Are you interested in landscape photography? We show you the 10 directions of landscape photography and their famous representatives!
Landscape photography has many facets, but which directions and motifs are there? In this blog article we will introduce you to the possibilities of photographing landscapes.
This form of landscape photography is adapted to human vision. Even though it is always said that our perception corresponds approximately to a focal length of 50mm. This is only true in the context of how we perceive faces in perspective. The actual field of vision is actually extended horizontally over 180°.
However, stereoscopic vision does not take place in this range. This is not relevant for landscapes, however, because three-dimensional vision no longer takes place from a distance of 200m. So we always perceive a mountain far away in 2D only.
The two strict rules:
Every photo is made up of these layers. The subject is in the middle ground, the sky is the background.
There is one dominant subject. This stands out from all the other elements in the photo because of a physical characteristic. Either as a single object, or as a group of equivalent objects.
In this form of landscape photography, the photographer aims to find motifs that are as unusual as possible, that arouse the viewer’s interest and invite the eye to linger on the photo. A general beauty is conveyed that should mentally lead the viewer to the location of the motif. The viewer should relive the moment that was captured in the photo. In doing so, landscape photographers work with various stylistic means to direct the viewer’s gaze: light, contrasts, colour contrasts, shapes and lines, planes and depth effect.
This type of landscape photography tries to find the ideal landscape and capture it through image composition. It is reminiscent of landscape painting, which attempts to realistically depict an ideal landscape and emerged as a trend in painting at the end of the 16th century.
Nothing is more common in the landscape than forests and trees. One form of landscape photography focuses on the aesthetics of this landscape. It somewhat eludes the typical wide-angle flow. It depicts less expansive spaces in the landscape and more narrow spaces in the forest. The composition of the pictures resembles that of wide-angle landscape photographers.
However, the motif is always explicitly forests and trees, whereas wide-angle landscape photography is more concerned with the contours and geological features of the landscape as a surface. The great challenge is to find a calm image composition in the chaos of a forest. The composition of the image in forest photography is one of the most complicated of all directions of landscape photography.
Another mainstream of landscape photography is weather photography. Weather is always present in the landscape. The weather models the light, it determines the effect of a landscape and individualises it. While geographical conditions remain unchanged over the course of a human lifetime, weather is constantly changing. In weather photography, the most aesthetic moments of weather in the landscape are sought out and photographed.
Weather photography further refers to the aesthetic photography of all phenomena of the earth’s atmosphere that are observable to the human eye. A precise knowledge of the physical processes of the earth’s atmosphere is required to be able to pursue this form of landscape photography. It uses the elements of typical wide-angle landscape photography, but gives the weather and the sky much greater importance in the photograph.
Over 60% of the world’s population lives near a coast. The sea connects continents and has always been a fantasy of human wanderlust and thirst for adventure. Photographing coasts and the sea is therefore one of the main currents of landscape photography. Photographers aesthetically capture all facets of nature and man in connection with the sea
Another significant human habitat is the mountains. Landscape photographers who focus on mountain photography show these landscapes in the constant change of the seasons. Mountain photography requires a high level of physical fitness as well as knowledge of mountain environments and the dangers they present. Mountain photographers go to places in the high mountains to which normal people have no access. It is the form of landscape photography with the greatest physical challenge for the photographer.
Diese Form der Landschaftsfotografie unterscheidet sich von der Architekturfotografie dadurch, dass sie stets im Freien stattfindet und sich weniger auf die Strukturen einzelner Gebäude konzentriert, als vielmehr auf die Ästhetik der Stadt als Landschaft. Der Unterschied zur Streetfotografie besteht darin, dass der Mensch in den Stadtlandschaften, sowie bei allen anderen Formen der Landschaftsfotografe auch, keine Rolle spielt.
This form of landscape photography breaks with the typical wide-angle image composition. The photographs no longer necessarily consist of foreground, middle ground and background. Rather, the motif comes more into focus and is given a larger area in the photo. The depth effect of the wide-angled flow recedes into the background, the photo is reduced to shapes, colours and light.
The human perception of the landscape is abandoned and motifs are shown that humans would not be able to perceive in the same form without the help of the camera. Instead of idealised landscapes, intimate landscape photography relies on perfected forms and colours as a stylistic device.
Often, only details are taken out of the landscape, which only acquire an aesthetic meaning in the context of the image composition by the photographer and would not be perceived by an uninvolved observer in the landscape.
This form of landscape photography is an intensification of the intimate flow. Human perception is abandoned and the landscape serves only as a donor of shapes, colours and light. The photographer achieves an abstract appearance of the photographs through special settings of the camera, as well as special, distorting photographic techniques.
Nature is given a subordinate role in the creative creation compared to the previously mentioned realistic styles of landscape photography, in which nature shapes the work and the photographer only chooses the right position of the camera.
Photographing the starry sky is also part of landscape photography. In contrast to abstract landscape photography, it is even photorealistic. However, the subject depicted in the photo eludes human perception, as we are not able to perceive the distant glow of the stars and nebulae in our night sky.
There is a wide-angle form of astrophotography in which the landscape shown corresponds to human perception, but the starry sky shows light from the depths of space through special photographic techniques. The intimate form of astrophotography is so-called deep sky photography, in which telescopes are used to make the details of the night sky visible.
In hyperrealistic landscape photography, photorealism is abandoned, but not distorted into the abstract. The works in hyperrealistic landscape photography are only created by manipulating the photographs in image processing.
The photographers of this style photograph motifs in the landscape in different light situations and focal lengths. Subsequently, the techniques of image processing are used to idealise the landscape, which never physically exists in this form. Picture elements from different photographs are combined, elements are removed and added.
In this form of landscape photography, the photographer takes on more the task of a modern, digital painter who digitally creates an idealised landscape according to his or her wishes. The camera is only a tool to capture the individual elements of digital art.