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Thread: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

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    ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    This is pretty pollution

    I'd rather we all tell truth

    ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    https://petapixel.com/2022/04/08/pur...human-element/
    Tin Can

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    The author of the article implies that including the human element in landscape is a fairly current trend. I would suggest that it goes back at least as far as Robert Adams, whose landscapes of the West specifically chose to include the hand of man. Personally, landscapes without a sign of human presence do not resonate with me, I always try to include the tell-tale proof that someone has been there before me in my own images.

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    Is Christopher Jordon still making photographs ? He was quite involved with photographing the "human element" ...

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    The author of the article implies that including the human element in landscape is a fairly current trend. I would suggest that it goes back at least as far as Robert Adams, whose landscapes of the West specifically chose to include the hand of man. Personally, landscapes without a sign of human presence do not resonate with me, I always try to include the tell-tale proof that someone has been there before me in my own images.
    I'm with Peter. While I understand the impulse to make so called "Pure" photographs, but I don't subscribe to the myth of the pure landscape and personally feel this is a genre that has been done to death. Humans have been modifying the world around them for hundreds of thousands of years and the pace has certainly accelerated more recently. I think it is important to show the world as it really is with all it's imperfections and foibles. Even Ansel Adams photographed from parking areas...
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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    The camera club competitions with "hand of man" designations look at this stuff a lot.
    Saw one that won a competition as Natural Landscape. Pointed out "hand of man" showed big time as the mountains all showed the CCC lines that had been trenched across the slopes during the Depression years in the USA. Another photographer pointed it out to them - but it apparently didn't register.

    Landscapes are what the are, fenceposts - tires - roads and all.
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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    Tin Can

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    What is a 'Pure' landscape? Here in the UK ALL our landscapes are a result of man's intervention. Just because they do not show a clearly obvious element made by man does not mean that the landscape is natural and therefore it is hard to define it as 'Pure'.

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    Drew Wiley
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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    "Purity" is best embraced by headlessness. That philosophy certainly worked for Robespierre.

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

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    Re: ‘Pure’ Landscape Photography Versus Including the Human Element

    Quote Originally Posted by pgk View Post
    What is a 'Pure' landscape? Here in the UK ALL our landscapes are a result of man's intervention...
    Olaf Sztaba, who wrote the PetaPixel article, is from Poland and emigrated to Canada in the late 1990s. I'm sure that he's well aware of man's influence on the landscape in Europe. He may have in mind places where the impact of man (leaving aside climate change) is minimal to none, not hard to find in British Columbia where he lives, but I think that he's talking about landscape photography that overtly incorporates references to people and their presence.

    Sztaba clarifies what he means in this sentence:

    ...upon studying the works of [Canadians] Ned Pratt [and] Edward Burtynsky, [Swede] Jan Töve, and [American] Chuck Kimmerle, to name a few, I became fascinated with contemporary landscape photography or landscape which includes traces of human activity. It might be Edward Burtynsky’s image of a huge copper mine or the subtle and delicate image of a simple signpost embedded in the winter landscape as seen and crafted by Jan Töve.

    I think that the examples, and related comments in his piece, make his meaning fairly clear.

    By the way, Mr. Sztaba publishes two magazines, Medium Format and Elements. The latter focuses on landscape photography.

    Note: Ned Pratt's website seems to focus entirely on his commercial work and portraits. In this context, that's too bad because Newfoundland and Labrador, where he lives, is a really good example of a place where a landscape photographer has a choice between untouched nature and nature with a human element.
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