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Author Topic: What is 'landscape'?  (Read 15182 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2011, 03:34:55 AM »
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" If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there, does it make a sound? If a landscape's exists and no one's there to view it, is it beautiful? Without humans neither landscape nor any other image has meaning."

Oh Russ, I can't for a moment buy into that conclusion! Beauty exists independently of man; if anything, it's the trigger to making man recognize such an emotion for the very first time in his life, or even in his development as a species. God, the orignal creative artist, would still have used his brush.

Were there no people the fabled sunsets would remain beautiful, the white sands of the desert islands as seductive... wait! You may have a point after all: white sands and no girls... hmm.

Rob C
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John R Smith
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2011, 04:27:26 AM »
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Rob and Russ

As I did gently point out some while ago, this is the Luminous Landscape Forum, so perhaps you have to expect a certain amount of dissent when airing your well-argued views that there is actually no point in doing landscape photography at all. Not that a certain amount of robust challenge goes amiss, of course - it is good for us all to have our cosy beliefs questioned once in a while.

I love my landscapes, and enjoy making pictures of them. But mine are not Yosemite, or anywhere craggy, spectacular and famous, so I don't really expect them to gain a wide acceptance or currency. However, I think that they are good for my soul, and that is reason enough to carry on.

John
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stamper
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2011, 07:04:06 AM »
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This is the website of a well known British landscape photographer who - imo - knows a thing,or two?

http://www.davidnoton.com/despatches.php
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RSL
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2011, 09:04:47 AM »
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Oh Russ, I can't for a moment buy into that conclusion! Beauty exists independently of man; if anything, it's the trigger to making man recognize such an emotion for the very first time in his life, or even in his development as a species. God, the orignal creative artist, would still have used his brush.

Rob, I didn't say, and certainly don't believe that what we see as "beauty" doesn't exist independently of man, but "what we see" is the operative phrase. I think that in order for it to have meaning, beauty has to be seen -- by man.
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RSL
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2011, 09:19:43 AM »
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...views that there is actually no point in doing landscape photography at all

John, I'm glad you love your landscapes. It's that kind of thing that makes me keep shooting too. Lord knows it's certainly not sales!

But when have I ever said there's no point in doing landscape photography? I certainly hope that's not true since I often do landscape photographs, but almost always with man or the hand of man somewhere in the picture. Like this:
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Rob C
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« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2011, 02:15:25 PM »
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Rob and Russ

As I did gently point out some while ago, this is the Luminous Landscape Forum, so perhaps you have to expect a certain amount of dissent when airing your well-argued views that there is actually no point in doing landscape photography at all. Not that a certain amount of robust challenge goes amiss, of course - it is good for us all to have our cosy beliefs questioned once in a while.I love my landscapes, and enjoy making pictures of them. But mine are not Yosemite, or anywhere craggy, spectacular and famous, so I don't really expect them to gain a wide acceptance or currency. However, I think that they are good for my soul, and that is reason enough to carry on.

John


John, that was never said. All that's being questioned is the nature of, and relationship of creativity within landscape. Some believe it is creative and others, such as I, are sceptical at best.

Skill was not questioned either; but skill is a separate entity to creativity.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2011, 08:18:24 AM »
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John, I'm glad you love your landscapes. It's that kind of thing that makes me keep shooting too. Lord knows it's certainly not sales!

But when have I ever said there's no point in doing landscape photography? I certainly hope that's not true since I often do landscape photographs, but almost always with man or the hand of man somewhere in the picture. Like this:



I see you've got your post-apocalyptic bolt-hole ready! Mel Gibson wil be dropping round to discuss engine tuning any moment now; best give Eric a buzz!

;-)

Rob C

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RSL
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« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2011, 11:50:38 AM »
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Rob, It'd probably be a pretty good place to hide out after the high altitude emp burst takes out all our communications and returns the world to the early 19th century. Actually, it's a root cellar at a ranch that was homesteaded in the 19th century.

