Sep 27, 2015

So I'm not a landscape photographer...this I now know.

So I'm not a landscape photographer...this I now know. While driving through the southland of Iceland towards the Glacier Lagoon, passing by so many waterfalls and beautiful farmlands with sheep covering the land, I experienced photo fatigue well before we even hit the black desert. I know these all have been photographed before, and can be found online and in plenty of books. I could only muster enough enthusiasm to use whatever Apple device had enough battery power left to snap a shot or two, and only if they could turn on fast enough, as I was in conservation mode. "Do you want to stop and take photos?" My Norwegian friend asks as we drive over a bridge in a dramatic landscape, a waterway cutting through the black desert. "No, it's okay," I reply not wanting to delay our already long and late journey through some treacherous driving conditions (weather to which I had no interest exposing my camera).  

It's not that I'm lazy, as I am a prolific creative (and I have plenty of proof to back that up). My subject preferences are becoming apparent as I choose to drag my camera through the cities, and get more excited by geometry and street art than the pristine landscapes.  I don't spend my time painting like Bob Ross, so why would I spend much time taking photos of the same nature? (No pun intended).  

My eye is drawn to alleyways and the game of using both the man made elements with the light that's hitting them to compose something that may only be interesting at that very moment, since it's raining, or dry, and only when things line up just right in the frame...making the wide "establishing shots" that I take seem obligatory...proof that I was here...and justification for the effort and anxiety of hauling the Canon and all it's gear through airports, busses, and trains. But the subject that has gotten me most excited so far, and has led me to plant myself in one single place and experiment, was a birds eye view of a thick white striped crosswalk as seen from the top of the fortress in Bergen.

There I composed a few options and waited for bikes and motorcycles to drive through. I could see far ahead in both directions to know when they were approaching and tried to capture them in the middle of the crosswalk, their hard shadows from the midday sun sharply cutting into the white stripes. That subject, along with some of the street art, has been my favorite so far...the Banksy across the street from my accommodations in Reykjavik that always let me know that I was home, the juxtaposition of old and new, orderly and disorder, the random graffiti from the not quite as famous mixing with beautiful, dignified old structures.... I'm sure I'll spend half a day documenting the next few places I visit...but I know I'll have the most fun playing with the shapes unique to each city, and finding hidden and often overlooked gems. I recognize the landscape of the black desert when I do a google image search, and it's as satisfying as if I had shot them myself.