Of course people put art on their walls for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes the content has some implicit meaning to the owner and they wish to 'pay homage' or have a continual reminder of a place or person. Maybe it is entirely the visual qualities, or the way it makes them feel. Perhaps even reverence to the photographer or the amount of money they spent on the art.

One thing I suspect most buyers consider (be it a small or large part of the decision) is how accessible the image is to others who may not be familiar with it. Others being spouses and family, friends ... those whose opinions of us are important to us. A good fine-art landscape image is probably less complicated to understand than a good fine-art portrait, or at least the motives for having it on the wall are less likely to be missinterpreted.

Thinking for example of Karsh' Churchill. For the sake of discussion - assuming it is fine art, and that it has been purchased for the wall not a vault.
If I put that image on my wall, it could be because I wish to espouse my political affiliations or because I hold Churchill's character in high esteem. It might be because I have a personal interest in mental health and wish to pay tribute to a man who despite suffering manic depression had some pretty significant achievements. Or perhaps I just think that Karsh was a genius. It might be simply because being a portrait photographer myself, I can appreciate what it took to achieve the image and want to regularly look at one of the finest examples of a portrait ever done. Perhaps I just paid a lot for it and want to show off. Point is the reasons could be complicated and easily missinterpreted without further insight. Imagine what the reasons might be if there is a photo of Kim Phuk running from napalm on the wall.

On the other hand i do have a waterfall on my wall that is often looked at closely by other people. It is arguably the most photographed landscape subject (and arguably one of the least qualified to be 'modern art'). I appreciate it for the degree of art and craft. I admire the photographer. Other people usually like it a lot. My reasons and motives for displaying it aren't complicated. It was expensive, but the value in return is enormous to me the buyer.

Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that landscapes just work_well as fine-art for the wall.

But who knows - as the market for fine photographs for the wall changes and matures further, and buyers' tastes and understanding become more sophisticated it could all change. Or maybe my meanderings are way off ...

Quote Originally Posted by blansky
As for photographers, photographing people is probably harder than landscapes ...
Hmmm ... I used to think that as well ... until I tried to do a good landscape.