View Full Version : Ugo Cei's blog post on "current" landscape photography

01-28-2015, 09:45 AM
I ran across this blog post by Ugo Cei about the "current state" of landscape photography. I was curious about others' reaction to it. I have to admit that I often find myself sort of numbed by looking at photos on sites like 500px.

At a minimum, I thought it was an interesting read.

Will the Real Landscape Photography Please Stand Up? | Ugo Cei Photography (http://blog.ucphoto.me/will-the-real-landscape-photography-please-stand-up/)

01-28-2015, 02:36 PM
It's an interesting starting point for a discussion. I think this attitude hits all of us at one point or another. There are days where I wonder why do I bother to even take out my camera and photograph anything? Whatever image I take, someone else has already posted a better one on 500px or Flickr or something.

I realized that I'm not that amazed/impressed/awestruck by looking at other fabulous images. There are just so many that I get a bit numb from it myself. Sure there is some amazing work out there and I appreciate the results that others achieve but photography for me is about making the image.

I've been noticing lately a lot of cross over between everything I do. For example, when I get up and do a kata in karate, I know there are many who can perform the kata better than I can. Maybe I should just leave it to them?

The realization out of this understanding has been that I do photography for me. I do karate for me. I enjoy the activity/process/endeavour. Whether I'm awesome at it and make the Nova Scotia karate team or photograph the cover of National Geographic doesn't really matter. What matters is that I enjoy it. Once I stop enjoying it, I may just hang up my camera/gi and simply walk away from it. For now, I'll continue to work at it. At my pace. For my enjoyment. Because that's what I do.

01-28-2015, 06:02 PM
Nicely said, Iggy. I couldn't agree with you more.

01-28-2015, 10:14 PM
Ugo Cei was also interviewed by the Candid Frame. A link to the podcast is on the blog. I found it interesting as well. By the way, Ugo makes a right fine image himself.

Mike Bons
01-28-2015, 11:06 PM
I agree with the sentiments of what he is saying, however its much bigger than just limiting it to landscape. I remember a couple of years ago there were a few great grey owls at a park/conservation area in Ottawa that were being baited several times per day. Certainly this is not the only place where this baiting practice was being done. The images the people were getting were AMAZING! It was simple, you go to the pet store, buy your little rodent, put it out on the snow and here comes this huge great grey owl with its wings spread wide open and landing only a few feet from you. All the time, your firing off you camera thats taking 10fps and you leave with a lifetime of amazing images. Then you consider the poor guy that goes out and scouts for these owls for hours, puts a ton of mileage on his vehicle, gas, etc, spends an eternity to find it and then after he has a number of images of it perched in the tree, he waits and waits for the owl to take flight and he grabs some flight shots. Maybe after numerous outings like the above a miracle happens. A little field mouse is seen by both the photog and the owl and the photog is able to capture this. What a feeling this must have been and to share it with others would have been remarkable. Unfortunately now, because of the practice of baiting that image is no longer remarkable, i'ts pretty much standard.
Sir Ken Robinson did a famous TED talks where he was describing the education system and killing creativity, etc. Well he also went on to address the issue of what he calls "educational inflation". In the generation before me, if you had a university degree, you had a job. Now, even having a masters degree or at times a PhD does not guarantee you anything. I believe we are going through a photographic inflation. Where the technology and education are becoming so common and accessible that it's difficult to produce remarkable images. As Iggy said I believe you really need to be in it for yourself first and derive happiness in the images you have created rather than deriving happiness and defining success based on how many "likes" or "followers" you have.

01-29-2015, 11:33 PM
I also heard the interview at TCF. I felt I was talking to one of my peers at the office. Another IT guy with a full time job and a strong passion for photography.

02-10-2015, 04:56 PM
Yes there are times when in spite passing an advanced level in digital photography being in the beginners group at local photo club I wonder why I bother.

Photography is still skill and equipment balance. There is no question some one with an Olympus trip can still get better photos than some one with a Hasselblad specially if your related to the Queen and no one else is in a position to take those photos. But in the main equipment does matter. Be it the sports event and you don't have a 600mm F3 lens or simply you have never found Photomatrix equipment does count.

Spare time is also important thermometer shows at last less than zero and you know clarity will increase. OK for those in colder climes not a problem but in the UK having time off from work when the conditions are right is a big thing.

But add them all together and still you get the odd shot which is better than the rest.

I hear all the judges talk about rules of thirds and diagonals and leading into the picture but when behind the view finder all I think about is does it look good. After the event I may look at cropping to enhance the rules, but for me a good photo is in the main luck.

Well maybe not quite luck I like to think there is some skill involved but if one gets one good image in 100 than take 100 and only one good image. Take 1000 and you have 10. As to how many are taken by people who are acclaimed as the great one can only guess?

But one sites through a lecture where the photographer tells how he records the sites and works out what time of year and time of day is likely to produce the A1 image. He sits there day after day may be with the tripod set up in a stream waiting for the moment. He takes that one image large format film and sells that image for 10 years after again and again.

Do I have that time no, do I record times and places and work out where shadows will lie at each season no, Will I stand in a stream for 4 hours no, do I have a full plate camera no, can I ever expect to get pictures to his standard no. Well OK the lucky shot but in the main no. But also do I want 200 per print no. My photography is for me. If some one else likes it that a bonus but it's for me. And even if my tripod fits into the holes made by 200 photographers before me that image is mine and I am proud of what I have taken.