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!
It must be something entirely human to collect things; just because we like something and because we can. One thing that always grabs my eye is creativity, which certainly describes my collection of custom art toys.
Meet the Ugly Unicorn! This unique creation by Jon Malmstedt caught my eye a number of years back, as its whimsical nature is coupled with an imaginative design. Jon’s design has proven to be a great platform, as he has created many interesting variants with different base colors and amazing paint jobs, which make Jon’s work true pieces of art.
Jon has also done a significant number of collaborations with other artists, particularly in the Japanese art toy scene, as Jon has been living in Tokyo for quite a while. Jon has also created a number of other unique toys, including a new generation of the Ugly Unicorn, which I will feature at a later time.
As I mentioned, the base vinyl and paint jobs can be very interesting, such as the glow in the dark version that Jon created for one of his Halloween releases.
My collection is approaching 100 Ugly Unicorns, which include a significant number of very limited releases and several one of a kinds.
And I shouldn’t forget to mention that Jon is a great guy, as I have had the pleasure to meet him several times and go for a hike and a drink with him! Go check out his on-line store, as well, where he releases most of his work: Rampage Toys and Art, and tell him I sent you!
Both images were captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens. The top image was lit with studio lights, dialed in for 1/100 second, f6.3 and 100 ISO. The glow in the dark image was done with an 8 second, f/5.6 at 400 ISO exposure.
Just when you thought that I might not mention Winter again, I ran across this image from last year that wasn’t actually from Winter…
Last year, I captured this image on March 29th, so it really was Spring! The Winter of 2015 was by far the snowiest in my memory of New England. This little vista appeared before me when I went for a short walk, while my wife was getting a herding lesson with on of our dogs.
Hope you enjoy the Spring that is coming (and Autumn for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere).
This was shot with an iPhone 5S using the standard camera app.
The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge gave the prompt: One Love. Of course, Bob Marley told us to “Let’s get together and feel all right”, which is always a great idea! Hope you enjoy my take on this theme…
That ‘One Love’ can leave us waiting with ever-waning patience for their arrival, wondering where they might be; should we be worried for their safety or are they delayed in the arms of a rival? Will they receive our embrace or the sharpened edge of our tongue?
What we do for that ‘One Love’… until we can hand ourselves over to them to be together in complete bliss!
This image was captured during a model shoot for fashion and jewelry. I shot this with my Canon EOS 5D Mk II using a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens. This was shot using just the natural light available through the window using f/2.5 at 1/160 second and 640 ISO.
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 lovely specimen was sitting next to a pond at the College of Simon’s Rock on a fine August weekend, as my wife and I dropped of the daughter for her start of the school year. He was kind enough to let me sneak up on him, as I was hanging over the edge of the pond, to get a nice view of him.
The peaceful nature, with which he sat there, as if he didn’t have a care in the world, made for a wonderful moment.
This image was captured with my old Canon EOS 1D Mk II and 24-105 f/4L lens. Exposure settings were f/9 at 1/40 second at ISO 400.
Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.
The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger… RobDPhotographer has a blog full of amazing photography, which you should visit! I hope he accepts the nomination for the challenge.
As I photographed quite a bit while in Scotland, I thought I’d once again dip into my pool of images from that 2013 vacation.
After leaving the Inverness area, our next Bed and Breakfast was in Braemar in the Highlands. As we hadn’t planned a specific route, our decision was to follow the A96 a bit and see when we’d turn south.
As we got to Elgin, I suggested that we make a stop somewhere to break up the drive; not knowing that we’d find the amazing Elgin Cathedral right in our path! The grounds of this cathedral are not only stunning, as can be seen in the above image, but they are also overflowing with the spiritual energy that has collected here throughout the ages. If you are sensitive to these energies, you can’t help but be touched at a large number of locations on the grounds.
Additionally, the structure is visually stunning, and, considering that construction started in the first half of the 1200s, one can’t help but be amazed by the advanced building techniques that existed to build such precise arches. Its rich history is detailed further on the History Scotland – Elgin Cathedral web page.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 17-40 f/4L lens attached. Settings for this image were f/10 with 1/400 second at 400 ISO.
A second image from this cathedral taken from the top of the North tower, which is precipitous…
Note that this gives an excellent view of the area, with the river Lossie just behind the cathedral.
So, last week’s edition was a bit problematic, as the surroundings were rather tricky to identify without knowledge of early New England architecture. Hopefully, this week’s mystery slide is a little easier, as it is not placed in New England…
These ladies are dressed stylishly, walking from the parking lot through the gate. I’m sure that someone will identify this gate rather quickly.
For extra credit, around which year was this slide photographed?