Fine Art Landscape Photographs
Nearly every survey I’ve seen published in a photography magazine that asks readers their favourite subject has the same winner – landscapes. Why is this? I suspect it’s because landscape photography is seen as a relatively easy subject. Most people live within, or relatively close to, a landscape of some sort, and I’m sure that most photographers enjoy capturing the natural beauty around them.
Today we’ll be exploring the idea of landscape photography in a new direction – fine art, black and white images. Along with explaining the reason and thinking behind this technique, I’ll offer a few tips to get started.
What is Fine Art?
The irony is that landscape photography is extremely difficult to do well. You’re relying not only on finding beautiful landscapes to photograph, but being there at the same time the weather and light are working together to create the conditions that you can use to photograph the landscape in a way that fulfills your creative vision. It takes a dedication that most of us don’t have.
Some of these landscape photographers are working in the field of fine art. What is fine art? A good working definition is that fine art photography is imagery whose final destination is designed to be the wall of someone’s house or office. Fine art photographers, freed up from the commercial restraints of stock and editorial photography, have tremendous creative freedom. They can pursue their personal vision, and many choose to do it in black and white.
Why Black and White?
When we’re in a landscape, we see it in colour. Black and white photography strips away the colour, leaving the bare bones. The features of the landscap, such as rocks, trees and mountains, become compositional elements made up of light, texture and tonal contrast. Black and white is beautiful. The photo becomes an interpretation, rather than a literal representation, of the landscape. We’re seeing the artist’s personal vision, and emotional response to the landscape, as well as the place itself.
Information and photo from Andrew S Gibson