Some may think that photographing landscapes is a straightforward genre. But there’s actually a lot of fascinating projects out there that prove otherwise. Nature provides such a vast playground for anyone willing to explore unconventional concepts and ideas. I can say that for sure with some of the abstract and aerial photography projects I shared recently.
Today, I’m adding one more impressive example to the pile. In his series aptly titled “Co-Existe,” Seattle-based Cody Cobb adapted a conceptual approach to craft imaginary scenes exploring how the digital and natural coexist.
An unconventional perspective on man’s relationship with nature
Cobb, who describes his photography as an “attempt to capture brief moments of stillness from the chaos of nature,” partnered with other like-minded creatives for “Co-Existe” in 2017. The group made use of their “shared ability to reveal tranquil vignettes in otherwise chaotic landscapes” to craft an unconventional perspective on the relationship of man with nature.
However, instead of constructing actual sculptures on location, they created CGI structures that they believed would integrate well with the landscapes. The result is a body of work that explores the different possibilities that man-made stuff can connect with nature.
“The same design language is carried through each image as the surrounding environments inform the materiality and shape of each sculpture, allowing the digital and natural to coexist.”
A union of complementing creative disciplines
I think that Cobb’s landscapes are already impressive on their own, given all the details, colors and mood that he was able to capture. However, the simple addition of imaginary structures allowed the team to craft a totally different mood, visual story or even visual purpose. Envisioning structures that reflect or complement the landscapes they are in is one.
It also makes me imagine a distant future wherein humans of the future would come across these structures and wonder what they were for — much like how archaeologists today are fascinated with the ruins and artifacts of civilizations past. Why these shapes? Why these materials? And why were they placed on these particular spots?
Most of all, I think we should also see this project as a great example of how complementing creative disciplines often lead to new perspectives about each craft. So, if you’re feeling stuck with your landscape photography, this approach may bring interesting creative possibilities to your work.
All photos by Cody Cobb. Used with Creative Commons permission.