What is a Landscape? (Critical Reflection)

What is a landscape?

Landscape – all the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.

– Wide – ratio -Nature or urban environment – still – panorama or landscape orientation – represent places we have never seen – Devoid of people – Contemplative – Can be portrait, can be square – To make us think differently of places we pass everyday – Any understanding of a view – can be populated or unpopulated
Seascape – Hiroshi Sugimoto

Peter Bialobreszki – movement – speak differently to a natural landscape

Page 57 Shanghai

Human presence (and the man altered scape)
Elinor Carucci – Sleep marks on the chest – presented with an everyday occurrence that becomes beautiful – evidence of humans

ec-Sleep marks on chest
Human Presence or Human absense

Edward Burtynsky – Oil – don’t literally tell us about our reliance on oil and people throwing away tyres –


Dan Holdsworth – Documentation of roads – something beautiful in man made structures


Daniel Shea – beautiful landscape ruined by telegraph pole


Ralph Emerson – Nature adopts them very fast into her vital circles and the gliding train of cars she loves like her own

Context is vitally important in landscape

Landscape in momoriam – as to the memory of

Northern Ireland – Paul Graham – troubled land – social landscape of northern Ireland – get a sense – are people going to forget – subtle reminders – Powerful – More powerful than photo journalism


War of terrorism – Paul Seawright
Unpopulated landscapes of Afghanistan tell us more than photo-journalism – physical scarring the natural landscape – how long will it be till the scarring of war subsides – offers time to think – presence of war and presence of humans – dye represents places that the conflict is effecting – a decease that is spreading


Simon Norfolk – Articulate the anger, making the images beautiful seduces people into a space that they otherwise wouldn’t engage with – tricks people into it – making us contemplate the photograph – uses beauty as a tool


Richard Moss – Democratic republic of congo – infrared colour film – authenticity that comes with film photography – want to visit this place


photographys great problem is that it reacts to whats happening rather than prevents,
reactive / reflective

Paul Shambroom – military artefacts in America – why is something design to kill being show with memorial


Case Study…
1804 – Start of Lewis and Clark expedition – East to the West – heightened interest in the natural landscape
Development of photography and the discovery of America
Photography interest heightened with the great interest in land
American government is keen to see the land

Critical Reflection

Going into the lecture, I wasn’t particularly interested in landscapes, I primarily saw them as a depiction of scenery and saw nothing beyond what was in the image. The lecture made me aware of the art behind landscapes. I read the Charlotte Cotton book ‘the photograph as contemporary art’ previously, but found the deadpan images really dull because of the lack of contextual knowledge. After the lecture I was more respectful of landscapes, especially the work of Paul Graham and other images that suggest human presence, but if I look at a landscape without context, I still lose interest easily. But this lecture gave me the knowledge so that I could take a photograph of a landscape and explain why I did by talking about human presence, contextualising an event, showing motion and giving scale. This way I can incorporate it in my photography knowing exactly what I want to get from it, I’m definitely inspired to try more with landscapes and experiment with them in my assignment 1 project on isolation.


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