Doug van Hemessen (dvh), photographic artist, grew up in Toronto and London, Canada. He bought his first camera at sixteen and has followed the photographic path, with some detours, since then.

Doug graduated from Bealart in London, Ontario with a major in photography in 1981. He spent some years working as a studio assistant and custom black and white printer in Toronto. He temporarily departed professional photography and completed Geography studies at Trent University in 1990.

He has worked with a variety of conservation programs and groups over the past twenty-five years while continuing to explore photography. He currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


I am compelled to create and am visually oriented. Photography is simply my chosen medium. My aesthetic constitution is a careful sense of composition using space, form, colour, and pattern. I am often more interested in the arrangement of those qualities rather than the specific subject of the photograph.

The content is informed by a deep curiosity about, and formal training in, geography – the essence of which is place and arrangement – and by a personal sense-of-place within the landscapes I find myself. A strong attraction to the natural world is another influence.

A sense of subtle irony is also a common ingredient. The work is further shaped by my exploration of photography as a “way of seeing” and its nature and role in the scope of fine art.


Doug van Hemessen is an artist-at-large of the ‘subtle yet profound’.

He has an uncanny ability to breath interest into the mundane, and to reveal underlying ironies in our lives.

His work is positive and playful, soft but bold, and curiously reverential. It builds layers of meaning that draw the viewer in – to their own reflections and revelations.

Brad PetersonLandscape Architect

Doug van Hemessen is a photographic artist who has the ability and vision to transcend the clichés so prevalent in the world of “art photography”.

He produces work which engages the viewer through purity and boldness of colour and design.

His work is unpretentious, creative and original which places him firmly into the realm of the serious and successful visual artist.”

Steven Vero Visual Artist

Traditional Photography

Images created from observing what the world presents. In some cases, inserting desired elements.

Traditional Photography

Avant Photography

Images created from imagination. Are these real photographs? Well, they are real things captured with a camera. So… yes.

Avant Photography