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Why I don't post landscapes

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fraser
fraser  10631 forum posts Scotland14 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 5:20 PM

I think some of you are taking it personallyTongue

To be honest, I'm having a bit of a crisis with my landscape work which could be taken as partly to do with what the OP has said (although he could have said it in a less patronising way). However, goexplorephotography's post above pretty much sums things up for me. As with most things in life surely you have to be honest with yourself to maintain any form of respect (both from yourself and from others). But it is important that each photographer puts their own imagination and vision into the image, whether it's from a change in viewpoint or waiting until the light is exactly the way he or she thinks brings the best out of the landscape.

I seldom achieve those aims with my landscape work hence the crisis, but you've got to challenge yourself to find that magic ingredient. In my experience the magic ingredient certainly isn't photoshop or HDR - it's a much more subtle thing, somewhere deep in the brain that, personally, I haven't quite tapped yet.

Fraser

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p12owe
p12owe  1101 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 5:34 PM

I started a thread some time ago asking whether we should expect more from bird togs. The result (as well as getting my tin hat well and truly dented) was that I learned that there was a lot more to the genre than I had first thought. Hopefully the OP will make a similar discovery with regard to landscape photography...Smile

...I would also suggest, having used composites myself to create images, that the amount of skill, time and technique needed to do this well is possibly a little more than he gives credit for and rather insulting to some fine artist/photographers on this site.

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73882 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 5:45 PM

One thing that has helped me is to try different genres / subjects (the only one I haven't tried is models) - I've found diciplines learned can be transferred to other genres. As for image integrity, well when I view say a Turner oil painting, I don't think "well on that day it was a bright blue sky, so that stormy sky was a fake", I judge the image I see in front of me, nothing more, nothing less.

I couldnt care less if the car park is 20 metres away or you've had to scale the Eiger to get to the viewpoint.

Last Modified By Nick_w at 5 Feb 2013 - 5:49 PM
cuffit
cuffit  7175 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 6:02 PM

Hi wsteffy

Thought provoking stuff but can't your views, as Pete says, be applied to every category and, as Ian says - put two photographers on the same spot and a different result will be obtained. Two landscape photographers on this site whom I admire are streets ahead of me and even if I was armed with exactly the same kit, they have a better eye and (even more importantly) the patience and determination to pursue a shot - where I have not. In motorsports, the opportunties are even narrower as the public have limited access. Yet, despite any limitations on skill or access, brilliant photos still appear.

Perhaps photos look the same because people aspire to take such photos and they have captured the imagination accordingly. In some ways I do agree that photos in any category can become 'shot according to place and recipe' but you still have to be out there, photoshop or no photoshop. For me, trying to emulate photos is a way of learning and my motorsports photos are my main interest and I do like to try different things; I am not too interested in the results as it is great fun to be around events and the people that enjoy them.

If the fun has gone out of landscapes then is it time to do something totally different, even within that subject? A photographer on here once commented about the use of long telephoto and said 'to me, a 10-20mm lens is a telephoto lens!'. Is the issue really more to do with being innovative and different? I am not in that category really but many on this site are. First change for you, the next 100 shots to be taken without any post-shot processing - it sounds as though you managed without it before!

Chris

Last Modified By cuffit at 5 Feb 2013 - 6:06 PM
Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315396 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 6:04 PM

You can visit the same spot many times, and get a different unique picture on every visit.

scottishphototours

The OP has certainly got it right in regard to the use of HDR and manipulation software - it's almost point and shoot these days.

My philosophy has always been that photographic success is directly proportional to disposable income. Therefore if you have the disposable income to allow you to be at these locations (often remote and certainly expensive to get there for your average joe...) at the right time of day (often for a few days) then you can almost guarantee success. The same disposable income allows you to have the best of kit, tripods and filters - so important in achieving the finished look.

This philosophy is often seen on here - people going to Skye "for a few weeks" (a recent thread) or people going places with their campervans. Also people going to Norway to spend 3 days shooting pics of birds in flight - or to spend money working with a model in a studio for a day at a time. If you can do this and you can't come up with a good pic, then it's time to take up golf...

