John, I have to quote the words of a very good professor, speaking on the history of Impressionism. He was talking about Cézanne's painting of the valley near Pontoise: "The subject of the picture is ... completely banal and boring. Yet it exists as a painting because the artist makes it beautiful, and the artist makes it strong, and the artist constructs it."
The point I keep making about landscape photographed versus landscape painted is that a painter can make the banal and boring beautiful, because he can construct it. But you can't really "construct" a photograph, and when the subject you're photographing is banal and boring, the photograph continues to be banal and boring. I remember a comment on an early portrait made during the period of the Pictorialists in which the subject was portrayed as a Biblical figure. I don't remember the exact wording of the comment and I don't have time at the moment to look it up, but it was to the effect that "you could still recognize the subject as miss Johnson." The photographer tried to "construct" the picture but his construction collapsed.
Now, I don't doubt that in your eyes the New Mills Plantation photograph is something special. I look back on certain places and events in 1978 with nostalgia too, and I have photographs from that period and earlier periods that are very precious to me. Some of them are technically excellent; but that doesn't make their content photographically excellent. I even have landscape photographs, and pictures of rocks in mountain streams from the early sixties that a couple of my sons dote on. But they don't dote on them because they're interesting in a general sense but because they remember them hanging in their home when they were very young. They have an emotional connection with them that no one else could have -- not even me.
But let me make a final point: When you put landscape paintings or photographs on the web, made small and heavily compressed in a lossy format, and displayed on a 72 ppi monitor, the viewer can't even begin to evaluate what the picture would look like in a 16 x 20 or 20 x 24 print or painting. I can see that the first New Mills Plantation photograph is technically excellent, and it may be that when it's well printed in large format, it's a knockout. But I'd have to take that on faith, and I just can't do it.
In a way I'm sorry to say these things. I liked your still lifes very much. I think you're a good photographer. But when you put a picture on LuLa in a forum called "User Critiques," I have to assume you're asking for criticism. So far, in this thread, no one else has given you criticism. Just saying "I like it," or suggesting a way to make a pile of logs less banal and boring, doesn't get the job done. I see this happening more and more on here, and, worst of all, I see people whose opinions I value and whose work I often admire, starting to do it. But I'm not Doctor Feelgood, and I won't do it.