Ansel Adams once said: “There is nothing worse than a sharp picture of a fuzzy subject.”
Ansel, of course, is famous for his incredible black and white landscape photographs of the west. But what story does a landscape photo tell?
What is the subject exposited upon by a photograph of Yosemite Valley? Isn’t it just a pretty picture you can hang above your sofa?
Some art is just a pretty picture that looks good hanging above your sofa. On the other hand some art is so ugly you probably wouldn’t want it in your living room but it does say something to you. Something you think is important.
In my opinion, the best art does both at the same time. Ansel Adam’s photograph of Yosemite Valley does have a story to tell – at least it speaks to me.
The point is that it’s not easy to take a landscape photograph that is more than a pretty picture. This is especially true of standard subjects like sunsets (I have lots of sunset photos that are pretty but that are mostly mute when it comes to a story).
In this case, I think I have succeeded in capturing a pretty sunset that is also a story. This image is from our trip to Hawaii and shows the sunset from Waikiki. It’s pretty. The story comes from the sailboats you can see silhouetted on the sea. As the sun is setting, they are all heading the same way – presumably to port. The day is over, it’s time to leave the sea and return to the land. It’s a story of a long day at sea in the sun and the wind. That day is over now. The picture is both a sharp image and a sharp subject.
What do you think? Does this image have a story to tell? Does it speak to you? If it does, consider ordering a print from me here. It’ll look good hanging over your sofa – I promise.