Page 8 displays an image that was captured on April 7 in East Haddam, Connecticut. The location is in Devil’s Hopyard State Park, which is a great spot for hiking and interacting with nature; the small cascade is called Chapman Falls.
I was visiting friends in East Haddam for the weekend to explore some photography opportunities, help with a web-site and do some off-roading with my newly acquired FJ Cruiser. On this beautiful Sunday, a bit of exploration along a tricky bit of trails (great boulders and such) led us to the vicinity of Devil’s Hopyard State Park.
As we were all ready to stretch our legs a bit and new there would be a bit of scenery, I parked and we started following trails. The trail that took us down to Chapman Falls provided access to a bit of clambering over a couple of rocks to get a seat right across from the falls. The falls feature potholes that have been created by stones that were caught in eddies and spun to wear holes into the rock; as these holes formed, larger stones would get stuck in them and continue the process by carving a deeper hole.
The origin of the name ‘Devil’s Hopyard’ is not entirely clear, but there is folklore surrounding it. One of the more believable accounts is that hops were grown in the area by a man named Dibble; maybe not as fun as a supernatural dance location, possibly.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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