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Author Topic: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?  (Read 1334 times)

rabanito

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2018, 04:56:07 AM »

You realize that the comment about ďstaticĒ landscape was a bait from landscape haters and you took it? Who cares if the landscape is static or not? Debating virtues of landscape photography with landscape haters is... well, futile (if you donít like the word ďsillyĒ).

HAHAHAHA.
What do you expect from a "newbie"?
Imagine you register to the webpage "The Luminous Siamese Cat" and meet there a lot of Siamese-Haters!
Now I know better, have even been ascended to Junior Member. :-)
One learns from experience
But anyway, if you can't chat about this or that in a civilized manner for fear of breaking a taboo, well...
Above all, when you don't know what the local taboos are...
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rabanito

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2018, 05:27:19 AM »

Hi Rab, Interesting that you should use Moonrise Hernandez as an example. Ansel slammed on his brakes and, as he put it, "almost ditched the car." He couldn't find his light meter when he was on top of the car and had to guess at the exposure. He tried to make a second exposure but by the time he closed the slide, pulled the film holder and reversed it, the sun had left the crosses. It was an awful lot like street where you never have quite enough time for what you try to do. Read http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/WhyClicktheShutter.html for a comparison between Moonlight Hernandez, and Moonrise Yosemite Valley, which is much closer to normal landscape.

An unlucky choice? I just wanted to illustrate the idea of rapid changing environment conditions with an example everybody would understand.
For me "Landscape" or "Street" is what you see in the final print, whatever the way you obtain it.
And Hernandez is then "landscape". But that is just the way I see it.
Liked your article, thanks !
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rabanito

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2018, 05:35:49 AM »

My father was a landscape photographer.

He could wait hours for the correct light to fall over a landscape. Eventually he went back in another season to get the good light.

If the second hand of your clock is your measurement, landscape is static, it changes if you slow down and work according the hours hand or even a calendar.

And yet it can be a matter of a split second to catch that line of shade or that reflection in the water.

Seriously underestimated discipline.


Mastering the effects of the calendar and the hour of the day and pushing the button on that split second makes stunning photography, not only landscape.

Add this to the effects of the era, social and political, and you get the unbelievable exciting playground of the open minded photographer.

I liked this answer.

Actually yesterday I thought:

"Hmmmm...it seems that in this forum you should not discuss these subjects:
-Politics
-Religion
-Photography"   :)

But I changed my mind. At least on the topic "photography"

Thanks to all
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RSL

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2018, 11:48:37 AM »

The landscape is obviously not static but it seems to me the Landscape Photograph is mired in some kind of static aesthetic. If a photograph is worth a thousand words I find that frequently landscape photography simply says "pretty" over and over a thousand times. Its like a 7 course meal consisting of nothing but desert items. May sound like fun but it quickly becomes monotonous.

Well said, Martin. People like Hans Kruse make lovely, technically exceptional landscapes, but the fact that it's essentially the same thing over and over again eventually leads to glazed eyes. As I wrote in http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/WhatisPhotographyFor.html:

"The camera is a recording instrument. It's not the kind of tool that lets you express your own ideas about what reality should look like. If you're careful it can give you images that are pretty, sometimes verging on beautiful. But it's very difficult to make it give you an image that'll grab you and shake you with a transcendent, spiritual experience Ė that sudden flash that goes beyond anyone's ability to describe or explain. And that's really what art is about. It's not about making records of things."

Which leads to the point that landscape as art usually is done with a brush and paint. Yes, it's static when you grab it with a camera, but it often has led to a spiritual experience when done with a brush.

Peter McLennan

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2018, 11:58:14 AM »

Given that most landscape pictures are really weather pictures, I'd answer the OP's question with a resounding no. The act of landscape photography is anything but static.
We say "the light is changing fast", but what we're really observing is changes in weather.

On the other hand, one might argue that landscape photography is static in that the images look much the same today as they did fifty years ago. They're just better realized now due to technology advances.

YMMV :)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2018, 12:10:19 PM »

...Imagine you register to the webpage "The Luminous Siamese Cat" and meet there a lot of Siamese-Haters!...

Fair point.

Unfortunately, that is the paradoxical reality of this site, as even this thread is demonstrating.

Two23

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2018, 12:13:56 PM »

Lately I've been taking off in yet another direction with my photography.  I quickly get bored doing the same thing over and over, or the same thing others are doing.  For most of this year I've been shooting glass plates with first generation lenses (1840-1865.)  The past two weekends I've been going out with my little Chamonix 4x5 and three modern lenses (90mm f4.5 Nikon, 135mm f5.6 Rodenstock, 180mm f5.6 Fuji) and picking scenes that are more about decay.  I take full advantage of the soft, gloomy light I've been given, shooting Ilford FP4..  I think the best photos are more about a feeling/emotion than anything else.  While not landscapes per se, I've been looking for scenes showing the slow decay of the fading small towns on the Northern Plains.  I'm more after "gritty" than "pretty".


Kent in SD

Crooks, South Dakota
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In contento ed allegria,
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2018, 12:18:30 PM »

... lovely, technically exceptional landscapes, but the fact that it's essentially the same thing over and over again eventually leads to glazed eyes....

And how many people sitting (static!) in cafe shop windows before a yawn?

