Impressions

©Réhahn

The rippling reflection of a scene in a body of water. The liquid look of a farmer through the heat emanating from a burning field. These are images from Vietnam-based photographer Réhahn’s series, “Impressionist Photography,” in which he creates photographic works that evoke the paintings of Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

For the series, Réhahn uses a Canon EOS R5 and a selection of prime lenses. He does not use filters or any post-production manipulation, he explains. 

©Réhahn

“When shooting, I often focus on elements such as light, color, and texture rather than aiming for strict realism,” he said. “One of the techniques I employ is shooting through various natural elements, such as fire or heat distortion, to create visual effects.”

Réhahn grew up in Honfleur, France, the birthplace of Impressionism. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he felt a pull to reconnect with home via those artists. His research inspired these works and techniques.

©Réhahn

For example, for his image “Flame” (at top), he positioned himself close to the heat shimmer from burning farmland to capture the distortions in the air created by the intense heat. Those distortions blur the lines of the farmer’s figure and the rest of the scene, creating a smudged look that resembles Impressionist brush strokes.

“I find it to be a really satisfying process because you can’t control the elements,” he says, “so the finished photos are as much a work of the environment as they are my camera.” 

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.