What landscape photography is about

I’ve not posted anything for a bit. The weather and surrounding countryside hasn’t been conducive to the kind of photos that I like to take.

In the last few weeks I’ve taken a bit of a break from posting, shooting or even browsing my favorite galleries.  In anything creative it’s difficult to maintain a perspective of what you do. You’ve heard of painters who will start a painting and then leave it for a few months to finish it. There’s a very good reason for that. Do something everyday and you’ll probably find yourself in a rut doing more of the same.

When I returned to some of my familiar internet haunts the thing that impressed me most was how similar everyone’s work seemed to be. Oh sure, the actual locations were different from one photographer to the next but still to my eye the images seemed more similar than different. Creatively, that isn’t a good thing.

What was missing to me in most of these photos was a sense of the “moment”. It dawned on me that what drew me to photos wasn’t where they were taken because I’ve seen so many very plain photos of stunning landforms. The images that stood out were the ones that captured a special time.

Let me explain. I’ve seen lots of photos on Flickr of Banff and Jasper but something is lacking in the majority of them. The photos look like they were grab shots, taken not because the light or weather interesting but only because the photographer happened to be standing in a pretty place. The resultant images look like shots of pretty places. Unremarkable.

You can’t fault the shooters for that. They travel great distances and are at the mercy of the elements. Shooting closer to home, no matter where you are will get you far more interesting shots. I think more than anything, the more unique the light and weather the more interesting the photo.

My stock sales reflect this. Even though Jasper and Banff is spectacular, my best landscapes are of where I live because I can be there when to capture those rare moments of light and sky.

Happy shooting,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on April 5, 2010.

7 Responses to “What landscape photography is about”

  1. I’m fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where much of what I want to photograph is within driving distance. There are times, though, that I’m going through an area, notice the light/weather conditions, and wish I had time to stop! Conversely, sometimes I stop somewhere just because I’m there, and I end up shooting under conditions that are less than spectacular. Artistic integrity requires that we wait for the right time!

  2. Just stumbled upon your blog Dan. Glad I did.
    I agree with a lot of what you have said. Will look out for future posts

  3. Hi Luke and thanks for visiting. Spring time here in Alberta is a slow time for photos. It’s brown and muddy where I live. When things start to green up, expect to see me posting daily again.

    Dan

  4. Tell me about it. I am currently based in Canmore, and am patiently playing the waiting game.

  5. Ripper? Luke, you’re not from around here I gather? Australia? I am guessing from your blog that’s home.

    Canmore eh? I would be praying for a huge dump of snow. Late spring snow can make for the most impressive landscapes. LOL

    Welcome to Canada.

    Dan

  6. Hi Dan,

    How about a nice contentious post? (like Nikon vs Canon OR TSE vs Prime vs Zoom… or maybe More Joy of Filters or Not…..

  7. Hi Les, yeah, that would be contentious. LOL

    I’ll leave that to the experts.

    Dan

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