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Author Topic: Voice In A Landscape  (Read 10953 times)

Rob C

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2015, 04:37:15 am »

Mark,

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the LANDSCAPE photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Credit: Ansel Adams

Additional word in caps mine.

;-)

Rob C

AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2015, 05:56:52 am »

Rob,

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the LANDSCAPE photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Credit: Rob C

Are you a landscape photographer?
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Dohmnuill

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2015, 06:00:12 am »

I was going to write more but Dominique, Nigel and Rob have pretty much said it.

The earnest explanations of how someone reached their photographic epiphany are often disappointing or an anticlimax; no doubt he/she appreciates what they've made, but the implicit assumption that others will be recognising the triumphs to the same extent is likely to be wishful thinking.

Many of us can probably remember images which turned us on to photography; for me they were Moonrise at Hernadez, Aspens Colorado, and On the Prairie. The late Ansel Adams described the techniques with great precision, so most likely we could emulate them, but his choices on the day were just a crucial and impossible to copy. Even with loads of advice. Laura Gilpin's image of the young optimistic woman, hat blown off and looking into a never ending drone and indistinct plain is far above 1000 words of advice. Of course, she never attempted it. And that might be very good advice.



 
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Rob C

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2015, 09:36:44 am »

Rob,

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the LANDSCAPE photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Credit: Rob C

Are you a landscape photographer?


Are you a fashion photographer?

Rob C

AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2015, 01:57:58 pm »

Rob,

Quote
Are you a fashion photographer?

No. Why do you ask?
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kencameron

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2015, 03:15:37 am »

Mark,

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Credit: Ansel Adams
Did he explain why he thought this? And if you agree with it, it would be interesting to hear why. Without such explanations, I am left in sympathy with Rob C's amendment. And when I look through illustrated world histories of photography (which provide a rough guide to what has been considered best) then I certainly don't find anything to convince me that landscape photographers are supreme in achievement. Maybe AA thought it the supreme test because he understood how hard it is to make photographs with no people in them deeply interesting.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 03:42:12 am by kencameron »
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Ken Cameron

Isaac

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2015, 12:36:34 pm »

…how hard it is to make photographs with no people in them deeply interesting.

Exactly, and how photographs with people in them will unsurprisingly interest people.
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AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2015, 01:40:55 pm »

Ken,

Quote
Did he explain why he thought this?

Sorry, I don't know.

Quote
...if you agree with it, it would be interesting to hear why. Without such explanations, I am left in sympathy with Rob C's amendment.

That is your prerogative.

Quote
...when I look through illustrated world histories of photography (which provide a rough guide to what has been considered best) then I certainly don't find anything to convince me that landscape photographers are supreme in achievement.

Landscape photography, not landscape photographers.
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John Camp

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2015, 03:08:21 pm »

As you pass through all the landscapes of your life, there are certain rare moments when a particular view (and it may last only for a few seconds) seems transcendental -- more than just hills and trees and autumn color. It's a moment that tell you something about the worth of the world. The problem that most landscape photographers have to deal with is that they get their camera and go hunting for images and they find them, and they're usually "pretty" at best. They don't tell you (or your viewers) much of anything about anything, they're just the same hills and trees we see every day out the car window. They don't have that momentary transcendence.

One thing Ansel Adams was able to do was to see potential in a variety of landscapes, and then to be there when the moment occurred. But, this didn't happen every time he went out, or even very often -- but he knew where and when it might happen, and tried to be there. If you look at his best images (and he took clunkers like everybody else) you realize he probably didn't get one good image for every year of his shooting life. Probably more like one every five years. Jumping in your car on the odd Wednesday afternoon and driving off to no place in particular with your camera, probably isn't going to work. You have to have an intention, and have thought about that intention, and then execute it. I really believe that there is artistic potential in landscape photography, you just don't see it achieved very often.
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AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2015, 03:41:09 pm »

John,

Quote
One thing Ansel Adams was able to do was to see potential in a variety of landscapes, and then to be there when the moment occurred. But, this didn't happen every time he went out, or even very often -- but he knew where and when it might happen, and tried to be there. If you look at his best images (and he took clunkers like everybody else) you realize he probably didn't get one good image for every year of his shooting life. Probably more like one every five years.

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.

Credit: Ansel Adams
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kencameron

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2015, 05:35:05 pm »

Landscape photography, not landscape photographers.


That seems to me a distinction without a difference. And I would still love to hear if you agree with Ansel Adams, and if so, why (because I enjoyed the work on your web site).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 05:52:12 pm by kencameron »
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Ken Cameron

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2015, 05:50:53 pm »

As you pass through all the landscapes of your life, there are certain rare moments when a particular view (and it may last only for a few seconds) seems transcendental ....... I really believe that there is artistic potential in landscape photography, you just don't see it achieved very often.
Thanks for that John, a lovely and persuasive explanation.


