Boxborough Station, Boxborough, MA – from 42.30 North: A Line on the Land, 2002 photograph is copyright of the photographer Frank Gohlke
While working on my earlier question of What is a great landscape photograph?, I came across Frank Gohlke (http://www.frankgohlke.com/) (yes, no direct link, still some bugs in the ‘updated & improved’ WordPress blogging software, grrrrr), who is a self professed ‘Leading figure in American landscape photography’. Come on, that’s what it says on his web site….
Photograph is copyright of the photographer, Frank Gohlke
Okay on to my point, because at least he writes some interesting stuff: Some excepts From Photography and Place:
Here Frank writes aout the potential difference between a place and a landscape; A place is not a landscape; places are contained within landscapes. Place is a possibility wherever humans linger, but it’s not inevitable. Sometimes we just occupy space. Places can be created intentionally or as a side effect of other actions with other intentions. Place seems to be more likely to come into being the longer we stay put, but many nomadic cultures roam in landscapes whose minutest features are named, recognized, and given a place in the story of a people and a world.
And some more: Place has something to do with memory. The evidence of the actions of human beings in a specific locale constitutes a physical version of memory. In the visible traces of their passage I read the investment of desire, hope, ambition, sweat, toil, and love of people who set this location apart from raw space. I don’t need to identify the origin of every feature to sense its significance. The intentions of the inhabitants may be opaque to me; I only need to be aware that intentions were acted on here.
Like I said, he writes some interesting thoughts about both the landscape and place. Also to note, he has also been awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. hmmm, that’s not too shabby either.
Best regards, Doug