Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Today's web trawl revealed ten rules for making great landscape images.
"7. Search the frame – Nothing shouts beginner more than leaving unwanted elements in your frame. It could be anything from a coke can to a power line – trying to avoid these distracting elements will improve your photography greatly!"
No wonder my landscapes are rubbish. I ignore rule number seven!

Better get the clone tool out...

Okay, so it's a crisp packet and not a coke can, but I had noticed it, and the power lines. I'd even considered making the litter more prominent in the frame but couldn't get the powerlines in as well. Leaving aside the fact that both versions are rubbish pictures (and the original failed in its intent) the issue raised is what pictures are meant to be.

If you are making pictures that idealise a place, that are intended to  look pretty, then by all means exclude the detritus of the modern world. If you are interested in trying to show the world as it is, leave it in.

Take that 'iconic' location of the Golden Rock in Burma. The traditional view is something like this. When that is the only image you have ever seen of the rock you imagine some remote, hard to get to location inhabited by ascetic monks. Well, I did. But a quick trip to Google for an image search reveals it is a well served tourist attraction. of course, Martin Parr (among others) has made photographs which are all about this dichotomy.

Viewpoint and framing are two of the crucial decisions to be made when making photographs which can be used to both reveal and hide the truth. Or to make visual puns.

An open topped waste bin would have made this work better.

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