Taylor Franta's picture


I was recently invited to speak to a high school photography class in South Carolina about my photography. I rarely get the opportunity to speak about my work and my process and by now it has become so second nature that I really had to think about it for a bit. What does it mean to me to be a landscape photographer?

Well, it short it means showing the experience. The human eye can really only "focus" on a few degrees in the center of vision while the rest of the peripheral vision is relatively washed out. A camera, on the contrary, is able to focus on the entire scene at once. This creates a problem. Our eyes are drawn to certain aspects of a scene. Certain things catch our attention while others are lost in the noise. A camera cannot differentiate this.

My goal is such: to make those things that the eyes see first be the first things someone focuses on when they view the picture. Thus, allowing the viewer to have the same experience.

This picture was no different. For instance, two things really caught my attention while shooting here so I made sure to include them in the final image. First, there was a group of dolphins playing offshore. They took me by surprise at first but it was a joy watching them. If you look closely you can see one of the dolphin's tails. Secondly , the stars were awfully bright for being so close to the city. They of course were not this low on the horizon but it was still something I admired while at location and so I wanted the viewer to be able to admire them as well.

Ultimately being a landscaper is more than simply showing a snapshot of the scene. The experience must be present.

PS This is a 337 megapixel image. If you want to view a zoomable full res version please visit: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/184381

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