Born in ’68, Jesper Dyre Sø has developed his talent for Square Hunting since the age of 12. His earliest memory of photography dates back to 1973. Drawn towards the magic environment of the darkroom, where his father had changed the kitchen light to a dim orange, and filled the air with the sour smell of stop bath. The metallic sound of the tongs handling the thick carton photographic paper in the trays where the magic occurred. His father standing by the enlarger saying ‘you will either have to come inside or stay outside’. Closed doors in the fight of daylight vs. orange light.
He chose the inside, in the somehow scary dark but yet so safe. A small world so isolated and protected from the big outside. Everything so quiet. A place to work in solitude. And state of mind at peace with no disturbance. Barely breathing, and yet so alive with expectations and curiosity. Watching the magical transformations.
Born without the ability of using both eyes simultaneously. Always his right eye. The left eye being a backup, only able to register movement and light. One would think this would somehow disable his capabilities as photographer. But looking at his work it seems to have been an advantage, though he claims to have brought nothing but square copying of classic seeing as far as he can.. see.
His earliest Squares, ‘Trees’ and ‘Elephants’ are from 1983, 10 years after the darkroom
memories. Having moved closer to the countryside he spent most time fishing and birdwatching. And it was the desire to photograph the birds that brought him back in the darkroom. Giving new life to the equipment his father had stored in boxes. ‘Trees’ and ‘Elephants’ both gave him the adrenalin rush and the joyful feeling of being extremely alive. The hunt. And the catch. Not so different from the fishing. A deep satisfaction.
At the age of 16 during his 4 years apprenticeship as commercial photographer, Jesper began a journey with the books of Ansel Adams and his pre visualizing Zone System. Many, hard struggling, years with curves trying to bend modern films, developers and papers to behave as Ansel suggested. It grew to be an obsession. An obsession that stood in the way of creating. In street photography he found the creative freedom and speed he missed in the heavy discipline of large format landscape and architecture photography. Square Hunting was his core strength, and one must move light footed in order to hunt the fast game.