And another thing...
This year I was lucky enough to have a photo short-listed in the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. It is a photo of Worcester being submerged by flood water. I was , obviously, very pleased as this is the first time I have even got close to some kind of recognition. It was not to be and I was not surprised. But for a while I endured the torture that is hope.
This year I have taken very few landscape photos. I have been much more productive with butterflies and fungi. Its sad but I am falling out of love with landscape photography. There are a number of components affecting this admission. Perhaps the strongest reason is my experience of the online community and camera club contests. In both cases there is a philosophy that declares there is a a recipe for producing "good" landscape photos. There are some subjects and occurrences that make a landscape photo worthwhile. By insisting on conforming we end up with a system of group think. where people aspire to take photos in a certain way, or of a certain type because when they do they meet the expectations of the community and get reinforced approval. And the louder the volume of approval, the more people will produce similar content. There is nothing wrong with that, it just leaves little room for alternative views and blinkers creativity.
My approach is to capture things that capture my attention - little vignettes, quirky patches of interest. There is an approach that suggests that the truly beautiful is the thing that is rarely seen, and therefore photographers should seek beauty at the ends of the days and the ends of the earth. There is more to life, and more to photography than that.
The pictures I take are a reflection of me, and especially how I see the world. It is difficult not to take the inferred criticism of silence personally! Perhaps, this dark reflection of myself is why I am falling out of love with landscape photography.