Landscapes that are posed.

Discussion in 'Sit and Chat' started by Ben Egbert, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Sounds weird, but yesterday I showed my 10 best landscapes from Glacier to some non photography buddies and they both picked the same two (so did my wife) as favorites. My favorite did not make the cut, but this is pretty common.

    But one of my friends called the golden hour images "posed". Obviously you don't really pose a landscape, but I think it meant that it did not look normal to him. Perhaps it was overdone, but I don't think they were, more like he does not often see sunsets or sunrises for that brief period of maximum intensity that we photographers strive.

    I am just throwing this out for info and because it seemed like some sort of insight would be contained in the statement.
     
  2. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    I think "staged" would be a better descriptor than posed when it comes to landscapes. An example that immediately comes to mind would be upper Antelope Canyon with the tour guides tossing sand to illuminate the light shafts and sand falls.

    If posing means me waiting for the right breaker on the beach to accompany my sunset shot then I happily plead guilty :D
     
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  3. pepper

    pepper Well-Known Member

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    maybe he's referring to the difference between a photograph and a snapshot. but maybe he's on to something - next time i go shooting i'll ask the mountain to turn a little more to the left and see if it works.
     
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  4. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    I think he was onto something. We photographers may be in a rut, something like we influence each other into adapting a standard or style for landscapes that the non photographers are tired of seeing. He also said he did not like one of my waterfalls with a 1/5 second shutter. Said it was too smooth. I would understand a 5 second shutter, but we have sort of adapted 1/5 as an optimum shutter for fast water.

    Not that I am planning to change, but I am going to pay more attention.
     
  5. MonikaC

    MonikaC Supporting Member

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    My Icelandic photographer friend, Daniel, had a job once to photograph the highlands the way that most tourists will see them: in midday. He found it to be quite instructive & challenging. Most people are not out (or even up) at photographers' hours & never see that kind of light. What their eye sees is what they think a photograph should be e.g. rushing water rather than silky smooth waterfalls.
     
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  6. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Exactly right Monica
     
  7. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    The more I think about this it sounds to me like your friend really just wants a snapshot. I do take snapshots - with my iPhone. Rare for me to use my DSLR for that kind of photography.

    My parents moved to Phoenix about a month before I was born and as newbies the first thing they did was subscribe to Arizona Highways. I grew up worshiping the work of Josef Muench and Ansel Adams. I'm pretty sure every one of those images would count as "posed".

    My only objection to the term posed is the fact that I don't have much at all to say about how things are arranged in the wild beyond where I stood to shoot and how I chose to frame the scene given what Mother Nature has offered up. It would be seriously nice to have a console that would allow me to scatter a few clouds about and put the sun at the right spot for my desired foreground and lighting angle :D
     
  8. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    I asked my friend, he was not complaining and he is a very smart man. An ex BYU professor who taught Korean. He gave me an honest answer when I asked what was wrong with the images he did not choose. I thought it was an interesting observation. I think he does like more than a snapshot, but not necessarily a golden hour shot.

    I seem to recall Arizona highways as featuring a lot mid day shots, and of course Ansel specialized in B&W and Snake River overlook was an afternoon image.

    Just saying, we may have gotten into a narrow rut.
     
  9. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    And it's a rut I don't mind wallowing in for the overall look of the images I process.

    You are correct with the daytime capture observation with Arizona Highways - especially with the images of Josef Muench. At the same time that was the focus of the magazine - to show you what Arizona looks like when you go out sightseeing and that is most often not golden hour light. There were lots of places in Arizona we visited as a family based on those images.

    I do make a point of trying to figure out different places and ways to shoot scenes to come up with something unique instead of shooting the Icon(TM) shot because it's what we are supposed to get a shot of. That is a rut I wish to avoid at this point.
     
  10. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Hey Alan, you are actually very good at this, you do a lot of non icon places and make it look good. I am just looking to see if we have gotten off track a bit.
     
  11. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Hey Ben, I missed this one as I was up in the mountains. Not to rehash, but a few thoughts.

    The term "posed" is borderline offensive. Now your friend didn't mean to be offensive, but for me the best word that "posed" would equate to is "fake". Which then is offensive since what we are photographing as landscape photographers is not fake. I think it would have been great to have gotten a definition of the word "posed" from your friend.

    As to your thoughts about getting off track, I think you bring up a good point. I think because of Social Media we as a society in general seem to be aiming for the largest reaction, and that typically comes from colorful sunsets/sunrises or by standing with a flashlight in our hand while pointing it up in the direction of the Milky Way.

    I do think we could improve as photographers to go and shoot midday light. We may have gotten so focused on the Milky Way or sunsets that we have forgotten that midday light isn't always harsh.
     
  12. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Thanks for your thoughts here Jim, I think you have captured the essence of this thread.
     

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