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Monthly Masters' Discussion - August 2019 - Frans Lanting's "Ghost Trees"

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:34 pm
by minniev
Introduction
It's about time to discuss a Modern Master. This month we'll look at Frans Lanting, who has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a master’s degree in economics then moved to the United States to study environmental planning. For three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder and concern about our living planet. Lanting’s work has been commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he served as a Photographer-in-Residence. He has an international award named after him, a bit unusual for a photographer yet alive. Some of his talks are available online as TED talks (link below), and are pretty interesting.

Below is one of his most famous photos. You've probably run across it or one of the countless "copies" created by photographers who have sought to re-create it. “Ghost Trees, Namibia” made this location an iconic destination for landscape photographers. When it was first published, there was considerable discussion about its resemblance to a painting. In the linked articles, Lanting explains both his shooting technique and his rather minimal processing, and how these created the effect that viewers found so arresting. Study this image, and share your thoughts about it.

Some Questions to Spur Your Thinking

1. What do you think of the composition? The framing? The colors? The use of light? Would you want this image on your wall? Why or why not?
2. Given that little post processing was done here, what do you think makes this image look more like a painting than most photographs?
3. One of the characteristics that critics mention most often with this image is its graphic nature. Images with strong graphic impact seem to suggest traditional art to us either consciously or subconsciously. Have you made images that rely heavily on graphic impact? If so, please share one, and tell us a bit about how you did it, in terms of capture and/or processing.
4. In this and other of Lanting’s work, his goals always include his concern about the safety and protection of the earth and its creatures. Do you agree with him about outdoor photography’s responsibility to the planet? Why or why not? Have you ever taken actions in behalf of protecting some environment, plant or animal that you feel strongly about? If so, we hope you’ll share your experience.
5. How do you feel about the tendency of landscape photographers in particular to seek out the exact locations/conditions/angles/lighting to create their own versions of iconic photos? Is this a form of hero worship? A necessary step in learning mastery? A form of intellectual theft? Discuss your thoughts.

Links for Study

http://lanting.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_Lanting
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/maga ... the-photo/
https://www.ted.com/speakers/frans_lanting
https://www.creativelive.com/blog/frans ... tographer/
http://lanting.com/lifetime-achievement ... s-lanting/
https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/pro ... s-namibia/
http://thephotosociety.org/member/frans-lanting/

Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion - August 2019 - Frans Lanting's "Ghost Trees"

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:22 pm
by PietFrancke
I don't care for his image - his mission on the other hand... Watching our beautiful world go away saddens me deeply.

Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion - August 2019 - Frans Lanting's "Ghost Trees"

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:49 pm
by minniev
PietFrancke wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:22 pm
I don't care for his image - his mission on the other hand... Watching our beautiful world go away saddens me deeply.
Thank you for dropping by.

Yes, the encroaching demise of the earth is so sorrowful I hardly know how to enjoy it any more.