Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Off The Beaten Path
Third-generation landscape photographer Marc Muench talks about his career, his latest book and what drives him
Like his grandfather and father before him, Marc’s inspiration to shoot is driven by places. At the start of his career, his focus was on photographing sports such as skiing, surfing and rock climbing. But his interest wasn’t in taking close-up shots of athletes; rather, he wanted to show how the person, in this case an athlete, interacted with the landscape. Later, when he realized that photographing sports would be difficult to do all of the time, he started mixing it up with landscapes.
While in school and later as a sports photographer, Marc didn’t give much thought to his family legacy because he was doing something different. When he started shooting landscapes, he and his father often would submit to the same assignments so he was motivated by the place, but also to make an image that would be acceptable next to one of David Muench’s transparencies.
I always tell people to incorporate TWO OR THREE OR MORE THINGS BEYOND JUST THE LANDSCAPE that will motivate the viewer.“The fact that he allowed me to do that is remarkable because of how competitive this industry is,” says Marc. “As a landscape photographer, you’re always putting yourself on the line and you want your photo chosen. I knew I needed something that could stand up next to him.”
In creating images, Marc is always looking for what’s going to make viewers connect to his photographs. When asked how he would describe his work to someone who has never seen any of it, he says that “sophisticated” is the word he hopes others would use, but not in any kind of elitist or haughty way. “In the sense that there’s something more to look at and that keeps you captivated for longer than just the first two minutes of looking at a scene,” he explains. “I always tell people to incorporate two or three or more things beyond just the landscape that will motivate the viewer.”
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