Around the World

Falklands to Svalbard

An exciting few years of travel for Gail and me – from the Falklands to Svalbard and most recently Indonesia clocking up 20K miles in three weeks. Travel keeps us focused on the creative and a chance to meet new clients and practitioners from unique walks of life. Ongoing projects such as our cookery book are nearing completion, plus our latest publication…

Dan Bernard Photography – Travelling Falklands to Svalbard is now available on amazon @ www.amazon.co.uk/Dan-Bernard-Photography-Travelling priced £20

New title available Dan Bernard Photography – Travelling, Falklands to Svalbard – info@tricornbooks.co.uk

Where and why we travel – From our recent Blog, after a trip to Burma

In Myanmar

Having been a closed country for so much of its recent history, expectations of Burma, or what is now called Myanmar were sketchy and unreliable. Bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, Thailand and made up of over 130 different racial groups, Myanmar is rich in its diversity and influence.

Its landscape is made up of bullocks pulling ‘taxi’ carts, ladies selling their wares and remedies in dressed in traditional costume and young men dressed in a traditional longyis, as well as many in contemporary styled jeans; a plethora of mobile phones; the UK’s premiership football and the newest Japanese 4x4s – and it works.

Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in the world but what strikes a chord is the personal effort in appearance and surroundings, regardless of living conditions; their orangisation, order and pride.

Attitudes towards the exploding tourist population was unexpected in its sophistication and delivery; the knowledge and enthusiasm of young workers was infectious and a lack of discrimination when faced with a multinational customer base was refreshing. Unlike some emerging tourist destinations, the Burmese appeared to driving the industry rather than playing catch up and struggling.

Street food and markets in Myanmar, were as always in southeast Asia exciting, diverse, fresh and seasonal, and along with its photogenic culture, accommodating and friendly people and mystical landmarks, our 18-day stay Myanmar was easy, trouble-free and impressive. (Gail Baird 2017)

Landscape photography may be hugely popular but it takes a lot of skill, time and patience to be able to produce an arresting image.

Successful landscape photographers use simplicity and variety as a formula where tones and textures offset each other. This could be an empty sky over a sea of buildings, or conversely, a dramatic sky above desert sands.

An object is used to break up this simple composition and inform the image by bringing in a third element to evoke questions and intrigue.

German couple, Bernd and Hilla Becher, who worked together as conceptual artists and photographers are well known for their photographic work of industrial landscapes. The Bechers focused on structures within the composition and how they relate to each other. Care was taken to eliminate all other detail that would detract from their focus, even down to eliminating shadows by shooting on overcast days and printing on low contrast paper.

Ansel Adams, the polar opposite of the Bechers, used high contrast and dramatic skies and scenery to take you into a world of pattern, shape and texture, where individual objects cease to exist.

As in portrait photography, the rule of three applies to the composition, either horizontally or vertically. However, unlike portrait photography, shooting landscapes is less instinctive and more studied, as there is not such a strong connection between the subject and photographer.

It has famously been said that as it is impossible to capture a landscape perfectly, we may as well not bother, and that it is better to consign what we see to memory. This illustrates just why the landscape photographer needs to look and study, and then interpret the scene in their own way, much like Impressionist painters do.

And this is also why landscape photography is such a difficult yet delightful challenge.

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