Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Thinking about Landscapes....and randomness

My original aim when embarking on my first photography course was to improve my landscape photography. It seems really quite strange that since my learning began in earnest landscapes are the last thing I have been photographing?

Many of the exercises both then and now call for so many different things to be explored, both with ideas and grasping the technicalities that I actually find I like taking photographs of people.... not so much the portrait side but the inclusion of people in more social landscapes rather than sweeping hills. Maybe thats more to do with the fact that there are not many sweeping hills near me and when I do manage to get out it is invariably not the best time of day to capture the texture of the surroundings! Discovering that I actively wait for people to walk into shot rather than curse them when they do, even getting more irritated by people apologising or hopping out of the way when actually I wanted them there I find amusing as previously I would wait ages for a "vacant" scene.

Pondering upon this I think it's because people help define the place as well as the era. Some locations never alter, a shot taken now would possibly be the same taken ten years ago, but if you include people the fashions change, the accessories change, think how much mobile phones have evolved. Even the demographic of the population alters. When I originally moved into my house the majority of the residents in the street were retired people. As the years rolled by these people have either moved out or sadly passed away, to be replaced by young couples with families. All these things help anchor a place.

Sometimes the most simple reason for including people in a landscape shot is to give an indication of scale or  just add a certain something. It can show how people live/work/play within a given environment. A while back I took this shot of my son (yes he got nobbled again) it's probably not the best portrait/landscape ever taken but it demonstrates the point I am trying to make.

Scouting about trying to find any articles or debates on the same topic I came across this blog posting

Of course the photographer that springs to mind straight away is Simon Roberts who produced a body of work called "We English" I love his image of paragliders over the South Downs Way.

More on this project can be found on this website http://we-english.co.uk/ and if you want to discover more about him in general check out http://simoncroberts.com/simonroberts.html

Other good examples of landscape photographers are :-

Galen Rowell http://www.mountainlight.com/
Charlie Waite http://www.charliewaite.com/
Michael Kenna http://www.michaelkenna.net/
Andy Mumford http://www.andymumford.com/
Ansel Adams http://www.anseladams.com/
Carlos Esguerra http://www.carlosesguerra.com/

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