As a transplant from the Netherlands, I have a slightly different take on what those folks who grew up in the United States take as every day components of their environment. This does provide me the opportunity to capture some images that translate this alternate perspective. These are part of my series that I have loosely termed: Americana.
Today’s image is probably the one that started it all for this series. I happened upon this scene during a weekend that had me photographing a dog agility competition in Chester, Connecticut. The location is a small fairground, one of many around New England. Upon entering this bathroom, I was struck by both the light and the lines that were presented to me.
I did get an odd look from one of the fairground workers, who came to post some notices in the bathroom. It wasn’t every day that they saw a photographer with a camera on a tripod in their bathrooms…
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D MkIII using an EF 17-40mm f4/L lens. This was shot as a series of 5 exposures with exposure values at -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 EV around the metered exposure. The shots were combined and process using HDRSoft’s Photomatix Pro.
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!
View all posts by jansenphoto
4 thoughts on “Americana – Fairground Bathroom”
Ha ha! It truly is like art, isn’t it? Blessings Frank. Hope your weekend was lovely.
Too funny! This is similar to many a bathroom I’ve been in during rustic endeavors throughout New England too. Visits to the lake, camp and parks…This is a perfect example. 😉
Thank you! It’s one that always puts a smile on my face. A 16×20 print hangs in one of our bathrooms 🙂
You’re welcome. And, I really like that idea!