Landscape Photography Is a True Means of Artistic Expression
I love the wonders of nature. I chose photography to express myself and share the emotions I feel when I contemplate nature. For this purpose, I practice three distinct types of photography: underwater, wildlife and landscape. It is this last one which offers me the most ways to express myself and use art to show what I truly are.
Table of Contents
- Two Definitions of Art Which I Use in My Work
- Landscape Photography Expresses My Emotions Best
- The Three Components of a Photograph
- What Is the Subject in a Landscape Picture?
- When There Is a Visible Subject, the Emotional Atmosphere of the Photo Adds Extra Emphasis
- How I Create My Landscape Pictures
- Technical Mastery Is Also Essential
Two Definitions of Art Which I Use in My Work
It is very difficult to define art. Many philosophers have tried, and they have produced an impressive number of definitions. I chose the two which are most useful to me.
The first one I picked because is more formal. It is from a dictionary, and states, "Art is creating objects or representing specific scenes in order to produce in humans a particular state of sensitivity, more or less related to aesthetic pleasure."
The second, less formal, definition that I always have in mind, is that of the artist Gwenn Seemel: "Art always causes a change, large or small, personal or universal. This is its value, its purpose, its goal and its complete definition."
Landscape Photography Expresses My Emotions Best
Comparing the three fields in which I participate as professional photographers is useless. They are too different. Each one gives me unique joys, sensations and emotions. However, landscape photography is the one which allows me to express myself most fully.
Underwater photography and wildlife photography also allow me to create beautiful art, but they are much more random. Dive time is very limited, and animals are unpredictable.
When I photograph landscapes, I can create pictures that express my true nature and emotions. I can choose a place with soft, dim lighting to evoke nostalgia or melancholy. Or, if I am happy and want to share my joy, I will move towards mineral landscapes with warm tones bathed in the rich, golden light of a sunrise or sunset. If I am going through a difficult period, I go to the woods for inspiration, and my photos show beautiful canopies, and bright light filtered through branches and leaves.
I could give hundreds of other examples.
Landscape photography allows me to express how I feel and what I have in mind. If I take, for instance, underwater photography, it is not very easy to show melancholy through a portrait of a fish or the atmosphere of a drop-off covered with soft corals. When I photograph a bird, or a red deer during the rutting season, it is difficult to show my intense joy through the photograph, even though I love wildlife photography.
The Three Components of a Photograph
I often say that a photograph has three components: the subject, the environment, and the lighting. They are the basis of all photography. If one element is missing, the picture will be uninteresting. During my career, I have often heard people say that photography is “all about light”. However, as I have matured and gained experience as photographer, I have learned that there has to be an equal emphasis on all three of these elements. Light by itself, crucial as it is, does not make a good photo.
I will always hold to the idea that a fine photograph combines all three of the elements mentioned above.
What Is the Subject in a Landscape Picture?
In wildlife photography, whether on land or under water, it is quite easy to see the subject: it is either an animal or a fish. The background is constituted by its environment, which is called negative space. The lighting enhances and highlights the background and the subject.
In landscape photography, it is easy to see the environment and the lighting. The subject, however, is sometimes more difficult to define. What is the subject in a photograph of a sea of clouds from the top of a mountain? Where is the subject in a photograph of a path in the woods? It is not always necessary to place a rock or tree in a photo to give it a subject. This is where landscape photography differs from the other styles most. In landscape photography, you can photograph a scene without having an obvious subject.
In most of my landscape photographs, the subject is the emotion that I am trying to capture. It is intangible, invisible. I believe that a landscape photograph must be able to elicit the emotion I felt when I saw the scene in the person who looks at it. The subject of the photo, in this case, does not come only from the picture, but also from how it is perceived.
When There Is a Visible Subject, the Emotional Atmosphere of the Photo Adds Extra Emphasis