Nature Photography and Interpretation…


For those of you who may be anxious about the mixing of silver halide and pixels, be assured that beautiful light, with all its subtlety and variation, cannot be created in the computer. There is no substitute for being out there. And the love of being out there is the first prerequisite for successful Landscape Photography. The influence of the romantic School of Landscape Painting ( painters, incidentally, who got out and experienced the elements) on contemporary Landscape Photography is probably more profound that most of us realize.

The popular photographic topics of sunsets, wild seas and brooding skies all appear in the works of Turner and caspar David Friedrich. Later, portraying the ephemeral aspects of the landscape concerned Cézanne as much as it does today’s photographers chasing the light. A study of Western Landscape Painting, even before the XVII° Century, reveals a growing preoccupation with authenticity, with representing Nature accurately.

As Photographers, we have a whole set of tools to capture, far more easily the painters had, a close representation of any scenery. Does it mean we don’t have any room for interpretation ? Sure we have ! By the composition itself, acting as a selection of the elements you want to point out, by choosing the moment, the quality of light and the viewpoint, you express your own response to the scene. Then, there is no rule on the way you should expose your image. Sure, people will recognize an under or overexposed photograph, but being on the edge can be a willful bearing. Last, but not least, editing an image in post-production by re-enforcing a deep shadow or brightening a sky is not a sin ! As I did in this photograph, I may add some texture in a sky… As long as I stay « In tune » with the Subject Matter, I don’t feel guilty by interpreting the bare capture of my Nikon.

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  1. Pingback: Nature Photography | Camera Hugger

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