Josef Sudek Landscape Photographs

While looking for inspiration in the library I came across a book of Czech photographer Josef Sudek's work. Sudek is well known for his photographs taken of Prague and was often referred to as 'the poet of Prague'. His photographs are incredibly atmospheric and even though many are taken in the city of Prague, there is an overwhelming sense of isolation in his images which often feature trees as a focal point.

Sudek's work isn't just exteriors and a particular shot of some architecture really grabbed me from the book I looked at, but at this stage in my research I want to focus more on his photographs taken outside to help inspire possibly landscape and other exterior photographs I could take. 

There is a real sense of spirituality and purity in the way Sudek captured his subject matter and because of this Sudek became a key figure in Czech photography. The way he absorbed himself into his surroundings and reshaped the landscape of his city through his photographs, shows an incredible understanding of visual language and in particular light, which is managed beautifully in his characteristically dark toned photographs.

In this particular photograph above titled A Walk on Shooter's Island I love how Sudek has managed to isolate this tree against this bright negative space. Which despite being a large tree has something very ethereal about the way it is presented to us. With these delicate branches going towards the edges of the photograph which are so crisp against this white space, the subject matter is almost personified by the careful composition of this photograph. 

This more minimalistic aesthetic adopted in landscape photography is not something I have seen a lot of but I very much admire the way Sudek has managed to isolate shapes in his compositions. Which are framed in a schematic way but feel rich and complex, as this aesthetic focusing on shapes and light gives a mystical sense of drama and atmosphere.

Looking at Sudek's landscape work has inspired me to try out some of these more minimalistic approaches in taking landscape photographs of my own. As in the past I have struggled to make photographs of landscapes that interest me aesthetically. Therefore exploring these more detached ways of composing landscapes has really inspired me to try something different with this kind of photography. 

Coming across these photographs of architecture by Sudek has also inspired me to look at photographing exteriors of buildings and various achitecture as well as landscapes. As the aesthetics of photographing man made structures really fascinate me.

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