The human element

For the past few years, landscapes have been a major part of my photography. Although my primary system was a Leica M which is mostly considered a street/documentary camera, I quickly moved away from these kind of photos and chose landscapes as my main subject.

While I still enjoy shooting a good landscape image, I have been to the same places far too many times and to some extend, I have exhausted the possible subjects. Its not easy for me to travel each time to a new place (for many reasons), so lately I have found myself looking for different subjects (and that explains the use of the 28-300 lens, since I rarely shot above 90mm until recently).


The human element in a scene can really transform the whole image. The presence of people in a landscape photo immediately changes the way you look at it and interpret it. Its a new image, and many times a more interesting one. It doesn’t necessarily have to tell a story, its not street photography, just a different presentation of what could otherwise be a boring photo.


In a recent search though my archive, these kind of images really caught my attention and they gave me some ideas for my future trips. Its not always easy to have a human presence which fits in a scenery, unless of course you make it happen (with a friend or a model). I usually don’t shoot with other photographers, so I have to be in the right place at the right time. It takes patience and luck.


Photography as a hobby, is an ever changing process. There are people who are drawn to a specific subject, stay with it and master the process (i.e. macro, portraits, landscape, etc). For me, it goes through phases, depending on many things like season, mood, need for experimenting, and other factors.

Recently, I have found myself shooting more digital than film after a long time. Maybe the use of a long telephoto allows me to capture the human element in the environment without coming very close. Its not street shooting, so sometimes its better to use a telephoto lens just to record the human presence. What is certain, is that, these days I prefer to include people in my frame without necessarily having them as my main subject. Its more like blending, like putting them as one of the subjects on an larger concept. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Its a new thing for me, and will sure take time to get more experience in order to make some good images.

We’ll see how that goes !!




(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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