Cultural Imaginaries and Landscape Photography

‘Cultural imaginaries’ is one aspect of art that I have previously had an interest in. Editing different photos together to create a new reality has always fascinated me, and in fact is the reason I chose to study photography, as you can see from my first post on my photographic inspiration. However, I have never taken or studied landscape photography so this is a new avenue for me.

This is a presentation that was done on these two topics in which the presenters focused on a different photographer or artist to show different aspects of this topic.

What is Landscape photography?

  • Showing a space or location
  • Often not focused on people but on objects in the world
  • Shows predominantly nature but can show the man-made world too

Esteban Diaz

 

These photos were taken by Diaz using a kite and a pinhole camera to get a birds-eye view landscape shot. He uses a tilt-shift effect to make the subject of this photos appear as miniatures as this adds meaning to them. Take the second shot for example. The tilt-shift technique makes the large landscape appear to just be a toy in an amusement park, like all the effort to build these huge structures is redundant in the size of the huge world.

Lauren Marsolier

 

Lauren Marsolier is another landscape photographer. She uses very simple photo subjects with a focus on composition to add meaning to her images. There is also a recognisable colour pallet consistency throughout her photos of bland colours, which adds to the emptiness of her images. There is also a theme of symmetry throughout her photos which I feel adds to the sense of emptiness, that there were people and they have left and all that is left is the location. This may be my favourite photographer I have come across whilst on this course, I just think these shots are beautiful. 

Alexander Gronsky

 

Alexander Gronsky is a landscape photographer who focuses on ‘location influencing emotion’. He has a series of photos he named, Less than One, in which he took images showing locations in the world where the population density is less than one person for every 10 square kilometres. He romanticises forgotten or neglected areas by showcasing their isolation as beauty.

Mishka Henner

Mishka Henner isn’t so much a photographer as an artist who collects and compiles images. He uses digital technology a lot, particularly Google’s Google Earth and Google Street View.

 

In this series, Henner gathered screenshots from Google Earth of Dutch military and government sites they desired to keep secret. The covering of these areas with pixels is an interesting concept, as is the fact that Henner does not take these images himself, he merely collects them.

 

This next series Henner collated is of sex workers around the world in desolate places that have been photographed by Google’s street view car. Although he did not take this photos, they have meaning in how they are framed and what is in the shot, and how Henner obtained them. These women’s faces are never seen, which takes away their identity, and they did not ask to have a photo taken of them but the background of the image, the location, speaks volumes. The desolate nature of the setting, along with the fact these images were found shows maybe how neglected these women are in society or how they are de-humanised in society as they are objectified by their patrons. This is an interesting method of finding and sharing images the Henner gives meaning to, by collating them.

Digital Imaginaries

I shall show images from digital artists that I admire and then describe why I believe this to be the best form of art.

These are a few examples of digital imaginary photography. All of these images show an impossible reality but that reality is made real in an image. They are almost reminiscent of paintings and drawings when there was no option to capture exactly how someone or something looked, and expressions were coherent among artists. The option of digitally enhancing or mixing an image is also a method for an artist to layer added meaning. For example, the image of the Black Panther by Cisco Giestas shows what forms this animal by literally making the animal out of its habitat. This is called a double exposure and is achieved by mixing two images together. I attempted the same thing a few years ago.

Taylor Swift double Exposure

 

 

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