Monday, September 9, 2013

The Contemplative Landscape...

Big Sky, Little Church
   After portraits, photographic landscape is perhaps the most notable subject matter.  I find the natural world captivating and, in some respects, my contemplative landscapes are really portraits of Nature.  They must contain the same evocative elements as my human portraits.  They must invite the observer into the space and prompt some sort of emotional response beyond the "isn't that pretty" one.

   I often like to look for instances where the man-made elements are shown in stark contrast to the natural world as in this photograph I made on the isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  I believe this view generates some thoughtful speculation on Man's relationship with Nature.

   Big Sky, Little Church is decidedly a "large view" landscape but contemplative landscape photography can also encompass the "small view" or intimate detail photograph. This image is one of my favorite landscape detail...the old heather and the rock.  It was also made in the Outer Hebrides and speaks profoundly about age and endurance and steadfast determination, all characteristics of the islands and the people.  I might even say, it is a portrait of the people without the people!

   Contemplative landscapes go far beyond the lovely sunset or the flower filled field.  They speak about universal themes that are worthy of spending time reflecting on.  If the photograph doesn't grab hold of your heart in some profound way then it probably isn't a contemplative one.  

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