I’ve put off from posting about Hiroshi Sugimoto’s seascapes for quite a while now. The reason being is that I have never found a half decent way of being able to describe or explain why it is that I find them so beautiful, but today while I was in the shower and thinking about these pictures, I managed to think of a way I can sort of put it in to words. So while this still won’t perfectly describe how much I love them, this can go some way of the way to explaining why this series of photographs have pretty much been my favourites since I started studying photography.
Most of the people I show these photographs to always comment on how simple they are. How simple the idea is, the concept, and the composition of the photograph itself. People pretty much automatically cast them off as boring, and that really frustrates me. Because yes, these photographs are incredibly simple, it is just a photograph of the sea, with some fog. But it is the simplicity which is the whole beauty about this series of work.
Hiroshi Sugimoto explains that his drive behind photographing these seascapes is the fact that without these two things there would be no life. Without this air and this water, we wouldn’t even be here. And then there is the fact that we came from that water. That is where we came from and that is what helps us to continue to still be alive.
And even this explanation makes people go “So what? It’s still just sea and air”. And this is where I used to get really, incredibly frustrated, but I think I have figured out how to explain it now.
Yes, we all know that. We all already know that water and air help us to live and breathe and blahblahblah. But did we ever notice it? Before seeing these photos did you ever stand at the beach and look out at the sea and the air and just be overcome with the feeling of insignificance? Of the feeling that they’ll always be there, but you won’t? They were here before you and they’ll be here after you. And still you feel so connected to the water and the sea because well, like we all know, without it we wouldn’t even been here.
These photographs capture that feeling, for me at least anyway. The fact that he can capture such a feeling of insignificance, yet with such a feeling of connection too, and still make it all such a simple photograph? That is insane, and so amazing, and the furthest thing from boring I can imagine. That is why I am so completely in love with this series, and I don’t think I’ll ever find a flaw with it.
The photograph I have used for this blog post is one of my favourites of the series, by the way. The way the water and the fog almost blend together is breathtaking.