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Esperance Altered Landscape

11 Jan 2011 at 4:06pm

Forget the beautiful beaches, amazing coastline and beautiful light. Altered landscapes are the new “in” images. If your not shooting this stuff , your shooting Fluff!!

This is something Flemming and I have been exploring and we believe everyone will be doing it one day. As I have learnt recently from a curator of an altered landscape museum in the US, “show the viewer something that hasn’t been seen before.” And in the great words of the amazing Les Walkling, ” Show something that can’t be seen”

Try to think of that the next time your out shooting a fluffy pretty landscape.

And if your wondering what sells??? I’ll tell you when I see you!

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  1. Cleggy says:

    Well the clouds look great! hope to get some better shots on the work shop this weekend though!!! Ha ha ah

  2. Steve says:

    Christian, I guess I just don’t get it. Are you just saying shoot buildings and stuff with pretty clouds in the background?

  3. mervfrench says:

    That is fantastic , unbelievably beautiful, magic scene, great capture, unreal colors, master of composition………………. NOT!!!!!!

    NUP !!!!!

    You’ve lost the plot. 🙂

  4. Love the clarity of this image … I do understand what you are looking to present to the viewer … What distracts me slightly in this capture is the building with the red sign … So well prepared in post … Its like your standing right there ….

  5. There are some funny replies to this post, some very bewildered fans 😀 Do not fear folks, you will soon get it and you will be capturing fine art images of every shopping trolley and telephone pole in your neighbourhood! Remember the pioneers when you we venture intp Altered Landscapes. The drive to and from Esperance from Dunsborough was Altered heaven in places, some amazing silos etc. Oh and that old house we found, woohoo!

    Neal is right about the building on the left, needs a bit of chopping. Love the faded processing, brilliant work Jedi Christian!

    There is a story here. I dare the viewers to find it. Someone left that skip open for a reason…

    • Well he has 60.5 mp to do a little crop 🙂

    • mervfrench says:

      One good thing about this is you don’t have to travel the world for images , just stay home and shoot your rubbish bin and front fence …. jobs done, and you don’t need 50k of camera !!! 🙂

      It must be some sort of a Jedi mind thing …i was never into that stuff !!!

  6. I see what you’re both doing. You’re lowering our expectations, by putting out stuff we won’t get, making us think we won’t see another landscape from the amazing locations you visited. Then you’ll bang out the stuff we’ll love and then it’ll have even more impact! 😀

  7. this is the future guys, trust me soon you will be shooting the ugliest scenes with the ugliest light and it will be liberating. Think of a message and tell us through the image. We need to widen our view to shoot things that may mean something. Beauty in nature is fantastic. The image of a landscape ruined by man is fascinating. You wait to you see the stuff we have shot for the Pilbara Project. There are going to be a lot of people going WTF! It is different but so much fun too. In an interview Michael did with Peter Eastway he said that a straight landscape wasn’t doing it for him anymore and increasingly he was looking to the effects of man on that landscape to be inspired.

    Go forth and shoot the bin. Best image to be posted wins a date with Flemming the Jedi master.

    • mervfrench says:

      Sounds like i’ve been ahead of you guys all along … ugly scenes, bad light I knew I was onto something !!!!!!

    • My goal is to shoot a great image of really ugly stuff! Seriously, that is my goal. Too easy to produce a good image of pretty nature. I’ve done that. This is the new challenge, so much fun and these images are so cool to process.

      No more shooting pretty but boring stuff, no more pressure in producing beautiful but boring images that please the crowd. Go forth and explore and win that competition. A date with me is no small prize, just ask those women from the NYE party!

      The Pilbara Project images are brilliant I can tell you and will blow everyone’s mind…do not miss that exhibition!

  8. Tim Wootton says:

    Too funny!! A well processed image of the bloated dogs body inside the bin would be worth seeing.
    I have always wanted to do a series of images about rubbish and it’s effect on our environment etc!

  9. muzz says:

    Have you hit your head again?

  10. Luke Austin says:

    Is that bin on the right laughing at you?
    I do agree that there are many great images to be had everywhere and anywhere and “altered landscapes” are a good example of that, but this one just doesn’t seem to do it for me. I have seen many of your altered landscapes and I really like a lot of them. My head is hurting trying to get this one though. Wah

  11. Matt saul says:

    Why don’t you put these shots in your online gallery fletch?

  12. Jamie Nicolaou says:

    Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a farmer and have been looking at Avocados for 10 hours a day, but I don’t get it! Sure there wasn’t any lead in the water you drank in Esperance?

