Landscape and Meteoroscape

それは「世界にひとつ」を探す旅 ———

■ There are 2 types of Scenery Photography.

1. There are 3 sorts of photography.

Hello, to the people who just bought a 35mm digital reflex for the first time ever in life. Hi ya, to the people who are finding it hard to decide what to shoot these days. I’m happy to see you. Have you all searched through web sites yet, with phrases like “How to take Great Landscape photographs”?

Digital-era nowadays, you can spot them easily, excellent techniques invented by super professionals, can’t you? From “What cameras and lenses to choose”, to setting, composition, and “How to hit lights”. Amazon books, Google websites… OK, hands up! I who says am under the care well, too. Thank you very much.

But even while you could shoot beautiful Landscapes thanks to those excellent technique recipes, should you hold on before reading up this reference, I recommend. Because good beginning makes good end, right?

To tell the truth, techniques are not for the beginners. They are there, 2 steps away from you. Before that, you need to decide what kind of photographs to take… Well assured, already? Hey, hey! Don’t push it so hard. Calm down. Trust me! I’m not going to say such useless words.

So this is “How to take Landscape photography, or Not.” Please tag along!

OK. First thing first. Photography can be divided into 3 sorts by its objects.

“Character Photography” is the one, which portrays peoples and animals. You can see their expressions.

“Product Photography” comes to the next, which amaze you about things; mostly still lives exaggerated.

And the third is “Scenery Photography”, which depicts all of them from far away with some backgrounds added.

Never heard of it? Maybe!

It is accustomed that photography is classified by its uses like Editorial for magazines, Sports for newspapers, Commercial for advertising, Art for museums, Snap for gossips, Wedding for ancient albums, Family for smoky mantlepieces, etc 😉

So, why such strange allocation, object-divided, is needed?

The reason is, objects only can be chosen by photographers themselves. 

Of course, you do your best to contact upon people suggesting usage of your photographs. But it’s not true that photographs for nothing is nothing. They are just photographs divided into 3 sorts by its objects. On top of that, what’s going to happen if you select your objects you do not like so much, which have strong demand from market?

Gradually, you feel lost and find it hard to decide what to shoot. (So did I!)

Thus, this strange-looking allocation is essential and before you search through “How to take Great pictures”, you should revise it again on what kind of photographs you are going to take. Got it?

Next chapter really gives you a hint about “How to take Great Landscapes”.
But what is “Landscape”?

2. There are 2 types of Scenery Photography.

Hi, to the people who wondered, “What is Meteoroscape?” Howdy, to the people who are wondering in here on the halfway through to research on “How to take Great Landscape”, having a bad feeling about this site. Please make yourself at home! We stand beside you.

Because, you see? If you truly get the sense of what sort of photographs you are taking, you’ll already knew the HOW-TOs all!

Well, At the previous chapter, we’ve categorized photographs into 3 sorts. These are, Character, Product, and Scenery. Then, look at the Scenery more carefully…you can see Scenery Photography is separated into 2 types, can’t you? (whispers)…well, Not really?

“Categories in Landscape? Ridiculous!” – It’s no wonder you scream like this, since we’d had the same view as well. However, come to think of the word, Scenery, you’d notice there are 2 types of it. In addition, the usage of these tends to be different from each others.

One of which is the photography that shows any bits of surface informations as real as possible.

The other is what suggests abstract meanings of the scene which can be depicted as blurred images.

The former is called as Landscape Photography. And the latter is called as Landscape Photography, either… Well? Historically speaking, though, it is said that the former is the ‘straight’er and better than the others. the latter is recognized as an “Art?” or absolutely ignored in the worse case.

So, as a matter of convenience, we shall call it “Meteoroscape Photography” here. It’s a privilege for the inventor, isn’t it? 🙂

By the way, “Meteoros” is a word in Greeks, means “the every possible phenomenons between Heaven and the Earth”. Torahiko Terada, who was a Haiku poet, introduced the word to Japan 100 years ago. We’d like to name it after that, since the taste of the Meteoroscape Photography exists there close to Haiku. The word represents not only Western but Eastern cultures. 

