Social media has assisted photographers in fast-tracking their skills and learning new techniques and genres. I have loved looking at other photographers photos and wondering how they got the shot? How they edited the shot to get the particular look? Or discovered a new technique or genre to try for my self.
It also validates the photographer in getting quick feedback on images. This is usually based on the number of likes or favs on an image.
But, what I am discovering now is that is also homogenising creative photography. It's actually removing the creative aspect and encouraging photographers to shoot, compose and edit in similar ways. I think of social media and its influence like a drug dealer. Slowly drawing the photographer in with likes and social media attention. Then, gradually over time, the desire for increasing likes and followers leads to producing images in a predictable format. In a format that will draw the most likes. The images become about the likes and less about the creative image or the unique scene.
I'm guilty of this too. Photo Rangers does not advertise and communicates to customers and potential customers through social media. Getting likes and followers means enlarging our sphere of influence and marketing our workshops to greater numbers of people. I have found myself thinking 'what will get the most likes/attention?' and then posting an attention-grabbing shot.
Shots that generate the most attention for landscape photographers are wide angle, long exposure, water or waterfall shots at golden hour with plenty of nice colour in them. A nice astro shot with a lit foreground is also increasingly popular. Actually the more red or the brighter the Milky Way the more likes. These are always well shot well composed perfect landscape shots. They are also shots that have become easy to take with modern camera equipment.
This makes me sad because I think it is sucking the creative life out of us photographers. I challenge you to go out and take a landscape shot that is not the 'Instagram Gold' standard. be creative and experiment. Use a creative eye and see what you can discover. I look forward to seeing your shots!
Here are a couple I took last night using a super telephoto lens (100-400mm).
Fujifilm XT3, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6