Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

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It’s difficult for landscape photographers to refrain from taking the saturation to 11 on everything they photograph. This is because they are excited about the photo they took, and adjusting the saturation is extremely easy. Furthermore, all photographs require post-processing (even if you want to honestly capture the ‘natural beauty of our planet’ as you put it). If you’re sitting in front of the computer tweaking a photo for an hour without someone else to give feedback, it’s really easy to go way overboard on things like saturation, clarity, tone-mapping, etc without realizing it. It’s not always dishonesty. I find it’s usually either the photographer didn’t get feedback before posting it, or they just don’t have a developed taste yet.

In learning landscape photography, you’re often told to be very patient. This generally refers to waiting for the best lighting, the best weather, etc, but I find that patience is also required during the post processing phase of landscape photography. I wait at least a day before editing my photos, then after editing them I will walk away from the computer and not look at the photos for a while. Usually when I return with fresh eyes I’m struck with a ‘what-was-I-thinking?’ feeling, and then continue editing. Sometimes I repeat this process several times to make sure I haven’t gone overboard, or made some similar mistake. Painters will often do the same thing. If you’re drawing a person and you think it looks great, you leave for a few hours and then come back, and you immediately realize the person’s head is TINY compared to the rest of the body. It’s so noticeable to fresh eyes, but you didn’t see it before. It’s exactly the same issue with photo editing.

Sorry for going into such a long winded explanation, but I feel like landscape photographers get ragged on for being tasteless or dishonest when generally it’s just carelessness too much passion, haha.

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