Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Masters Of The European Landscape
On photography, wilderness and the differences between continents
In an effort to showcase a different perspective, we now look to Europe. These masters of European landscape photography share with us not only their beautiful images, but also their thoughts on the state of landscape photography across the continent. In their own words, they provide revealing insights into the differences—and many similarities—between European landscape photography and its not-so-distant American cousin.
Over here, at least as much emphasis is placed on intimate landscapes as on the vista. I think that European landscape photographers also are more concerned with form, abstraction and simplicity—subjects that fascinated Edward Weston, but which seem to have fallen off the radar for most contemporary landscape photographers—less location-sensitive.
The European landscape photography that I admire is more focused on evocation than description, more concerned with an exploration of form and abstraction. The perspectives are less dramatic, the lighting more quiet. Of course, there are American photographers whose work is more abstract, more lyrical, more mystical and less overtly representative.
What fascinates me about photography is how an art form that is, on one level, the most perfectly descriptive, yet invented by man, can transcend the overwhelming weight of bald description to evoke something unexpected. I’m not interested in merely representing pristine landscapes; I want to explore the world photographically, to explore how landscape might be represented—to see, as Garry Winogrand said, “how it looks photographed.”
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