My 3 Favorite Impressionist Photos (Today…)

What photos would I hang on my wall? Let’s start here.

By Simon Burn – subscribe to Simon’s YouTube channel

A few of us have been discussing the processing of landscape photos recently, specifically comparing the art that photographers create to that of painters.

This discussion has inspired me to take a greater interest in world of fine art images.

I must confess I’ve never pursued creating fine art landscape images. I come from a commercial background and my entire career has been directed to creating images with maximum visual appeal to stand out.

Commercial images have a purpose… to inspire a destination visit, or to sell a concept or product. The images tend to have lots going on, with many details to share with the viewer.

Fine Art Images are Minimalist

Personally, I define fine art images as minimalist. To me, a fine art landscape image is a simple image, one that only includes the subject, free from any surrounding distractions.

Often, it’s also an image that takes us away from the realms of recording reality, to the point of creating an abstraction, an interpretation of what is before us, heavily influenced by our subconscious.

The images are much more about what we feel than what we actually see. So, to compare photography to painting then, fine art images – to me – are like those of impressionist painters, with lots of mood created through use of colour, with an emphasis on light.

Would I Hang it on my Wall?

Another way I look at it, is to ask myself, would I want a large print of that image on my wall?

As much as I love visually impactful images, cleverly composed with lots of colour, I think they belong on the printed page, a poster or on a website. Not on my wall, thank you.

So then, a fine art photo for me is one I could live with day in and day out, on my wall. As much as I admire the skill of the renaissance painters with their complex perspectives and detailed storytelling, I would much rather look at a more impressionist style of painting.

This got me thinking, exactly what kind of photo then, would I want to see on the wall?

So, I went on a quest to find what I consider to be great fine art photography. I spent some time online looking for landscape photographers who have created impressionist works of art. I found three that stood out.

Impressionist image of field of daisies
Rosanne Allen uses simple technology to create impressionist images

Rosanne Allen Creates Impressionist Images on her iPhone

Rosanne created a very simple detailed image in a field of daisies. She used an iPhone 8 with an app called Slow Shutter, to create a lovely blurred effect, as the daisies gently swayed in the wind.

“I find a huge delight in being able to release my artistic intent through my own photographs, using their colour and light to create a subtle blend.”

This image caught my eye because it feels like a Monet painting. I’m a huge Monet fan.

Impressionist image of an abbey in Yorkshire

Barbara Pollard, inspired by Monet and Ravel in her art

Barbara Pollard Takes a Fresh Look at Yorkshire Abbeys

Barbara spends time exploring the Abbeys in Yorkshire. She has only recently taken up impressionist photography, and her goal has been to not only capture the essence of the buildings, but the spirit of the people who lived, worked and worshipped in the Abbeys. She achieves this with multiple exposures and blending.

“My influence comes from artists like Monet, and composers such as Ravel. I love the beautiful ethereal quality in their work. The later paintings of Turner (an honorary impressionist) is also a big influence in what I’m trying to create”.

One thing Barbara said that really resonated with me, and is hugely important when creating an exceptional landscape photo, in my opinion, was “Impressionist photography allows me to say ‘This is not just something I saw; it is how I felt when I was there’”. 

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) image of a dance poster

Helle Rasmussen works both indoors and out. In this case, an ICM of a poster

Helle Rasmussen Incorporates Dance Into Her Photography

Helle likes to create abstract images using ICM, and works both outside and indoors. She admits that when creating her art, she doesn’t have a concrete goal, she just “plays around”.  The image that really caught my eye, that I think would make an incredible large print on a wall, was actually created indoors.

Helle said of this image “The photo is ICM of a poster I have in my house. A new expression of one’s expression. I took the photo because I love the colours.”

OK, so not an actual landscape photo, but it works for me!

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) abstract image

Helle combines dance into her photography to create abstract ICM images

What Would Monet or Turner Say?

This has been a very eye-opening exercise. It’s wonderful to discover so many creative individuals experimenting and trying new things.

Rules don’t exist, just the pursuit of creativity on their own terms.

I do believe this is the secret to creating unique and outstanding photographs.

What would Monet or Turner say?

“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”

Claude Monet

 

“To select, combine and concentrate that which is beautiful in nature and admirable in art is as much the business of the landscape painter in his line as in the other departments of art.”

J. M. W. Turner

That sounds about right…

Simon Burn

Simon has been a photographer and creative director in the UK and Canada for over 25 years.

He worked with Andy for multinational corporations and brands before veering off to work on travel, tourism, food and lifestyle projects. Simon has travelled all over North America and Europe, working with consumer brands, tourism associations, and resorts. His work has been published in books, graced the covers of magazines, featured on TV; and he’s also worked with other photographers in the role of creative/art director and photo editor for publications and brands, in addition to being a photography competition judge.

In 2018, he started his own YouTube channel to share his love of travel and landscape photography and filmmaking.

ExploreDiscoverShoot is borne of Simon, Andy and David’s combined creative, business and technical skills, a strong entrepreneurial flair, and passion for photography and content creation.

The opportunities to work with other creators, share ideas, and promote creativity and knowledge, is a driving force with infinite possibilities.

Simon Burn

Simon has been a photographer and creative director in the UK and Canada for over 25 years.

He worked with Andy for multinational corporations and brands before veering off to work on travel, tourism, food and lifestyle projects. Simon has travelled all over North America and Europe, working with consumer brands, tourism associations, and resorts. His work has been published in books, graced the covers of magazines, featured on TV; and he’s also worked with other photographers in the role of creative/art director and photo editor for publications and brands, in addition to being a photography competition judge.

In 2018, he started his own YouTube channel to share his love of travel and landscape photography and filmmaking.

ExploreDiscoverShoot is borne of Simon, Andy and David’s combined creative, business and technical skills, a strong entrepreneurial flair, and passion for photography and content creation.

The opportunities to work with other creators, share ideas, and promote creativity and knowledge, is a driving force with infinite possibilities.

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