Another problem is that I am seeing a growing trend of conformism in landscape photography. I could not recognize any one of those photos and tell who was their author, but at the same time they could have been attributed to any one of the many photographers who are very popular on social media. There is this prevalent style in landscape photography that aims to capture the viewer with dramatic light, strong composition and bright, saturated colors. I can definitely see why people like it, but I don’t like it anymore.
The third and final problem is that all those beautiful images didn’t speak to my soul. It’s as if, at some point, I realized that what the photographer was thinking of, when he pressed the shutter and when he processed the image, was “How can I wow the viewer, get more accolades online, and make more sales?”
All of this would not be a problem and I could limit myself to moan the lack of discernment of whomever put that slideshow together, but if I look at what is popular online, this is exactly what I see. Each one of those photos, if published on 500px, would have gone straight to one of the first pages of the popular photos of the day, landscape category. Don’t get me wrong, all the photos on there and those in this screenshot are beautiful and I am not here to badmouth their authors. But many of them, with a few exceptions, are shooting what the public likes and in a way that the public will appreciate. Peter Lik is truly great at this: shooting exactly what sells and employing exceptional marketing skill to make millions. I envy him and everyone who manages to have even a hundredth of his commercial success. Life must be great up there.