There’s been some debate on the NLP Facebook-page on what is new landscape photography, and what sets it apart from scenic, postcard-like landscapes. I’m not a close follower of the group’s activities and I never post a picture because I don’t think my landscapes meet the ‘rules’, which are mostly, though not exclusively, based on the New Topographics aesthetics. I don’t know what it is that I’m doing, but I don’t think it’s about that.
I have shot quite a few more-or-less natural landscapes over the years, landscapes without obvious signs of human interference. Which is, according to NLP, “hard to do without falling into cliches and tired pictures”. I don’t think many will qualify them as ‘postcards’ though. Because the skies aren’t blue, the light isn’t warm and pretty, the colours are not sparkling. They are not gloryfying a subject or its beauty, on the contrary perhaps. And I’d like to think that ‘how’ I photographed them matters more than ‘what’ I photographed. And yet it made me wonder: what is the difference, really. I think some of my pictures are postcards. They are not critical landscapes, or conceptual landscapes or documentary landscapes. I photographed them because I liked the scenery. Because I thought the view was pretty. I wouldn’t mind having them on a postcard. The only difference perhaps is that my idea of beauty is not what most people consider beautiful. But I most likely shot them with the same intentions as someone who would photograph a sunset.
Not that it matters the least what they are. They are mine.