As a landscape photographer, it’s easy to take the well walked path shooting what others have already been shooting. Those amazing places you have seen in magazines, books and all over the Internet. The world is full of views and scenery that have been photographed over and over again. Sure, you might want to have your own picture of those amazing places and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But why not try to challenge yourself next time you’re out shooting?
Try to look away from the obvious motif and go on a search for the images that reflect you and what you are interested in. Not the ones you think others might want to see. I’m convinced that the audiences would rather see an interpretation of what you have seen than the familiar view they’ve seen a thousand times before.
It will require a lot from you. To see beyond the obvious is not always easy, and will probably not give those cool pictures that attract wows, cheers and applause on the Internet.
I really like to photograph what others don’t see, those views that they just pass by and don’t even notice. Showing people something that they didn’t expect is really pleasing.
I have been standing in the same place as other photographers, but pointing my camera in the opposite direction because I see something else that really attracts me. This behavior has created a lot of confusion; why does he shoot in that direction when the best motif is the other direction?
Is it really? Is it obvious which is the “right” direction?
A Swedish landscape photographer who I admire once said something like, “if you want to go to Yellowstone to shoot stones then go ahead.” I like that kind of thinking and try to act the same way. I want to photograph what I’m passionate about and not what others think I should be photographing. In my case it’s often the intimate landscapes. Bringing order to chaos is something that I really like.
Unfortunately the more subtle and detail oriented images suffer a lot in the small sizes on the Internet, especially compared to the big and bold kind of landscape photography you often see these days. I think that’s a reason we don’t see as many of the more subtle and less saturated images on the big forums. But in my latest exhibition containing images of trees and branches the pictures that I like the most were also those that were the most appreciated.
So the lesson for all of us is that the audience can see right through you. Do you make the images that you think others might want to see or do you make the images from your heart and soul?
Follow your heart and see beyond the obvious and you will find that your pictures will be appreciated because they show who you are.
Technical details: Nikon D800E, 85mm, ISO 100, f/9.5, 1.3 seconds.