But with regard to landscape, if anybody wants to see why there's no way photography can compete with painting when it comes to landscape, they need to look up Albert Bierstadt's painting: Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. The image kept jumping into my mind as I read the comments on this thread, but I couldn't remember the name of the painting or the name of the artist. Finally, after a bit of a search, I found it. You can get a rough idea of what's involved at http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/bierstadt/bierstadt_among.jpg.html. You can get a larger view of the painting by clicking on the "Image Viewer" hyperlink on that page, but to see the real article you need to go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC.

You could spend the rest of your life sitting with your camera waiting, like Ansel Adams, for this kind of scene to appear, but you'd die unsatisfied. Yes, the painting's exaggerated, the mountains in the background are stretched, and the lighting's physically impossible, but so what?!! The first view of this painting is almost enough to knock you down. I've never seen a photographic landscape that can produce anywhere near the emotional impact of this painting, and there are plenty of other paintings with the same kind of impact.
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Rob C
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« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2011, 02:10:37 PM »
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Rob, It'd probably be a pretty good place to hide out after the high altitude emp burst takes out all our communications and returns the world to the early 19th century. Actually, it's a root cellar at a ranch that was homesteaded in the 19th century.

But with regard to landscape, if anybody wants to see why there's no way photography can compete with painting when it comes to landscape, they need to look up Albert Bierstadt's painting: Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. The image kept jumping into my mind as I read the comments on this thread, but I couldn't remember the name of the painting or the name of the artist. Finally, after a bit of a search, I found it. You can get a rough idea of what's involved at http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/bierstadt/bierstadt_among.jpg.html. You can get a larger view of the painting by clicking on the "Image Viewer" hyperlink on that page, but to see the real article you need to go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC.

You could spend the rest of your life sitting with your camera waiting, like Ansel Adams, for this kind of scene to appear, but you'd die unsatisfied. Yes, the painting's exaggerated, the mountains in the background are stretched, and the lighting's physically impossible, but so what?!! The first view of this painting is almost enough to knock you down. I've never seen a photographic landscape that can produce anywhere near the emotional impact of this painting, and there are plenty of other paintings with the same kind of impact.


And dammit, nobody need ask whether that's art.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2011, 04:34:24 PM »
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Right, Rob. Here's a pretty good example of what I'm talking about. A couple hours ago I was driving into downtown Manitou Springs, about a mile away from my house, and I saw a thunderstorm forming over Pikes Peak. Visually the peak towered over the lower valley. The sight reminded me of Bierstadt's painting so I whipped out my trusty D3 and made a shot. If I'd been able to use 300 mm on the 28-300 mm zoom I'd have been able to make the peak look closer to the way it appeared to the eye -- much higher, but then the foreground would have been foreshortened far too much. Besides, I was against a cliff myself, so I couldn't back up to zoom more. It's not much of a landscape but it illustrates the point. Had I been a painter I could have captured the real feeling of the sight. Good landscape painters play around with linear perspective to create what the eye believes it sees. With a camera, no way. With a camera you can do some neat things with atmospheric perspective, but you're always constrained to exact linear perspective.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2011, 06:02:09 PM »
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Well, I'm afraid Bierstadt's painting reminds me too much of over-processed HDR photographs. To me a good landscape needs to have some plausibility, and that's what all of Weston's and many of Ansel's have, even though they are B&W abstractions from colored scenes. Bierstadt doesn't.

Your mileage evidently does vary, Russ.