Then, how to separate them? For example, if you choose the ‘Statue of Liberty’, ‘Big Ben’, or ‘Fujiyama’ for your object, you are shooting Landscape Photography. In stead, if you take ‘Joy of freedom’, ‘Glorious daylight’, or ‘Solemn wind’ images happened to be appeared around them, you are making Meteoroscape Photography. 

The reason is that the landmarks like these have spent such ages that taking photographs of them equals to writing names of the cities on it. So, we feel them actual and practical. These photographs need that reality so much. On the contrary, you could focus on nothing in particular. Photographs of these do not show where on earth, otherwise captioned to it. We feel puzzled when we see those photographs, since some informations are omitted by photographers.

…Back to the first topic again.

What sort of Scenery Photography are you majoring in? realistic Landscape Photography? or abstract Meteoroscape Photography?

To which photographs do you prefer?

3. Meteoroscape re-discovers the World.

Good day, to the people who are keen to learn “Meteoroscape” thing much more. Hey bro, to the people who’re getting hard to sense “How to take Great Landscape Photographs”. We are nearly there! Let’s begin with reconsidering the last topic, “There are 2 types of Scenery Photography.” more carefully.

There are 2 types of Scenery Photography. What is 2?

One is the realistic Landscape Photography which shows land’s surface details as much as possible. Objects for this photography are landmarks, therefore everyone who knows them notices where the photographs are taken. 

Two is the abstract Meteoroscape Photography which recalls aspects of the scene ever transforming. So everyone cannot know exact locations unless they are captioned.

Listen. The beginning of this story goes back to the time when I, the author of this article, made a college graduation work…

I was an oversea’s student. Graduation work had to be made consequently. So, I decided to squeeze out a looking-easy “Rephotography” work as a proof of graduation, which may not have been the brightest idea. It was because long long essay examinations in English (!) were also required along with it. I was too busy to complete them up.

However, feeling wrong suddenly sticked me during the production of that looking-easy “Rephotography”. What was this? You can have the same experience by watching these 2 photos presented.

What do you think? This is the very difference between pics whose objects are landmarks and pics non-landmarks.

Landmark photographs are to show the continuity of the area from the past to the present more than to expose the transformation along generations. Non-landmark photographs are vice versa. Inadequate it was that I made these contaminate and displayed. 

hnnn…Don’t you see it? OK. Let’s get it on to see them over a macroscopic view, then.

Well, the beginning of the story of the Scenery Photography in history goes back to the time when pioneers reported any findings to their home countries…

Pioneers were oversea’s employee from agencies. Reports had to be created consequently. So, they decided to squeeze out “Landscape Photography” works as a proof of “be there” thing, which might have been the brightest idea.

It was because creating a map to live long (!) in foreign countries was required along with it for sure. Capturing landmarks were essential things to do actually.

This means that the majority of the Scenery Photography should have been occupied by photographs whose objects are landmarks. However, alongside the time goes by and by, landmarks became more popular and more well-known. What was happened to the next?

“All right, I knew that place.”

This is it!

It’s the fate.

The well-known objects of Landscape Photography gradually turn into background images for Characters or Product images for consumers. It would hardly achieve that a picture of Acropolis is recognized as Great Landscape Photography now. Instead, it would be understood as a filling image of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Greek-axy. Well, a filling image of guidebook is not bad at all, though it’s just out of the line under the ‘Scenery Photography’, which handles the affairs of scenes (It’s not intended to be “Product”).

How about thinking outside of the box? There are many painters and photographers in the east and the west who possess the tendency in capturing the affairs of scenes. Decisive moments. They take such priority over the affair that their objects are showed up off the landmarks. 

On top of that, they show us the re-discovery of the world, like something we’ve never noticed but only a photographer him/herself found out from “nowhere”.

That’s it!

Although we named it “Meteoroscape” here as a matter of convenience, this janre of photography is already popular without a doubt. As a matter of fact, an English pioneer left bunch of landmark photos at a suburban town of England, while an unnamed photographer yielded forgotten moment photos until a curious Japanese man picked them up.

All in all, we’d like to say there are 2 types of Scenery Photography.

One is the Landscape Photography which equals the records and reports made by pioneers. Two is the photography that introduces re-discoveries found by photographers, which we call “Meteoroscape”.

Then, why not try finding your “Meteoroscape”? This is what we suggest you all.

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