Opinion

Landscape Photography: Have we become jaded?

04.12.10 | 1 Comment

I’m struck by the extent to which beautiful landscape photographs are often “enhanced” with significant color saturation, placement of an out-of-place moon, or similar digital alteration. With respect to color, the attitude seems to be “if a little bit is good, then even more will be that much better.”

I tend to look for aesthetically pleasing compositions that capture an essence of the landscape I’m experiencing. That tends toward “classical” rather than “odd” or “unusual.” It’s my personal opinion that all of us take much for granted, that we often become bored or jaded with the usual (it’s everywhere, all the time!), and that many therefore often feel the need to go beyond the usual in order to photograph something interesting or meaningful. That’s not where I’m at. I thoroughly enjoy experiencing the “usual,” and I try to present it in a composition that captures the beauty of the usual. That’s also the basis for my lack of interest in extensive post-processing that creates scenes that my eyes did not and could not see (although some of my images, especially the long exposures, are exceptions to this statement). I appreciate the visions and skills of those who can create such scenes in a dramatic and mature way, but my own interest lies elsewhere. These different approaches to photography simply reflect, in my opinion, the diversity of our life experiences and personalities. However, I feel a degree of sadness for those who scoff at traditional landscape scenes, saying they’ve been done too often and are therefore boring photographic subjects. In my mind, the essence of living in the natural world, for the very short time that we have, is in these landscapes.

1 Comment

  • On 07.27.10 randy dawson wrote these words:

    Stephen,

    You have explained a thought that has run through my mind for sometime that I have not been able to put down or get across to people. I also am not a fan of the over processed digital “look” that most feel is needed. I was and still am a great fan of the film years. I use digital for my clients but try to do as little post work as possible. Just as I did with film I try to do with digital, “get it on the negative/file and little darkroom/post work is needed”

    Thank you for the words of wisdom. You have renewed my thinking that I am not alone in this.

    Randy from Wenatchee.

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