As the insanity of war has invaded the country of Ukraine, I can’t help but think back to my visit to the city of Kharkiv less than 4 years ago. The warm welcome that I was extended by the people of SoftServe made this a truly special visit.
These very same people are in my thoughts, as I see images of barbaric attacks on this great city, where I walked along the banks of the river
The visit may have been a work trip, but the camaraderie was heartfelt and time was enjoyed in each other’s company. Now, I can only hope that all of these work friends are safe and that this needless violence is stopped immediately, so that they can rebuild and get their lives back to normal.
This image was created using 3 shots taken with my Fuji X-H1 and processing them with Aurora HDR, using an Ethereal Drama preset; secondary processing was done using Luminar Neo. Both of these products are from Skylum, a company founded in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Let’s all do our bit and help the people of Ukraine defend their democracy!
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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7 thoughts on “Thoughts of Kharkiv”
This is a beautiful photo! My heart is breaking for Ukraine 💔 Praying daily for their safety and freedom 🙏😥
Thank you, Lisa. It is difficult to see this invasion take place.
What a gorgeous image! What is happening in Ukraine is indeed horrific and heartbreaking. And to have a personal connection, as you do, must make it even more so. Insanity is a fitting description. They are in my prayers daily.
I also hope you are well. It is nice to see you back on WP.
Thank you kindly! As I am starting to get my work-life balance more under control, I will be here more often. All’s well, just a little busy 😎
You’re welcome. Work life balance is a continuing challenge. I understand! 🙂
Good to see a post from you Frank. Lovely photo. Keep safe.