Mark Lindquist

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2018, 12:22:25 PM »

Interesting that the topic is somewhat mute IMO given that "Landscape Photography" has specific connotations (many explained in this thread) and the word static comes from science and has altogether different connotations (stasis, kinetics, etc).

Anyone photographing a waterfall or a stream or river in flow knows that nature is not static, it is moving.

During Hurricane Michael, many photographers photographed trees being uprooted and far flung by nearly Cat 5 winds.

Pretty much not static.

But as many have stated, who cares?  It is what it is.  To treat the question as though it's a Zen Koan is perhaps futile, IMO.

But really, if this is your rabbit hole, go down into the warren and see what you come up with.

There could be an equally intriguing question:  "...is the camera static or moving"? Not in a scientific vein, but rather in terms of genre, considering the realm of motion blur and panning.

Good luck with it all.

Mark
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2018, 12:31:28 PM »

And how many people sitting (static!) in cafe shop windows before a yawn?

Hah ha Slobodan -

Q: If a person yawns in an empty cafe and there is no one there to see it, does it make a sound?

A: Only if there is a security camera recording...
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2018, 12:34:39 PM »

And how many people sitting (static!) in cafe shop windows before a yawn?

Oh hell yes. How many old farts sitting around at flea markets you might ask. Itís not limited to landscape by any means.

I donít think landscape is inherently static but as it is frequently practiced it is. Too much repitition, not enough creativity, too much focus on the technical, not enough thought given to any sort of message.

Iím of course not talking about stuff moving in a landscape. I did n fact notice that there is movent of clouds and rivers and stuff. Iím really on about the static and repetitive nature of so much landscape photography.
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RSL

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2018, 12:46:06 PM »

And how many people sitting (static!) in cafe shop windows before a yawn?

Exactly the problem, Slobodan. Far too many photographers think that's effective street photography. Of course it's easy, and you don't have the threat of being chased if you shoot some old guys through a window. But. . .

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2018, 04:56:16 PM »

Not sure that my brain can cope with this thread.  I must still be at the Piaget Concrete Operational stage. If it is about Landscape and Street photography, I think it is a case of Landscape being uninhabited and Street being over-inhabited, rather than issues of static or not.

Best wishes,

Jonathan
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Jonathan in UK

rabanito

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2018, 05:23:39 AM »

Not sure that my brain can cope with this thread.  I must still be at the Piaget Concrete Operational stage. If it is about Landscape and Street photography, I think it is a case of Landscape being uninhabited and Street being over-inhabited, rather than issues of static or not.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

Actually I meant: "Is Landscape Photography 'static'? ".
I could have titled the topic  all the way around "Is Landscape Photography 'dynamic'? "

I give my poor English the blame, not your cognitive development  ;D
Regards R.
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Rob C

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2018, 02:55:08 PM »

Wow! Thatís quite a feat, Rob. Congratulations!

Thanks - I think?

Keith might be able to rework that into hours that have flown forever...

:-)

Alan Klein

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2018, 04:16:42 PM »

Not sure if this answers the OP's question, but here goes.

I eat everyday.  Often the same thing I ate yesterday.  I still enjoy eating it even if I ate it a thousand times before. 

Beside that, street shots are redundant often as well.  So they're static in that sense.

KLaban

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2018, 05:15:46 PM »

Thanks - I think?

Keith might be able to rework that into hours that have flown forever...

:-)

Actually, he'd say, here's to the next 20,000!

;-)
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MattBurt

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2018, 05:25:39 PM »

I'd say landscape photography is (or can be) pretty dynamic but the time frame for change may not be the same as other genres. Although sometimes it is.
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James Clark

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2018, 01:49:51 PM »

I'd say landscape photography is (or can be) pretty dynamic but the time frame for change may not be the same as other genres. Although sometimes it is.

You think?  I'm trying to think of the most diverse landscapers I can in a "then and now" sense, and it seems to me the gulf between Ansel Adams and say, Marc Adamus, is tremendous.  The same could be said for the gap between HCB and Martin Parr, and I'm sure Rob (or bcooter if he lurks in these parts) could enlighten us on some widely divergent fashion work between the 60s and today. 

Point being, I think we agree.  I don't find the state of landscape (or photography in general) to be static at all, unless one consciously and deliberately restricts good "landscape photography" to a narrow range that becomes static not by definition, but by intent.  (Intent to be dismissive of the genre, I mean) 
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MattBurt

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Re: Is Landscape Photography "Static"?
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2018, 06:31:13 PM »

You think?  I'm trying to think of the most diverse landscapers I can in a "then and now" sense, and it seems to me the gulf between Ansel Adams and say, Marc Adamus, is tremendous.  The same could be said for the gap between HCB and Martin Parr, and I'm sure Rob (or bcooter if he lurks in these parts) could enlighten us on some widely divergent fashion work between the 60s and today. 

Point being, I think we agree.  I don't find the state of landscape (or photography in general) to be static at all, unless one consciously and deliberately restricts good "landscape photography" to a narrow range that becomes static not by definition, but by intent.  (Intent to be dismissive of the genre, I mean)

Well yes and no. I was actually talking about the act of landscape photography being dynamic and the elements that change being anything from light to wind to clouds, to seasons and astronomical events. I was thinking it was less dynamic than something like sports where things are constantly changing and moving. So maybe I misunderstood the question.  ;D
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