Urban Landscape, Part 2
Landscape photography is usually about Nature. The sky, the clouds, the land, the water. Vistas and scenes, or close ups with flowers and plants, trees and rocks, mushrooms and fall leaves. And also about light and shadow and color. Nature’s best expression and something that brings us peace and joy and beauty.
The urban landscape is about humans and the human environment. City and town, highway and home, our mark and our legacy. It’s about living here on earth in a “not nature” kind of place. It’s documentary and street photography. I use it to express my views of how we live. The places we create to call home. Our idiosyncrasies and our odd habitats. The wake of our passing every day.
I tend to be attracted to construction and destruction. To odd decorations and to strange architecture. I have made collections of images from shopping malls and odd things people place in their yards. I am attracted to strange juxtapositions of things. I am also drawn to the beautiful things people create and display in the urban arena. I like signs and directions and instructions and graffiti. I like the bland and the grotesque, the mundane and the spectacular, the minute and the colossal. I like order and symmetry and chaos and randomness. I like the geometry and the fluidity. It offers such variety and surprise and seldom disappoints me when I’m looking for interesting subject matter.
The urban landscape is as different as people are different. We all leave our own mark in some way. We all have a presence and like the creeping snail on the sidewalk, leave our glistening rainbow on the surface as we pass. Someone makes a decision to paint that door purple or string lights from the trees, or where to build a parking lot or place a pot of flowers. We plant ourselves upon the earth and create our spaces, they age with us, rise and fall as we do, some to the benefit of all, some simply a blight or statement of bad taste. Some are curiosities, some are beautiful, some are down right hideous. It’s all a part of who we are as a civilization, our values, our personalities, the expression of our existence. It’s what we’re about. And it’s a visual feast.
The beauty of photography lies in the ability to take a small portion of what we are presented with every day and isolate it for individual scrutiny. To find the order among the chaos, to create a piece of art from the detritus. To hold and share a piece of our vision with anyone. When we see something that draws our attention, our minds record and wonder and create from that vision. It is through the camera that we can capture and elaborate upon that vision, hold it and dwell upon it, feel it more deeply, and express it to someone else. It’s a marvel. It’s light and shadow, color and line. And it’s reality, it’s our world.
All images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.