Above is the Town of Amalfi in Italy. What first drew my eye to it was the clouds.
As I was looking over my travel images from the Canadian Rockies, I realized one reason I enjoyed the trip so much was the landscapes I viewed and photographed. I started thinking back to when I first seriously started on my quest of photography as a lifelong obsession and how I shot mostly landscapes. I honestly thought I liked landscapes because unlike people and animals, I could take my time. After all, the mountain range was not going to move. Plus it was safer. I never have a seascape complain about the picture I took of it. I now realize those were the thoughts of a young person/photographer who really did not 'see'. The mountain might not move but the light does. The seascape might not dislike the image but deep inside yourself you know it is lacking.
As you grow as a photographer, you learn about the single most important element of photography, in my opinion, is the LIGHT. I am not going to give you the old adage that photography means 'painting with light'. The actual interpretation is writing/drawing with light not painting. That fact does not dismiss the fact that light is what we look for and the more natural, the better our images will be. I am not saying there is not a place for flash, there is, in the studio or as fill in nature. I feel that flash should only be used as a fill light and that once it becomes the main light, the quality of the image in nature photography diminishes. Remember I wrote it is needed in studio. I am saying that in nature, other than using as 'fill" when photographing an animal in dark surrounding, you loose the quality inherent in natural light. So what photography is the most natural, the purest form of photography? I would argue it is landscape and that is why we enjoy landscapes so much. We instinctively 'see' the natural light. It calls out to our human beginnings, it is built into what I would call our visual DNA: what we humans first saw thousands of years ago, the natural light on which we gazed when seeing a new area to explore or a sunrise or sunset where we lived.
The first two images below are from Venice, Italy: one's a sunrise and then a sunset. The third in Rome is also a sunset.
As photographers, we love making these images because we are recreating beauty as well as we can. We become almost as powerful as nature, in those moment when others view our images. Just as nature opens up our eyes to the beauty of the world as we travel, we do the same for others that might never travel to these places. We become givers of beauty and wonderment. We make our images and see the beauty as we saw it and share it with others. When another person views our images and likes them, we feel the power of giving light and beauty, pretty strong emotions for anyone. Is there any wonder why we enjoy making these images? I do not mean to say that we hold the power of nature in making these images, not even close. All we are doing is reproducing what we saw in our eyes and imagination. We are mailmen delivering the mail, just couriers of natures wonderment and beauty.
The three images below were made at Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island in Amelia, Florida.
I now understand why I like to photograph landscapes. It's not because their easier, actually it is just as difficult but for the pure light I can reproduce and share. To make sure that I, and hopefully others, never forget the beauty of this amazing planet.
The four images below were taken in Venice, Italy. Including people in landscapes can help give a sense of scale to the surroundings.
These next four images were taken in the Canadian Rockies. Black and white can really look great in landscapes.
These next four images were taken on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Landscapes usually taken in a horizontal format can also be made as verticals, as you can see in the next two.
I photograph all subjects and love making all types of images but I do admit that landscapes are still my favorite. I'll enjoy being a courier as long as people keep accepting my images.
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