Co-editors Steven Friendman and Olaf Sztaba created Elements, an online publication for the finest timeless landscape photography shot by amateurs and seasoned professionals alike.PetaPixel has featured several articles from Elements in the past and decided to tell the story of the publication and highlight the work the editors do to promote landscape photography.
Magazine for a High Quality Landscape Imagery
Despite the logistical hurdles of setting up a publication, the mission of Elements was clear from the very start — “to feature photographic work that draws upon a photographer’s close interaction with the natural landscape,” both editors tell PetaPixel.
They look for photos that use a more traditional approach to landscape work, stepping away from digitally altered landscapes. The design of the publication had to convey the feeling of visiting a gallery and seeing highly curated work showcased in the best light. All aspects of the publication point to going against the grain of modern photography consumerism and invite the viewer to slow down and enjoy the imagery, interviews, and insights from talented artists.
“We stripped our design to the absolute minimum,” Friedman and Sztaba say. “No text-over images, a simple white background, and lots of breathing space between the text. The goal was to slow down the viewer and invite them to participate in a mindful experience.”
The team spends a significant amount of time selecting the work of leading photographers, paying close attention to elegance and realism.
“Despite technological advances, Photoshop and so on, great landscape photography still requires dedication, persistence, and commitment,” the duo explains. “The photographers work on projects, themes to their work. They have a vision and style that is unique. They are the Ansel Adams of landscape photography in today’s time.”
Elements hopes to bridge the gap between what is seen as sophisticated landscape photography found in galleries or photographic books and the new media where photographers now present and view most of the photographic work. Doing so also helps highlight artists who may be relatively unknown but produce beautiful work, particularly time-consuming projects.
“Our criteria are simple: strong compositions, original subjects, and realism,” says Friedman and Sztaba. “The personal touch. We look for ground-breaking work all the time.”
“In fact, we are currently working on a special issue to showcase landscape work by photographers without a large following but who produce stunning images,” they add.
Supporting Photographers of All Levels
Focusing on work that can stand the test of time also contributed to seeing the publication more as a journal instead of a magazine. This is because despite the advances in technology or the change in trends, the imagery found in “Elements” doesn’t age. Readers can open any publication edition and view timeless, relevant work.
Not forgetting the difficulties landscape photographers face in building a profitable business, the publication hopes to build a community that supports photographers by purchasing their prints and books and attending their workshops.
“We want to make sure we share as much as we can,” co-editors explain. “Elements is an equal-opportunity magazine for all ages and levels of experience, to teach and to learn, to educate the eye and refine the palette. Along with the readers, the Elements team enhances its experience of photography.”
Current and past editions of Elements can be found on the publication’s website.
Image credits: All photos individually credited and provided courtesy of Elements.
Author: Anete Lusina