Art is, above all and if nothing else, defined by the fact that it is a personal expression. The artist’s desire to convey emotions, sensations and feelings to their viewer are reflective of their own ideas. If we want to call our photography art, then it has to come from ourselves, not just the subjects we are trying to ‘capture’. In this age we have an unparalleled ability to create both in the field and in post-production and we have more freedom to travel than ever before. But strangely enough, our landscape photographs seem to look more predictable now. When you see as much imagery as I do, you realize that for some it has become a race to get to the same places and shoot.
As soon as some new places or views become popular, there will invariably be hundreds or even thousands trying to get there shortly thereafter, sometimes even threatening the preservation of the fragile locations themselves. Photographers know their spots before they even get there, based solely on their online research. Social media has created a climate where there is even an element of competitiveness to it, where you have to stay long enough to get a better sunset than the last hundred people there. But while all this advance planning and anticipation of what they will find may help to maximize their ‘success’ rate, doing so may cloud their minds to the other creative possibilities they might encounter.
In a way, this is not surprising. Not with the multitude of photo tours going to the same predictable spots ...