Pressing on with Pressed Landscapes

One of the reasons I decided to do the Pressed Landscapes project was because I happened on a theme in my work when I looked back. Here’s one from the archives:

Pressed Bow ©Samantha Chrysanthou

Pressed Bow ©Samantha Chrysanthou

I didn’t set out to photograph the world in a way that rendered it somewhat flat, as if pressed between the pages of a book. But for whatever reason, my attraction to certain subject matter, my choice of focal length and how I arranged my compositions, that is the way things turned out. Looking back, I can see this style emerge, and it was an intriguing enough idea to generate this project. And now it’s time to push on with some fresh work.

In many of our talks and workshops, Darwin and I stress the importance of thinking of creative vision rather than personal style. The reason for that is simple: personal style is what happens when you are pursuing your creative vision. You can’t (and shouldn’t) try to develop a style of shooting. Instead, your style will only emerge if you are true to what motivates YOU to click the shutter. So, take a look back through some of your images. What is your style? More importantly, are you aware of your motivations for making the images you make? What’s YOUR creative vision?

About the Author

Photographing the incredible beauty of natural things, filming quirky videos, trying new foods with unpronounceable names, curling up with a good book, sharing ideas on how to live lighter on the Earth...these are a few of my favourite things!


  1. Tom Robbins
    February 7, 2014

    This is a wonderful subject with good advice and thoughtful questions, Samantha.

    Unless one is blessed with an unusual abundance of time and funds, a photographer’s inspiration will likely exist within a couple hours of travel time from home. This can actually be an advantage as it narrows attention to things local and attendant variations of season, light, and so on. If local images are pursued long enough—months, years, decades?—an intimate knowledge of place is gained, and personal style naturally follows. There are fantastic opportunities for travel photos (mountains! canyons! rivers! lakes! beaches!) of course, but personal style is probably best found much closer to home.

    On the equipment side: one whopper of an influence for me was Canon’s 45 and 90mm tilt shift lenses, especially with regards to shift. With the camera body in landscape position, seeing 2:1 horizontal and 4:5 vertical compositions have become second nature. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any camera’s native aspect ratio, but tilt and shift lenses certainly will add creative options.

    April 2, 2014

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