OP Home > Locations > International > Elemental Energy

Locations



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elemental Energy


Rafael Rojas sorts through the earth’s kinetic frenzy to create structured, graphic images that connect the viewer to the scene and to nature as a whole

Labels: Locations
This Article Features Photo Zoom

In this unique, energetic image of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, you can see Rafael Rojas' penchant for transforming scenery into dramatic and emotional photographs. The Matterhorn is one of the most photographed mountains in the world. This award-winning photo easily stands out from all the others.

Rafael Rojas is a high-energy guy, which comes through in everything he does. He's brimming with a passion for spending time in nature, which ultimately led to photographing it. This isn't approached casually. He's driven to deliver the beauty and diversity of nature to an increasingly urbanized humanity.


A glowing aurora shimmers above the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
Based in Switzerland, the Spanish-born Rojas doesn't identify as a Swiss photographer or even a European photographer. He photographs the natural world, all around the world; travel is in his blood.

"Travel is an essential part of my life," Rojas says. "Well before I became a photographer, I was already a traveler, and well before I could travel, I dreamt as a child, looking at faraway places on a dog-eared atlas. I guess it is related to a big curiosity and wonder I feel about the world we live in, and an intense will to discover what lies at the other side of that hill or bend."

Though he's quite the traveler, it's not because Rojas is unhappy with what nature provides near his home. He loves photographing pedestrian subjects as much as icons—maybe even more.

"As much as I like visiting iconic places," he says, "more and more, I enjoy visiting anonymous natural and wild places, which become a creative playground to find my own personal photographs—places where photographic opportunities are not easy or straightforward, they do not jump out. A forest is a clear example of that, since I can be three meters from another photographer and come away with a totally unique photograph. The Arctic is similar; ice changes every time, weather is dynamic, water moves. Photographic possibilities are not clear when I first arrive. These are places where I need to spend some time, relax and enjoy, wander around, connect, sit down—and then photograph—places I need to listen to before I have something to say."

Rojas won't settle for making the same photographs time and again, nor will he simply document a beautiful scene. A clear voice is essential, and his voice is strong and loud, simple and clear, and mirrored in his technique.
Rojas won't settle for making the same photographs time and again, nor will he simply document a beautiful scene. A clear voice is essential, and his voice is strong and loud, simple and clear, and mirrored in his technique.
"It is way too easy to create a 'nice' photograph," Rojas says, "but way more difficult to create a personal one. So more and more, I like to get rid of technical wow effects like ultra-wide-angle lenses, heavy postprocessing, gimmick effects and nice subjects under nice light alone. I want to say something in my photography and concentrate on connecting with the place without hurry, finding the place's voice and feeling. Of course, then I try to look for that collision of personal vision, plus subject, plus light. But I know that the first component is the most important one, the one that has to be there all the time. The other two are bonuses."

5 Comments

Add Comment

 

Popular OP Articles