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 Nature Photography :: Essays :: What Is a Landscape?

Mention landscapes and most people think of vast mountain ranges and heroic vistas. By-and-large, Australian landscapes are not of the grand, American West, Grand Teton or High Sierra type of landscape. Many of our mountain ranges are simply brown rolling hills. If you have permission you can drive to the top of Mt Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain.

Please don’t write in and tell me about the Western Arthurs or Mt Jagungal or wherever. I know there are exceptions but that’s just what they are, exceptions.

You show me an Australian landscape photographer who is only interested in spectacular vistas and I’ll show you a sad landscape photographer.

The Australian landscape is unique; learn to love it for what it is; don’t suffer from ‘mountain envy’ and you’ll be a lot happier.

A landscape consists of every aspect of the environment, a single rock, a couple of trees, a few clouds; even man. I do not subscribe to the ‘no hand of Man’ dogma that is often forced upon landscape photographers. Humans, their buildings, their machinery and their artefacts are all part of the landscape.

Having said that I must also say that I do not include a photo of Sydney harbour or downtown Melbourne in the landscape genre.

It’s just a matter of where you draw the line. At present my line is drawn somewhere between rustic farm buildings and suburbia. In time this may change.

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