For years our society has raged a constant debate over the arts. Many academics and those predisposed towards more practical subjects often see the arts as something fanciful and lacking in real intellectual power or usage. While those on the other side of the argument will argue that art is one of the most important facets of human development and in fact is the cornerstone of our modern cultures. And it is impossible to disagree with that last sentiment.
Everywhere you look you will see the influence of art. From the simples cartoon in the morning newspaper to the massive motion pictures enjoyed at the cinema. The hottest car design was created by an artist as was the logo of your favorite brand. It is true that academic subjects and intellectual pursuits have advanced our culture forward with fantastic technologies and medical advancements. But art has brought culture to our kind. Without it, we would not be as wise or motivated or as kind. Art lets us connect and express ourselves. It allows us to view things that wouldn’t be possible without. Explore far off worlds or travel through time simply by reading a book.
But I want to look at an often ignored aspect of art that is actually one of the most important and vital for, not only our creative outlets but for our history as a species too. Landscape photography.
What is it?
Landscape photography is exactly what it says on the tin. Capturing photos of different landscapes across the globe. These do not have to simply be the landscape themselves; they can include people or props or animals. But the main idea is you are capturing a large stretch of land in a landscape picture format.
Some might look at this and think it is nothing special. That anyone can grab a camera and snap a picture of some random section of land. And to an extent you are right. Anyone can. Which is one of the reasons art like this is so important to our society. It is not exclusive. The arts are so magical because, unless the hard sciences, anyone can give it a go with little repercussion. Sure, not everyone’s art will be heralded as brilliant. But just the act of creating brings more color into the world.
But what is it that makes landscape photography specifically so important?
Capturing Our Heritage
Our planet is constantly changing. And I do not mean socially. Physically the landscape is different now than it was thousands of years ago. And we have paintings of landscapes from a couple of hundred years back, but paintings are always subject to an artist’s creative vision. Imagine if you could look at an honest to god photograph of the world as it existed at the dawn of man. If you could see just how different the world was.
We are lucky to live in the first age where we can take pictures at such high quality. And we can take as many of these photos as we want. We are only limited by storage space and battery life, and both of these are near enough unlimited now.
In two thousand years’ time, the landscape of the world will have changed. Maybe for the better, most likely for the worse. And landscape photography will allow our descendants to look back at how the world was. To see what existed without question. And being able to view and understand history is one of the most important aspects of any civilized society. It lets us connect to those in the past and those in the future. We can know one day, someone else will look upon the same images as us.
Helping Science and Business
But let’s look at the more practical aspects of landscape photography. For many scientists, environmentalists and biologists, landscape photography is a useful tool of study. Being able to capture the habitat of a herd of wild animals and study it will prove extremely useful to their studies. Capturing landscapes and observing the environmental changes over time compared to the images will let us study the occurring effects of climate change and give us stronger ideas on how to combat it.
And when it comes to business, landscape photography, like most art forms, boosts the economy. Firstly you have to purchase the photography supplies, which creates an entire industry within itself. Not to mention amateur photography allows plenty of opportunities for small local businesses. Someone looking to create a landscape image of their garden might hire local tree removal companies or landscaping firms to come and create a vibrant tableau for them to capture on camera.
The increase of people attempting photography in their own time will also encourage more local events. Galleries hosting shows for people to display their own work will stimulate local economies and give people a creative outlet to display their work with pride and build their confidence. If an amateur artist manages to sell their work, they might be motivated to start selling on a larger scale which is always positive for the individual and the economy. Alongside being a massive boost for art as a whole.
So on the whole, landscape photography is an art form that brings more to the world than people seem to realize. It has a lot of benefits to us as a culture and if you are so inclined, I’d suggest giving it a go. You never know, you might just become hooked.