In our lives, we have ups and downs, wins and losses, and even periods of relative stability that we might call smooth sailing. As we get older, we learn to take most of the ups and downs in stride, as we know that, regardless of what is happening, most likely it shall pass.
There are still occurrences that really affect us deeply, though, such as the passing of a loved one. After a period of time, the pain lessens, but the memory will remain. For this week’s loss of Darwin, the pain is still all too real and palpable, so I thought I’d share this image with you…
This image has very special meaning to me, as captured it nearly six years ago during a group night shoot; as I created this photograph, I sensed a change in the space-time fabric, which I could not identify. In the morning, I found out that a beloved aunt of mine had passed during that night, after a long battle with cancer.
This image is for you, aunt Marlies, and also for you, Darwin.
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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9 thoughts on “Letting Go”
A beautiful post and photograph Frank and I can relate to the sensing of a change in the space-time fabric – I wrote about this yesterday in a post dedicated to the memory of our nephew Jamie. You may not want to read that post now with Darwin’s loss still so raw, but if you ever want to it is titled ‘Haibun: A Message From The Stars’.
Thank you, Xenia. I will definitely check out you post.
Hi Frank, thank you for sharing your thoughts and photo. Life is fragile, I can identify with that. The photo speaks for our unspoken thoughts and emotions. We had many losses in our family. And my husband lost his best friend a year ago. He sobbed terribly. That was the only time I had seen him cry. Our emotion is not like a faucet that can be turning on and off. We take time to grief. My son-in-law kept his mom’s ashes for a year. He took care of his mom’s dog Oscar. Oscar passed with heart problem within a year. He took mom’s and Oscar’s ashes to the ocean of his mom’s designation!! He has a special place for his mom’s and Oscar’s photos for remembrance. Your last post of Darwin’s photo is so precious!
Miriam, thank you very much. Loss of loved ones is always difficult and I find that it doesn’t get any easier over time.
Yes, it doesn’t. The deeper the love is, the longer the pain, and the nostalgia!
So sorry for your lost, life is fragile as mentioned but we have to make the most of it. Your post is so unique and yet simple, thus making it beautiful, so thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I’ll be sure to check out more of your work!
Thank you very much, I really appreciate it.
Thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss. I understand that almost imperceptible moment you mention about the “shift in space-time fabric”. I get a few of those moments too, and it always seems to herald the moment of passing. Life is precious. Always be happy.
Thank you most kindly! It is interesting to see how we all connect on such a very elemental level.