May FEATURED Artist: Jacob Berghoef
2 May, 2019
A simple life is the essence of the culture of Denmark, which is perhaps why Jacob Berghoef, a fine art photographer from north Jutland, describes his works as pure a pure form of the genre.
Jacob constantly talks about nature ‘I am inspired by the complexity and vulnerability: At the same time, nature is so strong and has immense simplicity.
Nature speaks to us in a modest silence. My photos and accompanying poems show how I hear the words of nature’. (His titles such as ‘Whispering Reeds’ and ‘Twilight of Stillness’ are an important part of his work)
‘Everyday life in the Western world is overflowing with stimuli. In my photos I try to capture the simplicity and tranquility of natural environments
I want to tease and stimulate more than just the sense of sight and show what I sensed when I made the artwork; the light, the temperature, the atmosphere… sometimes even the scent of a damp autumn forest and the cold of the whirling salty breath of a storm on the beach of the North Sea.’
Since 2014, after quitting a demanding corporate job the artist has focussed on simple, natural and sustainable living. The special (nordic) light and colours in the Jutland coastal area inspired him to develop this style.
‘I see the nature around me changing due to the changes in the climate. I sometimes feel an urge to record how I see the landscapes now before they disappear. I think: that will not come back; those swamps that are drying up, the wide beaches and dunes along the North Sea, the forests with trees that only thrive in a cooler climate, those polders and fjords at the current sea level’
To create his masterpieces, Jacob uses only the basic camera settings, without filters or digital re-editing and sometimes uses a 100 year old camera. He describes his process as ‘painting with natural light in the camera’. The style characterised by soft colours, soft focus and the effects created by how he moves the camera while the shutter is open. Photo software is used very minimally to remove dust or to adjust brightness, contrast or cropping to improve his compositions.
[Note from author: Despite photography being thought of as only reflecting reality, I have often noticed that different people take wildly different photos, even with the same equipment, and particularly when capturing a person, I figure that the resulting image reflects the internalised image that the photographer has of that person. I think this explains why these artworks have such a sense of atmosphere - because the artists impression is being conveyed to us so well]
Stylistically, Jacobs images are abstract realist and impressionist, and he has found an enthusiastic audience for oversized versions of his fine art photography in the corporate world.
The images are printed on Fine Art Cotton paper, such as Hahnemühle Photo Rag, and he is experimenting with printing on rice paper, bamboo paper, linen and silk. The professional printer he uses has high resolution printers (2,400 dpi) and original pigment ink. He is also experimenting with making photos without using a lens.
Jocobs’ photographs are being exhibited around the world and have been sold to art lovers in various countries
Author: Rachael Page based on interview given by Jacob Berghoef