With Stunning Detail, Jess Gough Photographs The Earth’s Striking Volcanic Landscapes

What is the location of the second Topographies? With this newer series, what were you hoping to achieve?

The locations are all over—from Italy, Spain, California, Chile. I was interested in putting something together that wasn’t about one specific place but instead looked at the geological forms, moods, and textures linking multiple landscapes which are continents apart. I was drawn to the elemental features of these landscapes as well as their movements and cyclical processes, and I became particularly drawn to the expressiveness and volatility of volcanic areas—the constant hissing, spewing, crackling, shifting. When putting together the sequence, my aim was to deliver the viewer to an unfamiliar and timeless landscape, guided through water, smoke, stone and salt. By flitting between telescopic and microscopic views, I wanted to simultaneously allow viewers to confront the landscape in its entirety whilst at the same time drawing them in towards its features which are almost landscapes in their own right.

In general, I don’t tend to plan projects in advance aside from having a loose idea of what I’m seeking, and the ideas form only once I’ve started shooting. I prefer to go out with a clear mind when taking photos, led by curiosity and with the camera almost acting as a compass.

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