No I'm sorry, I've spoken to people on hillsides or at views with cameras and the reaction is always the same - what do they do for a living? - take your pic from any or more of the following - consultant surgeon, chartered accountant, dentist, retired newspaper editor, retired chief constable, etc.... I've yet to meet a storeman or a bus driver sitting on a hillside with 5K's worth of gear taking pics to upload to Epz. It just disnae happen!!

I suggest that the OP looks to the images in the Macro section of the gallery for inspiration. A subject almost attainable by all, at very little cost, where the rewards of patience and technique are there to astound the viewer. It's what photography is all about...

Andy

paulcookphotography


Quote: I've yet to meet a storeman or a bus driver sitting on a hillside with 5K's worth of gear taking pics to upload to Epz. It just disnae happen!!

Andy

When i worked in Jessops we regularly had a CityLink coach driver come in with his film/memory cards for printing. After chatting with him for a bit he told us that when he had an over-nighter or a break somewhere he regularly headed off with his camera. I remember some pretty amazing images of Ben Nevis from his stops at Fort William. His kit was also worth over 5k (i sold him most of it)

puertouk
puertouk  21073 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 7:18 PM

Hi Warren, I live on a small Island in the Atlantic Ocean, Tenerife. I take clients out all year, to the same photo locations and 90% of images taken are landscape. The thing you say about landscape photography is totally way off. I can go to a particular spot, take images and return the next day, the next week or the next month and it has changed. The great thing about landscape photography is the changing light. It can even change within a few seconds. If everyone thought what you have said, people would not do anything. Why play golf? I hot a 4 iron into the green and the following week I did the same again, but every time you go out to play is different and that is the same the World over, whether its photography, golf or anything you do in life. No doubt you'll turn over on a night and tell the wife, girlfriend, fiancee or if that way inclined, boyfriend, why bother, because its the same scene every time!

Warren, you need to go out and open your eyes and take a close look at your surroundings, trust me they are changing all the time.
Stephen

wsteffey
wsteffey  7 United States
5 Feb 2013 - 7:44 PM

Good discussion which was really my intent. My favorite subjects are the little lizards that abound here in Florida. My, those buggers are quick! I'm not deterred because very few people appreciate photos of lizards, I do it for me. Keep taking and posting landscapes, I do enjoy them (well, maybe not HDR so much) and it would be really boring if we all took the same photos.

scottishphototours


Quote: I've yet to meet a storeman or a bus driver sitting on a hillside with 5K's worth of gear taking pics to upload to Epz. It just disnae happen!!

Andy

When i worked in Jessops we regularly had a CityLink coach driver come in with his film/memory cards for printing. After chatting with him for a bit he told us that when he had an over-nighter or a break somewhere he regularly headed off with his camera. I remember some pretty amazing images of Ben Nevis from his stops at Fort William. His kit was also worth over 5k (i sold him most of it)

When I meet him, I'll let you know.... Wink

User_Removed
5 Feb 2013 - 8:41 PM


Quote: 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

It's a bit like golf, Nick.

I think it was Gary Player who said that golf was just a game of luck. And the more he practised, the luckier he got!

Overread
Overread  63768 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 9:01 PM

If you view any subject to the point where its a specialist interest the amount of quality you see will diminish.


This is true of almost anything, if you take photography and divide it into subject based situations and then choose to study or become a fan of one of those specific subject based divisions you'll generally find that what you once saw as good will shift to just being average or even mediocre. Worse still is that certain effects or styles will start to feel repetitive or dull (often the case these will be the styles abound when you become most interested in the subject, often older styles will appear more interesting simply as they are less used today even if they were heavily used in the past).

It's easy to get stuck into thinking then that the whole subject area itself is stale and dull and really not worth approaching because its all been done - but honestly its more a reflection that your tastes have refined and become more focused. You're no longer impressed by anything and you've become more selective. There is nothing wrong in that at all, and indeed it can lead to some great discoveries if you find those specific styles within a subject based interest which fit to what you like (getting more refined again).

