Landscape photography is an interesting genre. For most the word landscape prompts mental imagery of scenic wilderness with a lake or two thrown in and a magnificent sunset. However, for the most part, landscapes are just a combination of either cityscapes or wilderness with some sky thrown in. That’s the composition part of the equation. The other part of the equation is to elicit an emotive reaction. That’s where the photographer usually runs into problems. The woah factor is the emotional response to an image that is pictorially striking. I usually call it the hit the viewer in the face with a visual sledgehammer. That is what grabs the viewer and holds his attention so that it provokes an emotive response.
Unfortunately, most of the images without filters have resulted in this:
...which is less than dynamically striking.
But how does one create the image that captivates the viewer? That’s the elusive answer that photographers have been seeking for as long as photography has been around. Ansel Adams’ black and white landscapes had striking dynamic contrast visually as well as compositionally. His images would be composed in such a way that a viewer’s attention would be dragged around the visual cues in the composition. His composition would be such that it would pull your attention to what the key point of his image was. And that’s the key to creating a visually striking image.
For me, landscape has been a kind of a side venture until now. The prices of wildlife lenses is too much. I don’t have $10K to spend on a 600/4 lens to get the wildlife images that I want. So I’m looking at landscapes as a way of getting my photography out there. It, like wildlife photography, is compelling and visually interesting to me. And…it does strike a chord in me; the same chord that I have when I attempt to do wildlife photography. What’s more is that I can do it with only a few additions to the gear that I already have. Mostly those would be filters and a intervalometer/remote. These are what I intend to get over the next two years. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing, with what I have.
In the past, I’ve managed only to get landscape silhouettes.>
But in the future, I will be obtaining the gear (the filters) necessary to produce the images that I have in my mind’s eye rather than be limited to the equipment that I currently own.