As you will know, I am predominantly a landscape photographer, partly because I love walking, the countryside, wildlife, just being outdoors etc and that combines well with landscape photography. But while I was walking the other day I was thinking about what actually makes up a landscape photograph:
1. Maybe 30% comprises the various elements – mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, trees etc.
2. Maybe 30% is down to the light/atmosphere.
3. Perhaps 20% is down to the technical aspects – exposure, focus, sharpness and so on.
4. Maybe 20% is down to the variables such as the viewpoint, time of day etc.
Looking at that list, the reality is that the photographer only controls number 4, all the others are down to God and Mr Canon or Mr Sony or whoever made the camera – ultimately I guess that one is down to God too because He made the people who made the camera (hmm, of course He made me too so who really takes the credit for a photograph?). OK, the percentages I have quoted are arbitrary and you might disagree with them, but you get the point! The photographer has input into perhaps 20% of the overall picture because after all, if God hadn’t created the mountains, hills, rivers etc and placed them there, or indeed made the people who made the camera, then the picture would not be possible.
OK, I realise I have very much over simplified things, but the point of all this is that we all need creativity in some form and sometimes I crave more creativity than just recording the scene (as much as I love that), to have more freedom and input into the end result, to just let the imagination run free! I used to paint in oils and with that, you start with a blank canvas and you create the whole thing apart from the fact that you probably didn’t make your own paint, Mr Rowney or Mr Windsor and Newton probably did that. One day when I am fully retired, I will get my paints out again but for the time being at least, photography to a greater or lesser extent fulfills my creative ‘needs’.
Recently, I went out for a walk through some meadows with the deliberate intention of taking some shots which were more than just a record of the landscape, to produce some shots which say something deeper or invoke some feelings in the viewer. One of these shots is below – I’m hoping you get the point behind the picture!
This is conceptual photography as art!
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The Dorset Rambler
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