on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Death of Landscape Photography is greatly exaggerated

A provocative critique

Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish

Professional landscape photographer.


It’s been a busy few months and I had been struggling to find time for my favourite photography magazine, but over the last week or two I have been catching up with recent On Landscape articles. What a source of inspiration, and perspective! The quality of the writing and the images (especially Guy Tal’s) is excellent. And most recently, Mike Chisholm’s article has given me considerable pause for thought. If you haven’t yet read it (and I suggest you do) it is a provocative critique of contemporary landscape photography and states that this is a ‘movement’ which has run its course. At least at the moment of reading, I even found myself agreeing with some of it; a sign of a persuasive argument.

If we were to follow the logic of the article, we should, as the title suggests, all abandon landscape photography, a genre the article sees as, at the very least, derivative, ‘depressing’ and deceitful. It identifies landscape photography’s popularity as a symptom of its malaise:

‘But... sheer populousness is often a sign that something has peaked, and that it's exciting, pioneering days are over’.

Lichen, Anna Booth

Lichen, Anna Booth

In pursuing any artistic practice with intent, Originality is the mountain top. And whatever falls short is by implication, pretty pointless: 

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