Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 In making a landscape we must withdraw a certain distance—far enough to detach ourselves from the immediate presence of other people (figures), but not so far as to lose the ability to distinguish them as agents in a social space. Or, more accurately, it is just at the point where we begin to lose sight of the figures as agents, that the landscape crystallizes as a genre. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 ...nature photographs downright bore me for some reason or other. I think: “Oh, yes. Look at that sand dune. What of it?” 

R. Crumb
[Cartoonist, b. 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives in Sauve, France.]

 They were just snapshots, nothing special, nothing particularly artistic. They were used for utility purposes.
(On photographs of mundane streetscapes he had “Stanley Something-or-other” take in Sacramento in 1988 to serve as backgrounds to his cartoons. “People don’t draw it, all this crap, people don’t focus attention on it because it’s ugly, it’s bleak, it’s depressing... But, this is the world we live in; I wanted my work to reflect that, the background reality of urban life.”) 

Lucy Lippard
[Critic and writer, b. 1936, New York, lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.]

 Men have dominated the field of landscape photography just as they have dominated the land itself. Thus “shooting” a “virgin” landscape has been man’s work—hunting, not gardening. 

Franz Kafka
[Writer, b. 1883, Prague, d. 1924, Prague.]

 A picture of my existence... would show a useless wooden stake covered in snow... stuck loosely at a slant in the ground in a ploughed field on the edge of a vast open plain on a dark winter night. 

Ansel Adams
[Photographer, b. 1902, San Francisco, d. 1984, Carmel, California.]

 Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer—and often the supreme disappointment. 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 To photograph beautifully a choice vestigial remnant of natural landscape is not necessarily to do a great favor to its future.... It is difficult today for an ambitious young photographer to photograph a pristine snowcapped mountain without including the parking lot in the foreground as a self-protecting note of irony. 

Mark Klett
[Photographer, b. 1952, Albany, New York, lives in Tempe, Arizona.]

 We now view landscape photographs, both past and present, much like the shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave. They are artifacts of what we think we know about the land, and how we have come to know it. 
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