In creating his latest series of images, award-winning photographer Spencer Murphy looked back — way back — to the 18th century, when Romantic artists started painting nature as if it were a magnificent but terrifying abyss, ready to swallow humanity whole. His moving collection of landscape photos borrow heavily from the Romantic notion of nature as a sublime force. As he told the Printspace blog:
“These pictures (…) attempt to not just represent a place but the feelings that being in that place inspire. A feeling of being closer to nature or god or whatever that greater force could be. The initial inspiration for this series came from one particular painting; ‘Monk By The Sea’ by Casper David Friedrich.
…These images represent nature as a church, something at once both beautiful and terrifying. The presence of man (whether that be a figure or a subtle hint of architecture) represents our defiance against nature but also our fragility within it.”
For more, check out Spencer’s photos of waste sites.