London-based photographer Rupert Vandervell focuses on clean lines, space and light and shadow to create images that are almost minimalist in their appearance – something which is encapsulated in his series Geometrix. Focusing on the angles and texture of the urban landscape in question, as the human form, these images show a different – and almost abstract – side to modern day cities. We sat down with Rupert to find out more about his photography, his inspiration and what he looks for in a good image.
How would you describe your style of photography?
As a photographer I want to bring out my personality in my pictures. Making pictures for me is an aesthetic reaction to living in the city and its urban spaces. My focal point is not necessarily the subject itself but the space that surrounds it; I try to bring form to the feeling of what is around me every day.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration mostly comes from simply being in the city. Of course there are other things like art and design that give you ideas but walking, looking and discovering is all I really need.
How long have you been a photographer, and how have you refined your technique over time?
I have been taking pictures for over 25 years in one way or another. I have always been fascinated by what the light does and how it shapes our environments.
When I started out doing landscapes, I would be drawn to what the light created more than what grew out of the land. When I first began working in the city it felt like the most natural place for me despite the chaos I felt at the time; I had a desire to tidy it all up and reduce it down to simple shapes and forms.
Which photographers do you find influential?
There are many but those that stand out for me and have been an inspiration are people like Mario Giacomelli. There were some very creative photographers that emerged in Italy after the Second World War; they were real game changers who took photography to new places. Of course, the Americans were very influential as well, Ernst Haas and Saul Leiter to name but two and today I love the pictures of Harry Gruyaert; his use of colour and compositional skills are extraordinary.
What do you think makes a great image?
A picture that you want to come back to again and again – each time you look you see something new.
Is there anything that you’d like to photograph that you haven’t already?
Every time I leave the house I see something I want to photograph right there on the street. I’m not particularly interested in stunning vistas or breath-taking landscapes, I love the everyday. Perhaps one area that I’d like to explore is religious orders and devotion; I like the idea of people who are set apart from society and live according to their rules.
Where can we expect to see your photography go next?
I have a book coming out later this year featuring my work from the last few years; an interpretation of our urban spaces; the light, the shadow and the human form.
To see more of Rupert Vandervell’s work, visit his website.
Interview by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of Rupert Vandervell