "I've been there" shots but thats not what we are talking of here.


Quote: Landscapes are too easy to fake

So is an Orgasm but it can fun getting one..


Quote: My galleries are filled with photos of horses, insects, lizards,and eagles,

Yeah, but they can be faked, everyone post animal photos and they are all the same, all you need is something on 4 legs and then point and shoot, then you get that Oooooooooooh picture.

paulcookphotography

I think largely it depends on where you come from and where you shoot (with regards to point 1). When i shot landscapes i mostly did so within a 15 mile radius of home. There is plenty of other photographers in this area, but they largely chose to shoot in the more 'scenic' locations such as Glencoe and the Trossachs. This left the more immediate area to me and i discovered many hidden and largely unknown locations (including standing stones and sites of ancient history) that i have since exhibited.

While i agree that its hard to get something original in the more popular locations, well, thats half the fun. Knowing the weather patterns well enough to predict that 'perfect' storm, or how the sun will burst round a mountain can really give you an edge on your peers. Even knowing your wildlife to add some extra interest to your landscapes will help.

Giving up because others have been there before you will never get you anywhere

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73818 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:07 PM

Ooh the blue touch paper has been lit....

Just take / make the pics your happy with and be happy, why worry what anyone else is doing.

If landscapes are so easy, why not have a go? As you put it rattle off some HDR crank it up to maximum in Photomatix, it must be a winner, right?

sherlob
sherlob e2 Member 82279 forum postssherlob vcard United Kingdom123 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:08 PM


Quote: 1. It's already been photographed. Probably thousands of times. Many are better photos than I would have taken. Unless you have access to privately held property it is going to be really hard to find something that hasn't already been photographed from every angle, at every time of day, in all kinds of weather (especially sunshine). On your next holiday, stop and take a look at the postcard rack at a neighborhood store. Or take a look through Google images.

Misses the point of rising to the challenge of thinking creatively.


Quote: 2. Landscapes are the ultimate in "point and shoot" targets. Some years ago getting the exposure just right took a great deal of skill. Today photographers can just set their camera on HDR, wait until there is a break in the pesky tourists, and fire away. Alternatively, one doesn't even need to wait for a break in the tourist stream. Fire off a couple of shots in RAW, and set the exposure and white balance later, while cloning out the tourists. PS Elements even has an automated tourist eraser that works well.

Point and shoot - really? I certainly spend a great deal longer composing, focusing, and adjusting the exposure on one of my landscapes than I ever do with the average grab shot. Indeed, I often like going back to landscape simply as it forces me to slow down and think.


Quote: 3. Landscapes are too easy to fake. This Fall I set up to take a photo of the full moon rising over a palm tree at dusk. By the time the moon was going to be at the right height I would have lost the good light. No problem, I just took the shot in RAW, then adjusted exposure and color and moved the moon higher later. I cheated, and I'm not really proud of it. I have even created seascapes from several different photos taken at different locations in different years to see if I could fool someone. I did.

Again this misses the point somewhat. I realise that manipulation of one form or another is needed, but I'd rather be taking images than manipulating them on the PC - hence I want to get as much right in camera as I can.

That all said - its horses for courses. Perhaps all we learn from your post is that you don't like taking landscapes...

Adam

JJGEE
JJGEE  96219 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:09 PM


Quote: Unless you have access to privately held property it is going to be really hard to find something that hasn't already been photographed from every angle, at every time of day

Where I live it is quite easy to find somewhere new / different, it just needs a bit of effort and possibly an Ordnance Survey map to find a footpath that takes you, say half a mile, from a car park / tourist spot.

Getting a good shot though may be not be quite so easy Sad

paulcookphotography


Quote:

Some landscapes have been overdone but you could have two togs take the same landscape and one could be great and other junk.


Very true. Now and again i go out with small groups either to do tutorials or just as a group of fellow photographers. Quite often we will be looking at each other wondering what the hell the other is up to, or even wandering off to shoot from completely different angles. Its only at the end of the day with a few pints in front of the fire when we compare our shots that we see how 4 or 5 folk can capture a scene in completely different ways and in their own style

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73818 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:16 PM


Quote: Again this misses the point somewhat. I realise that manipulation of one form or another is needed, but I'd rather be taking images than manipulating them on the PC - hence I want to get as much right in camera as I can.

I agree with all you put Adam, apart from the point above. In the few DM's I've done I take as much care (sometime's more) to get each element right in camera before creating the composite. Eg right viewing angle, clear background to aid extraction, correct lens for consistant DOF etc etc.

sherlob
sherlob e2 Member 82279 forum postssherlob vcard United Kingdom123 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:20 PM

Quite agree Nick

goexplorephotography

Sorry but im not sure what the Op is try to say. It seem a bit of a rash statement. Maybe they are just trying to show off there editing skills.

All because you can do something, Doesn't mean you do it. As photographers we are in control of our own credibility.
I am perfectly capable of using photoshop to create an image that doesn't really exist. However it is not just how credible i am to others but also how credible i am to myself that is important.
Would i feel comfortable selling an image to someone who believes that i have slept on a mountainside in freezing temperatures, woken before sunrise and had the patience to wait and capture what nature has presented to me. when actually i never left the spare bedroom, and just concocted the whole image.
The answer is No i couldn't do it. the image maybe good but i would feel like a fraud.
We set our own standards, and its your choice to decide how high they are. Not taking or posting Landscapes because of others is a cop out.

Finally a good graphic artist who can create amazing landscapes from nothing is also a skilled artist. and should therefore be proud of there achievement and declare how and what they have done to create the image.
Doing it and saying nothing could be seen as cheating.

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41177 forum posts United Kingdom196 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:43 PM

Boy, those people like Colin Prior, Joe Cornish, Dave Noton, Charlie Waite etc etc are so lucky with their point and shoot landscape philosophy. Wish I was so lucky.
Maybe I try too hard.

Tongue

Nick

digicammad
digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 4:58 PM

I see an oft photographed landscape as 2 different challenges. First to achieve a result better than anything anybody else has done (or at least as good) and second to find a totally different angle on it.

Everything on our planet which is accessible has been photographed countless times before, including your horses, lizards, etc, etc. In which case according to your statement you should either give up photography or buy yourself a seat on the first public flight to the moon (oops, sorry, been photographer already Smile)

Ian

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53535 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 5:17 PM

I love shooting landscapes, finding a location, finding the light and the weather, using grad filters (OK HDR is another approach) finding the right shutter speed for seascapes or cloud blurs.
I guess its what you see and feel in a landscape that make it special for you - its not for you - no probs, no worries.

With more time and opportunity I'd shoot many more landscapes, instead I like the challenge of shooting people more. I think we all go through phases and perhaps settle on a few favourite genres, then build our kit quality up to support that genre.

You could argue that there is no point in shooting many many things as "someone has done it before and probably better" - if i applied that approach to my life I'd never do anything. I think many people enjoy the trying and the doing and the self improvement that comes with it. So do you I think as i think your pictures show this.

p.s. I love viewing landscapes as it shows me what the world out there is like - sometimes very beautiful. Post away.

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