Landscape photography is all about capturing emotion.
Photojournalism and war photography are two genres that are capable of capturing the despair of human suffering and offering up blatant tear-jerking visuals for the unsuspecting. Landscape, along with still life and abstract minimalism, is at the opposite end of the emotive spectrum.
With landscape we’re talking subtlety, minor nuances of creative variation: away from literal documentary representation and towards the most profoundly creative abstract dreamscape. The emotion encapsulated within the best landscape photographs has an unparalleled delicacy, born of the nuances of tone, texture and colour. The abrasive, raw, explosively emotive nature of the war photograph, a dying soldier or an orphaned child, is mirrored by an equally potent but infinitely more gentle style in landscape: the capturing of an essence of place, the spirit, or soul of the location.
Such tender elements are so much more challenging to encapsulate, at least for the landscape photographer. And that’s why we keep doing it. It’s an impossible challenge; but this, admittedly romantic, idea that a landscape photograph captures the magical atmosphere engulfing a location at a specific moment in time, is what drives us.
It took me a very long time to realise that the single most important deciding factor in the success or failure of a colour landscape photograph, is the way in which the included colours are expressed. Composition, exposure and subject matter are all, of course, very important: the very best landscape photographs ‘tick all the boxes’, but the one thing that separates the ‘great’ from the ‘good’ is often the way colour is represented. The rendering of colour is the principle ingredient in the recipe that determines the way a photograph ‘feels’. It’s a science that has been finely honed throughout the decades and the heritage of the ‘film years’.
Fujifilm have spent the last 80 years developing their expertise in the design and manufacture of colour film, to capture our world in the most perfect ways possible. The results of all these decades of expertise are now ‘hardwired’ into the latest X-Series cameras. The single biggest surprise for many X-series system switchers is how accurate the colour handling is. It is unparalleled by any other manufacturer and it translates into the purest emotively honest translation of our real world environments into fine-art prints.
At the end of the day, landscape photography is all about capturing emotion, and the Fuji X-T2 does it with aplomb.