I wanted to add a couple of comments about “the hand of man” as a compositional tool.
First, because no image could possibly be brought to our attention without someone creating or capturing it, it would not be possible to exclude the hand of man or woman from any image. It’s simply built into the process.
I am sorry, but this is flawed logic Justan: Just because the hand of man (or woman) captures an image on the backside of the camera, does not
mean that mankind must be in any way a part of what's being captured in front of the camera.
As far as the value of showing something of culture in an image, the argument presented in this thread is known as a polemical argument. This is one where one-sided or either/or reasoning is used in an attempt to make a predictably weak point.
I am sorry but this is wrong again. A person can make a very strong argument that, in most contexts, showing "evidence of man" ruins
an otherwise good nature
image. The only exception to this would be to show the negative influence of man in nature. I just took such a photo of a river where the local degenerates have been washing their clothes, dishes, etc. ... and the entire area is littered and the water has turned milky. While a sad image, and perhaps a powerful image, it certainly is neither a beautiful nor a fine "nature" shot ...
Showing humanity as a compositional tool works when it serves the purposes of the images. Think of story plots, for comparison. There are said to be 3 main kinds of plots. These are summarized as man vs man, man vs nature, man vs self. Each of these has numerous variants and if they’re all added up, it amounts to I think it was 34 possible types of plots.
Sorry Justan, but your thinking on "only 3 kinds of plot" is so simplistic and blind to the whole picture as to be almost tragic. The simple fact is not every story has anything to do with man at all. In fact most
stories do not even involve man. If you can pull your face away from the anthropomorpic "tree of man" ... you would realize that in the whole jungle
there are billions of "stories" all over the place ... from smaller than the eye can see, to several-times larger than any human ... running the gamut from the sumptuous beauty of a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis to fly ... to the life-and-death struggle for survival over food, territory in Africa, etc. ... that have nothing whatsoever to do with man ... but rather involve the billions of other organisms
on this planet.
If anything, the only part "man" plays in any of these other
stories is in man's utter ruination of their natural ecosystems, the decimation of natural populations, all because of man's own overpopulation and thoughtless short-sighted practices.
This is why I, and others, prefer to see natural landscapes without any evidence of man
... so that we may enjoy them while we still have them.
Visual story telling employs many of the same goals. Therefore if something of humanity in front of the camera adds a useful or relevant element, why not use it?
In the photo above we have a largely scalped landscape, which implies that the harvester was here recently, and in the background we get our confirmation that this land has been altered to serve humanity. It’s a natural combination of elements.
I agree with the first two sentences, but feel the remainder was pure speculation.
Again, there are many great and powerful images of cityscapes, farmscapes, etc. to be enjoyed for their intended purpose. I agree with you there. But I again reiterate that, for me, a nature
shot should have absolutely no
evidence of man in it whatsoever, or else it is ruined.
Others may feel differently,