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!
Spring is the season of renewal, when Nature returns to her full glory from the long sleep that is Winter.
The Yoga Tree shows the beginnings of a season of growth and rebirth, readying to put on her best Summer dress. The field around her is also showing the first signs of growth, as the grasses are recovering and soon the corn field will be planted.
She stretches out beautifully, while she prepares for the next dance, a round to Le Quatro Stagioni, as she cycles through the years with unending grace.
When I saw this week’s photo challenge, my decision was easy! Four different views of the one constant in my photography: Yoga Tree!
In Winter, she truly shows her inner beauty, stretching to the sky in a majestic pose. She stands strong against against the elements, radiating the energy that she contains, awaiting the command to regenerate for Spring.
You cannot travel the path
until you have become the path itself.
This is a scene in Baxter State Park in northern Maine that I captured back in 2006 during a weekend filled with moose! The weather was pouring rain most of the time and densely overcast on this day. I wound up shooting this at 1/40 sec, f/5.6 at 800 ISO (handheld).
The camera was a Canon EOS 1D MkII with a Sigma 50-500mm lens attached (it’s a beast!).
Last year, I went to visit my mother for her birthday; of course, we took the opportunity to go see some of the old sights! Here’s one…
Volendam is a picturesque town in the province of North Holland on the shore of the IJsselmeer, which used to be a sea, named the Zuiderzee. It originally was the harbor for Edam (well-known for its cheese), but in 1357 the inhabitants of Edam dug a more direct canal route to the Zuiderzee, so the harbor’s dam was used as a starting point for filling in the land, on which the new town of Volendam was settled.
These days, the town of Volendam is popular with tourists, as the houses have their own, inimitable style and many locals dress in traditional clothing to give the feel of being transported into a past several centuries ago.
It’s a great place to visit and when I noticed these fishing boats lined up in this fashion I couldn’t resist getting a shot of the scene.
This was shot with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII, using the in-camera HDR option. One fine day, I will actually catch up with image editing and processing and do a proper job, but, in the mean time, I still like this one.
Today, I want to start something a little different: present you with a mystery. Not a deep, dark mystery to be sure, but, rather, something from the past that may interest both young and old.
This image is a scan from a slide, that was not taken by me; I came upon a collection of slides that my father-in-law was going to throw out (they were wrapped up neatly in a paper towel with tape marked trash on them).
Luckily, he was nice enough to check and see, if I wanted the containers that they were stored in, so I asked him, if I could have the slides too. He kind of shrugged and said, “Sure”.
This was a couple of years ago and I promptly bought a slide scanner, but never touched them until this week. After getting a new driver for the scanner from the manufacturer in Taiwan, I fired it up last night and let it scan the first 36 slides.
That is when I noticed this slide that I present to you as a mystery. What do you make of it? What is this location? What is its purpose?
Hope you enjoy this little mystery. If you do, I may bring out more slides from this collection. I’m curious to see what all of you can bring to the light.
This week, I am going back to one of my many agility photos and am picking one of my favorite obstacles to photograph, the A-frame.
This image was taken in October, 2010, at the Cape Cod Kennel Club AKC agility trial in Falmouth, Massachusetts. It was a beautiful day with great light and a pretty good breeze, so the dogs were ready to run!
Clearly, this pug had a good head of steam, when cresting the A-frame, which, for this jump height, stands at 5’0″ (apps. 1.52 m). For a small dog, that is quite a height; if we’d scale this for the average human, it would be 4-5 times as high! Luckily, these dogs are well-trained and quite used to it, but it is still a feat of courage for them to fly over this A-frame at speed.
Out of curiosity, have any of you run your dogs in agility or other competitions?