In a classical sense, the word ‘landscape’ evokes images of picturesque views, rural scenery, and extensive vistas. Photographer Wayne Gudmundson sees beyond this simplistic definition and employs landscape photography to explore his personal and geographical history. He has spent decades visually investigating how landscapes can represent both past, present and future generations. Following a retrospective show in 2007 and a television documentary in 2009, Gudmundson discusses a variety of photographic aspects, from literary influences to planning an exhibit.
How and why did you first begin photographing?
“I know how to use the camera, but what do I point it at? What exactly do I point it at?”
I was in the navy, stationed on Guam, with very little to do. We could get good deals on cameras and audio equipment. I didn’t have the money at the time, so I bought a 35mm range finder called a Petri. I had a friend who was shooting with a Nikon 35 mm and he showed me how to use it.
I remember it was Easter morning and I was staying at some friend’s who worked as security guards at a hospital annex on Asan beach. I put some color film into the camera, went out onto the beach, and I distinctly remember being struck by this profound thought, which was: I know how to use the camera, but what do I point it at? What exactly do I point it at? And that has remained the question ever since.
Read the complete interview here