Part 2 Landscape as a Journey examines photography as a tool for research – enabling engagement with a place and a means of exploration – and the relationship between landscape practice and cartography. (Alexander 2013 pp 52-53)
Alongside pictorial landscape photography during the later part of the 19th Century ‘topographic’ or ‘proto-documentary’ approaches arose making use of the ability of the camera to record external phenomena. This coincided with a rapid rise in industry, imperialism and means of communication, notably the print media and telegraphy. The photographic process was believed to eliminate any subjectivity on the part of the photographer. Photographs provided a means to communicate, with unparalleled realism, the far-flung corners of the country and the world.
The road has featured prominently in art and literature as a means to get characters from one place to another, and as a stage for narratives to be played out.
Typologies and new topographies
The most significant influence on contemporary landscape practice was the exhibition, New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape at George Eastman House, Rochester, USA in 1975, curated by William Jenkins.
See New Topographics
The typological approach remains a popular mode of photographic exploration. Power and control are recurring themes within topological practice. The process of photographing and collecting can also, in itself, be seen as a symbolic act of possession and control. See Sontag, S. (1979) On Photography. London: Penguin, pp.12–16
See for example the work of Donovan Wylie
Mapping and other technologies
A ‘map’ isn’t necessarily something used to navigate through unfamiliar territory; it’s also a visual ordering of features and information…a means of making sense of our physical surroundings in new ways. Alexander 2013 p67
Earth and land art use film and photography to document outcomes and incorporates aspects of performance art and sculpture.
Psychogeography and ‘edgelands’
Psychogeography is essentially the broad terrain where geography – in terms of the design and layout of a place – influences the experience, i.e. the psyche and behaviour, of the user. It has walking as a central component (Alexander 2013 p74)