Basic Lands w/ Scenic Photography

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I've often wondered why WoTC has never tried this.  The possibilities are endless and beautiful.  I apologize if this has been discussed before.  I can't possibly be the first person who's ever thought of this.  Thoughts?  Did WoTC have a reason for never wanting to try this?



 
 
I think the main reason is that the photographs would clash with the paintings in other types of cards pretty drastically. Also the photos could only be used in core sets where there is no need extra flavor that needs to be woven into the land art.
I think the main reason is that the photographs would clash with the paintings in other types of cards pretty drastically. Also the photos could only be used in core sets where there is no need extra flavor that needs to be woven into the land art.



If that's the reason, I, respectfully, don't see it as a good one.  I mean, some of the old, old art was WATERCOLORS for crying out loud! (eg, [c]
Holy Light[/c])  Plus, don't foil cards clash with non-foils and full-art zendikar lands clash with normal ones?  Hell, didn't Future Sight clash with, well, EVERYTHING?  I personally thought Future Sight cards were gorgeous!  In fact, it was looking at River of Tears that made me ask this.

I agree it could only be core sets, but I would be happy even with that limitation.  Basic lands are so easily available that I don't think anyone would have a problem not playing these if they didn't like them.   Finally, the fact that so many independent artists out there make extra money customizing magic cards shows that there are many players that don't mind clashing.  If they did three images of each kind of land of this sort, I know that I would definitely either order a complete set of singles or pop fat packs till I got them all.  

BTW, I'm not saying these should completely replace all traditional art for lands in all core sets forever--just that they'd be a lot of fun and a nice change of pace (like future-shifted borders were). 

Tell me that that island I posted is not insanely gorgeous! 


I think the main reason is that Wizards can depict things that are a lot cooler than if they only used photographs - for example, look at the second (as listed by Gatherer) M2012 island art (the one of the island that's thinner at the bottom than at the top). You can't say that's not amazing! That sort of art just doesn't happen in photographs. Magic is a game of story and flavor, and the art is a big part of that - Wizards likes to use that art to depict fantastical things, to take you out of real life and into the fantasy.

TL;DR: It's flavor, and to make really cool pictures. 
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I think the main reason is that Wizards can depict things that are a lot cooler than if they only used photographs - for example, look at the second (as listed by Gatherer) M2012 island art (the one of the island that's thinner at the bottom than at the top). You can't say that's not amazing! That sort of art just doesn't happen in photographs. Magic is a game of story and flavor, and the art is a big part of that - Wizards likes to use that art to depict fantastical things, to take you out of real life and into the fantasy.

TL;DR: It's flavor, and to make really cool pictures. 



That m12 island *is* a great picture!  No doubt about that!

In any case, your arguments are arguments against doing photo-lands MOST of the time, not arguments against ever even doing so much as a single set.  I'd agree that of course ALL lands going forward shouldn't be photographs, but I don't think it would kill anyone if, say, one out of the three of each kind of land for the next core set was a photo.

And while I love fantasy art (duh!  I play Magic!), the real world has landscapes and scenery that's incredibly breathtaking and awe-inspiring in its own right.  I'd  be happy if they did even ONE basic land of each type of this sort. 
I think the main reason is that Wizards can depict things that are a lot cooler than if they only used photographs - for example, look at the second (as listed by Gatherer) M2012 island art (the one of the island that's thinner at the bottom than at the top). You can't say that's not amazing! That sort of art just doesn't happen in photographs. Magic is a game of story and flavor, and the art is a big part of that - Wizards likes to use that art to depict fantastical things, to take you out of real life and into the fantasy.

TL;DR: It's flavor, and to make really cool pictures. 

There are real marine rock formations that look like that. They're thinner at the bottom because water is constantly eroding that part, while only reaching the top at high tide.
Zendikar's flying coconuts, now THAT'S something you don't see every day!
IMAGE(http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/1374/linkaraemrakul.png)
If part of the objection would be the inconsistency this creates in a set (personally, I don't see that as a problem), then a possibility could be to make these be part of player rewards or part of a premium deck series' lands.  Again, I want to stress that I'm not saying "do this forever and never have hand-painted basics again."  I'm saying, "do this a little bit."
I like this idea.
It's not a bad idea (btw a great set of photoes you found).