Thinking about my own responses to landscape photographs, some of those that move me powerfully capture the elements, or elementals, of nature - "mountains and rivers without end" (to quote Gary Snyder), and the sea, and forests, with simple and powerful composition. At some level these places are where we live, in our unconscious minds and in deep time. I also have a taste for landscape shots which tell a certain kind of truth by including marks of human presence, either discordant or in harmony with nature.
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Ken Cameron

MarkL

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2015, 01:12:31 pm »

My liking for an image or a subject is basically a gut instinct which I find is hard to describe. If I showed someone a favourite image I had taken and the person asked me to describe what attracted me to it I would be lost for words. I couldn't/wouldn't try to make up a description and I suspect a lot of photographers have an "over active imagination" when they talk about their images? :(

I feel much the same which I why I choose a visual medium, if I wanted to express things in writing I would have taken up writing.

Marketing, writing the books and running the workshops most professional photographers seem to do these days all require writing and possibly drawing on an "over active imagination".
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Rob C

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2015, 03:40:54 pm »

"Landscape photography is the supreme test of the LANDSCAPE photographer - and often the supreme disappointment."


I adjusted this line by inserting the word in caps, and had imagined the point was obvious.

The point, for anyone not getting it, is that whatever your speciality, getting the best out of it is the most difficult thing. That's common to all genres. And the difficulty lies in your sophisticated knowledge and understanding of your genre, of what's been achieved already, and where your work stands in relation to those achievements.

Rob C

Alan Klein

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2015, 04:40:14 pm »

It's difficult to capture the sense of awe our eyes and brain "see" with a camera that displays and prints the scene in 2D with no wind, smells, no vast panoramic view.  Anyone who's been to Inspiration Point in Yosemite or the Grand Canyon and were totally disappointed with the pictures they took and those others took as well, that don't duplicate that transcendental feeling understands this.  Yet we keep trying, sometimes just catching a piece of it, if we're very lucky.

AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2015, 06:26:47 am »

Ken,

Quote
That seems to me a distinction without a difference.

Nowhere in the quote credited to Ansel Adams is landscape photographer mentioned:

Quote from: Ansel Adams
Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Perhaps you mistook Ansel Adams for Rob C?



Quote
Did he explain why he thought this?

Apparently the quote was first published in the Photographing Nature edition of the series LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life. I have ordered a copy and when it has been delivered I hope to be in a position to answer your question.

Edit: post edited to correct typographic error.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 12:50:17 pm by Rob B. »
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Rob C

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2015, 06:43:33 am »

Ken,

Nowhere in the quote credited to Ansel Adams is landscape photographer mentioned:

Perhaps you mistook Ansel Adams for Rob C?



Apparently the quote was first published in the Photographing Nature edition of the series LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life. I have ordered a copy and when it has been delivered I hope to be in a position to answer your question.


Please, NO!

Rob C

kencameron

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2015, 04:52:36 pm »

Ken,

Nowhere in the quote credited to Ansel Adams is landscape photographer mentioned:

Perhaps you mistook Ansel Adams for Rob C.

Apparently the quote was first published in the Photographing Nature edition of the series LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life. I have ordered a copy and when it has been delivered I hope to be in a position to answer your question.

Edit: post edited to correct typographic error.


Rob, I do understand that you have correctly quoted Ansel Adams. My point was simply that in the context of the discussion and the view I was putting forward, the difference between your correct version of the quotation and my incorrect one is immaterial.

I will certainly, in future, do everything possible to avoid confusing Ansel Adams and Rob C. Much as I respect both of them, I wouldn't claim that is "a distinction without a difference".

Ansel Adams on Photographing Nature sounds interesting. I will see if my local library has a copy (the chances are good, since it is the National Library of Australia).






« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 04:55:47 pm by kencameron »
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Ken Cameron

AreBee

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2015, 06:39:35 pm »

Ken,

Quote
My point was simply that in the context of the discussion and the view I was putting forward, the difference between your correct version of the quotation and my incorrect one is immaterial.

I think you may have missed my point. Here is the quote credited to Ansel Adams:

Quote
Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.

Here is your relevant comment:

Quote
...when I look through illustrated world histories of photography (which provide a rough guide to what has been considered best) then I certainly don't find anything to convince me that landscape photographers are supreme in achievement.

The view put forward by you qualifies landscape photographers. The view put forward by Ansel Adams makes no such qualification - landscape photography is the supreme challenge of the photographer, independent of what the photographer normally photographs.

The difference between my correct version of the quotation and your incorrect one is the difference between the quotes credited to Ansel Adams and Rob C respectively.
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kencameron

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Re: Voice In A Landscape
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2015, 09:19:59 pm »

Ken,

I think you may have missed my point. Here is the quote credited to Ansel Adams:

Here is your relevant comment:

The view put forward by you qualifies landscape photographers. The view put forward by Ansel Adams makes no such qualification - landscape photography is the supreme challenge of the photographer, independent of what the photographer normally photographs.

The difference between my correct version of the quotation and your incorrect one is the difference between the quotes credited to Ansel Adams and Rob C respectively.


I fear we are strenuously missing each others' points, Rob, and that too much further discussion is likely to put even us to sleep, let alone any other readers. What I was trying to say, probably with poor choice of words, is that when I look through histories of world photography, I don't find the photographs of landscapes to be the best, the most interesting, representative of the highest artistic achievement in photography, etcetera. In that context whether those photographs were taken by "photographers" or "landscape photographers" seems to me immaterial. Over and out.
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Ken Cameron
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