on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Label

Language as a pitfall for the creative photographer

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.


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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