Before jumping in to the list of recommended reading below, here are a few quick updates on things related to our photography...
- We enjoyed being interviewed by David Johnston of Photography Roundtable for his podcast. You can find our episode here. David has a great archive of interviews, so be sure to check out some other episodes, too.
- Candace Bartlett provided an insightful and interesting interview for our blog last month. If you missed the interview, you can find it here. We will be sharing a new interview with Michele Sons next week.
- Last month, we released the second edition of our Iceland location guide, Forever Light, and Iceland: Black + White, a photography portfolio. If you are interested in learning more, check out this page.
This is my third post compiling a list of recommended reading on topics related to landscape and nature photography. Since others seemed to find the last two posts helpful, I am going to do these a bit more regularly (easy + useful = good blog post material!).
At least on popular photo sharing sites, many of the stories about places and photographs seem to be written with the goal of impressing others as a priority. While these types of stories are often interesting to read, they also saturate the discourse about photography to the point where I feel numb to it all. Feeling this saturation makes coming across a story like this one all the more notable. While David is a character in his story about a visit to Alaska's remote St. George Island, this narrative is a compelling portrait of this place and is told in a way that seems lost in most stories told by photographers today. In addition to this refreshing read, David accompanies his story with a wonderful collection of landscape and wildlife images to complement the narrative.
Erin Babnik offers up an excellent read on the benefits of exploring and discovery in landscape photography. As the authors of two location guides, we sometimes get emails from readers who would like more specific instructions on how to recreate the photos in our ebooks or others they have found online. While this approach to photography can be valuable as a learning tool, it leaves behind the motivation to explore on one's own, find out what is around the next bend, or embrace serendipity. Erin's post is great encouragement to approach photography with an "explorer's mentality" as one path to more creative work.
Word choice and language is important and this brief post from Michael Gordon quickly covers a lot of ground about how the language of photography has turned from one of introspection and contemplation to a language of conquest.
On the face of it, an article about chefs and meringues and Instagram does not seem to have a lot to do with landscape photography. Still, the parallels between creative chefs, creative photographers, and their imitators are pretty interesting (at least to me). If you enjoy food and photography, you might find this to be a worthwhile read.
Other the last few months, Guy Tal has written some particularly helpful articles on what I would characterize as discussions about building a creative business on his terms. In deciding last year to put more time into developing our photography business, I have found these posts to be particularly useful in helping me work through some of my own struggles. I often ask myself why I am tabling a career I really enjoy for one that includes a lot of things I loathe (mainly the self-promotion that seems to come along with building a photography business). Guy's articles keep reminding me that there is more than one path to building a business in landscape photography and that they do not all include compromising one's self and personal values in the process. (Another worthwhile read from Guy on these topics, Art in Times of Click-Baiting).
Issues of Conservation and Land Protection in the Southwestern US
There is a lot happening in the continuing effort to protect special places in the American Southwest from energy development and other commercial interests. From the conservationist view, some of the developments are positive or hold promise and others are simply terrifying. At least for me, the idea of a mall on the edge of the Grand Canyon and a tram to the bottom is sickening. If these topics interest you, the following three articles are each a good introduction to different issues playing out right now in Utah and Arizona.
- Utah's Grand Bargain from High Country News
- The Grand Canyon is Getting a Mall from The Daily Beast
- Saving What's Left of Utah's Lost World from the New York Times
While Canon's new 50-megapixel camera and the $3,000 11-24 mm lens are tempting as potential purchases, photographers might find more long-lasting happiness by investing in experiences rather than the newest gear (unless you have the cash to easily invest in both). This article discusses some of the psychology behind choosing how to spend your money and the impact on happiness, a discussion that seems particularly relevant to landscape photographers.
Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO Reference Chart
And, lastly, a practical resource... If you still are not quite sure what changes result from manipulating aperture, ISO, and shutter speed when taking a photograph, here is a good little reference chart with some great visuals to help understand the concepts.
If you have recently read any good articles related to landscape and nature photography, please share links below. Thank you, as always, for reading!
All images in this post are from the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.