‘Back in the day’…well back in the late 1970’s, there wasn’t that much landscape photography around. You could see some in the extremely poorly printed books that appeared or else in the pretty rare exhibition.
The books were truly awful…I still have a few. Monochrome images were printed with no deep blacks at all. A sort of muddy dark grey was the usual. Exhibitions though were where you would need to go to see some high quality prints. These would be ‘silver prints’ of course done in ‘proper’ darkrooms.
However not many art galleries would show ‘mere photographs’, so London had the Photographers Gallery and elsewhere a few major cities like Bristol, Liverpool and Cardiff might have a gallery that was worth visiting.
We were living in North Wales for awhile in 1982-3 and became friends with a couple that had a small gallery nearby, and they sold photographs. They had an exhibition of pictures by John Blakemore and I was knocked out by these.
A couple of posts ago, in the blog on ‘Trees’, I showed a few of Beth Moon’s beautiful tree photos that were shot on infra-red film.
In 2012 Mitch Dobrowner won the Sony World Photography awards with his Storm portfolio. These were his amazing images of the giant supercells, tornados and rainclouds that can be found, mainly in ‘Tornado Alley’ in the American Mid-West, usually during the summer months.
‘Storm Chasing’ had been a pass time for a select bunch of American’s for a number of years but Dobrowner’s images introduced the phenomenon to non American’s like myself.
Here’s the most famous of his images I guess ‘Rope Out’:
I do love trees, but their beauty is pretty hard to capture in photographs.
I feel much of monochrome photography is similar to producing ‘line drawings’ and one of my favourite artists producing really great pen and ink drawings of trees is Sarah Woolfenden.
Here’s one of her exquisitely detailed pictures, of a Yew:
Incredible detail in Sarah’s drawing. Sarah has the artists’ advantage over the photographer…she can ignore the background. Us poor people behind cameras haven’t got any easy ways to eliminate confusing backgrounds, so we often turn to choosing subjects where the background just doesn’t exist.