Photoessay: a few unconventional landscapes

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I – floating tree

Today’s photoessay is a little shorter than the usual, for the simple reason that it wasn’t easy to make these images – the opportunities didn’t always present, and even then, they had to be teased out. I’m exploring what the definition of landscape really is: do we have to have near/mid/far all the time? In the same plane? In a ‘literal’ sense? I think if you’ve read the articles on what makes an interesting image from the previous two days, this set may make a little more sense. The upshot is that I’m seeking to present a series of images that are unquestionably about nature, a bit larger than just a single detail (but not necessarily expansive) and perhaps with some deliberate ambiguity of scale: after all, nature itself is recursive and fractal. Needless to say, they do all work much better as prints, which are available on request as usual. Enjoy. MT

This series was shot with a Nikon D810 and various lenses.

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II- ripples

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III – traces of autumn

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IV – yet another homage to Monet

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V – roots

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VI – the wind

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VII – the bathing man

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VIII –  stitching error


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  1. gil guerra says:

    Ming I first found your blog while looking for reviews on the e-m5 (ironical isn’t it) and remained a frequent visitor because of the quality of your written word, your opinions and phylosophy and of course your photographs (it is a pleasure to just read what you write after all one is exposed to online).
    I very much enjoy your photography and some of your pictures have given me real pleasure, but with this post you have realy blown me away. These views on landscapes are much beyond anything I have ever seen (maybe a little exageration here, but only a little). I was left breathless right from the first instant and continued so as I scrolled down nervously. Thank you. Thank you again.

  2. Jorge Balarin says:

    “Ripples” is so beautiful. You want to go inside the water.

  3. Lucy march says:

    Wonderful set, Ming. I hope there is a “Tribute to” piece in the works. Your homages to great painters have added up over the years!

  4. “Ripples” is lovely. Great composition and hypnotic quality … and those steely blues against the rich browns … one of my favorite color combinations!

  5. I like the VI winds photo. The trees are seemed to be arranged in perfect position. That is the beauty of nature.

  6. MT. Bathing man is superb. Rational but irrational and unexpected is a mouthful. How about serendipitous instead, in the sense that chance favors only the prepared mind.

    • Thanks! Chance favours the prepared indeed – have to be able to see it to capture it, whether the potential is in front of you or not…

  7. At first glance, VI – The Wind looks to be fairly pedestrian… and when you look closer, the way the light and tones are dappled across the frame? So nice. Breaks conventional rules and pieces them back together into something unique and very cool. Has the least ‘wow’ of the series but is my favorite due to the subtlety.

    And confidence from the artist to move forward with the image? I think lesser skilled photogs would hit DEL or file it away and not bother processing. Really learned a lot from viewing just this image!

  8. Nice Ming. Stitching error is great. Love sense of fun in this work.

  9. NeutraL-GreY says:

    The first and last are fantastic.

  10. II and III are gorgeous ! It’s as though the playful freshness of the water and the heavy dankness of decaying forest litter can actually be felt … Very evocative !

  11. liramusic says:

    Inspiring! I feel that this relates for me. It became common for awhile for me to use the “wrong” lens to photograph something. Lens meant glass for me but also the view or concern. I tried to ask my self what mistakes would look like. I started focusing on object behind a closer object, for example. I would use a 50mm lens for landscape. I would use a 105mmm and pretend I was taking “portraits” of leaves. It gets a little trippy but I would have these inner conversations– in a good way. The indigenous way is to say that these landscapes are very much sentient or at least spiritual.
    I like Bathing Man.
    I would still very still. I would imagine time as an expansive thing. At that point it becomes meditation.
    As to your question about landscape, I thought land. I liked “environment” for anything.
    I liked land alone with no hint of man”kind”, (man-not-so-kind) but I’ve done man-without-man, too. I’ve done abandoned buildings a bit, but always stay safe in these endeavors…
    Wonderful photos. Your photographic work each like jewels or gems.

  12. JohnAmes says:

    What makes “Stitching Error” such a wonderful photograph in the context of your more usual body of landscape work is that pure chance was able to sneak by your normally very controlling rational mind.

  13. thephotoseye says:

    These are beautiful!

  14. I know these stunning images should be viewed as big Ultraprints to show their inner potential. I have seen it times enough to know how big is the difference between the web presentations and the real thing. Incomparable!!!

  15. Jean Luc says:

    Great pictures
    Stitching error is amazing

  16. Alex Carnes says:

    Fantastic – especially Traces of Autumn and Roots. Not so sure about The Wind, but it’s all very clever as usual! 🙂

  17. I love the Wind and the Monet homage. It’s always interesting to find in real life what painters may have seen, and then wonder if the impression cast by their painting is truer to reality than a photorealistic representation. I recently found a Pollock in real life, but I doubt he was inspired by a grove of trees!

  18. Wow! That’s all I can say… Wow!

  19. Wonderful Images Ming! Really enjoy the photo essay…


  1. […] Tokyo, but came a bit late last year. Today’s landscape images are a continuation of the unconventional landscapes from a couple of months ago from a slightly more conventional perspective. Half of them were shot […]

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