Venus #3
Venus #3, 2007. Cibachrome dibond plexiglass 150cmx105cm.
© Ruud van Empel

Ruud van Empel is a photographer who obtains its images pasting together many different photographies, obtaining huge collages that however mantain a very photorealistic look. In this way Ruud van Empel recreates the dreamy and colorful world of his imagination, a northern or tropical forests, surreal offices, where he places his environmental portraits.

Although the issues addressed are very different, as the aesthetic impact, Ruud van Empel has an approach that particularly interests me, because I’m currently exploring similar opportunity, trying to take the best of the digital tools available today. Photocollage is one of the most powerful and interesting of these instruments. For this reason I have contacted him and we had the opportunity to exchange a few words about his work.

Fabiano Busdraghi: In your work you take an individual picture for every fragment of your image, every flower, every leaf, every insect. After you use all these photos to assemble the various parts and create the final image.

From a purely technical point of view this allows you to optimize every part of the resulting picture, you can photograph detail with the best light, perfect focusing and depth of field. Your are able to take every possible shade of green of vegetation and any nuance of flower colours. The resulting images are also high resolution and allow you to obtain very large prints, maintaining a quality otherwise reached only by shooting with a view camera.

How much is this formal perfection important in your work?

World #8
World #8, 2006. Cibachrome 150cmx105cm.
© Ruud van Empel

Ruud van Empel: The fact that all the photo’s have a high resolution is of no importance to me, i often have to blur the photo’s because it is all to sharp and looks unnatural because of that.

I assemble the work to have control over the whole picture, because i want to re-create reality in a better way.


FB: In any case, is your use of several photography the response to a need for total control on the picture? In addition, building an image as a multitude of fragments that assembled build up a new whole, how impact one’s vision of the world?

RvE: I build up my pictures because i am not satisfied with taking just one picture, for me that is mostly interesting from the historical point a view (it captures a moment that is history afterwards) so i create my own world in photorealism, that is how i see it, my imagination translated into photography.

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