Friday, August 3, 2018

Finished with Landscape photography (for now)?

While hiking in one of the Audubon Sanctuaries, in Portland's famous Forest Park, today, we stopped on a bridge looking down a creek, and I turned to Jarrett and said, "I think I am done taking general landscape photos, now.  I could take a photo of this creek, but it would not be art to me.  I believe it's time to focus on more artsy and abstract photos for a while."  There will be more photos of landscapes for reference, or if I can make a landscape look more interesting to a viewer, but not most of my photos.  The one I took below is an example of one that is interesting and has some visual depth to it.  (It is also a preview of a blog about my trip to John Day National Monument - Sheep Rock Unit, from earlier this July.)  

Nature is one of those difficult subjects to make look more artsy, and this is why basic landscape photography is a pretty easy entry into nature photography.  You can start big and get more detailed photos.  It takes years to really understand that a subject like a tree or a flower (or a rock) can look more interesting than just what one sees through the lens of a camera.  Yes, a basic photo of a tree is a great place to start, but to a trained photographer, it can be made into art!  

Here is a good photo of a Norfolk pine in Wellington, New Zealand, I took in 2008.  This would have been a reference photo (either for location or for species identification).  In 2018, I may have taken this one, but definitely looked for a photo that was more abstract, and take that photo.  (This one really is a nice shot, but it is a basic overall photo of the tree in it's surroundings.)  

By contrast: on today's hike, we came upon this tree and I saw art right away, and took this photo.  Someone new to this may have seen the interesting parts of the tree, but could they see the "art", as quickly as I did?  Maybe, maybe not.  

I guess that after more than 18 years of doing photography, both professionally (and making money) and as a hobbyist, I need to change my approach and grow again as a photographer.