I don’t do street photography. At least not street photography with people in it. And I don’t do portraits. I’m just hopeless at people photography - I have neither the skills, nor the wish, to photograph people. And so when somebody asks me to photograph their birthday party - because I take photos, I must have a really good camera, etc - as happened today, I find the offence caused by refusing is less than the disappointment I’d cause if I accepted.
Weirdly though, the vast number of photography-related blogs I visit and subscribe to are mainly run by “people photographers”. I just find them more stimulating. There seems to be a lot more inventiveness, a lot more pushing the boundaries than in landscape, or “places” photography, where really there two camps - the romantic landscape, the “fine art photographers”, and the deadpan “post-modern” stuff. Why this is I don’t know. Perhaps there is less scope, or attraction, in pushing the look and texture in landscape, and more in finding new approaches to composition and viewpoint. Of course there’s the Flickr all-sliders-on-11 + extra contrast “style”, and, puke, HDR, but those are just failures of aesthetic judgement, not inventiveness.
There’s also a lot less gear talk on the “people” side, although there’s still plenty. The main difference is that there it’s pretty much all Fuji these days, as opposed to Canikon or very big, very expensive toys.
If there are any active, truly compelling blogs run by predominantly landscape photographers, I’ve yet to find them. But I’m open to suggestions.
Here’s a few of the blogs I subscribe to:
- Jeff Damron’s “Better in Black & White” (actually Jeff does do quite a lot of interesting landscape work, but from a portraitist’s perspective, it seems to me)
- Patrick LaRoque (I totally love his photography, which is about as far away from mine as you could get. For a start, his is good.)
- Neil Gaudet’s “Ramblings of a Photographer”
- Gordon Lewis’ “Shutterfinger”
- Roël’s Holy f-stop … hmm, you know what ? He does landscape too!
- Robert Boyer’s RB|Design
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t like, admire and appreciate many landscape photographers. Of course I do. A large proportion of the few friends I have are landscape photographers. But they don’t tend to have much really interesting to write about. Maybe they just let the photos do the talking. Maybe we’re all sociopaths.