The Intimate Landscape

By Mark

 I like to try out new instructors at every Photoshop World and this was the title of one of the sessions taught by photographer Bill Fortney.  He is well known for his landscape work shot while flying an ultralight aircraft across the United States.  “America from 500 feet” has some beautiful images that capture the landscape from a very unique perspective.

The Grand Canyon--truly a grand landscape

The Grand Canyon--truly a grand landscape

In his talk, he really brought home the best description for the kinds of images I most enjoy creating.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the broad sweeping vistas of places like the Grand Canyon and the scenery of our local Blue Ridge.  For me, I really resonated with the idea of capturing the little details within these larger places which evoke the large sense of the place I am trying to capture.

In looking through my images I have discovered some common themes I didn’t even realize I have been creating over the years.  Things like these blue doors and one roof are a good example.  I don’t know if the warmth of the color is a counter to these regions fairly harsh weather patterns, or if they just stand out against their environments.

As a retired sailor, I seem to have a lot of images of boats as well.   Boats can be fairly complex machines, but they have so many interesting details.   The images remind me of being out on the ocean again.  You don’t even necessarily need to see the water in order to feel its powerful presence.

Mr. Fortney said that the Grand Landscapes really showed people that you have been somewhere.  The intimate landscapes should encourage people that they want to be there themselves.   His photography and his viewpoint were one of the highpoints of this year’s PSW.  You should be asking yourself, what is it about your own pictures that you like?  Which images keep bringing up great memories of places or people?  Then ask yourself why?