Episode 128 Discussion - Franka Gabler

Hi all,

Matt is on the road so I’m kicking off the discussion this week.

I enjoyed Franka’s approach to finding intimate and abstract scenes at iconic locations. She has also inspired me to get out when the weather is foggy and rainy to see what I can find.

What from the discussion resonated with you?

To me it seems that intimate scenes are becoming popular amongst photographers. Do you think it will catch on outside the community?


Remarkable interview and life. I looked at Franka’s website which has a prodigious body of work. I enjoy her realistic post-processing style, however the Super Moon rise over half dome was either a huge telephoto lens or a composite. Compare to Ansel Adams’ Moon and Half Dome to see the true proportion of the moon to that monolith.

Regarding your last question, while grand landscape vistas seem to have been a major theme in contemporary landscape photography especially in the past 15 years, it is not a new concept. Eliot Porter published an entire book titled, “Intimate Landscapes” in 1979, but the style goes back well before then. His book is still available and highly recommended for students of landscape photography. He was probably the single biggest influence in my early photography.

However, whether or not such images will catch on outside the community is doubtful. The general public tends to like the dramatic, grand landscapes. I think it’s great that young photographers in recent years have “gotten over” the big landscape and are beginning to look around. The beauty of that is you probably don’t have to travel very far. You can save a lot of time and money on a trip to an icon by just taking a walk in your local woods or along your local stream, and in the process come up with images that probably are more personally rewarding. Icons are fun and everyone should photograph them, but quiet, personal photos that you discover are special in many ways.


Agree Timothy. Nature photography has always had people who focus on “intimate landscapes” like Porter, Burkett, Cramer, Neill, etc… I think the Internet is just now catching on a little bit within the social media influencer crowd but it’s always been there.


I loved her explanation of how she approaches a new location. She’s not looking for some predetermined scene or view but rather looking for great light that catches her eye. I take a very similar approach; when I’m scouring for more intimate compositions my eyes and mind seems to “catch” on the little areas where the light is doing something interesting. I’m usually skimming my surroundings until I catch the shiny object that stands out from the rest.

I found that some of her Yosemite work was of a familiar scene but with an intimate view. A different angle or perspective or a little extra detail that’s not common. It’s enjoyable to view

1 Like