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Hand Of Man in Death Valley

Rick Sammon posted an image and question from our past “The Digital Photo Workshops” that asked what we thought about the hand of man in his image. I have two thoughts about this:

First, if showing what effect man has on the planet is your goal for your image, then by all means include that. If it is there to evoke an emotion that we are a part of this earth and that we do effect and change the planet in time then show it. It should not be a distraction or overpowers the viewers “sense of place” which I think is very important in a photo.

Second, my thought is that I want to show the beauty of the place I saw. Did I see all those foot prints in the sand, maybe, but the emotion I felt did not see them. I saw an incredible vista in front of me and I want the viewers of my photographs to feel and experience as much as I did. If that means that I spent the time to remove all the footprints, than that is what I am going to do.

We live in a time where we see the hand of man everywhere, we can go to very few places where we cant see it’s effects. I want people that see my landscape photography to be able to leave man’s footprint on the world and rejoice in what is incredible and beautiful all around us. 


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