Cliché photography is about lack of imagination. Taking the pictures that everyone else takes. That can be location, genre, or processing. It is copying the photographs that others have taken before.
When I was in the Lake District earlier this year, I could not resist taking the lone tree at Buttermere. I had to queue, because there were other photographers in front of me, setting up their tripods. This is a very popular view. Try a search on Google, and you will see that lots of photographers have been there before you. Thousands of photographers each year take that same view. I agree all the images are different, and there are lots of different versions, but essentially they are all the same scene.
So is my version unique? I have changed the sky to one that was not there and added a texture effect to the foreground. So is it still cliche photography?
Cliché Photography: SLPOTY
Well, the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (SLPOTY) is so fed up with receiving submissions from just a few places that they have banned images from certain locations from now on.
These are the most popular and most photographed views in Scotland. SLPOTY maintains that 80% of their submissions are just from these 19 locations!
So if you want to enter their competition you will need to find a unique perspective.
Isn’t Photography About Fun
I applaud the SLPOTY in trying to promote diversity but isn’t photography about fun. It is exciting to discover beautiful landscape images, find their locations and attempt to recreate or put your own take on familiar scenes.
I am going to Scotland next month and I look forward to tracking down the nineteen locations that the SLPOTY have banned and putting my stamp on their ‘honeypot’ beauty spots.
It is now so easy to find these locations and explore the views that other photographers have taken, by using books like these. These guides include instructions about how to get there and even where to park.
If you are a serious photographer and want to become Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year, then avoid the popular beauty spots, but if like me you want to come back with some cracking shots, buy the books and shoot the clichés