I feel that they do, at least for me; I just have a passion for the landscape. Put me in a room full of Stieglitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson and I would be bored to death. Put me in a room of Dykinga, Till, Muench, Fielder, Cornish and I would probably never leave.
Originally Posted by blansky
I got to admit, I feel the same way. I usually look at landscape photography as "man, I'm glad I didn't haul that big ass camera to that point and get my $300 tripod all wet." or "man, I wish I was there" type feeling. That's not emotion is it? Wanting to be there?
Originally Posted by blansky
Unless of course, there was a red couch in the foreground...then I'll feel really emotional
Yes. It is. Serenity, a feeling of peace, of being at ease... all are emotions.
Originally Posted by eric
I've been taught that there are three BASIC emotions; Love, Fear, and Anger ... and everything we can experience is a combination of varying amounts of these.
Look at it this way: "wanting to be there" = + (plus) Love; - (minus) anger; - (minus) fear. The addition of the Red Couch" might keep the same level of "love"; increase anger, in the form of aggression, to "lust" ....
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I'm with the Blansky on this one, at least as far as "straight" landscape is concerned. Pretty dead stuff most of the time.
There have been demographic studies done trying to sort-out what is attractive about a landscape image -- what sorts of images do people find appealing? The result was that landscapes that appealed to primitive homonids -- trees for foor and hiding, water, safe areas with open air -- were dominant.
Now to look at Ansel, or later acolytes like Rowell, we see a desire to express the transcendant -- might ring a little hollow these days, but it's there. There are other options: consider Polidori's ZONES OF EXCLUSION. Is it landscape? Yeah, built landscape. With a story. If it does not contain people, at least it contains their skidmarks -- and those are what give it a clear emotional tone, far more successfully than another sunset.
One could say the same of, oh, Chris Jordan or Michael Wolf or Robert Adams. The landscape and the Evans-like architectural documentary begin to fold back on to one another.
Emotion is not something you can just insert, like overexposure or ragged edges. It's not a sticker. It has to come from an understanding of the effect of an image on the mind of the (specific) viewer (I don't think YOU need to have that emotion -- the viewer does. How else could, say, a war photographer make it through the day?).
I'm not sure, but what may be happening here is that people who are more into people photography are "emotionally" involved in that and like pictures of people, and the photographers that get an "emotional" charge out of landscapes are into photographing that.
Perhaps that is why we photograph what we photograph. One group does landscapes and the other does people.
We are trying to get each other to "experience" what we are feeling when we feel different things than each other.
Not a problem for me. You say potato and I say patato.
As a friend of mine used to say, "that's what makes a horse race".
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The common thread through all this discussion is to relate to the landscape in human, ie. emotional terms, as a living, breathing individual. Some of the most powerful imagery blurs the lines, treating the landscape as a human form, and vice versa. It is about making that connection with what's around you and communicate what you are "feeling" rather than what you are seeing.
My question on the f32 site that brought the original post of this thread up in my mind was the following:
What separates a composition or photo from being elementary, or a snapshot from a good one?
And several of the responses included empathy, emotion and feeling.
Read the thread over on f32, did not really understand what they meant either.
Originally Posted by colrehogan
Now here's my take..1st..The masters of the grand landscape photography from the early 1900's thru the 1950's were showing work to an audience that did not have the ability to travel as easy as we do today. So part of what they were doing was showing the public what was there, much like the earlier photographers had done on the different expeditions. Today someone sees a print - color or B&W and the first thing they think is hey, I can do that I have a xxxx camera, will be in the area for business, so there is no - WOW Wish I could see that, it is such strange place. 2nd..many of the landscapes have been over done, so almost any image looks like a snapshot. (BTW - no one ever seems to explain what they mean by that statement). My take is it looks like one of 10, 100, 1000 other shots of an image really nothing special except to the person that made it...and there is NOTHING WRONG with that.
As was mentioned, some just like people in their photos - it makes the more interesting..but even that can lead to a snapshot looking image. The same things that make a good people picture will make a good landscape picture..proper technique, attention to light (for me light provides much of the emotion in any image), what is the main subject of the photograph.
One thing I have started doing is asking myself - WHY do I want to make this photograph? Why is it worthy of the film, time, developing, etc? What is it about this scene that makes me want to photograph it and do I know how to show that, how to capture that emotion I feel right now on film. It has stopped many of the shots I used to make, can't always get the way I feel on film, but am trying to learn why not, when it does not work. IT WILL HAPPEN Diane, it may take some time, but you will start to know when it does, you will 'see' in a different way - or at least that is what happened to me...have I been successful, heck I don't know, but now I don't worry about what everyone else thinks, just what I feel, and what the photograph shows.
Thanks Mike. And thanks to everyone else who replied.
I think Blansky hit it on the head. People who like people prefer people in landscape photographs. People who do not like people photography wonder why the hell the naked person is in the photograph.
I am definately the latter. A nude in the landscape is a bad landscape.
I am surprised that no one mentioned the importance of compositional placement in eliciting emotion in the viewer. Line is the idea I know most about. Straight, curving, S, jagged etc.. all serve to elicit certain emotions. You can make a dramatic landscape but in truth it has no emotion. If we look at a sky and think "that is an angry sky" we personify the sky. Give it human emotions. If we want to bring out this emotion in someone else we have to personify the sky in the image we present to them through our composition, printing, and presentation.
I like your last question a lot and wonder why you did not ask it here as well?
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004