on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Autumn Pallete by Michael Bollino

Franz Gisin chooses one of his favourite images

Franz Gisin

I am a retired California-based applied mathematician turned intimate landscape and nature photographer. My career was immensely satisfying from an analytical perspective. But now, in the autumn of my life, it is time to throttle back the left side of my brain. And give the right side more opportunities to engage in creative endeavours.


None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.~ John Muir

Scroll. Scroll. Pause. Scroll. Pause. Scroll. Pause. I’m cruising through every image in the last eighteen issues of “On Landscape” eMags, with some pauses lasting much longer than others. It took several iterations before I narrowed it down to two images, plus a flip of the coin before I finally settled on the winner: the landscape image by featured photographer Michael Bollino on page 6 of issue 257. [In case you are interested, the runner-up was a closeup image, also by Michael, on page 10 of the same issue.]

I’m always fascinated by the role “extroversion” and “introversion” play in the process of transferring a landscape onto a crisp sheet of fine art paper or state-of-the-art LCD display.

On one hand, I, as well as most other landscape photographers, spend an inordinate amount of time fussing over an image’s composition. Starting out with camera placement, often with millimetre precision. And finishing with generous amounts of post-processing embellishments that best showcase the scene exactly the way we want to envision it. Clearly, an extroverted effort where the combined sensibilities of our logical minds, plus an abundance of landscape compositional rules, get projected onto the scene we hope to capture with our hard-earned photographic skill sets.

On the other hand, I know of many landscape photographers, including myself, who often use landscape photography as an excuse to spend copious amounts of time in nature. An extension of the therapeutic Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, loosely translated as “forest bathing”. An introspective effort where we use the natural world to swiftly peel away layers of opaque multi-tasking stress, clearing the way for our rejuvenated senses to efficiently reenergize our tired aching hearts. And during those magical moments, we photographers cannot resist taking out our cameras, hoping to capture hallelujah images that do justice to the larger-than-life exhilarations sweeping through our very being.

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