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Too often, for the misguided at least, nature portraiture can fall flat—just think of those bad landscape paintings you had to do in middle school art class. But those who are able to see the beyond the typical and past the obvious are able to communicate a vision of topographies that those with a lesser vision cannot. And no, we’re not talking about Bob Ross. Sorry, Bob.
One such person is photographer Dan Holdsworth, whose work has been seen everywhere from the Tate Britain to the Centre Pompidou, specializes in grandiose-yet-still-subdued images of the earth. In his series of images taken at Crater Glacier in the US, titled Forms FTP and Mirrors FTP, Holdsworth works with something known as “false topographic perception,” which is when our basic understanding of landscapes is tossed on its head while our brain processes new and foreign terrains. This is usually what happens when we’re assessing new images of, say, Mars, and have no basis for comparison for the extraterrestrial nooks and crannies of another planet.
Holdsworth’s own images take the familiar and manipulate them into strange new forms. The result is a sort of artistic vertigo, where you don’t know quite what you’re looking at, whether it’s up, down, sideways, or even a part of our own solar system.
If you want a look into how Holdsworth works, we recommend checking out this video.
Images courtesy of Dan Holdsworth.