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A Q A   CSE, As,  and  Advanced  Level  Photography

Home Heritage Site Candidate Introduction Portfolio Project1

Collect other people’s images you like.Show off your knowledge.Show off your use of landscapes: Rural,Urban,Sea,Sky,Inner mindscapes/dreamscapes

S T U D E N T   A D V I C E


Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Caspar David Friedrich 1818.

The picture above presents us with a Romantic idea of landscape. The landscape is to be viewed as awesome, wild, and inspirational.The Romantic attitude to landscape is but one of many ways in which art treated the natural world.

In the 18th century, for instance,landscape was more idealised, less harsh, more safe and essentially ordered in line with strict Pastoral traditions. Photography came along when  Romanticism was at its full height and when travel abroad to strange and exotic places was becoming more commonplace.

Partially in response to the realism of photography Impressionism and Expressionism moved to an entirely different style to construct its version of landscape.

The slideshow below takes us through a  very quick history of landscape representation beginning with the Romans and taking in the traditions of Japan and China.

The public’s fascination with landscape seems to have grown with time and the technical developments of the 20th and 21st centuries.In Waterstones the other day I counted eight new books on the Yorkshire landscape alone. High definition TV has given rise to more and more programming which uses our love of landscape as a basic premise for both documentary and fictional output. Evolutionary psychologists like Stephen Pinker suggest our love of or interest in landscape is hardwired so these developments may not be entirely a cultural one.

Technically in terms of TV and cinema scale may have added impetus to this pleasure in landscape. Scale has always been problematic for me as I always feel Big is better and the reduction of mile wide landscapes to 6 by 4 inches is always a dismal declension. Turner and some of the Victorians painted giant sized canvases and Hockney continues this tradition.

Most of the classic landscape work below, with the exception of the Ansel Adams were exhibited at sizes smaller than 12 by 16 which I find remarkable, remarkable in that unlike portrait work they are such a retreat from the actuality. I suspect that even then they had value more as documents of place rather than expressions of delight in the natural world, again Ansel Adams is probably an exception.

When I was a black and white photographer landscape did not interest me photographically to the same extent as portrait work, but now I have the luxury of running Photoshop on  30 inch, high definition monitor and displaying via a 7 foot by 5 foot projection screen I find landscape work way more rewarding.The Great English landscape painters are an obvious influence, photographers find that while early Turners and Gainsboroughs abound there are Constables everywhere!

Our ways of seeing would appear to have been heavily influenced by the lengthy pastoral traditions of English and Flemish art rather than French Pastoral variants (though Turner was obviously influenced by David.)

Below are gathered a selection of my landscape work ( for best results, as they say on ready meal packaging, they should be viewed on a large projection screen).

Clicking on the You Tube screen shots below will bring you to slide show pieces of mine, the first, immediately below, a Romantic take on local landscape. The next a more 18th century approach. Both slide shows are enhanced,I hope , by an appropriate musical soundtrack.