Many people have admired it, but very few people truly understand the behind-the-scenes commitment, dedication, and artistic approach that is invested into taking a beautiful landscape photo. Landscape photography is an artistic category defined as photos that “show spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending but microscopic other times.”
How Times Have Changed It
Like most forms of art, landscape photography has been altered in its style and technique with time. Some of the earliest landscape photographs were taken by William Henry Jackson whose work was instrumental in convincing the United States Congress to turn Yellowstone into the nation’s first national park. His photos, even though limited to black and white, did such a wonderful job of capturing the land’s beauty that he was able to encourage monumental progress in the field of conservation and human’s appreciation for nature.
Today, photographers obviously have a lot more to work with. From coloured cameras to digital editing software that’s able to alter the brightness, saturation, and colour contrast with the slide of a dial, it can be said that much of a photographer’s artistic work is now done from behind a desk just as much as from behind their camera. Nonetheless, landscape photographers continue to uphold their promise of capturing the world’s mesmerising and often timeless, rough, and intense natural scenes in their truest light.
Appreciating Landscape Photography
The beautiful thing about landscape photography is that about everyone can appreciate it. While portraits and paintings often have a very unique artistic spin, landscape photography is more about the subject, the natural scenery, than it is about the artist’s own preference and personality. With that said, those well-versed in the works of famous landscape photographers can often see distinct differences between the photos of one photographer and another. Lighting, choice of scenery, and other small nuances that affect how the final photo comes through do give the artist some room for creativity, enabling them to impose their own influence upon the landscape and its final presentation.
If you have ever spent time looking at destination photos for a place you’ve wanted to travel, move to, or vacation in, you have spent time appreciating landscape photography. In their finest form, landscape photos are able to present the scene in vivid detail, making those looking onward feel as though they’re staring not at a photo but through a window directly overlooking the scene that has been captured.
Mastering Landscape Photography
The skill it takes to truly master landscape photography can take years to hone, but that should not discourage any young (or old) photographer from trying their hand at it. When you learn how to match up the natural lighting with the appropriate camera settings and framing, you too will be able to capture simply breathtaking photos that show off the world’s incredible natural scenes.
So, next time you see a picture of a beautiful landscape, take a moment to think about the artist behind the camera just as much as you appreciate the natural artwork in front of it.