Self-Improvement Through Photography and Landscapes

I think it's safe to assume that the majority of us out there strive to be better people, that is to say, we want to grow and progress as we move through our lives. This video attempts to make the case that landscape photography can help us on that journey. 

In my own experience, landscape photography (of which I have admittedly not done a great deal of) has been both a relaxing and gratifying experience while being a simultaneously frustrating one. On one hand, I very much enjoy the solitude that nature offers. I freely admit that I am an introverted person and the ability to pack my things, head out for a hike, and get away all with the prospect of finding a location to try and capture a scene and a mood is a very attractive one. On the other hand, as my photographic skill set is lacking when it comes to landscapes, it can be a frustrating experience to see a beautiful scene but be unable to get a shot that both captures the mood and one that I am happy with. 

One point that host Henry Turner makes that I really agree and connect with is the notion of perspective, or attention to the scene around us. This is something that I have definitely become more self aware of after having spent time shooting both portraits and landscapes. Photography and the pursuit of gratifying work has absolutely altered (for the better I think) the way that I approach and view the world around me. These days I can often catch myself scanning a given scene for potential locations to shoot. I see texture, color, and symmetry in nature in ways that I would not notice if not for photography. 

What do you think? If you've shot landscapes either professionally or for hobby, chime in. Do you think that landscape work, or photography as a profession for that matter, can help shape us into better people? Are you like me and struggle with balancing the relaxing aspects with the frustrating ones? One question that I find myself asking lately is a broad one, but I think a very important one. Is photography as a career moving my life in a positive direction? Ask yourself the same question, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

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I shoot landscape photography as a hobby and going out to remote locations has made me more aware and appreciative of life outside of the anthroposphere, which is where I spend almost all of my time. I am a much bigger proponent of the National Parks system and the Texas State Parks. I am concerned more about the human impact on the world than I was a few years ago. I actually love it when the top of the screen on my phone says 'no service' and I can actually take my time and think without my phone beeping (usually with one my kids or ex-wife wanting money). I enjoy so much not being around other people.

I don't know if that makes me a better person.

Ed Sanford's picture

"Do you think that landscape work, or photography as a profession for that matter, can help shape us into better people?"

No.... I know a lot of a$$oles who do wonderful photography. However, doing this will make you a better photographer and "visualizer". If you want to be a better person, you have to work on that trait. In other words work on yourself as a person.

Willy Williams's picture

I have found that the discipline involved in the creation of great photos extends to personal life, as well. It involves planning, doing one's homework, preparation, patience, tenacity, compassion, and inner peace. For me, photography is like a meditation in that the work involved in creating photographs often results in a finer appreciation of reality IF one does the necessary preliminaries.