on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Finding the Individual

Photography and Person

Michéla Griffith

In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.


Every time I read an article that advocates individuality in photography I let out a silent cheer. More emphasis to the developing chorus. It is something that I very much agree with – the last thing I wish to do now is to make an image that either documents a vista or duplicates that which another might see if they stood next to me.

One can argue that even apparent photographic plagiarism carries the possibility that we will create something new – we are all different – but how might you increase the likelihood of finding photographic individuality and why should you want to? Now we come to photography in numbers it is increasingly important to find or create our own space. Vision comes from being (true to) yourself. Style will follow.

A more individual, or at least personal, approach may also bring other unforeseen benefits. This certainly has been my experience. Understand that your camera takes you on a journey. There is a start – which may stem from a wish to record an experience or precious moment, or simply a desire to escape being the subject of the image – but there is no end point. We never stop learning.

Inspired by the images around us, our initial focus is likely to be on the product – the image itself. Photography by its very nature relies on the visual. With what could be argued to be the ubiquity of the landscape photograph online and an overemphasis on spectacle, there is a fine line to be drawn between landscape photography and calendar image or tourist slideshow. 

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