Welcome all to the Luminous Landscape 2019
My father started this site from our family’s home office where his latest camera gear, printers, and technology patents loomed ubiquitously as totems of his mission. Not to mention his many framed photographs illuminating our house, churned out of said printers at all times of the day and night. My dad traveled the planet, teaching, experimenting, writing, debating and capturing our world through light and form. Many of you knew, loved or respected Michael.
I often stand in front of the tree my mother planted for him up in Creemore, Ontario Canada where he made his last home. Curiously, the first tree she planted for my dad died. Perhaps it was the particularly harsh winter that year, or maybe the ground was not ready. The second tree is a kind of symbol of rebirth – and of how I wish to honor him once again. It takes time for the roots to settle in. The home and resource he created as The Luminous Landscape has grown and is nurtured by its thousands of members and contributors. After 20 years, our site and extended partners are branching out, again.
I want to extend my own deep gratitude to Chris Sanderson for his years of inspiration. He helped build LuLa into what it is today. From shooting those early “video journals” (pre-youtube!) while quietly shepherding the site, his impact has been tremendous. Of course, we extend our very best wishes to Kevin Raber as he pivots to focus on offering Rockhopper Workshops and setting sail towards other endeavors. I’m thrilled to continue Michael’s legacy as CEO of the site, and I join you not only as his son but as an artist committed to sharing – much as he was.
A Family Business
My family has lived inside of photography; from the chemical smells of our darkroom in the basement to a symphony of Epsons printing. I grew up with the hardware, the long walks, the adventure, the solitude, and the storytelling. I have made feature films, music videos, and internationally released albums. I’ve been shooting photos my entire life. You’ll find me waxing on philosophically here as I am also a meditation teacher and practitioner. What I’ll be sharing with you, along with the many contributors who we are so excited to be featuring, is my many decade’s experiences with “seeing” and how contemplative practices blend with photography and image making.
A year later my father and I went for a drive and hike in the hills of Creemore during summer – the year before he passed. We were experimenting with digital filmmaking using a 4k camera. He shot me walking over a hill and through a semi-abandoned grain silo. For a “scene” I ran up a quicksand-like, story-high mound of grain. It was falling away from my feet like ripples of shimmering gold. A sculpture of shadow and light, as the grains became abstracted in motion around me. We used our cell phones to cue the action. It was an amateur’s production and we laughed all the way through it. I don’t think anyone has seen our film (nor will they!). My shoes were filled with the evidence.
I remember feeling like I was collaborating with him for the first time. It was strange. We were playing balanced roles which, with the tension of father and son not-withstanding, actually had juice. It’s interesting to imagine what might have come of that dynamic. Perhaps now I will find out.
Filmmaking is a very distinctive creature to that of still photography. Yet, the frame does not lie. What lays between those clear borders are the stories we tell about how we see. Fundamentally it is a story about how perception can enhance, obfuscate or embolden our experience of relating. We are often changed by merely peering through a camera or by holding a print. Similar to music, photography transcends its parts. Do we become the tool or object which speaks back to us? Are we leading the image, or being led? The eyes see, the heart knows and somewhere in between, Art is revealed.
The Future of LuLa
This year we will introduce new faces and new voices: an expanded family devoted to studying and sharing the craft of photography. The digital photography industry continues to evolve (like everything else). Just as we have always done, we will continue to provide you with rigorous product reviews, compelling interviews with photographers from all over the world and videos that teach the latest in software and technology that will help elevate your photos from SD card to print.
As for the site, we have a multi-dimensional approach to enhancing your experience. Some of these renovations include:
- A new search engine for our archive
- A personal gallery service
- An updated marketplace
- An enhanced mobile-friendly site and forum
Most of all, we will remain dedicated to exploring the themes we value most: The Camera, The Subject, The Process, and The Shot. So whether you are a Hunter or a Cook when it comes to your process, you will continue to find – with our thousands of articles, video journals, stories, profiles and planet-spanning treks – a home for your own expression and a unique learning environment which enters its 20th year.