Uniqueness in Ubiquity

Posted on August 26, 2011


With the advent of digital photography, photographers have not only much readier access to recording images, but also to tools to manipulate them. The things you can do between a cell phone and Photoshop once required expensive gear and technical mastery in the darkroom that amateurs couldn’t hope to achieve. As a result, the amount of images has exploded, but finding somebody’s images that truly resonates  has not necessarily grown at the same rate. I spend a fair amount of time looking at other peoples’ photos, and few pass my test of “I wish I had taken that shot,” and “I wonder how they got that shot.”

Today, I posted one of my Uncle’s shots, and it was commented on by another photographer,  Philip Vergeylen, which lead me to his blog. Quite simply, I love his work. As I was looking at it, I was reminded again of the power of previsualization. You don’t take 500 images and luck into one that has a style-defining mood to it. You go out to take images that express that mood, and you develop the skills to do so. In doing so, you build portfolios which define a message.

While I hate to say “this artist reminded me of that artist,”  Philip’s work did make me remember Ragnar Axelsson’s  work, another artist whose stunning, moody, examples of Arctic life help convey not only the vastness, but also a sense of the impending disappearance  of both the landscape and the people who live there.

So until I get some photos up, go look at some masters.