A subcategory of photography I always dedicate myself to is landscape photography. For many people, especially for the general public, it is a theme strictly linked to travel photography, so there wouldn’t be a spectacular landscape photography without clocking up thousands of miles. For me, it has never been like this, as a good Italian, but after all as a good photographer!
By definition, in landscape photography the place is the real protagonist: unlimited and dominated by the uncontested order of nature in its mightiness or, on the contrary, by changes in the course of time due to the human action. If travel photography shows distant places, often inaccessible, and records the explorations and met people, landscape photography is the result of a deep and critic research on the territory, on its geomorphology and its history. Certainly, it is the most ancient photographic category: daguerreotype, effectively, needed long exposure times (10 – 15 minutes) and a lot of light. So this is why, at the beginning, people were obligated to photograph outdoor and the most popular subjects were views.
Besides landscape photography’s history and protagonists, the aspect that interests me most is the emotional and psychological one. Landscape photography offers infinite possibilities of interpretation, encourages univocal and opposing sensations in the viewer’s mind, but above all it fixes the place’s identity in the same way as a portrait. The emotional aspects correspond to the sequence of perspective planes of the view: from the camera’s plane to beyond the horizon, to infinity.
Exercise ourselves to read critically the reality isn’t easy, but it is essential in photography, independently from travels. In your opinion, which are the analogies and differences between travel and landscape photography?