A Stream Running Through

© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy
© Ståle Prestøy

Detachment and alienation from Mother Nature are essential elements that run like a red thread through the pictures above taken by Ståle Prestøy. They also tell a story about the destruction of our surroundings, as well as the paradox between human ignorance and well-being. The photos were taken for Ståle’s personal project he did for the eWorkshop «Finding Your Photographic Voice» I taught earlier this year. As he wrote in the introduction to the project, Ståle is interested in how human activities and needs influence our natural made surroundings. In the project he wished to tell a visual narrative based and captured around a small stream running through a narrow valley. The stream is squeezed between roads, suburbs and small industry plants. Despite contamination and human trash left along the banks the flowing water still represent some hope in this estranged world that Ståle depicts. This could have been a traditional documentary photo essay, but Ståle decided to use a set of techniques when he explored the subject, and approached the theme using a more personal voice. His images radiate iciness and discomfort, and force the viewer to suffer in the view of what we human beings have done to our close surroundings. Through a limited colour palette with mostly gray, muted and cold colours, Ståle enhances the feeling of detachment and distress. For more photos by Ståle Prestøy, please look up his blog prestoy.org.


54 thoughts on “A Stream Running Through

  1. These pictures appear to be telling the story about the struggling to survive by the the small stream. The voice of the stream is loud. These are powerful message delivered by Ståle’s work.

  2. I agree with the others; it’s very well expressed and carries a strong message. I have never seen such a fragil and yet so powerful hesthov.
    Great work by Ståle!
    Ha en god helg og en kjempefin 17.mai!

  3. Very touching! I can definitely see the cold detachment we humans have against the struggling survival of nature. I love the shot of the lonely flower trying to come up amidst the trash. The cyclists are nonobservant of the river running alongside them. We often take nature for granted and forget to even watch a sunrise or sunset as we go along busily in our daily grind.

  4. I must say I was happy to hear you say that that these pictures radiated iciness and discomfort because that is exactly what I felt before reading this. They are a bit cold. But still wonderful photos. Mission accomplished for Stale. Very powerful photos, Otto. I so love the student portfolios you post. Thank you.

  5. Very striking and somewhat unsettling images. The second one really conveys a strong message to all litterers. I love how that brave flowering plant has managed to survive against all odds. 🙂

  6. This set of photos is a necessary reminder that nature is not something in a preserve, a national park, or a nature center, but the daily context for our lives. To support the preservation of a famous river but not help to care for our own nameless stream diminishes our world. Ståle makes the point, forcefully.

  7. Your images are always an inspiration. I am German living in the US, in California, as a photographer myself I was wondering if you know any eye attracting places in Stockholm. In September flying from Los Angeles to Munich, my birth town, I have a few days as a stop over in Stockholm , yet I am not so much interested seeing all the touristic sides, rather than exploring some gems with my lens eye. Thank you. Cornelia

    1. Unfortunately I only know Stockholm as a tourist – and never been doing any photo assignments there. But just wandering around in the old town “Gamla Stan” is lovey and full of interesting subject – but also full of tourists. 🙂

  8. His voice has a decided direction that is vital in our fragile ecosystem. I thank him for being dedicated to the most important issue that humans face: the current ill health of our planet.

  9. The juxtaposition of nature vs. urbanization is captured well and in an understated yet impactful manner. His narrative voice is crisp and compelling. These shots look real and unposed, and because of this, it makes me think that the slow but steady destruction of our environments is everywhere and happens all the time, sometimes without us knowing it. Thanks for sharing, Otto!

  10. water, the stuff of life, this is very sad, these pictures hurt my heart… to watch life persist, with hope and love amongst our destruction

  11. Thank you for this wonderful post, Otto. As painful as these images are to look at, I am so glad he undertook the project. Sometimes the right person or people will see something like this and it will inspire change. I hope this happens for this creek.

  12. Great photos depicting such a sad state. I do hope the little stream gets a new lease on life by someone or some group. I will just never understand the lack of care and respect by the human species…

  13. Ståle’s work is a reminder that we should be kinder to mother earth, but I do see hopeful signs through his images. I like his style of photography, very much.

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