A while ago, David Leland Hyde asked a simple question, “Why are you a landscape photographer?” I offered my answer, and I even blogged (loosely) on it, but the answer didn’t truly dawn on me until today.
While on a hike this afternoon, we found a carcass of a gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Watching it lay in the grass, I immediately saw in my mind’s eye an evocative black and white photo. More than that, though, I saw myself. You see, regardless of how much I work to prolong my life, I will undoubtedly eventually meet the same fate as that fox. In other words, I will eventually become part of the landscape.
So, perhaps in the same way that other people document their family tree, I photograph landscapes because I want to document my family tree. My ancestors. Those who roamed the land before I did. In this way, I am realizing my sense of place, and am making my connection with the land tangible.