Mike Langford has always been a thinking photography and this month's article distils his thoughts on using photography to communicate what you feel about a subject - to interpret it.
"A long time before I even thought of becoming a photographer, I remember going to a slide show put on by one of the rangers at the Mt Cook Visitor Centre in the Mt Cook National Park. During the summer months, they ran interpretation programs as a means of communicating to park visitors the values the park offered, including pristine environments and spectacular scenery. The Mount Cook National Park has many!
"The one presentation that still stands out in my mind was when a ranger showed off his wonderful photographic skills with a presentation that was designed to illustrate the beauty of the National Park, in comparison with the ugliness of a near-by city. The problem with the presentation wasn’t with the ranger’s camera skills, as he was a true master of the craft; rather, he didn’t know how to use the medium to best illustrate his message.
"Yes, the photographs showing the park’s virtues were excellent without question – they were truly breathtakingly beautiful, including powerful and uplifting shots of mountains and subtle delicate images of flowers, plants and insects. Unfortunately, the photographs of the city were also beautiful. He showed shots using bright saturated colours that sparkled in the smog, shots of smoke and steam spewing up into the sky from factories that were beautifully backlit, while ugly buildings lacking aesthetic were shown in silhouette, disguising their true formless characters."
So, what should the ranger have done? And what does Mike do today? Read the answers in the current issue of Better Photography (Issue 105). Click on the link below to subscribe - plus you get immediate access to 50 back issues full of informative material and inspirational ideas! Use coupon code BP40 to get 40% off - just $29.88 for an annual subscription.