Landscape scenic outdoor Nevada pictures and portraiture are the pillars of the whole and the entirety of photography – historically – and with a genuine and earnest acknowledgement to the northern renaissance painters who utilized south light and the camera obscura – very large ones in fact – to draw more accurately the features of their subjects, pastoral settings and still life paintings.
Facial features and compositions and fine details were obtained by the use of a type of parchment that was like a giant piece of carbon-copy paper. No lenses, (yet-but primitive ones coming soon) just a tiny pinhole in a large dark box. In the age of enlightenment, this became the innovative and accurate way to transfer details to the canvas – and this is also why you had to return to the studio to ‘sit’ for your portrait so the light and color, shadows and textures could be seen and painted by your artist. Photographically parts of this technique would be adapted and termed a North Light Studio, particularly the sections of banking windows covered by multiple sections of adjustable curtains.
T. K. Whipple –
“All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.”
Scenics too benefitted as well from the knowledge of perspective and compositions gained by this formative ‘studio work’. I am a fan of early B&W pictorialists like William Mortensen, Wallace Nutting and Fred Thompson. Busy studio operations sent photographers far and wide to capture photographically the environments and architecture of places with atmosphere, water, times of day and landscape. Before selling and distributing these were collected, edited, titled, mass produced, printed and then colorized at the studio by the score.
Its fun to imagine and remember that all art borrows from its predecessors – but it is a good and relevant history. Basics of composition, lighting, rules of thirds are happily and traditionally the tools available to photographers even to this day.
With scenic outdoor Nevada landscapes there are a lot of other details involved- maps, travel, time, destinations, vehicles, provisions and gear and even more gear. Hear about it. Find it on the GPS, think about it … and get out there with some atmosphere and magic light – and don’t run out of film¡!