Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Florida landscapes

Clyde Butcher's landscape photography is beautiful--he is regularly compared with Ansel Adams. And the world seems beautiful in his large landscapes and waterscapes of Florida. I would love to be able to look at that world regularly. In fact I do, living in rural northcentral Minnesota.

Do these photographs offer just another perspective on the world or an entirely different way of interpreting the world from David Maisel's work? Mr. Butcher argues that his photographs may lead us to be better caretakers of the beautiful world by helping us become more sensitized to a beauty we miss in our everyday lives. Susan Sontag would argue something quite a bit different. David Maisel's landscapes describe a world where catastrophe like yesterday's mass murder in Virginia happens. That kind of thing doesn't happen in the world of Clyde Butcher's photographs. I love them nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the facts seem to point toward Maisel's vision.
Witness yesterday's massacre and the just-published-report by the
UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that 40% of plant and animal species in the US are in danger of becoming extinct in the next decades. No answers from me on this one I'm afraid.