Ian Plant • When The Going Gets Tough

If you really want to create photographs that are unique and original, be prepared to take the long road, and to challenge yourself. Ian Plant shares his thoughts

The English language is well known for its colorful idioms and entertaining colloquialisms. One of my favourites is “if it were easy, then everyone would do it”. Unfortunately, when it comes to landscape photography, this expression seems honoured more in the breach than the observance. No matter where I go, there always seems to be a horde of shooters clustered around the local photographic “classic”; those tried and true compositions made famous by photographers in the past, which by now have been copied thousands upon thousands of times. Truth be told, most of the photographic classics are easy, since someone else did all the hard work to find them and develop them to their full potential. As a result, everyone does them.

Take the easy path and you will end up with photographs that look like everyone else’s. More to the point, you will end up with someone else’s photographs. But ask yourself this: do you merely want to replicate the portfolios of famous photographers who have come before you, or do you want to make photographs that instead are representative of your own artistic vision and voice? I am guessing that, by framing the question this way, probably now you are ...

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About Author

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Ian Plant is a full time professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, books and calendars, and he is a frequent contributor to Popular Photography and Outdoor Photographer magazines, among others.

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