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The Art of Self-Taught Photographer Mark Essner

A photo of the nose of a plane on a runway917

Mark Essner is a self-taught photographer based in Waterloo, Ontario. In his photographic practice, Essner combines a documentary eye with a unique sense of aesthetics, building images that both tell a story and celebrate the look and feel of their subjects. 


A photo of a delapidated fence and fieldNo Love

I like how many of Mark’s photographs emphasize the human side of cities and industry. The artist is great at finding the beauty in spaces that would not normally be thought of as beautiful, a sense he shares with other photographers like Wayne Mazorow or Matt Emmett

The front page of Mark Essner's photography portfolio pageMark's portfolio website,


There’s an invitingly hazy, refracted quality of the lighting in many of Mark’s works. The artist seems to emphasize the way that artificial outdoor lighting bleeds into grey, dusky skies, using a blurred, lense-flare effect to create a sense of drama around each subject. I Look forward to seeing more of what Mark has been working on in recent years!

A photo of a fire truck with its ladder extending into the skySaviour

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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