This time around, it wasn’t so easy, and it still isn’t. The current version of my website (www.briankedwards.com) has no Landscape category, gallery, or portfolio, even if there might be some images scattered in other categories, galleries or portfolios that could be so categorized. I do not know how to explain this. Possible explanations? For one, maybe there just aren’t enough landscape-type images that I want to show anyone. I doubt this, since there are at least five or six (enough to constitute a category, gallery, or portfolio) that I still like, and others I have liked, so I cannot say that not including these shots is the result of some change of heart. Second, have I crossed a precipice into a world where I care only about what the images are about and eschew such broad and perhaps anachronistic groupings including that of landscape? After all, we do live in modern times and I have read Susan Sontag (which has made me a better person, by the way).  This is not a bad option, but I don’t think it is the best option. My updated site includes a portrait category, so I have not moved beyond the use of more traditional (and possibly overly broad) groupings. Third, am I struggling with the notion of what a landscape is, what the notion means, and therefore what sorts of images might rightfully fall into such a category?
I think the answer lies behind door number three, but there might be a little bit of option two sprinkled in. For one, I am just not sure any more just what it means for an image to be considered a landscape, or whether images that I had previously thought of as being landscapes might better fit into some other category. This argument could easily apply to other genres like portraits (compare the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, August Sander, Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, and Loretta Lux, to illustrate) and even the line between color and black and white is no longer as thick and impervious as in days past even if attempts to add color to monochromatic images began soon after the invention of the daguerreotype.
Like many genres, the definition of landscape has expanded considerably since the early survey images of Timothy O’Sullivan and even since the modernist landscapes of Ansel Adams defined what a landscape image was and what a landscape was supposed to look like. The New Topographics movement certainly changed, at least for me, the meaning of landscape, as did the work of Timothy Misrach. Writings by the likes of John Beck (example, The Purloined Landscape: Photography and Power in the American West) have also influenced my thinking.