Thursday, 11 April 2013

Intimate Landscapes

I started writing this post – and then for some reason lost in time I stopped – so I’ve started again. In the course notes it observes that the dividing line between landscape and nature photography is not well defined. It suggests that the point at which the horizon is removed may be that line – which to me simply illustrates the futility of such definitions. Indeed a quick look at First Light (Joe Cornish) or the Classic Images (Ansel Adams 1987 Barbican retrospective) shows that both these “landscape” photographers frequently omit horizons – or have horizons which are so broken up or hidden that they play no significant role in the composition.

But I have a more fundamental objection to the proposed split. The most awe inspiring landscapes are built of rock and moss and plants, shaped by frost and rain, altered and used by animals of all varieties – including us – so why draw a line? I can see that a label is useful commercially – but I understood this to be an art course – and in this context the split seems wholly arbitrary. If I am using landscape as a metaphor, or as a tool for investigating other concepts why would I wish to limit myself to a subset of the opportunities available simply to satisfy someone’s need to categorise my work?

Not quite sure where I’m going with this argument but I think it’s leading me to suggest that a key role for landscape/nature photography is to help us understand the world around us, the way everything links together and the impact that destroying even small pieces of jigsaw has

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