What Your Eyes Don’t See: Part 1
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust
For this post, I’m going to use this image as an example to help explain some of my thoughts about landscape photography. This scene of a lone tree in the desert, with the Milky Way behind it, is a common image that has been created countless times. Here are some examples. Instead of talking about the technical aspects of capturing and creating such images, I want to expand upon the idea that this isn’t what my eyes saw when I was there. It was very dark and the Milky Way was relatively faint compared to how it appears in this image. In fact, most images you’ve seen of the Milky Way aren’t what it looks like at all. Post processing and long exposures are needed to capture the necessary light to create such images. This is true whether the image is created with a digital camera or on film. The final images often contain colors and light our eyes aren’t capable of seeing when out in the field.
Night photography is only one example of how one can use a camera to create an image that our eyes can’t see. B&W photography is another example. I’ll continue this train of thought in an upcoming post but for now, I’ll leave you with a question: Is landscape photography really about recording what a scene looks like? I think you know my answer:)
More to come soon,