Inside this issue
You can’t change the world
How much influence do you want your photography to carry?
Through nature and image-making I keep discovering who I am. The more I grow older, the more these two things merge together.
I’m a full-time landscape photographer mainly working in the forest of Fontainebleau, France.
As heavy rain was pouring down in New York City, laying down on a black couch in a typical Manhattan apartment with exposed brick walls and exterior fire stairs, I paused the movie I was watching to pay attention to a conversation my newly met colleagues were having about the 9/11 attack photo reportages.
Shortly after, Jordan turned to me and asked: “Did you see Steve McCurry’s photo with the towers in smoke and a cross in the foreground?”
“Yes, everybody saw that photo”, I said.
Excited, Jordan went on saying: “That’s right, he changed the world! With that kind of photography, you can change the world.” Then, glazing outside the window added: “You can’t change the world with landscape photography”
I silently wondered: “Can’t you?”.
The conversation ended on that note. I put back my headphones and kept watching my movie, but I kept thinking about that statement for a while without reaching a conclusion.
Listening to music, smelling a perfume, touching a surface, reading a book or watching a movie can highly influence our mood to the point of taking us back in time to revisit specific memories and thus elicit in us all sorts of emotions. In defence of the ever soaring buying prices of football players, I once heard a well known art critic arguing on TV that the athletic feat of a football player can make a spectator feel an emotion equivalent to what he would feel while looking at a Caravaggio masterpiece. Just like a well crafted expressive landscape photograph has the power to do. That said, I have to admit I experienced that less time through a still landscape photograph and even less while watching a football match.