Sometimes it seems as if pure landscape photography is a dying art. People and the places where they live hold sway as photographic subject matter, and even the most depopulated views focus on the effects of human intervention and environmental abuse in the landscape. That isn't the case on Flickr, though, where landscape for landscape's sake is thriving. So for this issue's installment of the Flickr Creative Showcase, we bring you three of our favorite landscape photographers now sharing their work on the website. And remember that there are more where these came from.
Close-Up: Jim Patterson
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Camera: Nikon D300
Flickr member since: 2006
From his work as a scuba outfitter and as a frequent diver, Jim Patterson knows that the landscape beneath the waves can be just as beautiful, in its gnarly way, as the one above. Indeed, he has been photographing underwater since 2001. It was a little more than a year ago that Patterson started shooting on relatively dry land - and yet he has produced the spectacular marine views you see here.
Either way, why does Patterson prefer to shoot landscapes - or in his case, seascapes - over other kinds of subject matter? "Because it is a meditative, relaxing experience," says the Santa Cruz, California-based photographer. "Tuning in to the details of a scene such as the angle of the light, the movement of the waves and the balance of elements is much more rewarding for me."
Patterson credits both Flickr and digital photography for his accelerated learning. "I did shoot film seriously for about three years before switching to digital," he says. "But with film, the timeintensive process of getting images from camera to computer was always a roadblock to shooting and editing. Digital has helped me improve my work, because it gives me much faster feedback, and feedback while I'm still on location."
He feels likewise about Flickr. "It's definitely a great way to learn when other photographers offer their thoughts on your images," he says. "And I've found that many photographers are willing to share tips and processing techniques." Other Flickr photographers Patterson admires include Chip Phillips and Stephen Oachs, as well as Patrick Smith, whose work we featured in our "12 Flickr Superstars" issue (May/June '09). What goes around comes around. AP