EARLY LANDSCAPES: Burtynsky’s evolving compositional strategies were also informed by a marked desire to explore how the visual properties of modernist painting might be made relevant to colour landscape photography. Foremost in his mind was the Abstract Expressionist treatment of pictorial space as a dense, compressed field evenly spread across the entire surface of a large composition. Emphasizing these pictorial concerns within the landscape tradition was for him another way to contribute to the field and to assert the relevance of painting to his photographic practice.