Laurel Schultz

  Landfall 101 Revisited



I found my way into the color landscape hiking along the northwest coast of Washington State with my single-rail view camera. Using the swings and tilts of the focal plane this equipment allowed, I carved a path through the wildness. I would take a deep breath, step behind the camera and reduce the scale and complexity of the place into something that I could pin down on film and take home.


The odd and uncanny effect of this technique creates the senses that one is looking at a model rather than a “true” landscape. Indeed, one unwary reviewer wrote about a photograph as though it were based on a hand-built construction. These are models of a sort, but they were created in my camera rather than on the tabletop. This approach has an interesting history in the 1970’s Jan Groover cut neat lines through domestic scenes with the focal plane and more recently Olivo Barbieri reduced cities to anthills. I enjoyed taking this technique to a wild landscape to emphasize the constructed nature of landscape – a thing that we domesticate in the very act of naming it.