on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Oriental Philosophy & Photography

Mystery is the fuel of both art and philosophy

Rafael Rojas

Rafael Rojas (Master Hasselblad 2014, MA Photography, ARPS), is a Swiss and Spanish full-time artist photographer, lecturer, author, and creativity mentor. He has been involved in teaching most of his life, first helping young students, then teaching undergrads, and later as a university lecturer.

Nowadays, his teaching activities focus on helping photographers see the world with different eyes and use photography as a tool of personal and creative expression.

After seven years of work, the MasterCOURSE “Photography with Intent”, an intensive mentoring program for Expressive Photographers, has become the apex of his teaching career and his utmost contribution to the Community of Photographers.



Art and philosophy are tightly intertwined. Contrary to science, where we try to find answers to questions, art and philosophy look for more questions. Finding the answers to these questions might be a welcome result, but the importance is the questioning process itself rather than the answers. Mystery is the fuel of both art and philosophy.

It is no surprise that many of the masters of photography have had an abiding penchant for philosophy. Wynn Bullock asked the deepest questions about life and the universe and used photography as a symbolic language to further, as well as document, his search for meaning. Minor White brought the concept of using the self as a guide, placing an emphasis on the spiritual and metaphysical relationship between subject and photographer. Alfred Stieglitz coined the concept of "equivalents", visual metaphors where the subject matter is freed from literal interpretation and can become the mirror of a personal stage of being. These artists frequently used philosophy as the subject and fuel for their explorations, which were carried out visually by means of photography. Photography for them was the tool through which they could explore and share with their audience the philosophical concepts which haunted them. 

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