The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the wonderful theme of Elemental; I’ll be sure to cover all the Ancient Elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air during this week, as each has presented ample opportunities to me photographically.
In a break from the earlier posts in this series, I am going with a representational image for the Elemental of Earth. In this image, we look toward the strong connection that humanity has with the earth for its sustenance, materials, living space and many other aspects of our daily lives…
This image came about from my noticing this particular field, as my wife and I were driving to the town of Pienza in Tuscany. During the morning there were a number of photographers at this location, so I skipped it, only to find it even more to my liking in the afternoon!
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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10 thoughts on “The Ancient Elements – Earth”
This is a beautiful image Frank.
Thank you kindly, MIriam!
My pleasure Frank.
Grew up on a farm so this photo reminds me very much of that time. One thing stands out in particular, which again reminds me of my youth, is that no sooner had we harvested than new growth would appear.The first signs of green in the field in your photo are quite poignant.
Thank you very much, Alan! That new growth comes in very quickly during the right season.
Such a wonderful view of nature on earth and the sky!
Thank you kindly!
Beautiful!! So inviting!
Thank you so much!