Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Landscapes aren't my cup of tea. I can't seem to make a good one (see below, for the only recent attempt at anything that could remotely be considered landscape), and most of the ones I see leave me depressed. The first moment I see a good landscape my brain goes "wow!", but very quickly that is replaced with "oh, hmm, sharp, colorful, but I feel like I've seen this, a bajillion times", and on the heels of that thought is "I'm bored."

It is very very rare thing indeed for me to like a landscape. I think there is something wrong with me. I don't even like any of the work done by the revered Ansel. None of it, zero, zilch, zip. If that isn't a testament to my poor relationship with landscapes, I don't know what is. Ansel Adams is a master, and his work is almost peerless. But, they don't "do it" for me. I feel guilty even admitting that in a public space!

However, there is one photographer whose landscape works absolutely blows me away every time I see it. Its amazing. I have lost an hour in a single frame. I can instantly recognize a picture as his, yet every one I see seems fresh and different. His images show that "all" that is needed for ridiculously amazing landscapes is the strength of character to climb higher than humanly possible, get up extremely early, possess a keen power of observation, and be extremely passionate about your subject. That is it, really. Sounds simple, but most of us couldn't manage it in ten lifetimes. Who is this guy? Galen Rowell.

I got lucky, and found a massive book, Galen Rowell: A retrospective, at the library. Its helped me give the landscape a bit more love than I usually do.

I also kind of like Chase Jarvis' New Zealand B+W Landscapes series.

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