In the end I think that when one views a subject as dull you've two choices. First is to walk away from it until such time as you're less familiar with it and let the interest naturally rekindle - the second is to study the subject in much greater depth to unearth the hidden gems (which were always hidden its just that you didn't realise it till you could see the fools gold surrounding them).


Also don't limit yourself to just one resource - EPZ (for example) or Flickr are big image archives shot by the masses, there are some astounding photographers in there, really amazing work. And there is heaps of common stuff - stuff that won't interest the more selective or higher grade viewer/interested person. Some websites have managed to reduce this effect, but mostly just by being new and smaller scale (eg 500pix or whatever its called) and others do so by restricting themselves to a specific interest area (eg a website dedicated to macro photography or landscapes).


Note one man's fools gold is another mans treasure so the opinion as to what is and isn't dull will vary a lot.

mikehit
mikehit  56485 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 9:14 PM

I suppose if you live in Florida with all that constant sunshine I can imagine that landscapes hold no special interest. What you need is a bit of rain like we have over here in Britain Grin. Fancy swapping weather?
But I must say, I would love to photograph the everglades in that weird orange light you get over there - I know 'cos I've seen CSI.

monstersnowman

Not all landscapes have been shot before, and getting a perfect light or amazing dramatic scene can take years ... I know, I still retake some scenes 9 yrs after pressing the shutter button on it the first time, in hope of some split second moment of magic. Some of my images, which to me are obvious viewpoints, I have never seen photographed before, especially not in good light, seconds after a thunderous downpour on a warm night with sun bursting through black storm skies etc etc ... Of course there are new things to photograph and new ways to photograph common scenes and ever changing ways in which nature conspires to display it to us.

Campervanman
Campervanman e2 Member 6715 forum postsCampervanman vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2013 - 11:24 PM


Quote: The OP has certainly got it right in regard to the use of HDR and manipulation software - it's almost point and shoot these days.

My philosophy has always been that photographic success is directly proportional to disposable income. Therefore if you have the disposable income to allow you to be at these locations (often remote and certainly expensive to get there for your average joe...) at the right time of day (often for a few days) then you can almost guarantee success. The same disposable income allows you to have the best of kit, tripods and filters - so important in achieving the finished look.

This philosophy is often seen on here - people going to Skye "for a few weeks" (a recent thread) or people going places with their campervans. Also people going to Norway to spend 3 days shooting pics of birds in flight - or to spend money working with a model in a studio for a day at a time. If you can do this and you can't come up with a good pic, then it's time to take up golf...

No I'm sorry, I've spoken to people on hillsides or at views with cameras and the reaction is always the same - what do they do for a living? - take your pic from any or more of the following - consultant surgeon, chartered accountant, dentist, retired newspaper editor, retired chief constable, etc.... I've yet to meet a storeman or a bus driver sitting on a hillside with 5K's worth of gear taking pics to upload to Epz. It just disnae happen!!

I suggest that the OP looks to the images in the Macro section of the gallery for inspiration. A subject almost attainable by all, at very little cost, where the rewards of patience and technique are there to astound the viewer. It's what photography is all about...

Andy

As a campervan owner going to Skye for a 'few weeks' or so in October (as mentioned in the thread referred to) I would just like to say please come and find me sitting on a hillside so I can tell you that most of my fifty year working life has been as an unskilled manual worker. I can also show you my Olympus 620, two kit lenses plus a macro, all bought used, and a thirty year old Slik tripod, well under a grand's worth of kit!

I have the time available because I'm now retired from full time employment. Most of my photography and my previous campervans have been funded by writing and photography for motorhome and caravan magazines. My now much newer, but still five years old, campervan was bought from a combination of voluntary redundancy/pension lump sum. Where my travels were restricted by time before, it is now due to a reduced income. This will be my first visit to Skye and probably my only visit so I hope to make the best of by staying a little longer.

PS I don't do HDR and only very basic editing.

Regards,

Bob

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