showing emotion in a landscape : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

I've been assigned to photograph a landscape and to make it "more than just a postcard" by revealing mood or emotional state in the shot. Any ideas on how to approach this assignment?

Do I wait until the light of day seems to reflect my feelings of the scene? Seems difficult in the winter in the North, when you only get good light briefly -- and what if that light isn't the right mood?

Do I control the mood only through composition if lighting is out of my hands?

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome -- I need to think about this from new angles.

thanks-- Regan

-- Anonymous, February 13, 1997


re: showing emotion in a landscape

Oooh, this is a good one!!!

Why does your post remind me of Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a rock?" "A rock feels no pain and an Island never cries" But I guess that's just landscapes showing emotion ;-)

Seriously, I think it's very hard to show *your* emotions in a photograph. A.C. Coleman once wrote that one of the biggest mistakes photographers make is thinking a photograph shows the feelings they had when they took the photograph (I'm paraphrasing from a faulty memory, so don't kill me on this).

I think a better approach is to create a photograph that that evokes emotions for the person viewing the photograph. Backlighting, interesting cloud formations, snow, flowing streams, dramatic sunsets, tangles of tree limbs etc. will produce different reactions.

I'd go to the library and look at some good landscape photography, like Ansel Adams' work. As you look at the images, be aware of your emotions and which photos made you react in which way.

Were you told which moods or emotional states the shots should convey?

Good luck!


PS: I just thought of another emotional landscape: Volcanoes...they're under a lot of pressure, and sometimes they just...blow up...:-)

-- Anonymous, February 13, 1997

Regan...It seems to me you are off in the right direction and have given your own question some thought. My suggestion is to ask yourself what it is in a landscape that attracts your attention. Is it the lighting? Is it an object such as an old barn? Is it people? Wildlife? Try to figure out what really makes you enjoy the scene. If it is an object then try and isolate that subject to express your feelings about it. Experiment. Try looking at your landscape through different lens. For instance use a wide angle, or a tele- photo. If you are using a 50mm lens walk around and find different angles and observe what you see and feel. It is difficult to show emotion in a print (at least to me it is) but a photo can show your style. And style can cause an emotional response to someone viewing your image. Have fun with your task, keep the photograph simple and don't worry too much about making the image. If you are having fun then the image you seek will be found. GR

-- Anonymous, February 14, 1997

Feelings in landscape

This may sound silly, but to get true emotion in a photograph, try to see without seeing. By this I mean, when you spy an interesting subject, take it in, set your exposure, and look through the lens. Now let your feelings take over as you make the final composition, and make no concious effort to push the shutter. I have very good results with this.

-- Anonymous, April 25, 1997

Showing emotion in a landscape is easy! I'd say it takes no more than thirty years to learn how.

-- Anonymous, May 24, 1997

I would have to strongly disagree with the notion that you can't diplay your emotions in a photograph, if you couldn't then photography would not be an art, and besides I do it all the time as do countless other photographers.its about as blatant as saying that the sky isn't blue.

-- Anonymous, February 09, 1998

photography is not art! And what you want won't be found quoting Simon and Gargunkle or listening to hobbyist architects shooting infrared goth pics. If you drop your pants bend at the waist then touch your chin to your chest you might see it. If it doesn't work in the viewfinder it won't on paper, nuff said.

-- Anonymous, December 21, 1998

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