That's certainly true, but I would say the same is true for many of the truly great landscape images. I just don't think think the fact that some of Ansel's most famous (though not necessarily best IMHO) images are taken from well-known locations that millions of people photograph every year doesn't invalidate landscape photography as fine art, or make it less relevant or important than documentary/street photography.
I'll grant you that many of the iconic landmarks in the national parks have been overshot. But there are plenty of landscape masters shooting lesser known or less accessible locations, as well as venturing away from the classic 'big' landscape to find their own interpretations of the landscape. And I don't necessarily think landscape has to mean wilderness ; I have great admiration for what I would call rural landscapes such as some of the work by folks like Charlie Waite or Joe Cornish.
Well, I would say that without regular access your chances of truly duplicating or bettering those previous works is going to be pretty slim, because the chances of getting those perfect conditions on a single visit to an area are very small. I've taken some of those shots myself though, because even though they won't make it into art galleries I think it's still worthwhile to take them, if I gain enjoyment or learn something in the process. I consider it a form of training, part of process of finding my own voice and eventually creating my own style and vision.
It is subjective, and I'm certainly not saying that street photography isn't art or isn't important just because it's not my cup of tea. I guess what irks me a bit is that in some circles the definition of art is considered to be absolute even though it's just one viewpoint. I just don't like the elitist thinking that says anything that is popular can't be be real art, or that art must challenge traditional definitions of beauty to be taken seriously (but please note that I'm not accusing you of thinking that way).
Fine, but if you want to single out the best of street photography you should do the same for landscape. I would argue that both genres have more than their fair share of cliches, as well as examples that truly define the genre and will stand the test of time.
That's about as reasonable a response to a slightly overstated argument as I've seen anywhere. I especially appreciate: "I just don't like the elitist thinking that says anything that is popular can't be be real art, or that art must challenge traditional definitions of beauty to be taken seriously (but please note that I'm not accusing you of thinking that way). I'm glad you're not because I have a real beef with what our current elitists have done to art. For me it started with poetry. I've written and had poetry published since I was 19. At University of Michigan it was my favorite subject. I subscribed to Poetry magazine for decades and watched it go down hill until I finally received an issue with nothing in it worth reading and dropped my subscription.
The same thing's happening to visual art. I used to think the problem peaked with "Piss Christ," but I've since had to revise my opinion. It just keeps on getting worse and worse. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm getting older and older. May be.
In any case, though it may sound as if I'm dissing landscape, I'm not. If you're willing to include the rural landscape, I'm with you. Probably that's why a very large poster copy of Ansel's "Moonrise, Hernandez" occupied the premier space above my computer table for about 15 years -- until I substituted this:
But week after next, when I get back to Colorado and my office I'm going to substitute this:
[attachment=13255:River_St...t_Sweets.jpg] Unfortunately the red of the awning seems a lot more unsaturated when I check the preview on Luminous Landscape than when I look at my local computer copy or the print that's hanging on my wall. There's a truer copy at FineArtSnaps.com, provided your monitor is calibrated.
If you include artifacts from the hand of man then I've shot a lot of landscapes. You can see a few at my commercial web: www.FineArtSnaps.com
By the way, it's really unfortunate that Ansel got typecast as a wilderness photographer. Actually, he was very versatile and very good at things like group portraits. The sad part is that only his wilderness shots get shown with any frequency.