I like landscape photography. I like looking at it. But more than that, I like photographing it. The reason is simple. In order to photograph a beautiful landscape, you have to go there. And being there is itself worthwhile, even if you decide not to take the picture. Landscapes vary a great deal. Some are gentle on the senses like farm scenes or rolling prairie. Others are overwhelming. Towering mountains or crashing waves come to mind. Some are noisy and some are quiet. Among my favorite landscapes are the quiet ones.
Two of the quiet landscapes I count among my favorites are White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico and Rock County, Wisconsin. At White Sands among the dunes, it is so quiet that you can almost hear the beating of your heart. Being there is like being transported to another world where the cacophonous hubbub of daily life has gone completely silent; where you are left only with your thoughts and the sound of your own breathing.
This past winter I experienced the same thing here in Rock County, Wisconsin. Covered in snow the local rolling countryside presented the same simplicity of line as White Sands, New Mexico. In the sub-zero temperatures there was frequently nothing to be heard. Nothing disturbed the white outlines of the snow-covered terrain. All that remained was a reflective silence.
Here are two photos. The first is a scene at White Sands National Monument taken in June, 2002 . The second is from Rock County near Janesville, Wisconsin. It was taken in March, 2014.