Northern Colombia, ©2018 Terrell Neasley
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
~ Marcel Proust

It has certainly been a joy to write about this Passion Series. I’ve tried to articulate what and why these genres are important to me, but after re-reading them, I’ve only scratched the surface. There are still so much to say on each of these matters. I’ve only been able to succinctly present my reasoning after I realized one critical truth; It is not imperative that I explain everything. 
That being said, any artist wants to share themselves with the world, at least in part; otherwise why be an artist? If I can find a way to spend my time combining these three loves, that’s the dream. I don’t know a greater fulfillment, with respect to an artistic perspective, that anyone can hope for. It may not compare to being in love, seeing your firstborn coming into the world, looking into your mother’s eyes when she’s happy, or witnessing the fulfillment of your faith. But you and I are more than just one of ourselves. There are different aspects of each of us.
Landscape is the third passion of mine in photography. You can’t do photography without a place to put what you are photographing. Certainly, you can build a place, of course. I loved spending time in my studio back in Las Vegas. It is a controlled environment, but it is finite. Getting out in nature… in natural settings… that is where the vast infinity of the world lies. I sell more portraiture than landscapes or nudes, but I make much more money with my landscapes than any other single piece of art. I think it means more to me when a client has a landscape of mine hanging on their walls. They’ve paid significantly more for it and they’ve made an investment into me. I owe them the best I can do. It’s not the same when they hire me to take their portrait and hang themselves on their walls. When they buy my landscape, they hang a piece of me and the story I’ve told about my adventures and the places I’ve seen, on display in their homes and businesses.
Western Highland, Guatemala ©2018 Terrell Neasley
Landscape is the is the first and original creation. Before we ever were… landscape was. Landscape is something I had to learn to see. I wasn’t born with an “eye” for it. I had to learn, practice, and cultivated that vision. My idea of landscape was the vast mountains of Colorado, or the seascapes of New England with its beaches and lighthouses. I was in Kentucky at the time. I didn’t think landscape existed there. Some nice pictures could be had from time to time, but not artistic landscapes. Or so, I thought. I’ve since learned better. For me, I had to get out from where I was and then look back. It’s something akin to getting high above the forest to actually see the vastness of the woods. It has a an infinite degree of compositional dimensions. Let me touch on a few:
Landscape takes on a different life at night than it does during the day. That’s another degree of infinity. Therefore, time is a chronological compositional dimension. At night, the nocturnal activities, the atmosphere, and your attitude about the landscape takes on another persona, much like a split personality. Seasonal differences can be another aspect of that. A fall scene in Middle Tennessee going East on Interstate 40 from Nashville is something to behold. The leaves are changing to their splendid and vibrant fall colors. Do that same drive 3 months later and you lose it all. 
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala ©2018 Terrell Neasley
Landscape in Ecuador will be different from landscape in Egypt. Therefore geography is an obvious infinite degree of compositional dimension. This is one of a few factors that drive my desire to travel. I want to see God’s creation in the different parts of the globe for two reasons. One, is the beauty of the creation itself. Two, I get to witness and better understand the impact that the landscape has on the culture and evolution of the people who make their home in these places. It was an humbling moment to witness a little old woman in Germany kick my ass walking up a mountain carrying a bundle of something that I can only imagine she’s done a million times over her life. She was every bit the size of a Hobbit, and yet she walked past me and my crew like we were walking backwards up that mountain. 
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Landscape can be active or static. In a sense, it is always changing. I mean… technically, plate tectonics cause continental drift as fast as 2 inches a year. New landmass is being created all the time in one place and destroyed in another. Circle of Life. But you can look at photos of the Old West of the 1800’s and hold it against the horizon of the same place today and not much has changed. It’s static. Look at a glacial landscape of just 20 years ago… not so static. It’s much more dynamic (thanks to Climate Change).  
Landscape can also be affected by the weather. One location can be vastly different when taken on a cloudy day versus in the full sun. Try shooting in inclement  weather! Landscape became alive to me after I moved to Las Vegas and saw Valley of Fire and Red Rock. I moved there during the summer. But years later, when we got a good snow, the Red Rock mountains were covered in white and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed on land. But hey… keep living! And then you can look at the affect animals have on landscape. Google how Yellowstone changed after wolves were reintroduced. Ask the folks down in Ushuaia, Argentina how beavers, an invasive species there, has changed it’s landscape
Nevada Deserts ©2013 Terrell Neasley
Landscape doesn’t have to be shot with a wide-angle lens. I still like fast lenses for it, but it’s not imperative. I shoot with a 24 and a 55. BUT, I can shoot vertical orientation with an L-Bracket and a tripod and stitch multiple shots together for a high-resolution pano that renders more detail and less distortion than what a single shot wide-angle lens can deliver. Ansel Adams is perhaps the best known landscape photographer. He got his detail from hiking a Large Format Camera around the mountains of Yosemite. I can’t imagine what that’s like. Hauling a huge camera up and down elevation changes of thousands of feet and limited to maybe 6 shots.
Landscape doesn’t care about you. It’s indifferent and doesn’t even recognize you. And it is for this reason that you must respect it and cherish it when you, because it does recognize what you do to it. Sometimes, there are sacrifices it demands of you if you want your shot. I’ve been stupid. Too stupid. In one instance, I risked my life and the shot did not prove remarkable. But how could I know until I took it. Understand the risks you take when you love something or someone that much. Passion, like a coin, has two sides. But if you don’t let it kill you, can you ever say you loved it?
And there you have it. My top 3 passions of photography. I hope you can identify with them, as well. If not, I encourage you to explore a little bit. Don’t stop learning. I’m presently enrolled in an online landscaping course with someone I believe I can learn from. You will learn so much about yourself and further advance your understanding of light. And I will try to get over my inability, in some instances, where I can’t take a landscape photo without a nude model. No promises…
Thank you.
Art Model, Viki Vegas, Nude in Landscape, ©2011 Terrell Neasley