The Poetry of Nature in The Photography of Lars van de Goor
When I was a child I dreamed of living in a house inside a giant tree in a fairy tale forest. Even now I would prefer such a house to the most luxurious villa without any doubt. This is how I see ideal comfort, home, safety and magic. Enchanting forest which would be a perfect place for the house of my dream is excellently depicted in the photography of Lars van de Goor. Today I want to introduce to you this wonderful photographer who is a master of reflecting the beauty of nature in his works. It’s amazing that in spite of shooting mostly through his neighborhood, Lars creates such diverse and versatile images: majestic lanes resembling a natural gothic cathedral, lightful edges of elf forests, empty paths and ominous thickets as seen in suspense movies – all this can be the same park near Amsterdam where our today’s guest loves to walk and photograph.
In my opinion, Lars van de Goor is more than just a photographer, he is a photo artist. His technique and the way he post processes images may seem controversial to some people, but I think a photo that creates a special mood in you and makes you believe in magic, pushes everything else to the background.
We thank Lars for this great interview and wish him new triumphs in both creative and business activities.
Please tell us a few words about yourself.
My name is Lars van de Goor and I live in the Netherlands, not to far from Amsterdam. The town where I live is far from being interesting, but within 15 minutes the most beautiful forests are at hand.
I live here with my daughter, 13 and I have a son, 18 who lives with his mother nearby.
How did you get started in the photography?
My whole life I have been a musician and only three years ago I bought my first camera. I always wanted to have one but in the end I always chose to buy a new instrument instead. And my first memory is actually not with the camera but without, I was cycling through Amsterdam and I saw a bouquet of flowers on the road, but totally flattened by a truck or so. It looked like a modern fossil, because it was slightly frozen. Those were the times I regret I did not have a camera.
How much time do you devote to this trade now?
I spend almost all my time photographing.
How would you name your photography style?
La Cathedrale Naturelle
What do you think is unique about it?
Unique? I wouldn’t know, but it seems people like the light in my images.
What is the most unusual description of your work you’ve ever heard?
What happens a lot is people do not believe the rays of sunlight or endless tree lined roads are real, but they are! The most hilarious comment was from a very technical photographer who criticized an image of mine which has a natural reflection in it. The picture is called «dD.» He said that I knew nothing about creating reflections, didn’t they teach you that at school?
Do you have any recent photos to share with us? What are your favs among them?
Pel III and Hitch the Road Jack.
What is inspiration to you?
Standing at a place where you feel the magic and be there as long as it takes till something happens. What I mean by that is after a while you start to look in a different way… try it!
What are your main sources of inspiration both online and offline?
DevianArt, the place where you can find artists from all over the world.
What sort of equipment do you use?
Panasonic DMC FZ 50, Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Would you like to expand your photography gear? If so, what would it be and what goals will it help you achieve?
Yes, I would like a 500mm. It would bring everything in another perspective again.
If you’ve got the nerves
Do you pay much attention to post processing your images?
What editors and plugins do you use?
I work with PS CS4 and Aperture 2.0 for Mac.
Do you agree with the statement of Thomas Edison «Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration»?
The perspiration is mostly the business side :-)
Do you consider yourself a talented photographer?
Your works show a great passion for orderly composition and perspective. What spark your interest in these subjects?
These subject I found in my direct habitat, so that’s where I started with, it developed a certain way of looking and interest.
Do you associate your photography with some traditional art directions?
What if you could be invisible for one day with your camera?
I would start shooting portraits in Amsterdam, it would allow you to get really close and get genuine faces because people will not see the camera.
Winter in Holland II
Who are your influences?
None and everything.
What photographers inspire you?
At Flickr and DeviantArt I get inspired by many photographers. But the one I really got impressed by is Henri Cartier Bresson. I recommend to watch this series on YouTube:
The Impassioned Eye (2006 documentary on Henri Cartier-Bresson)
Do you shoot in other genres besides fine art nature photography? If so, could you please show us some photos?
I like to portrait animals.
Horses don’t whisper, they just talk
Any new styles you would like to try yourself in?
How important is a website for you?
Very important, it’s the way to make my work visible to the world.
Do you promote/advertise your name?
What about social networks like Flickr and Twitter, do they play an important role in your photography career?
Yes, almost all assignments come from my websites.
Do you travel for photography purposes? If so, what are your favorite destinations and why.
Could you single out a couple of photos that appeal to you most of all? What memories do you connect with them?
Dressed to Shine: This is one of my first shots.Taken early in the morning, air still moisture. Location: Amsterdam forest. This forest is beloved by many people living in Amsterdam, because it’s a very relaxing and peaceful place, the sunrays just added that little more to make this a spot I’ll never forget.
Dressed to Shine
Hitch The Road Jack: I was lucky to see a flock of birds flew from one side to the other… but the first time I witnessed it, my gear wasn’t in place yet and I thought I had missed that moment forever. I am grateful they came back and did it over a couple of times.
Hitch The Road Jack
Grasslane: One my personal favorites because of the calming effect it has.
What were you thinking while taking those pics?
Can’t remember that, but most of the times I am thinking how to frame that beauty.
If I would be a card designer, I would be your frequent customer ;) Has your photography inspired any commercial interest? (I’m sure it has though).
Yes it has, from bookcovers, giant wallpapers to calenders.
Do you have someone to help you organize the print selling business?
I do all by myself.
What are your photography plans for the nearest future?
Expand my gear, keep learning, and uploading new work on the net.
A new decade just started, do you have some global aspirations for it?
Do you think tips and advice from peers are important for budding photographers?
Oh yes, of course, however in my case I never studied photography, I am all self taught. That has a certain advantage. I am not limited by any knowledge, on the other hand, I do lack a certain amount of technique.
If so, what would you advise to the beginners?
Most important: have fun, be patient… enjoy the moment and if you encounter something beautiful or special, capture it… it will never come again!
Don’t miss a chance to get to know more about the art of Lars van de Goor:
All photos copyright © Lars van de Goor. Reproduced on this page with permission.
Photos can’t be reproduced or used without prior agreement from the photographer.