“The allegory of life takes place in my sometimes obsessive way of making images because they are worth nothing if they do not know how to express their heart.”
Yohan Terraza, is a French-born photographer whose absorbing landscape images convey the dramatic beauty of nature’s prismatic colors.
Born in the Southern French city of Bordeaux in 1980, Terraza harboured an interest in art from an early age. During his childhood, he enjoyed drawing, and he went on to study at an art school before becoming a graphic designer after graduating. However, in 2007, bored and frustrated with his chosen field, he turned to the camera in search of inspiration.
He harboured a deep fascination with natural landscapes since he could remember, and thus, it was only natural that photographic practice should focus on such subjects.
He began his photographic journey exploring and documenting his homeland, before heading further afield. Norway, Iceland, California, New Zealand, and more, he has spent the last decade traveling to some of the world’s most beautiful locations, capturing deeply absorbing images that convey, with remarkable clarity, their dramatic, untamed, beauty.
“..Crossing a desert, photographing at night, being awakened by the song of coyotes, following newlyweds who love each other, feeling the cold, and listening to the silence. For me, that’s what being a photographer is, the real and the unexpected.”
Thanks to his artistry and remarkable understanding of light and color, his images are strikingly painterly, and it comes as no surprise that he draws inspiration from the work of greats such as Claude Monet, Caspar David Friedrich, and J. M. W. Turner.
However, he also finds impetus in less ‘obvious’ sources, namely, the experimental compositions of Dead Can Dance; Hans Zimmer and John Williams’ epic movie scores, and the surreal fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, among others.
His artistry caught the eye of world-renowned photographer, Hannes Becker, judge of our current Landscape Photography Award (open for entries until the end of the month), who selected the above image as a finalist of our Landscape competition in April last year.
Though like many artists, he often envisages ‘perfect’ images in his mind, much of his work is the result of experimentation. He spends time in his chosen locations, absorbing and immersing himself in his surroundings, drawing on specific conditions and an innate perceptivity to transcribe the textures, colors, and form, with extraordinary acumen and dexterity.
However, the post-production process is also a key tenet of his practice, elevating what are, undoubtedly beautiful scenes into something truly profound. He aims to convey that which is not obvious. To uncover hidden details; the subtle complexities, invisible to the untrained eye, but are revealed when viewed through his lens.
“It took me years to really understand what the profession of a photographer was for me: a simple way to tell the stories that are hidden, silent, between the lines.”
Over the years, he has received widespread recognition and numerous accolades, and has worked for a host of international clients, including UNESCO and NIKON; exhibited internationally, and in recent years, also moved into film directing.
He is, without doubt, one of the most creative, emerging landscape photographers of today; a visionary practitioner whose images stand both as a testament to the captivating beauty of the natural world, and to the profound potential of the genre.
All images © Yohan Terraza
The 2022 Landscape Photography Award is open for entries until November 30. Enter here.