A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Landscape book — little gem with flaws

A book on landscape photography is what I picked up in a ‘modern antiques’ bookstore (‘ramsj’, in Yiddish-Dutch), when my daughter drgged me into it. (A matter of self-protection, as I would be certain to come out with too many books if I let meyself loose in such a store…). It was the Dutch version of ‘The World’s Top Photographers – Landscapes’ edited by Terry Hope. You may find little gems among the rubbish of those cheap bookstores, so do go and have a look–if you can control yourself 😉

The book itself is still on sale in the main online bookstores (no advertisements by me; you can find your own).

It contains two spreads with a little bit of text and one to circa four photos from 38 photographers, ordered alphabetically. The photos are quite nice–‘inspiring’ in the not too far from true enthusiastic parlance of the Introduction–and the texts give a good impression of what it takes to be a good landscape photographer. Knowing your special corner of the world and a lot of persistence are among the key ingredients, so much is clear to me already after leafing through just a few of the photographers’ little chapters.

It is only too noticeable that the book originally was published in 2003, before the digital revolution in photography. All photos are made on film (almost invariably Fuji, just a few on Kodak–I used to prefer the fuller Fuji colours, too). Of course, there still are many landscpae photographers who work on film, especially in the large cameras (4×5 inch, etc.). But many now also work digitally, and that is not found in this book. Besides, I would have liked more detailed technical information with the photos: what is the use of knowing the brand of camera or film, but not the aperture and shutter speed (plus ISO setting)? For instance, the trick of getting the ‘glazed’ smoothness of the sea in some photos depends on the shutter speed and then I’d like to learn if it takes 2, 20 or 200 seconds for getting that effect.

Annoying about the Dutch translation is that it was not done by a photographer, otherwise the translation of ‘tripod’ would not have been the literal ‘driepoot’ but the correct ‘statief’, for instance. So I found the book a gem with little flaws, but it will be useful on many rainy days for getting more inspiration!

The photo here is just a little illustration of landscape and nature photography ‘learned young’. As my daughter had my DSLR, I took her picture with the small compact camera–good enough for the purpose. I tried to take care of some composition rules (object at 1/3), and felt aided by the S-curve in the park’s path to suggest depth. What’s the flaw in this little gem?

Advertisements

Comments are closed.