Inspirational artists

Throughout the photography course there are some artists I have researched and written about more than once because their work inspire me more than any other artists I have researched.

The first artist that inspires me is Jem Southam, who was born in Bristol in 1950 and is also one of the UK’s leading photographers. He is well known for his work on colored landscape photography. His landscape work inspires me because so far I have mostly taken landscape images on holidays and local parks, so I feel like I can relate to his work more than any other artist I have researched.

Jem southam
Upton Pyne and The Red River

This is one of Southam’s landscape images from his ‘Upton Pyne’ series. The first thing that captured my attention to this image was the contrast between the trees and sky above the water as well as the reflections created by the stillness of the water which could have been created by either having a slightly long exposure or most likely waited for the perfect time of day. Another thing I was intrigued by was the symmetry the water was creating with the trees and shrubbery even though the reflection was out of focus it gives off a nice smooth texture that gives you a calm feeling which is also possible because of the soft natural lighting which I feel like was possible because I think the image was taken at some point before midday because of the tone of the sky is slightly brighter at the bottom than it is at the top.

You can tell that the Southam was holding the camera at chest height because of the angle of the shot which gives the viewer a better look across the water as well as the reflections. The composition of this image mainly consists of trees in which conceal a few buildings that could be people’s homes. I think the idea behind this could be the fantasy of a calm retreat either on your own or with loved ones, away from distractions and frustrations throughout our daily lives. As a whole the image makes me feel calm,  mostly because of the smooth reflections on the water and the natural color of the sky.


The second artist that inspires me is Christoffer Relander who was born in Finland December 1986 and grew up in the countryside of Ekenäs. His work with Photoshop constantly inspires me because researching him opened my eyes to the possibilities Photoshop had to offer and made me want to learn more about it.

We Are Nature

This is one of Relander’s double exposure portrait from his ‘We Are Nature’ series. The first thing that grabs my attention in this image is the base of his chest that has been double Exposed using Photoshop to make it look like leaves around the edges while still being able to see his clothing which has been blended within the leaves as well as parts of the model’s chest removed to amplify the effect of the leaves. The branches prove to be a good use of leading lines as they appear to look like veins and I find myself following them up towards the models face where I notice the eyes are missing and the nose and mouth are hardly visible on first glance, I feel like this has been done to show that a single person’s identity is not more important than the identity of our environment.

The tone of this portrait is in black and white because I feel The intention is to show off the contrast of the portrait starting with the model’s hair all the way down to his chest that finishes of in a lighter tone.

I have noticed that there’s a small boarder around the portrait to which I feel like its letting the viewer use their imagination to imagine the rest of the model or at least the potential of what it could be.

In this portrait image the model has been double exposed with leaves and branches which suits well with the model’s hair style as it shows some of the same characteristics such as an unruly growth in any direction. I think the idea behind this image is a person’s growth throughout their life which is represented by the leaves as well as not being able to see the model’s face as if to say he needs to find his identity. In the end we can only interpret our opinions towards what we see in the image, some of which may reflect our own personalities.

The thing I am most intrigued about is the thought of the two artists collaborating together, where Relander could use one of his portraits and then double expose it with one of Southam’s landscape images and hopefully create a new piece of work that shows collaborations are often required to bring out the best in an image because of knowledge collected by the artists throughout their lives.

Both of these artists are professionals at their jobs and have been successful for a reason and they both inspire me because I feel like I can connect to most of their pieces of work and transfer that connection over to my pieces of work so I can try to connect with people viewing my work and hopefully they will pass on the inspiration. Out of the two my favorite artist is Relander because he showed me that there are more techniques that can be done on photoshop and I have come to like editing images on Photoshop more than taking landscape images because I feel like there is so much more you can do on Photoshop than what you can capture within a landscape image no matter the weather or time of day.


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