Nice. It was the background pollards that interested me. I'm coming to Magdeburg in the autumn, I'll have to swing by on pilgrimage :-)
Originally Posted by Ulrich Drolshagen
I read your post as a desire to make photographs that do more than simply depict a known place. There are a number of classic and contemporary ways of doing that.
Symbolism seems to be making a bit of a comeback in landscape photography, although it's heyday was a hundred years ago with the Pictorial movement. The big problem is finding a shared language with your audience: people are thoroughly ignorant about the countryside these days, and the market for sentimental cliché is unendingly vast.
I am very taken by the 'quiet' landscapes of photographers like Jem Southam and Elgar Esser. Again, there is sometimes the problem of shared knowledge - or the lack of it - and you have to find some way to get your audience to take your photographs seriously and not dimiss them as mere snaps. For me, a book is a better way to publicise this kind of work than a gallery - a book seems to aid contemplation in a way that is hard in most stand-up-and-look venues.
And then there are the conceptualists. I'll confess I find the concepts often very shallow, but there is a vast movement of photography dedicated to collecting seemingly trivial views that aquire force (or not :-) from the concept behind the project. Marcus Neis is someone who does this successfuly for me.
There are not many people who take eye-grabbing images of mundane or anonymous landscapes, but it can be done. Eric Fredine and John Brownlow are two of my favourites. This kind of exciting the eye without dulling the mind is where I want my own photography to go.
So much depends on context. Your hunting tower takes on a new resonance once you tell people it is near the old internal German border. The beach could be off Cuxhaven - a place of romance and suspense to most English readers - or it could be off Peenemünde, with its rather different associations. A lot depends on just how much you tell people, or include in the photo so they can work it out for themselves. There are lots of ways you could take things, and no rules or even roadmaps.