Over on Colin Jago’s excellent Photostream, this insightful and thought provoking post:
I’m not talking about the temptation to clone out the vehicles from the “idyllic” mountain view, or even the fact that there is very little landscape in the world whose appearance hasn’t been created by man (essentially none in Europe I would say). No, I started thinking about how many landscapes there are that are now managed to preserve a given look.
These specific examples are English and you’ll have to make up your own to suit your locality, but when sheep are put on downland not because of their agricultural value but because the grass needs to be cropped close to create the style of landscape that we associate with the downs, or when the National Trust maintains upland farms in order to keep the bracken at bay and the dry-stone walls maintained, what we are doing is retouching the landscape to present a perfect appearance on our current definition of perfection. The difference between lip gloss and spending money putting in hedges in a place where we expect there to be hedges is not great.
I’ve had my landscape photography described as ‘exploring the relationship between the unmanaged landscape and managed landscape’. It remains a conundrum to me that almost all of what urban America considers ‘pristine’ landscape is actually heavily managed.
Lip Gloss. Go read the whole thing.