About LensScapes Photography

When I started thinking about developing a website where I could display my photography, I decided I wanted to do this under a name, title or ‘brand’ that would attempt to sum up my style of photography.  I came up with the title: ‘LensScapes’.

LensScapes is the combination of the two words – ‘Lens’ and ‘Scapes’.  Together those two words describe simply what all pictorial photographers do.  We look through a Lens (a complex array of glass elements that focus light) at a Scape (which the dictionary defines as ‘a pictorial representation of a specified type of view’), and we photograph what we see…. pictorially.  The majority of images that I take are exactly that – Lens-Scapes.  I couldn’t come up with anything else that explained it better.

Fundamentally everything we see outdoors is a view or a ‘Scape’ of one type or another. Most commonly that will be a Landscape – a term we will all be familiar with.

There are other categories of Scapes:  Seascapes, Skyscapes, Cityscapes, Mountainscapes to name a few. And there’s one more that I would add to this list that is relevant to a lot of my work – the MicroScape.  MicroScape is a term I have come up with to describe the Scape that I seek out when I put the Landscape under the Microscope and choose to capture just a small close-at-hand fragment of a much more extensive view in a pictorial way.

All Scapes, by definition, imply a pictorial approach to capturing views as images. At which point you might reasonably ask what is meant by ‘Pictorial’, and here the dictionary lets us down as it becomes rather tautologous!  But the answer to the question is I believe that for an image to be pictorial it needs to have an aesthetic quality that adds that ‘je ne sais quoi’ or extra ingredient that lifts it above what would otherwise be a documentary photograph.

I think it’s amazing that despite the millions of photographs we take, somehow we continue to see these Scapes differently and we put our own individual stamp on them. A range of factors combine to make this individuality possible – the quality of the light, the time of day, the season, the weather, our viewpoint, the way we frame or compose the shot, the lens we choose, the way we control focus and depth of field etc.  And that list does not begin to take into account how we process the image in a computer or output it in colour or black and white.