Chris Bone Defines a League Landscape
One of the unique elements of the League of Landscape Photographers is the non-traditional, broad interpretation of ‘landscape’. From this site’s Submissions page:
League of Landscape Photographers and League are primarily concerned with nature and landscape, but we define landscape in the broadest sense from wilderness to industrial to cultural landscapes (including people and animals on the land). Instead of an idealized portrait of nature, we want you to show us what you see happening in the world close to you.
We believe artists make their best work when they engage with what they know, and what do photographers know best but their local stomping grounds? Fellow League member Chris Bone completed an oopoomoo Mentorship last year that engaged with terrain he sees every day – Highway 762 near his home. The Mentorship course required Chris to develop a project theme or statement, shoot for the project during the course of one week, and then curate his images into a final collection or series. Here is the project in Chris’s own words:
Highway 762 is different things to different people; just another road on their way to somewhere else, a destination for cyclists and motorcyclists, a place to drive slowly while viewing the scenery, the route for an annual cattle drive; and probably more besides. I intend to peel back my familiarity with the subject in an attempt to reveal what I see as the essence of this short, 22 km highway.
Chris’s project is also a League project because it engages with the environment around him, observing and commenting on that landscape. A key element of his project was to force himself to move beyond the familiar to ‘see’ this stretch of road with fresh eyes. Too often we become blind to the photographic opportunity that exists immediately around us – League photographers push past this bias. They struggle to translate their thoughts and feelings about the world around them through the act of photographing that world.
We are all creatures of a landscape. We are all shaped by the environment around us. All good art offers an opinion on the human condition – and the human condition is the landscape’s condition. What does the landscape around you say about you and your community?