I’ve talked with some photographers of landscapes who have told me they need to travel away to distant places in order to be inspired to make photographs. I’ve also heard it said that a real photographer should be able to stand in a random place and make an interesting photograph based solely on what’s available to see there. It’s opposite ends of the spectrum. One view says it’s preferable to be in a special place to make a good photograph, and one says a good photograph should be able to be made anywhere.
There’s merit to both positions, I think. Myself, I think I lie somewhere in the middle. My approach generally is to put myself in an interesting place at an interesting time, but to then, as much as possible, have no particular agenda and let the photographic opportunities fall where they may.
In general, though, I do try to imbue my landscape images with a sense of place. But this is interpretative – the sense of place I’m seeking is what a place means to me personally. It probably doesn’t take much imagination to connect the subject of this photograph, Longs Peak, to the sense of place of being in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Sometimes, a sense of place lies with obvious things. But other things that have connected with me as embodying a sense of place for Colorado include mundane things such as grain silos and railroad cars, both of which are well represented here on the Front Range of Colorado. If I were to put together a “Colorado” portfolio, it would include mountain peaks, pine trees, railroad tracks, industrial agriculture, and modern architecture, all having nothing particularly in common with one another other than embodying what “Colorado” means to me.