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!
Steate of Mind provides an interesting challenge direction, as our state of mind can vary across a wide spectrum. But, never worry, as I may have take on this, and, no, it’s not the wondrous Yoga Tree this week…
Our state of mind can go into many directions. In ths image, we can infer something about the state of mind of the canoe’s owner… is it hopeful for warmer weather or ennui with Winter’s onslaught?
As Saturdays are very much free form, and I will be having a nice Scottish breakfast in a little while, here is a bit of mood lighting…
This scene presented itself to me in late October a couple of years back, while I was taking a short stroll on this farm conservation land. I was struck by the depth of color, against the sky’s blue and lovely clouds, which lead me to creating this little tableau.
Scenes along these lines are moments of meditation to me, as one cannot help but be amazed by the beauty and balance that surrounds us, as long as we take the time to focus on our breath and be present.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
This image is courtesy of my iPhone 5S using the standard camera app and a bit of sharpening within Instagram.
A couple of year’s ago, my wife and I visited Scotland for an all too short 12 days. It was a wonderful vacation that afforded us many great things to see and experience. One of these locales is in the next couple of photos…
As we were leaving the Isle of Skye toward Inverness, it was recommended that we take a detour to see Plockton. This picturesque town, that looks to belong in a much more temperate zone than the highlands of Scotland.
Of course, it helped that the weather was absolutely perfect for the end of May, which gave us beautiful blue skies.
Plockton is very much a tourist attraction, because of its beauty and palm trees; it was used as the backdrop for the BBC Scotland series Hamish Macbeth, about a local police constable in the fictional town of Lochdubh.
As you can tell from these photos, the detour was well worth it.
Both of these shots were taken with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII and 24-105mm f/4L lens. I used the in-camera HDR processing capability for each of these shots. They were both taken at f/14 and 1/500 second at 400 ISO.
As last Friday’s mystery slide got a very positive response, I figured that I’d post another one from quite a while ago. This time, the slide didn’t have the answer marked on it, as it just said “#2”, but I think some smart readers can tell me a little about the following image:
This image is another slide scan from the collection of slides that I received from my father-in-law. Clearly, his father did a bit of traveling, as there are airplanes in the image.
This location has some interesting features, such as the fish pond and the pagoda and looks rather peaceful.
I am looking forward to what you can tell me about this location and its history.
A lot of my dog photography has been of dogs in action and to this day, a lot of people still know me for this part of my work. Portraits are a bit rarer in my oeuvre, so here’s one that I enjoy…
The dog in this photo is our youngest Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dora aka Bean. Her full name is White Raven “Salute of Innocence”, Dorothea Lange. Dora is now almost 3 years old and has quite a sense of humor, which is not a bad thing in a cute dog.
She stays busy with duck and sheep herding and agility, which means that she has something on her schedule most every weekend.
It is not coincidental that this little love shares her name with my favorite photographer. As I got to pick her registered name, “Salute of Innocence” was an easy choice, as it is one of Dorothea Lange’s most poignant images of Japanese American children saluting the flag during the pledge of allegiance.
This image is from Dorothea Lange’s time photographing Japanese Americans in internment camps in 1942; a dark period in American history that we should ensure to never repeat.
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fullfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life."
- Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte