Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Landscape & Nature Photography => Topic started by: Rajan Parrikar on December 22, 2014, 04:04:22 am

Title: 'S'
Post by: Rajan Parrikar on December 22, 2014, 04:04:22 am
Námaskarđ ( pass, north Iceland.

Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: SanderKikkert on December 22, 2014, 05:43:22 am
Well done, I like the colors and the view, the brown tones work well in the grey-ish atmosphere, the roadbuilders deserve some credit as well by the way for laying down such an elegant set of curves ;-)
Regards, Sander
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: francois on December 22, 2014, 06:13:27 am
Perfect "S" curve in a wonderful and very soft colored scenery.
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: luxborealis on December 22, 2014, 08:23:22 am
I'm not sure what think, Rajan. You have way of capturing the sublime and making it look beautiful and you always seem to photograph things I, for one, would pass by as being not ideal yet, you find an engaging composition. "S" is a perfect case in point: there's beauty in simplicity.

Even more importantly, this photograph has forced me to think more deeply about the balance between people and nature. For example, what to do with all those road markers? They are so visually garish in this beautiful landscape, and for me, a visual barrier to the raw beauty of the land. The simplicity of the road itself ties the landscape together; the markers impede my enjoyment.

Rajan, I imagine you've decided to leave them in because that's the way it is and to remove them would make the image unrealistic for anyone who has travelled to Iceland - what's an Icelandic road without them?! But to remove them would add to the simplicity (if that's possible) by reducing the human details, allowing the subtleties of the land the visual space they need/deserve (as would removing the large green sign by the picnic site at the top of the "S" - to me, that  picnic stop adds visual appeal, the green sign doesn't).

I have to ask myself, "Could I live with this, as is, on my wall?" Probably not. But, then again, I'm coming from a "nature first" point of view; I believe humans intrude on natural landscapes and rarely add anything of value to them. Without the distractions, I would find this photograph more intriguing - a large print or canvas would look stunning. Visually, I would be more willing to delve into the subtleties of the tones and undulations of the scene.

I realize I've painted myself into a corner that some would call "romanticized nature" where humans can intrude in some ways (simple roads, picnic sites, even footpaths, canoes, railways, docks and piers in some cases) but not in others (signs, road markers, even highways, transmission lines, etc. - the garish features of our existence) - so be it; that's the way I am. I'm not saying there isn't beauty in the garish, just not when it's combined with the subtleties of this landscape.

There is absolutely no reason the change anything about this wonderful photograph, unless, of course you also find some of the human intrusions distracting.
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on December 22, 2014, 11:10:16 am
I think Terry's version would come closer to my memories of Iceland, back in 1974. I think the road markers hadn't even been invented then. And paved roads were pretty rare. The Ring Road had just been completed, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't all paved.

Beautiful shot, even if it is 21st century.
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: Rajan Parrikar on December 22, 2014, 08:36:24 pm
Thank you, all.

Eric is right.  The sealing of the Ring Road (aka Route 1) - the main road that circumscribes the island of which the section shown in the photo is part - was completed only in the mid-1970s.  There are a couple of small sections of the Ring Road in the east that are still gravel.

Terry - I plan to take out the machinery on the top right of the frame and yellow posts along the road (which, by the way, serve as guides to the road's boundary when the snow piles up.  Guard rails are rare in Iceland outside of Reykjavík).  This is my 'first draft' which typically takes the form of a blog entry.  To add to your rumination, while the raw Icelandic nature holds tremendous appeal, the human imprint in this isolated, stark landscape amid punishing conditions is also of great interest to me.

PS: I had framed this composition on a few occasions but on this day I got lucky.  The rain had imparted a sheen to the curve.
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on December 23, 2014, 04:15:44 am
Wonderful. As for the "hand of man" in the landscape, how can we accept the road, but not the signs?
Title: Re: 'S'
Post by: luxborealis on December 23, 2014, 04:54:56 pm
Wonderful. As for the "hand of man" in the landscape, how can we accept the road, but not the signs?

Easily - one I find in sychrony with the landscape, the other, I don't. It's not unlike anything in nature (or any kind of photography for that matter) - some parts add to the feeling one is trying to impart, so they are kept; others don't, so they are edited out, either by cropping, if possible, or through adjustments or healing. For example, just because the sky is there, it doesn't mean it has to be in a photograph. As creators of visual media (some may say artists) we have the freedom to make these decisions. If you are documenting, well, then you may not have the same freedom.