The result of Vandervell’s photography is one born of patience. Cautiously waiting for the perfect combination of light and environment, these elements must be present if only for the most fleeting of moments. Through his signature use of black and white photography he pays particular attention to clean lines and geometric precision, capturing scenes of the city as unique as the movement of light itself. His meticulous approach and acute understanding of light results in a distinctive view of the city’s architecture and its imposing presence, the sheer scale of which often overwhelms a single figure in the frame. Architecture plays a big part in Vandervell’s photography, though he is not necessarily focused on photographing individual buildings—more so in the environments they create. “I find beauty not necessarily in the subject itself but in the space that surrounds it,” he states. As the city itself is a collection of ever-changing environments, so too are Vandervell’s photographs. In harnessing the effects of light reflecting from an abundance of glass and steel, Vandervell reveals a diverse and dramatic world which changes daily; shadows are deep and dark, shafts of light are sharp and vibrant, and the occasional hint of architectural detail only adds to the overall environment in the image itself.
Though the city of London may have a population of over 9 million, Vandervell artfully seeks out singular individuals in brief moments of solitude, poised in a moment of calm or in mid-hurried transit. His photographs show that the human presence within a city is continuously moving through architecture’s looming presence. It is only Vandervell who is truly still during these brief moments, having waited patiently for the perfect combination of light, architecture, and presence.