Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Winter 2008


Great Plains Quarterly Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2008, pp. 69.


Copyright 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Saskatchewan: The Luminous Landscape is a compelling photographic anthology of the diverse and complex topography of the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan. Published to commemorate Saskatchewan's centenary in 2006, this handsome coffee-table book comprises 225 sumptuous full-color photographs by the internationally acclaimed master photographer Courtney Milne. Six chapters of stunningly beautiful imagery, combined with personal commentary, chronicle Milne's intimate relationship to his home place, which extends back to his childhood growing up on the bank of the South Saskatchewan River.

For Milne, landscape photography has served as a sustaining inspiration in a remarkable photographic and writing career that has taken him to seven continents over the past quarter-century. Surprisingly, although five of his books have focused on prairie landscapes, this twelfth publication is the first dedicated solely to Saskatchewan. From Waskesiu Lake to Old Man on His Back Prairie, and Heritage Conservation Area to the Athabasca Sand Dunes, to his own rural acreage outside the town of Grandora, Milne captures the unlimited shifting patterns of light, color, and reflection with both clarity and passion to portray the irrepressible beauty of the province.

Milne is an artist who follows his own instincts and intuitions. For him, the medium of landscape photography serves as a spiritual quest, a channel through which he feels he can better know, and appreciate, our sacred link to the land. He uses the camera's viewfinder not to place a boundary between himself and nature, but as a tool to enable dialogue, an exchange between him and the landscape that allows the particular character of the landscape to speak for itself.