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A Note About Landscape Photography

There are three general styles of landscape photography today - representational, impressionistic and abstract. The representational style is also known as the straight or straight descriptive style.


The impressionistic landscape photographer employs photographic techniques that result in images that have vague or elusive qualities. They are less tangible and more unreal, while still retaining their values that make them landscape pictures. The viewer is given the impression of a landscape rather than the clear reality of one.


This style - Abstract - could also probably be referred to as the graphic style, since the components of scenery are treated by the photographer as graphic elements, arranged for their compositional values. Natural elements may be rendered as unrecognizable or almost so. Shape and form take priority. Elements may be juxtaposed for comparison or contrast, isolated by extreme close-up, reduced to silhouettes by severe underexposure, and so on. Design is more important than recognizable representation.


This style results in pictures that show scenery at its most natural and realistic, with no visual manipulation or artifice. It is a straightforward style - what you see is what you get. Successful images in the representational style are not simple snapshots. Although the photographer adds no props or other components to a scene and does not try to “bend” reality, great attention is paid to composition and detail. Light, timing and the weather are critical elements.

In our desire to facilitate a connection to the Earth, KomorEarthImages almost always employs the Representational style of landscape photography. We believe there is already a dangerous level of manipulation of reality in the world today. Video games, for example, expose us to graphic violence and gore with a belief that we can always “restore or reset” with no consequences. Is there a link with the increase in violent crime, school shootings, and the like – we believe there is. Do the celebrities and models we see in magazines and motion pictures look like that and does that lead to the dissatisfaction with body image so common today? We believe there is a connection.

While there are some places where digital manipulation of photographs may be desirable when it is clearly labeled as a synthetic creation of art, in landscape photography KEI seeks to capture the direct experience of the Earth and deliver it to you with as little manipulation as possible. The challenge we have accepted is to capture a visually arresting image of nature - not a computer program - expressing itself. There is a difference and it speaks to how we approach media today. Do you want a real image of the Earth that connects you back to the natural world, or do you want a digitally enhanced image that draws you into a fantasy world in the computer? Do you want to watch a staged "reality" television show, or do you want to participate in the joy and excitement of the world around you? As is evident in all our work, we believe the beauty, joy and aliveness found when we reconnect with the Earth is the most important gift we can receive.


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