This study began with the question “how do I capture feeling and or convey meaning in landscape images?”
Many of my shots are landscapes. In 2011 I took 20,846 pictures; 11,296 include the keyword landscape. This number reflects the reality that landscape photography represents a significant part of my work. I’ve found subject matter to be accessible yet the photography more difficult to master than anticipated. To get a shot that captures more than just the trees and rivers; that captures the moment; conveys a story; the feeling of the place is a challenge. In contrast, people photography benefits from the viewer’s innate ability to sense a subject’s feelings or emotion conveyed through the eyes or other physical attributes. Landscape photography has no eyes; no posture; no generally accepted interpretation. It exposes only beauty.
The approach I took was to study oriental landscape paintings and drawings. There are other areas that I could have studied, and that I may study in the future, so I acknowledge this approach represents just one vector.
It is not to say that I have not shot some reasonable landscapes. However, the technique to enable repeatability or at least improve the margin of success is what I seek. It is in this context that I look for other sources of inspiration; it was with this in mind that I read Learning Landscape Photography from the Masters of Painting by Patrick Smith.
Meaning and feel are conveyed through composition and the symbolism of the subject.
- compositional techniques include
- Simplification of the subject, such as by using the silhouette, reduced use of colour, reduce detail through fog
- Layering to present depth through the use tone
- Shape, detail and water
- Meaning through the symbolism of subject, such as the pine tree.
Many of my shots are landscapes. In 2011 I took 20,846 pictures; 11,296 include the keyword landscape. This volume reflects a number of realities in my life, travel being one of them. I’ve found this type of photography to be accessible yet more difficult to master than anticipated. To get a shot that captures more than…
In the previous post I applied the use of silhouette and limited use of colour frequently used in oriental art to simplify the photograph, highlighting the basic structure and flow. In this example I use tonal variations to express depth. In Chinese Landscapes the artist will ensure that closer elements are darker than those…
In the previous posting I explored the use of layering as used in orietnal art to develop a sense of depth. In this example I apply both silhouttes and layering in the same shot. The silhouette of the pines is layered in front of the mountains. The pines are offset from the mountains by…
In the previous posting I explored combining layering and silhouette in the same shot. I also included adding colour to simulate the traditional silk surface. Another aspect of Chinese Landscape Art is the portrait view of a mountain, almost as a vertical panorama. In this example I explore the style that combines two elements:…
In the previous post I began exploring mountain portraits. Chinese Landscape Art often includes fog or clouds. Clouds offer a means to isolate: foreground elements from background; peer elements from each other. Clouds can have a simplifying effect by increasing the empty space, hiding complexity or breaking a larger possibly complex subject into smaller possibly…
In the previous post I explored the use of fog or clouds. Chinese Landscape Art often combines clouds with the vertical landscape. In this shot I have tried to capture the flow of the clouds between the mountains. The stretched format provides more room to define the flow. In creating this Picture I used:
In the previous post I combined multiple elements together, including fog, mountains, and the elongated portrait format. Water is also an important and recurring element in Chinese Landscapes. But as I see it, it is one that highlights flow or movement within the frame, along with other elements that provide shape. In this example I…