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!
As Winter is losing its grip on New England, I thought it might be interesting to have a short series of images that show some of the beauty that the coldest season presents.
This was an image from last year’s outing with John Slonina Photography along the northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire coast. It was a blustery day with gray skies, but sufficient sunlight to make for wonderful photographic opportunities.
It’s not often that we get enough snow to stay on a beach, such as we see here; usually, wind and sea spray will clear the snow over a matter of days. This beach was beautifully presented with this snow, as nobody had traversed it yet; the dune fence and grasses provide some interest against the leaden sky above the ocean.
Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Exposure settings were 1/125 second at f/14 at 200 ISO. A circular polarizing filter was used.
I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Project Relish, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.
So for the next week, let’s see, if I can come up with some interesting nature images and pass the challenge onto some of my fellow bloggers.
This was an image that I captured at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA, last year July. Tower Hill is one of my favorite places to go visit in any season, as the staff do a wonderful job at managing the flora to create something of interest just about any time of year.
During the Winter, the indoor displays are relaxing and magnificent to traverse, as many tropical and subtropical species are in-doors, ranging from orange and lemon trees to exotic ferns, whose structure is mesmerizing.
Spring starts with an onslaught of color, which continues well into Summer. Autumn is probably my favorite time of year, as the rich, warm tones of the season dominate.
This image was captured with my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mk III and 24-105 f/4L lens. Exposure settings were f/10 at 1/125 second at ISO 200.
Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.
The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger… idiot.with.camera runs a very cool blog with amazing images from this year’s project 365 (hint: go check it out). I think 7 days of nature photography will blend well with this talented idiot’s work! I look forward to the results!
This week, I’ll be sharing another image from our trip to Scotland in 2013. Another feature of this image, is that you’ll get to know a bit more about the banner on this blog.
This is the Bodach that sits at the head of Loch Long in Arrochar, Scotland.
For over five centuries this area, the feudal barony of Arrochar, was held by the chiefs of Clan MacFarlane and before them by their ancestors the barons of Arrochar. The family is Celtic in the male line and native to their Highland homeland of tall peaks and deep lochs just above the waist of Scotland. The settlement was a key target for Viking raiders who took their boats 2 miles overland to Tarbet to attack the unprotected inland settlements at Loch Lomond before their defeat in 1263 at the battle of Largs.
According to legend, the Bodach was instrumental in keeping the Vikings at bay to protect Loch Long and its surrounding villages.
In Scottish folklore, the bodach comes down the chimney to fetch naughty children, used as a cautionary tale or bogeyman figure to frighten children into good behavior. This sounds like a relative of the Krampus in European folklore.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 24-105 f/4L lens attached. Settings for this image were f/14 with 1/100 second at 320 ISO.
Last week I shared an image of our youngest dog, Dora Bean that captured about a year and a half ago. This week, I’d like to share another image from the same photoshoot…
Meet Sweet Pea, the Pea of Peas, Dog of Dogs. Sweet Pea owned one of our friends, as humans never truly own a dog. At the time of this photo, she was a very old dog. Sweet Pea’s human asked that I do a photoshoot of her, as she didn’t have much time before crossing the Rainbow Bridge.
We found this great spot at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds, where Sweet Pea could stretch out comfortably and pose with those looks that only she knew how to throw. What resulted was a touching reportage of Sweet Pea being her essential self, filled with the zen of doggitude.
Sweet Pea crossed the Rainbow Bridge about a month after this image was captured, leaving us richer for having been in her presence.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. At 1/400 second with f/4.5 aperture at ISO 400.
When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.
— The Winter’s Tale (4.3.1-4) William Shakespeare
This lovely tulip may not be the flower of choice for Shakespeare, but I look forward to her return, as the lovely season of Spring gets ever closer!