The Day Landscape Photography Changed For Me: Part II
In my previous post I mentioned that one specific day changed my view of landscape photography. I watched a storm envelop this butte and the surrounding badlands as the fierce wind and heavy rain changed the landscape before my eyes. At the time, I felt at a loss for how to create images with a camera that could show both my emotions along with the landscape. There was simply too much to see and I felt completely overwhelmed by this experience of a landscape changing so dramatically in such a short time. I put my camera down for a while before making a few more images that evening as the skies began to clear. Most of the images are just landscapes that show a place but show nothing of myself. They’re close to what my eyes saw and document what the place looked like.
I’ve looked back on this day many times to try to understand more about what I felt and how this relates to how I use my camera. I’m not particularly interested in showing what a place looked like to my eye. This may work for others but I don’t feel like it represents anything of myself when doing so. I’m interested in using a camera to show a part of myself through images of the landscape while allowing you (the viewer) room to interpret the image how you want. This can be accomplished in many ways and I’m only beginning to understand how to do this effectively.
The landscapes that inspire me are often vast and void of people. I’m fortunate to live in an area of the Western USA that has much of this to offer. Utah in particular is like a giant puzzle. The landscape is complex and varies dramatically over short distances. By combining small pieces of the landscape together, the image becomes more apparent. This happens piece by piece over a period of time and becomes easier as more pieces are placed together. It’s often overwhelming and seemingly impossible at first when presented with a box of loose pieces with odd shapes that don’t seem like they can fit together. One by one, piece by piece, a larger image is formed.
My view of landscape photography is similar to this giant puzzle. I see it as a lifetime of pieces to assemble, piece by piece. I’ll never finish this puzzle but I’ll continue to connect pieces to gain a clearer view of the landscape over time.
Thanks for reading,