on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Label

Language as a pitfall for the creative photographer

Rafael Rojas

Following a career as an engineer, researcher and university lecturer he made a dramatic change of career as a nature and landscape photographer, his true passion and vocation. Today, he travels extensively in search of those fleeting moments when light and land combine to create something very special. His work has been awarded in many international photography competitions, including the prestigious Master Hasselblad Award, several First Prizes in the International Photography Awards (USA), Px3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris and Px3 People's Choice (France), Nature’s Best (USA), International Conservation Awards (USA),


Once you label me you negate me. ~ Søren Kierkegaard

Language is a formal system of signs that provides an abstract counterpart to every single thing existing in the reality we perceive. The use of language, that separates us from other animal species (maybe less than we think!) is one of the reasons our species has been able to evolve, mainly thanks to the possibility of recording, sharing and transmitting knowledge through space and through time. From a more philosophical point of view, the use of language can also be taken as a mean to fight back the natural chaos that surrounds us. Naming something is mastering it. By using names and definitions, we first and foremost make something exist, taking it from the recesses of the subconscious, bringing it under the spotlights of the conscious and rational mind. Once defined, the abstract concepts become mentally tangible and can be controlled and shared amongst other human beings while expecting a certain homogenous understanding by audiences that relate to a specific culture.

When we deal with more or less objective concepts, the use of language becomes ideally suited. Scientists, writers of manuals and (good) journalists might use language in order to clearly put into words objective pieces of the reality that surrounds us.

Rafael Rojas ~ Fern revolution - Spain

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