Should I go to Tibet?

As I intimated in my artist’s statement, I believe we landscape photographers should photograph what we know best, as opposed to traveling the world looking for photographic “trophies” to bring back from places we know nothing about. Besides being more environmentally legitimate, shooting locally is also much more likely to result in a cohesive body of meaningful work.

The great British photographer Chris Tancock discussed this idea in an interview published in On Landscape magazine:

So I’m not thinking, “I’ll find something magical to photograph” which is what so many photographers do. I get so many people on workshops who say, “Where should I go to photograph? Should I go to Tibet? Should I go to Peru?” Why? What do you know about Peru or Tibet? Let somebody who lives there photograph it; there are enough photographers all over the world for that. If you’re a landscape photographer you think, "I must go to Iceland" or "I must go to Glen Coe."

There are a lot of reasons why I photograph around myself and one of them is because I believe people should photograph what they know about. I also believe why go anywhere else. If somebody from Tibet comes to Nolton Haven it’ll be the most exotic place in the world to them because it’s different, that’s all it is but what do you love about Nolton Haven? What would I know about Tibet if I went there? What could you photograph? Just the exotic. You’ll end up with National Geographic type photographs. I don’t like that genre, they don’t tell you anything, they are just pretty pictures, they are really so superficial.

Great stuff. Read the full interview at On Landscape.