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Published by Diana Tula · September 19th 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words, and we'd like to hear what they are. Today's guest post is by Jonathan Castellino urban photographer from Toronto, Canada. Sharing the story of his photo series "Inscapes".

I have lived in the same city (Toronto) for my entire life. I view any city structure as a subject rather than an object and photograph its ever changing face. In doing so I am often presented with a conundrum — a two faced city. I have aimed to capture this in my photo series "Inscapes".

The term "inscape" is not my own. I borrowed it because I like how it feels and it seems appropriate in describing a new style of photography I have been working on. The word "inscape" was coined by G.M. Hopkins, a poet for whom it signified the marking inherent in each thing which makes it unique. The same word, inscape, can also be interpreted as interior landscape.

My usual diptychs have a clean and clear division between the two photographs in an image, usually a solid white line. With this series any separation is absent between two often dichotomous pictures. I flipped the bottom image and they crashed into each other. Boom.

There is a lot of room for interpretation where we seem to stand looking at the inscape, at that meeting point between the two pictures. Often I am at odds with myself and yet I still exist cohesively. The images here are no different.

This picture is a build-up of roofs in a Toronto winter as seen from the top of an abandoned factory. Paired with an infrared image of a tree-line made visible by the demolition of an abandoned psychiatric hospital to make room for housing developments. The battle continues.

Many of the inscapes photos are a combination of digital and analogue photographs, and perhaps this is significant. Not sure if it is a passing phase. I see many photographers in this city returning to film. Although I enjoy the process and patience required for film I generally shoot with whatever is in my bag.

My advice to beginner photographers is not to over-think the photographic process. It is too easy to get drawn into an overly mechanized vision of photography, in which equipment is paramount and individual emotion becomes secondary. Though "Inscapes" are visually appealing and simple to create the foresight necessary for pairing required analysis; reliance on mind not just tools. Trust yourself, be honest and you will get the best photos.

The photograph as artefact exists as a duality. We can show how something looks and we can show how something feels. There is a meeting point here, and a marriage of ideas. Image can be both imagination and documentation. Inscape photography exists at that very point, and leaves all of the questions bare on the table, and does not obsess over the answers.

Thanks Jonathan for sharing the story and thanks to you for reading! Visit Jonathan's 500px set to see the entire series.

Our blog is a place to promote 500px photographers and their wonderful photos. If you have a story, a photo, DIY or a tutorial you'd like to share feel free to email us. We’re open to your ideas and photo experiences.


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Colleen Milburn  almost 2 years ago
Cool... will have to give this a go.
Colleen Milburn  almost 2 years ago
Cool :))
Awesome Account
Philippe Sainte-Laudy  almost 2 years ago
Love the concept!

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