I have always wondered why wizards haven't used basic lands to show of flavor text. 
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i was originally against the idea (when i read the thread title) because i thought the art would look really out of place, but those lands look fine. damn fine. I like the idea.

please post cards in my threads they are special places to me

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I really like the Swamp.
John Avon couldn't do it better^^
my new deck: Bears with Weapons
I really like the Swamp.
John Avon couldn't do it better^^




You were saying?
:33 

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Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
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Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
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144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
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And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
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I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
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56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
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.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
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Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
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Show
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...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
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57545908 wrote:
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Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
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This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
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57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
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+10
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heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
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Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
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On what flavor text fits me:
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Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
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First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
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I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
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10/10. Amazing.
Equal does not mean better. But yes, photography would not be a bad thing to put on basic lands in a core set, but it certainly isn't something that I'd want to see in every core set or even on all of the lands in a core set.

I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I'm not myself you see. -Alice

It's not a bad idea (btw a great set of photoes you found).

I have always wondered why wizards haven't used basic lands to show of flavor text. 




Thanks!  I'm sure that WotC could hire professional photographers and do even better than I did with my 30 minutes of creative googling for those photos.  The fact that I came up with some great shots with so little effort shows just how much potential this has!

I really like the Swamp.
John Avon couldn't do it better^^



Me too!  I can't decide if the swamp or island is my fav.  I love the deep hues that the sunset gives the swamp, but the brilliant blue of the sky and sea on the island are just incredibly gorgeous as well.

Interestingly enough, when googling for mountains, I googled for "mountain sunset" so that the photo would have enough of a reddish tint to look right on the card.

I think I could've found a better one for the Plains.  It's a lovely photo, but it's a bit hilly for plains.

i was originally against the idea (when i read the thread title) because i thought the art would look really out of place, but those lands look fine. damn fine. I like the idea.



:-)  I can *totally* understand why people initially had this reaction, but the shots I foudn drive home the point that if there's one thing in the real world that stirs our fantasy and imagination, it's nature's beauty. 
I really like the Swamp.
John Avon couldn't do it better^^


the swamp is the only one i don't like
the rest are all fine
the mountain is PERFECT
but that swamp just doesn't work for me at all
I really like the Swamp.
John Avon couldn't do it better^^


the swamp is the only one i don't like
the rest are all fine
the mountain is PERFECT
but that swamp just doesn't work for me at all



Thanks!  Just out of curiosity, what is it about the swamp that doesn't work?  It was actually the most challenging to find the right picture for since most photos of swampland are way too green to work with the borders of the card.

Example of one of the first hits if you image search for "scenic swamp photo."

 

The best candidates turned out to be ones that had enough light to make the scenery attractive but managed to make the swamp's vegetation show up as silhouettes.  I don't know a TON about photography, but it looks like this might be hard to do.
re swamp: the setting sun is too attractive --- when i think of MTG swamps, i think undead, etc -- an orange sunsent and clear waters.... just... no

here's a pic i kinda like for "landscape" swamp -- but even it is too cheery for my tastes --- i like how lifeless the trees look, and the heavy fog, but even this just seems too bright and not ominous enough to be a true MTG swamp

examples of ones i like: in core2012, there's only one i play with, it's the fourth one listed on magiccards.info for the set  magiccards.info/m12/en/241.html  ---- none of the ones from scars of mirrodin block, or the new innistrad swamps do it for me... -- i'm very picky about my swamp art (shrug)
re swamp: the setting sun is too attractive --- when i think of MTG swamps, i think undead, etc -- an orange sunsent and clear waters.... just... no

here's a pic i kinda like for "landscape" swamp -- but even it is too cheery for my tastes --- i like how lifeless the trees look, and the heavy fog, but even this just seems too bright and not ominous enough to be a true MTG swamp



IIRC, you're really into vamp decks, right?  So not surprising that you have high standards for your swamps!

In any case, I didn't see that swamp as as attractive meaning "pretty" or "lively," but meaning that it had depth and enough illumination that you could see anything in it and that it's interesting to look at and that you can look at the picture for a long time sort of "drinking" in the depts of its image and shadow.  The sunlight, if anything, helped make the silhouettes work that much better.

I like the same things that you liked about the swamp photo you found, but really, really want a picture with the deep, inky black silhouettes and shadows that the photo I found have.   Then again, putting your photo inside the black frame might help it a lot as well.

I tried also finding some moonlit photos but didn't turn up anything particularly good.
Finding swamp pictures is actually quite hard, but i believe photeshop can help giving you the right colors to the pictures. 
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some more, for those who aren't convinced. :-)

Again, I'm not saying wizards should abandon traditionally done lands for these forever.  I'm just saying that it would be amazing to do this once.  And yes, that forest is a real place. :-) Keukenhof Gardens - Netherlands















 
As beautiful as these are, I'd still rather look at drawings. I don't really know why, but using photographs feels a little like cheating to me.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
As beautiful as these are, I'd still rather look at drawings. I don't really know why, but using photographs feels a little like cheating to me.

