When I read a question asked by Miguel Garcia-Guzman on his blog Exposure Compensation (2014 update: the Exposure Compensation blog has been removed and has a new owner) regarding what constitutes Contemporary Great Portrait Photography, that started a kernel of thinking as to how does that same question (and maybe the same answers) apply to Contemporary Landscape Photography?
Photograph: Winter Field, JiaShan (Wo Zhi KanKan – I am just Looking) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale
Postscript 03/25/14: It has been about five years since I have last looked at this photograph that I created in JiaShan. Recently another blogger decided that this image (actually the one below is the image they grabbed for their post) was not as good as a classic modern landscape photograph of a mountain with a lake in the foreground (there fore a “good landscape”). Okay, they even labeled my image as a “Bad Landscape” for a whole variety of reasons. Too funny, yet so sad.
While looking at this photograph again, I realized that in 2008 I was not paying enough attention to the color temperature as it is a bit too warm. As I now recall, I had edited this with the Raw convertor for Photoshop CS or maybe even earlier. So it is time for a do-over in PhotoShop CS3; adjusting the color temperature, increasing the black set point and adding a bit more exposure in the Raw conversion, then a little more sharpening and a slightly different curve layer. It now appears more in line with what I have in my memory of this place and time, as it was a darn cold morning just before a snowy blizzard hit this region really hard.
As to the 2008 question as to what constitutes Contemporary Landscape Photography: one short answer is there is no absolute answer, it’s really about the question. (see some of the comments with this post).
Note: The initial photographic image of Winter Field, Jashan that was in the original post from 2008 is below.