When you specialize in one genre of photography it is easy to get comfortable, box yourself in and become lazy about seeing. Contentment and self-assurance are one of the greatest enemies of a creative photographer.
It is especially important for those who specialize in travel and landscape photography. Too often we see the same visuals, themes, places or even exactly the same compositions. An antidote to this frame of mind is to try new things even though they may pose a challenge or cause discomfort.
Propelled by this aggressive attitude we decided to explore a different type of landscape – one that would not naturally lure the photographer but might provide a great visual reward.
I found working with industrial landscapes a difficult but fascinating challenge. I started by scoping out the visuals and finding the right lighting. I’ve found it may take weeks of exploration before settling on a location suitable for this type of work. Then, the lighting conditions must match the mood you want to convey. Finally, and most importantly, you must frame the shot with the utmost care.
The process of eliminating elements from the frame was especially enjoyable. You evaluate every element of the frame in terms of the whole composition. Does it add anything or distract from the goal? Should it be eliminated or just placed somewhere else? You need to answer a series of questions before all the elements fit the puzzle and before you press the shutter button.
Although such a deliberate and calculated effort doesn’t always guarantee a great photograph, it certainly leaves the photographer feeling fulfilled and more visually aware, which eventually leads to great imagery.
All images were captured with the X100T, Fuji X-T1 paired with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 and XF 14mm F2.8. In our previous post we applied the Classic Chrome film simulation to our winter imagery and we really liked the results. This emulsion works even better with this series.
2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.
15 thoughts on “Industrial Landscapes – Part I”
Fantastic. I really like the shipyard. Let me suggest an experiment. Convert some of these to resemble Tri-X film for a photojournalist look. Good luck.
You suggestion is right on! In fact, I was debating with myself whether to convert this series into B&W. In the end I opted for the Classic Chrome look. However, you are right, some of them look great in B&W. Watch for our upcoming posts, there will be some imagery from the shipyard in B&W.
Thank you for visiting.
Wonderful photos! Out of curiosity, where were the photos of the ship taken?
Thanks for your note.
Mission, British Columbia.
Excellent pics really good to look at, what a place to shoot!
Thank you for your kind note.
Beautiful images and again, thoughtful commentary and great advice.
good work Olaf, great tones and composition, agree that classic chrome adds a nice touch too..
Appreciate your comment.
The criteria for good composition, light, and focused storytelling applies to this theme also, and it shows in your images, beautiful!
Thank you so much.
Hello Olaf, I think this genre is excellent for you guys. Stepping out of one’s comfort can yield beautiful surprises and I think this a great example. Very evocative, I particularly like the time of day you guys chose to photograph these new scenes. Looking forward to what’s next.
You have always been so kind to us. We appreciate your comment.