If you would, please tell me more about what makes you feel that way?  See, my experience with, and knowledge of photography firmly sets in me the belief that taking a beautiful scenic photo can often be almost as hard as painting such a scene.  I won't say "as" hard, but almost.
As beautiful as these are, I'd still rather look at drawings. I don't really know why, but using photographs feels a little like cheating to me.

If you would, please tell me more about what makes you feel that way?  See, my experience with, and knowledge of photography firmly sets in me the belief that taking a beautiful scenic photo can often be almost as hard as painting such a scene.  I won't say "as" hard, but almost.


Obviously I am aware that professional photography is a highly respectable art, but that's not my point.

If I understand what you're saying correctly, wotc will use existing [really good] photos for this purpose. And I feel that is kind of cheating as opposed to an artist drawing something. If Wizards sends photographers or hires some to go to some locales and snap pictures solely to be used for a land art, that'd be reasonable. But I highly doubt they'd be willing to do that. So it just feels like they're use something already existing for magic art, which as opposed to using something you know was exclusively created for this card, feels lame.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
And yes, that forest is a real place. :-) Keukenhof Gardens - Netherlands



That is the reason why WotC won't use real world photos on their Magic cards. They want each and every card to be representative of people, places or things that can't be reached in the real world. They want the game (not a trip to the Netherlands) to take you to see fantastic places. They don't want people to hold up an island card and say "Me and my family are going to vacation here this summer." They want to keep the real world and Magic's fantasy worlds seperate.

Those are some beautiful photos though, and I would have no issue with artists using them as inspiration for their artworks. However, using the photos directly takes away from the fantasy aspect of the game and places more of a reality aspect on it.


And yes, that forest is a real place. :-) Keukenhof Gardens - Netherlands



That is the reason why WotC won't use real world photos on their Magic cards. They want each and every card to be representative of people, places or things that can't be reached in the real world. They want the game (not a trip to the Netherlands) to take you to see fantastic places. They don't want people to hold up an island card and say "Me and my family are going to vacation here this summer." They want to keep the real world and Magic's fantasy worlds seperate.

Those are some beautiful photos though, and I would have no issue with artists using them as inspiration for their artworks. However, using the photos directly takes away from the fantasy aspect of the game and places more of a reality aspect on it.





This is pretty much my opinion on a nutshell.


They want to keep the real world and Magic's fantasy worlds seperate.



In my observation, I see this is as being both less true and less necessary in core sets.  I agree 100% with you for blocks and expansions.  I certainly don't want to see a photo of Mt. Kilimanjaro for a mountain printed for Return to Ravnica, but I would love seeing it in a core set.  

What I'm saying is further evidenced by the fact that core set cards so often have flavor text that features quotations of real-world literature, philosophy, or history--and that's one of the things I love about them!  So to the extent that your premise is based on a supposition of an existing practice by WotC, it's already partially being broken.


Obviously I am aware that professional photography is a highly respectable art, but that's not my point.

If I understand what you're saying correctly, wotc will use existing [really good] photos for this purpose. And I feel that is kind of cheating as opposed to an artist drawing something. If Wizards sends photographers or hires some to go to some locales and snap pictures solely to be used for a land art, that'd be reasonable. But I highly doubt they'd be willing to do that. So it just feels like they're use something already existing for magic art, which as opposed to using something you know was exclusively created for this card, feels lame.



I would agree 100% that WotC should NOT just do what I did here for demonstrative purposes and just scalp from google with no due dilligence.  To the extent that they use stuff they find on the internet, they should identify, credit, and compensate the photographer--or not use the image at all.  Hiring a photographer or putting out an RFP for certain kinds of photos isn't especially hard from a business perspective (every media company or publisher has been doing things like that for, well, 100 years).  I don't see why it wouldn't be pretty easy for WotC to comission such work in much the same way they commission paintings/drawings now.

 Anyway, thanks for all the perspectives!  I hope to hear more thoughts.  It's been awesome how thoughtful and considered everyone's views have been on this, pro and con.  I'm glad you guys are at least conceding that these would make for some gorgeous cards!

I have to admit that despite my desire to be logical, part of me just really, really viscerally wants to play with lands that have images like these!  I guess there's an extent to which one just looks at these pictures and either has a gut reaction of "Damn!  I want to play with those!" or "My god!  I hope I never see anything like that!"