Become one with the land.

Vesturhorn

Just like an actor who becomes possessed by their character, a photographer should allow their subject matter to haunt themselves. So, if you are a landscape photographer and you want to really convey the ‘feeling’ of the land, you should allow the landscape to possess you.

How do we do that exactly?

A professional actor would live as their character for some time. They might eat, breathe, sleep in character to the point where they become the character. In a similar way, stepping straight out of the city into the Icelandic tundras is not going to yield the same results as one who has spend several days eating, breathing and sleeping with the land. In many ways, the city dweller will bring a lot of the city with them and this will be a considerable obstacle when it comes to feeling the land. In the city, we experience a ‘carpentered world view’ – our visual system adapts to be efficient in an environment with straight edges and right angles. If you live and work in the city, you will need to allow time before you can see the landscape properly.

“If you want to play the blues, you have to live the blues”.

You can learn all the blues scales in existence, you can learn all the chords and time signatures, but if you can’t feel the blues, you will never get that blues sound. The same is true of photography. If you can’t feel the drama in the scene, you will have no chance of conveying the drama. You have to allow the land to possess you and then understand the significance of subtle dramatic events.


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