Friday, May 28, 2010

An Honest Landscape

"Fields Awaken"

I realized looking through my rather sporatic postings, that I had yet to post a photo of one of my favourite genres of photography in a long while.... the landscape. So here's one today that I recently took exploring some back roads in Southern Ontario. It embodies my favorite kind of day. It was early morning, far from the city haze. Most of my fellow photogers that have ever shot with me know how much I love a great lazy sky, jewel toned with a white cloudy depth that evokes all the beauty to be found on such a day. The air crisp, the sun yet to reach it's killer heat of summer. And a ruggedly honest scene, nary a skyscraper to be found. An honest to goodness landscape.

I shot this at 1/200 sec.@ F/8, 55mm focal length, ISO 160, handheld from the side of the road. My trusty kit wide angle zoom, circular polarizer, and early bright light. The only true editing I did was to tweak the RGB channels a tad in PSPx2, and some unmask sharpen.

I personally like the old tracks running through the soil in the foreground... they lead your eye to the grand tree or the tiny shed respectively. And like I said, it represents everything I love about hopping in the car spontaneously, all the windows down, tunes cranked, and wandering the back roads enjoying the simple scenes along the way.

Read an article this week in PopPhoto mag, about another photographer who's landscapes are exceptional... Glenn Oakley whose work can be found at He commented on the way to really "push it (a landscape) further, is to bring people in." He calls them animated landscapes, and for the most part he has someone ready to ride, pose, or wander into the shot.... and I noticed he's right. Makes a difference to what is already a wonderful scene. Having read about this and seen his amazing images, I feel compelled to shoot my next landscapes with an attempt to include people. To give them a little push. (Not that anything I shoot will be as remarkable as Glenn's, and I hope he will not mind that I've included his talent here in my blog. But remarkable photographers will always inspire me to strive harder to take the best images I'm capable of.)

Will I connect with the resulting images just the same, or will there be a refreshing difference? Will you? We'll find out. My personal challenge starts tonight.

Thanks for letting me ramble on folks! Have a good one!