I do not believe that a good photograph can be made without recognising that the landscape will always be more important than either you or the photograph you plan to make of it. Of course it has to be helped and supported by all the techniques of photography, but, when taking a photograph I know to be good, the sensation I always have is a modest one. It is an inner "ah", the knowledge that something is right. When this understanding is there, something strange happens to me. The heartbeat slows down, the whole metabolism seems to come down to the rate of the landscape itself, and the mind, almost as if coated with an emulsion itself, starts to soak up the meaning of the place. There is nothing casual about it. It is not a snatch.
Understanding grows as you allow the landscape to come into you. Passivity, not acquisition, is the key to this. A good photograph is a received photograph, an exchange between you and the landscape, in which - however unlikely this may seem - there is a dialogue between the two of you. It is simply courtesy to allow the landscape to speak.
Sometimes - and it is of course a rarity, something to be treasured and remembered - a landscape becomes in front of your eyes everything you ever hoped a landscape could be. This is difficult to describe as an experience, let alone say how one might arrive at it. It is, of course, not something that can be engineered. Partly perhaps it is valuable because it is rare and can only be given, not sought or deliberately looked for. It is highly personal. All one can think is "Yes, for me, what I see in front of me, what I am attempting to record, is what seems to me like a sort of revelation."
That must be the ultimate aim of Landscape photography. It's business has to be revelation, in both it's senses; a revealing of the material things that go to make up a place; and a channel through and beyond those things into the sort of realities which only revelation in it's wider sense can give you access to.
But don't make the mistake of thinking that photography will always be a relaxed process. The photographer who always sees himself as calm & sedate, as nothing but a slow absorber of a place, will more than often miss the meaning which the place is trying to offer him. Rush to get it if you have to, moving as quickly as nature often does. The quick movement, the sudden noticing of something perfect but passing in it's perfection - that too must be part of the photographers' vocabulary, which goes far beyond the boxes of lenses and filters. It is a quality of mind. The shutter in the camera will move in tiny fractions of a second. You must not lag behind.. . . it is that instantaneous, disappearing nature of the beautiful moment that of course makes it all the more precious. To capture that is something only photography can do and is above all - even speaking technically and chemically - a response to what is there in front of you. The light is going, it's beauty is there for no more than a few seconds, it is fading before your eyes, and you cannot ignore it.