What is landscape photograhy? To some it may mean sweeping panoramas and majestic sunsets while to others is might be a close up of a buttercup in a field.
Of course both can be considered to be landscape photography.
I suppose that the simplest definition could be, any photo that is taken in a landscape, but is that necessarily true?.
The dictionary definition of landscape is:
Noun: All the visible features of an area of countryside or land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.
I think that last bit “in terms of their aesthetic appeal”, really sums it up.
For me the phrase landscape photography embodies a creative or artistic intent. An interpretation or recording of a scene or element within the countryside.
It is like saying “abstract painting” or “modern dance”.
Placing the extra words fine art in front of landscape photography really empowers the description.
For some more discussion on the fine art element have a look at this article.
The truth is we all live within the landscape. Some of us live in the countryside, some in cities or urban areas. We all have access to the environment around us. What you photograph in your environment depends on what you want to say about the landscape. To me it’s a very personal thing. We often relate best to the familiar surroundings of the area in which we live. However travelling to exotic locations can really be a powerful incentive and motivator.
The idea is to find what inspires you, what you connect with. It can be a strong spiritual connection or simply a visual one.
For me landscape photography is an integral part of my life. It is an extension of my enjoyment of the countryside. Sitting on a rock somewhere and taking in the surroundings is good for the soul and the mind.
It is also very good for tapping into the creative part of you. That part of us which is indivisible from the earth and the sky.
When you are out taking photos try to slow down and get a feel for the place you are in. Let the landscape reveal it’s secrets. Believe me, they make the best images.