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BWGirl
03-10-2005, 07:53 AM
Really interesting discussion... many people have hit on great points. I think Michael (Blansky) really hit it on the head when he said that all the 'people' photographers want people in the landscape to add emotion and all the 'landscape' photographers just want landscape.
But I think the real answer may be that you cannot put emotion in anything for anyone other than yourself.

For me, there are landscapes that move me almost to tears ...there is something about them that touches my soul. I very rarely see a photo with people in it that can move me like that. I'd have to say that there have been some I've seen here that have touched me in such a way.

So the right idea is that if you photograph anything that moves you emotionally, chances are fairly good that in this vast world there will be others also moved by it.

I'm with Joeyk49... if I shoot anything that resembles a 'good' photo, I am totally psyched! ;)

umdah
05-03-2009, 04:44 PM
I do not think that a landscape per se has emotion. A certain scape can invoke
an emotion in a person. Emotion is a characteristic of living things.

Emotions can be invoked for example by a burnt tree in a forest. a dead animal in a desert. colors, as they are associated with emotion. green for youth, vibrancy, life. etc.

I tend to think of human emotions and try to place something in the landscape
that would evoke that emotion.

I hope all this makes sense.

nicefor88
05-06-2009, 11:39 AM
Ok I'm afraid adding people or other elements to a landscape will distract the viewer's attention. What's your subject? The landscape or the people? Beautiful landscapes need nothing else. The time of the day the picture is taken matters a lot, especially in very sunny places (tropics, for instance). I think people carry a far bigger emotional impact that fields or beaches, thus there's a choice to make here.

Paul Jenkin
09-22-2009, 07:53 AM
For me, a good landscape is the right combination of the location and the light. There have been numerous occasions I have taken photographs of certain places during bright sunny days which have come out "okay" as a record shot of that place but haven't conveyed any emotion.

Later in the day (or even very early in the morning) when the light is more acutely angled across the landscape (instead of being right overhead) - or even when it's chucking it down with rain, the scene can be transformed into something that makes me feel I've produced something more than just a straight record of the place.

Some years ago, I took some photos of a big refinery on Teesside. That was a seriously ugly place during the day but, with a low sun highlighting the pollution spewing forth from the chimneys, it looked beautiful - albeit still very toxic!

shotgun1a
09-22-2009, 08:01 AM
If you could explain how to put emotion into a landscape in a forum post, we'd all be Ansel.

jeffreyg
09-22-2009, 08:03 AM
The emotion I like to evoke in my landscapes is hat the viewer would like to have been looking over my shoulder when the exposure was made or that they say "I was there but I didn't see that". Emotion is very personal - some people cry at basketball games.

phyllis72
10-07-2009, 04:09 PM
I think it all depends on if you are taking a photograph or making a photograph and as others have mentioned what is it that you want to convey? Have you lost inspiration?

Vaughn
10-07-2009, 04:35 PM
Sucked into an old thread!

Oh well, since I am here...

If you smile while you talk to someone on the phone, you will sound happier to them. If you want emotion in your images, then experience those emotions while photographing and printing.

Probably too simple and straight forward of an answer, but sounds a lot better to me than any technical explanations.

Vaughn

Colin Corneau
10-07-2009, 05:25 PM
You only have a set amount of elements towards creating a photograph -- light, camera/accessory selection and medium (B&W, colour, etc). That's all you have to work with.

Those are what you use to bestow emotion onto a scene.

keithwms
10-07-2009, 06:56 PM
Just saw this thread. Interesting.


How do you put emotion & feeling into a landscape?

I think it's so simple as to be overlooked: you must first be emotionally invested in that landscape. It has to mean something to you... at a level beyond "pretty" or "dramatic." The scene has to matter to you. If you have that connection, then by all means release the shutter and be confident that others will enjoy the image as well!

In my opinion, a more difficult question would be: how do you find emotional connection to an unfamiliar landscape, e.g. if you are travelling through a new area or don't have the time to get off the beaten track and really get the lay of the land.

What I very often see in landscape photography is a lot of "ooh" and "ah"... but no evidence of a deeper connection. I think if you look at Ragnar Axellson's work (http://www.rax.is/), you'll see just how much a photographer can be connected to the land and really become part of it. Then the ooh and the ahh is just icing on the [substantial] cake.

It doesn't necessarily take long to get to know the character of the land, but.... there is also no reason to expect a landscape to reveal all of its possibilities through the window of a moving car. People often mention Adams in connection with effective landscape images; well, he lived in those landscapes. They were as familiar to him as an old friend... and it shows.

P.S. The gear is just a thing. It can facilitate your conversation with the landscape... or it can come between.

P.P.S. Glancing up, I think I agree with Vaughn in all respects!

Philippe-Georges
10-08-2009, 01:10 AM
Weather conditions are rather 'useful' for an 'emotional dimension' in the landscape. I sometimes use the plastic bag technique. In the autumn, weather is ideal because it is changing fast.
When I see some bad weather coming in and I feel like the visual conditions (composition) are good, then I put op the camera on a tripod, hang a extra weight under it and put a good plastic bag over the camera to protect is against the rain or what so ever. Then I hide in the car and wait for the 'rubbish' to come over, and when it is just gone, then I take off the bag and shoot. This works particularly well in aria close to the sea because there is a lot of wind changing the weather quit fast.
I have used this technique rather a lot in the Golfe du Morbihan (France) wile shooting megaliths for my book 'De Stilte Der Stenen' see http://www.photoeil.be/books/megalyth/stilte.der.stenen.html

Philippe

Athiril
10-25-2009, 11:16 AM
Colours are tied to emotion and psychological states - thats what you might be looking for.

colrehogan
10-25-2009, 07:44 PM
Sucked into an old thread!