Eric
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« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2011, 06:31:29 PM »
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So is Art what is seen in the mind's eye - more commonly  captured in painting than in photography ?
i think this gets back to the painting and fashion photography as art rather than landscape photography question.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2011, 06:50:57 PM »
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Guys, looks like we are making some progress with Russ and Rob... we got them to admit landscape CAN be art.. their next line of defense is to to say "fine, yes, but only landscape painting, not landscape photograph"... so we still have a lot of work to do  Wink Cheesy Grin
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2011, 08:21:03 PM »
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Guys, looks like we are making some progress with Russ and Rob... we got them to admit landscape CAN be art.. their next line of defense is to to say "fine, yes, but only landscape painting, not landscape photograph"... so we still have a lot of work to do  Wink Cheesy Grin
Thank you, Slobodan!  Smiley

Eric

P.S. Of course the real problem with both Russ's newest landscape offering as well as Bierstadt's is that neither of them includes one of Rob's models, so there's no "human interest."  Wink
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 08:23:53 PM by Eric Myrvaagnes » Logged

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RSL
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« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2011, 08:30:22 PM »
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Well, I'm afraid Bierstadt's painting reminds me too much of over-processed HDR photographs. To me a good landscape needs to have some plausibility, and that's what all of Weston's and many of Ansel's have, even though they are B&W abstractions from colored scenes. Bierstadt doesn't.

Eric, Let me remind you that Ansel's prints are very, very over-processed. I'd suggest that that's what gives them what you call "plausibility." Postprocessing can do a lot, but it can't make up for the problem I mentioned about linear perspective, nor can it do much about what HCB called the immutable rules of color: that adjacent anologous colors weaken each other while complementary colors strengthen each other. Unfortunately, B&W landscapes, even with Ansel's or Edward's extensive over-processing, are pretty weak in the plausibility department. The only time the landscape is even close to B&W is during a heavy fog or at night, and even then colors tend to sift through. Yes, Bierstadt's painting goes beyond plausibility, but it gets the point across much better than a photograph can.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #55 on: May 20, 2011, 10:13:04 PM »
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Yes, Bierstadt's painting goes beyond plausibility, but it gets the point across much better than a photograph can.
To you, perhaps. Not to me.

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2011, 02:58:22 AM »
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Guys, looks like we are making some progress with Russ and Rob... we got them to admit landscape CAN be art.. their next line of defense is to to say "fine, yes, but only landscape painting, not landscape photograph"... so we still have a lot of work to do  Wink Cheesy Grin
[/b]


Pointles exercise, Slobodan; we've already shown/demonstrated where the victory lies: painting. That's the prime reason for not showing both media side by side with like subject matter.

http://youtu.be/vEzjtQDJ6XI

I post this to remind us all of the essential truth about the interconnectivity of beauty and simplicity. FWIW, it works better for me with the visual turned off. By the way, thanks to whoever it was showed me how to link from youtube: I failed the first time but now I think I know how...

Having another go at the musos this afternnon, I think, with the intention of doing closeups of hands on keys and brass. Mas que nada.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2011, 03:02:07 AM »
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To you, perhaps. Not to me.

Eric


But Eric, that's only because of your investment; think how much more stubborn you'd feel had you gone the way of MF! Be grateful for your early wisdom and fiscal caution!

;-)

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2011, 04:41:12 AM »
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[/b]


Pointles exercise, Slobodan; we've already shown/demonstrated where the victory lies: painting. That's the prime reason for not showing both media side by side with like subject matter.

http://youtu.be/vEzjtQDJ6XI

I post this to remind us all of the essential truth about the interconnectivity of beauty and simplicity. FWIW, it works better for me with the visual turned off. By the way, thanks to whoever it was showed me how to link from youtube: I failed the first time but now I think I know how...

Having another go at the musos this afternnon, I think, with the intention of doing closeups of hands on keys and brass. Mas que nada.

Rob C

Rob can you show us some examples of your efforts with regards to painting? It is all right to talk the talk but when it comes to walking......? Wink Grin
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ChrisS
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« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2011, 05:28:59 AM »
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[/b]



http://youtu.be/vEzjtQDJ6XI

I post this to remind us all of the essential truth about the interconnectivity of beauty and simplicity. FWIW, it works better for me with the visual turned off.

Rob - it worked better for me with the sound and visual turned off. Wink
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