Wide-Open West

I’ve just finished a 3-year stint on the west coast. One of the things that struck me was how powerful the wide-open landscape of the west is and how much that affects the pictures and art created. If you look at Ansel Adams or a painter like Albert Bierstadt, it’s all about the majesty of nature.

'Mount Rainier' Albert Bierstadt

Even a real New York photographer like Garry Winogrand when he’s out west has a greater distance from his subjects and places them in a wider landscape when compared with the super close up nature of his NYC street shots.

New Mexico , Garry Winogrand

Robert Adams from 'The New West'

The images of people like Robert Adams too give a sense of people isolated. More recently you might look at Richard Misrach’s ‘On the beach’ shots where people are just specks on the coastline.

Richard Misrach from 'On the Beach'

So whether people are doing beauty shots, reportage or fine art images, the power of the environment their photos are set in is palpable.

For New York, my current home, the reverse is true. It’s all about a world that closes in on you

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