Shooting landscapes

I remember as a kid (don't you love it when articles start like that?), a 'good' photograph was one that captured the landscape really well. 

And so, no matter what my camera was, I always pushed for capturing a good landscape. 

Recently, however, my pictures have been of a more documentary style. It comes from the belief that I have about pictures capturing reality and freezing it forever. Manipulating the picture to make it seem like something else is manipulating reality, and so I was dead set against it. 

Just yesterday though, while I was editing my pictures from Ladakh, I happened on a technique that truly opened my eyes to something new. I've been following this Instagram accounts for a while now - accounts that edit their pictures so well, the pictures seem other worldly. 

A part of me has always been skeptical of it because of that very belief i talked about above, but a part of me was both envious and in awe of it all because it's truly beautiful. 

And while I was editing, I chanced upon the technique on how to do it. 

Suddenly, my perspective on it all has changed. I still believe landscapes cannot truly ever be captured on camera because of their raw beauty, but from an artistic perspective, landscapes provide the most room for experimentation. 

Now, my recent trip was a mixture of many different kinds of pictures - landscapes, people, street, animals etc. and I never imagined I would have gained such a new outlook on photography as a whole. 

It's an exciting time for me where I can experiment around with a new style of photography and see where it takes me. 


How "noise" is often misunderstood

Noise is one part of photography that I've been exploring a lot lately. 

It's the effect that you get when you increase the exposure on your picture so much that it starts to look grainy. 

Aesthetically speaking, pictures with a lot of noise can start to look quite amateurish - as though you didn't know what you were doing, and are thus overcompensating in your post processing to balance out the lack of light. 

They can also be easily perceived as out of focus, and quite bland and grey.

I, however, think that there's quite a bit of artistic quality to a 'noisy' picture. 

Here's why: 

Photography back in the day used to be with film. And with film, it's quite rare that you get the crispest and sharpest picture. 

The film effect gave it a quality that is somewhat lost today. 

The grainy, dull like look that you can get from a film or noisy picture does take skill to capture. It requires a lot of subtlety in the way you express yourself, and requires you to go for a minimalist approach, which in itself is quite a hard skill to master. 

I find the grain very appealing, and in fact have been focusing more on getting this quality to my pictures. 

Obviously, it depends on who I'm working with and whether or not my vision matches up with theirs. 

But the grainy feature, while it can be a romantic notion, doesn't necessarily mean that the picture is actually 'bad.'

I find photography a very, very subjective art, and I'm going to strive towards bringing noise back into focus. (No pun intended).

Follow Oliver Mumm to get a better idea of what I mean. 

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