151MC: Further Reading – Land Matters by Liz Wells

Before I started researching further into my topic I wanted to gain a better understand of how landscape photography represents a place and how we as photographers can evoke emotions, memories and sounds within the image although it is still and mute. Therefore I read Land Matters by Liz Wells, who is a professor in photography culture.

One of the main issues I am facing at the moment with the assignment is trying to work out how I can convey the issues I am researching into through my images. I understand that because the area I am researching into is niche therefore I will have to provide text with my images however I need to work out the correct balance for this. Too much text and it will distract from the image, whereas too little text will make the body of work less impactful and my audience may not understand the context and relevance of the image.

This book highlighted to me that our perception of nature and the natural environment is affected by our personal knowledge, experiences and understanding and this in turn affects how we view and respond to an image. Reinforcing Hans-Georg Gadamer’s point about horizons.¬†Someone who has little knowledge of environmental and conservation will perhaps not understand my images without a brief description however I aim to open peoples eyes to what conservation projects are happening, how this is helping and what still needs to be done.

Another key point Wells made is that the British landscape has been altered vastly and what we perceive to be natural has once been altered by our ancestors and is continuing to be managed and therefore there is no ‘wilderness’. This led me to think about how many of the landscapes we see in the UK are human constructs – made to look and act in a certain way to suit our needs. This led me back to one of my ideas on how the man made landscape is altering the natural environment and how it now coexists together. Whether this be in conflict or harmony with each other.


Published by

Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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