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There are many that say landscape photography is stale and overdone. That there isn’t anything left to say. That its become a technical activity, at the expense of emotion and originality.

Of course I disagree. Not with the premise, which I do think reflects the current state of landscape photography. But rather with the implication, that there’s no reason to keep doing it and instead find another subject or artistic outlet.

I think there’s plenty to be said, in fact I’m certain because I believe we all have a unique voice to share. What has to change is our responsibility to ourselves and to those we share our work with.

So how do we do this? I don’t have the definitive answer, nor I suspect does anyone else either. But a recent article in the Huffington Post titled “A Manifesto: How To Make the Art World Bearable Again” struck a chord with me, and I think it’s a great place to start.

  • We need more artists who are not concerned with doing the “right thing.”
  • We need more artists who find ways to examine and express human misery or bliss without a political agenda.
  • We need more artists who don’t play by the rules imposed by curators, gallerists, museums and art collectors.
  • We need more artists who are wary of “meaning” and embrace contradiction.
  • We need more artists who don’t pretend to have the right answers.
  • We need more artists who don’t give a damn about making you feel good or bad.
  • We need more artists who are not afraid of running into trouble.
  • We need more artists who are able to laugh at the absurdity of life and art.
  • We need more artists who don’t resemble anybody’s idea of what an artist ought to be and who nonetheless produce great art that takes us by surprise, makes us think and reflect, and leaves plenty of room for multiple interpretations.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, any one of these can make a difference in how you think about and approach your work.

Do any of these strike a chord with you? Do you think landscape photography has anything new to say? What do you think? Share your thoughts and feedback below.

RR Jr

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. This is kind of related to your WOW factor and its importance blog article. I am coming through a ‘slump’ in my creativity, and I have begun to realise that I was losing myself. What I was looking for was photographing to please others, to gain the ‘likes’ on various social media, and to gauge the success of my images on others’ opinions. And it meant creating something with the wow factor. This did nothing for me and my growth as a photographer as it leads to being ‘blinkered’ down a path that gave me no satisfaction. It leads to frustration and the feeling that nothing you create is worth while. That nature and landscape photography is ‘stale and generic’ as you say in your title. It is how one feels and what one’s outlook is.
    So, it is time for me to stop looking at others’ wow images, and time for me to not care what anyone says or doesn’t say. I never used to and I need to go back to that kind of feeling. That I’m making images for me, to express my views and feelings.
    I have to say I feel a frisson of excitement now at the thought…

    Thanks for an interesting blog.

    Cheers!

    1. Very inspiring Thysje, and I thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m really happy you’ve decided to think about why you photograph, which is often a great way to get clear about how you want to make your images. When people get lost or discouraged, I always suggest thinking about “why.”

      RR

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