David Hockney famously castigates photography in relation to painting. Some of his ideas are irritating because it’s not a direct comparison. It is true a painting has greater depth because of the detail and labour of the process compared to instant capture. It’s equally true mountain photography requires a great deal of effort of a different kind. A good shot testifies to the fact of being there. It is being there which matters in regard to the mountains.

Here’s a tip for landscape photography. It’s often useful to include foreground detail in a shot as you see here. It can be rocks, a flower, a small pool of water, or a patch of coloured grass. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you think it adds graphic interest. Learn to look at pictures graphically, in much the same way as you look at paintings. That doesn’t mean the two practices have the same meaning.

Ultimately how you feel about photography or a painting is a matter of personal feeling. It is interesting however to consider photography in terms of wider aesthetics.


Snowdonia: Below the Gyderau

Friday July 31, 2015