So I’m on a quest to truly understand my camera and to explore the art of videography. As part of my quest I am watching ABC’s Photo Finish.
This is an intriguing show where three amateur photographers, with varying interests and backgrounds, go on assignment. In the second episode, the first I have watched, the topic was Landscape Photography. The three photo questers had four hours to photograph Mount Wellington in Tasmania. They then had to select one image only of their photographs, this was then judged.
They came from portrait, family and dance backgrounds, with varying levels of experience in landscape and outdoors imagery, but were all given the same camera to photograph with, which they may not have been experienced with but which gave them a level playing field with access to a decent slr camera. However some were more familiar with it than others, yet the show proved it’s not about just technology it’s also about intuition and emotion.
The main things I gained from this episode are that capturing a landscape is about interacting with the environment, interpeting it, and looking for something unusual that evokes emotion. There may also be a brief based on your assignment. Landscape photography can include people in the landscape but can also be to evoke an emotional response of the viewer. You may also be working in a limited time span with varying factors like rain, snow, and changing conditions to contend to. It is also good to be physically fit and be prepared to climb, clamber, kneel and lie down to take your photos.
Straight after watching this episode I went out and tried to find the unusual in my immediate surroundings and looked back at my photographs to try and find the ones with emotion in them. The thing about watching shows like this is it does make you look with a more critical eye at what you are doing. It’s like learning the art of self editing with writing.
So my photographs after watching the show included images like this….
I like the close-ups of textures and reflections, and the hands of a young child.
After my close-ups I swung around with my camera to see more of the landscape I swung back to look the textures of the cane and the sunset beginning through the clouds. However in framing this landscape I liked to still include those reflections and textures if I was going to storyboard it. Yet I wondered what is unusual about these pictures, anything emotional? The clouds maybe have a hint of emotion.
Perhaps for emotion I needed a more decent sunset, and for this I looked back through earlier photographs and found two images that I personally feel more emotional about than the above. Nothing like having a sky you can feel emotional about. Yet these two pictures don’t really give enough information about the personality of the landscape surrounding me.
The next two photos show sunset over the cane – but are they emotional enough? I do like them.
So my journey will continue – and the other tools in my quest: YouTube video tutorials, my manual and gradually I think I’d like to buy more lenses etc. Yet I know the journey is not just about these things, it is a search for emotion and the unusual.
(c) June Perkins