Oh well, since I am here...

If you smile while you talk to someone on the phone, you will sound happier to them. If you want emotion in your images, then experience those emotions while photographing and printing.

Probably too simple and straight forward of an answer, but sounds a lot better to me than any technical explanations.

Vaughn

Well, at least you will be happy to know that I am still reading this thread. On seeing the recent interview of Michael Kenna, I began to understand how he interacts with the landscape and feel that I can relate to this.

I have a place that I frequent

Nikanon
10-25-2009, 07:57 PM
No one can answer this but you.

Poisson Du Jour
10-25-2009, 08:33 PM
The landscape you photograph, assuming it is considered and not slapdash, will always have an inherent emotive element. It is contrived to want to introduce emotion or emotive pathos if they are not there i.e. through digital such a blur, soft focus, ripple etc., or more commonly photographing everyday pedestrian scenes at noon with no clear message or theme evident — evident to a nauseating degree by digital officionados shooting blithely at anything that blinks, moves or looks pretty. The visual appeal of the photograph afterward — and by association its emotion — is dependent on your skills and ability to transfer the emotive overlay to film. For me, there has to be a resonance with the scene before I can photograph it, very much like waiting until it has got hold of me. Prerequisites for my scenes are full colour saturation and atmosphere—the worse the weather, the better. This resonance is what draws me back repeatedly to the same scene to record not just one mood or emotion, but several, often over a long period of time, gradually telling a story of one place and its many 'faces'.

BobNewYork
10-26-2009, 07:47 AM
I fully understand the OP's thoughts. I have always found that I can take photographs I'm proud of when I isolate a piece of the landscape. When it comes to the beautiful vistas - it just seems I cannot do it justice.

Case in point - over the summer I visited the Western Isles of Scotland for the first time. I had great cloud formations, great lighting - and the vistas were just awe-inspiring and magnificent. In 20 or so rolls of 6x7 there are maybe five frames that I consider worth pursuing. These five frames are of what I consider detail - ships in a harbour, coiled rope by a fishing boat etc. None of the true landscapes comes even close to conveying what I saw - or thought I saw; and yet I had before me some of the most magnificent, "photogenic" scenery I have ever seen! And there I was with the orange filters and the polarizers making masterpiece after masterpiece.

I should have known better. After 30 odd years I have never taken a wide view scenic that matches what I felt at the time. Sure, I was "bummed" but, in the end, I suspect that I'm not a "big picture" photographer. Does that make me a bad photographer or a failed one? I don't think so. I just have to be prepared for disappointment when I take the big scene - 'cos I know I'll keep taking them ;)

Bob H

Athiril
10-26-2009, 08:38 AM
It is contrived to want to introduce emotion or emotive pathos if they are not there i.e. through digital such a blur, soft focus, ripple etc., or more commonly photographing everyday pedestrian scenes at noon with no clear message or theme evident evident to a nauseating degree by digital officionados shooting blithely at anything that blinks, moves or looks pretty.

Then you'll agree that its exactly the same with film street photographers.

And also for film users that use polarising filters, or ND grads, or :gasp: sunset graduated or blue graduated filters, or diffusion filters, or cicular grad diffusion, or soft focus lenses.

ChasBosio
05-20-2011, 12:20 PM
Greetings Diane:

Regarding the potential for pulling emotion from the landscape. Here is something to contemplate.

Nature is the infinite and variable model that contains all styles. She surrounds us, but we do not see her. - Auguste Rodin -

Best
Charles

smcclarin
06-12-2011, 01:55 AM
jbj,

I think has it nailed down, It is the essential element of pre-visualization with passion. I have been envisioning a moody landscape scene at a particular location and have been visiting and revisiting it hoping to find the right mood that I feel in my mind have been there 5 times so far, trying different angles, perspectives, today I brought a ladder to get above my subjects and adjust the background as an element that experiences and shares something meaningful with the foreground. I had to step through 5 inches of mud and water for 30 meters to get there as the water rose all around my spot.
I try using long exposures on Ilford Delta pro 100ISO BW with a Tiffen 25A filter, stopped down between f16-f32 for overall clarity and sharpness and then I slightly underexspose and overexpose for comparison, and when I want more drama than your mama I stack on a linear polarizer to render sky as black, More drama still? how about SFX infrared film that renders all green foliage white? of course there is no better mood than is captured and conveyed with a good BW Image, and the print even more impacting on the emotions. Color seems only to dazzle us with a broad range of hues but does not engage the abstracted emotion evident with composition and tone in its basic form. However Fuji Velvia 50 and the new 100ISO Velvia are also deliciously moody color films.

What really makes the mood is your ability to reflect and relate what your feeling is the mood for a given scene and then interpreting that in the world through your own unique perspective.

I would like to experiment with adding people myself but there is a certain solitude in believing for even a brief time that you are the only person seeing a grand view, even for the viewer of a reprinted image.

Best of luck finding your feelings and capturing it in a frame.

JS MD
06-12-2011, 08:42 AM
If amateur photographer unable to see a mood - he should sell his photo gear