Jan Zwilling • Capturing Landscape Essence Part I

Techniques of abstraction and ‘essence’ may seem like difficult concepts to apply to photography, but Jan Zwilling explains how these topics are fundamental

Not long ago I attended a lecture and multi-vision show by the renowned German photographer Sandra Bartocha. She presented photographs, videos and stories from her recent project ‘LYS’, a photographic journey through the whole of Scandinavia. This event was a revelation for me, but not in the classic sense that I was stunned by almost every image. In fact, I was more than impressed by the artistic achievement; but the true revelation for me was that the show made me think about some fundamental topics, most noteworthy the notion of ‘essence’ as a goal and a quality of a body of work in landscape photography. Seeking to find and visualise the essence of a landscape has been an explicit aim of the LYS and abstraction was broadly employed to make a single image or a series of images showcasing the very essence of Scandinavia.

In my own work I also often use techniques of abstraction to simplify and focus a photo on particular aspects; and I’ve used the terms ‘essence’ or ‘quintessential’ more than once in titles of my images. I was hooked and started thinking wildly about the connections, contradictions and paradoxes between ...

Premium Feature • Access it in issue 95

Premium membership required to access this feature. Click here to subscribe today and enjoy content by top class photographers.

LPM Special Offer

Please share this post:

Leave A Reply


Send us your advert and we will promote it in both magazines FREE of charge

We understand how badly COVID-19 will affect all of us. But we also know that this terrible, unprecedented time will eventually pass – and we want to do what we can to support your photo tours business until that time comes.