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#1 2004-09-09 09:26:03

tobydeveson
New member
From: London
Registered: 2004-09-09
Posts: 3
Website

B&W Landscape Photography

Well I may as well be one of the first. It's always good to have a forum like this dedicated to art and in particular photography. I hope it takes off, I'll be keping an eye on things!

I am a photographer and have been for over 15 years. I specialize in black & white photography and more specifically b&w landscapes. My site is at TobyDeveson.com where alot of my work can be seen.

So, he thinks to himself, do I make this a "hello, please look at my website" sort of a post or do I pose a topic and discussion and see where it goes....hmmm!

Keeping it relevant, is Landscape photography still seen as the easy option to take, the distant cousin to figurative photography, reportage, portraiture and documentary?

Sure the psychological, mental side to it may be easier. No one other that yourself to deal with. But if it is an easier, poorer option why are there so few decent images out there. Why is there so much mediocre and dare i say it shit work floating around. I cant remember the last time I saw a body of work that took my breath away and left me green with envy. Including Ansel Adams....

They say the cream rises to the top. Well where is the cream? Why is it if I go to a book shop, exhibition or browse the net for some documentary (the other strand to my work) I find a reasonable amount of excellent work (yes there is alot of rubbish too), but if I look for an equivalent high standard of landscapes...nothing. It's not the subject matter of documentary work. i.e war zones, dismembered bodies or tragic stories of human despair making the work more powerful. I look beyond that at the quality of work. If you are going to stuff a lense into someones face while they are suffering at least dont offend them with producing mediocre work and rely on their plight to make your name. (In the same way as if taking a landscape, dont rely on nature to give you an image, create something different and unique).

So again, assuming there are the same amount of landscape photographer as documentary etc, where is the quality work???

Is landscape photography easier? Am I just a cynic with a big chip on his shoulder?

Discuss...hmmmm...or just visit my site wink

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#2 2004-09-09 13:36:55

mikesibthorp
New member
Registered: 2004-09-09
Posts: 1

Re: B&W Landscape Photography

Hi Toby

It is all down to market forces! The great british public (and most other countries) are visually illiterate as a direct result of poor arts education. Anything that is not "narrative" in nature will have no meaning for them. Hence, the first question that they ask on seeing a landscape photograph is always "Where was it taken?".

regards

Mike

http://www.mikesibthorp.com

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#3 2004-09-10 00:37:16

tobydeveson
New member
From: London
Registered: 2004-09-09
Posts: 3
Website

Re: B&W Landscape Photography

hmmm, market forces as in companies and clients I think are relatively irrelevant. There is virtually no market full stop for anything, be it landscape, documentary etc. but is there no market because there is no talent to fill the void? who knows.

And if you mean market as in patrons and /or an appreciative audience, then I think you underestimate. If images are shown in an exhibition, then i think the "public" will appreciate quality and beauty regardless of location, and I dont think "where was it taken" asked of an image is a bad thing. It's a sign of interest. And a question asked of documentary images as well as landscape.

As for the lack of arts education. Well, yes, that is needed for the viewer as well as the artist. As an abstract painter for example, you can get away with less technique and more "feel" for the work (sometimes). Photography is more akin to music. A lack of technique will show. There is a need for the education, be it in composition, chemistry etc.

I still wonder why out of say 100 documentary/figurative/portrait photographers there will be 5 that have a stunning body of work, but apply the same criteria to landscape photographers and there will only be 1. Is that a lack of talent or is landscape photography that much harder to master after all? Or do fewer talented photographers feel it is a worthwhile genre to concentrate on?

Last edited by tobydeveson (2004-09-10 00:38:38)

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#4 2004-11-30 15:47:17

Weston
New member
From: Norway
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 1
Website

Re: B&W Landscape Photography

Maybe a bit late into the discussion here, but I just read this.
And I do a bit of nature and landscape, and I just wonder if others have been thinking like me about this....
Because I choose nature as a subject for quite a bit of my work because I find it a 'neutral' motif for my pictures. Most documentary and portrait photography is so dependent on whatever is going on in the picture, i.e. is the girl undressing? or is that guy really shooting at those other people?.
well i find it a bit annoying looking at pictures like that because I tend to look at the stuff happening, rather than the picture in itself.
So I prefer nature. Prefferably boring, normal bits of nature, rather than stormy cliffs and wind-torn trees. And then I have to bring my own skills and ideas into creating a picture rather than a picture 'off' something.

so my answer to the original question would be something like... that there are not enough really good nature and landscape photographers while at the same time there are not enough good photography viewers (or 'a market' if you want), that are looking at the picture and not only the subject matter.

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#5 2005-02-11 01:02:56

dazzle
New member
Registered: 2005-02-11
Posts: 1

Re: B&W Landscape Photography

Hi toby
I have seen some lovely images of landscape not through books but through my local camera club.  Most lovely images seldom make it to books...........  Craig potten from New Zealand has turned out some amazing stuff.  Here in New Zealand we are really spoilt for choice, I guess thats why theres so many landscapers like myself............
I really was inpired by frank meadow Sutcliffe but most have never heard of the maestro!

Who cares what people think, this our art!

Darrin Smith

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