  13. Cutts says:

    Brilliant image Christian!

    I spent 15 years growing up in Esperance, and can honestly day that I’ve never seen that side of the town before….. well not during the daylight hours at least.

    Very artistic.

  14. Funny reading here !
    Your work of this style from Tassie and prior is better than this one IMO. I, like a some of us perhaps (?) enjoy shooting crappy stuff and over the years have been known to ‘waste’ 6×17 frames shooting logging operations and junkyard places in outback towns etc.
    Slightly off topic – In 2009 I shot a complete portfolio of the ugly devastation after black saturday – I returned to the same mountain range of a deliberately lit firestorm every fortnight for 3-4months. Ever so sadly though most of this work is now MIA/stolen. Often if I posted an image or two from this, people would request I not put up ugly post bushfire images – lol
    Sometimes stuff so ugly can have an appeal or curious beauty or message of its own. I guess the trick is, to do it/make it appealing as art with a message that someone might want to hang on their wall. (Unlike this piece for me) 🙂


  15. grant kench says:

    Is there an “Altered Landscape 500” coming?
    I would be in that.

  16. Christian says:

    Well everyone this image has done it’s job. We are all talking about an image that really isn’t that good but it has made us feel something…… Something you can’t see. I have accomplished my aim, the image has worked and now I can sell it on the ART market for a million dollars.

    Now imagine if this image got so much publicity that it became famous or infamous. Collectors would want to buy this and pay good money just for the bragging rights. Have a look at the fine art images that sell for good money and they aren’t even this good.

    Bring on the crap, it is gold!

    • mervfrench says:

      As I said , i knew I was onto something ….. I’m going to clean up , make a fortune, Salvadore Dali has got nothing on me.

      There is certainly something in this shot that I can’t see, thats for sure !!

  17. Pete Hodgson says:

    Hey Christian, sounds like you are going through a new Phase.

  18. Fashion? Or art? I was never a fan of the fashion industry!

  19. Christian says:

    haha boys, we will make art critics out of you yet!

  20. Matt saul says:

    I dont get what it has ‘made us feel that we cant see’, true everyone is talking about it (mostly not in a positive way), but they are not talking about how the image makes them feel, and the hidden meaning of the image…..
    Maybe you can enlighten us cf?
    ‘The image of a landscape ruined by man is fascinating’ – how about JPP ?

  21. Jared says:

    I really like this shot. I agree with the comments on the red writing on the left of the frame being slightly distracting but as a whole it is pretty cool.

    I really like this style too. Exploring mans impact on the environment in a landscape style is very appealing to me. For others that are interested in exploring this style further check out artists Bernd & Hilla Becher, Michael Light, Pipo Nguyen-duy, Rondal Partridge, Ed Ruscha, and Amy Stein among others.

    As for winning the date, how is this for a bin shot?


  22. Donelle says:

    We just drove back from Esperance today!! lol Was it windy for you guys??? It blew a gale for most of the time we were there, no idea what my pics are like will sort those out tomorrow!! lol Never thought of taking pics of the bins though??!! lol Luv the clouds though!!

  23. hazel says:

    I’ve been shooting stuff like this for years. Inspired by others. Not sure its that new Christian.

  24. hazel says:

    I spent a week in August last year with Magnum Photos under the guidance of Chien Chi Chang. Chien Chi works on assignment for National Geographic ….. with assignments. Bruno Barby and Trent Parke (the first ever Aussie Magnum photographer) took the other two classes. To talk to Bruno Barbey whose images have adorned the front cover of Time Magazine for years was humbling to say the least.
    It was portfolio assessed and the most challenging week I have ever had as a photographer. Opened my eyes to so many different photographers and what they shoot and why. People in my class from all over Australia, Brussels and France. We all had a main focus for the week….. to produce a story in Freo in 2-10 images which opened Foto Freo. We started at 8 and worked till 11… we laughed, cried, argued but most importantly made some great friendships. I will never forget it. It changed my whole focus.
    One guy a doctor chose to photograph some of his patients at home, another focused on some refugees in Freo, another on tug boats, another on the sex industry in Freo (OH MY those pics were very confronting). I focused on WA Circus school. The majority of people though focused on urban landscape and produced similar stuff to the image you have posted Christian. Some took it one step further and played with shadows… brilliant stuff. … brilliant week.

  25. hazel says:

    I meant to say …….with people assignments.

  26. Nothing is new Hazel. But it is new to me. Just nice to shoot something different.

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