I recently made a photo reportage for Hulphond Nederland, a charity which provides very special dogs for people in need. Think of disabled people, people who suffer from epilepsy, PTSS and all sort of trauma. It is amazing how these wonderful dogs can improve one’s quality of life. The field in which they operate, as a permanent companion or as intervention during a specific treatment, keeps on getting broader and broader. They plan to do scientific research on the effects of a hulphond (‘helping dog’), which will boost the amount of people who will benefit from a dog even more. You can donate to this charity here. Besides being impressed by the skills of these dogs, I was very moved by the connection I saw between the dogs and their owners.
I have done a lot, a mean really a lot of portraits and reportages the last couple of months. A couple of photo’s are featured on this blog and my portfolio site. It gives me so much joy to make the photography dance with my subjects and my Leica. Having said that, after so many photo shoots I have reached the point being ‘in need’ for a break out from that. So, when I met somebody at an event and talked with him about the amazing building of Radio Kootwijk (see my former post), he suggested to visit Radio Kootwijk together. That was my call. I keep being mesmerised by this building (see the first picture below) and its surroundings. I simply love the design, the industrial design, which is both beautiful and practical, and the energy! 3 photo’s this time 🙂
Your highest spiritual power is your ability to laugh. To laugh HARD, no holding back and not being afraid to be looked upon as a crazy person or to feel vulnerable. It not only releases you from tension and gets your body to make all sorts of good feeling hormones, it also nuances the ‘problem’ you are facing. They even have based a type of yoga on it. Go on and try it! 😀
Photography connects you with what is already connected.
Love of my life, on wheels that’s to say. My Citroën DSUPER. I took this picture in 1995 with the French licence plates still on it. The car had the exact same birthday as me, truly an amazing ‘coincidence’ as I had been dreaming about owning one my whole life….I had to sell it several years later, when we were looking to buy our first house and our daughter was just a little girl. Owning a car like this was no longer a sensible option. Actually, it has never been a sensible choice in the first place, but boy I am thankful for that my 24 year old-self decided to buy the DS! Luckily, it is still alive and kicking so it is been taking well care of.
I recently started a photography project in the Bos & Lommer district in Amsterdam, the city where I live. I offer my neighbours a free portrait session. As I moved to Amsterdam just a year ago, this gives me the opportunity to get to know my neighbours better and to hone my photography skills, especially portraits. The reactions have been great so far; people are genuinely grateful to have some nice pictures taken and furthermore, every foto shoot is a moment of connection between strangers too and that remains something really special. Take for example Vladimir with his dog Timo. Meeting Vladimir was wonderful and meeting Timo meant seeing a dog just happy to be alive. Dogs just give, that’s all they do. Timo leaving his footprint on my jeans did connect me with the following quote I read this morning:
Start today – give, give, give – time, energy, assistance, care, co-operation. On how many levels do you see the opportunity to give? It’s good to be a ‘just do it’ person. Even better to be a ‘just give it’ person. And the paradox will make itself known – when you give you will realise you already have everything you need.
Swiftly he manoeuvred his bike to the right as he approached me. I was totally in the moment, in a meditative state as I always am shooting with my Leica’s. I could not be bothered less. It rained slightly that evening in Amsterdam. Tourists moved from the Central Station towards the city centre. I decided to shoot with the old M8 again, paired with the magnificent Zeiss 28 mm. Furthermore I had set the camera in Jpeg and black and white, inspired by the photo contest (see this post). Reviewing the picture later, it showed a fair amount of under exposure, due to the headlight of the bike pointing directly into the simple centre weighted metering of the Leica. It results in a noisy image, but having the awesome Kodak sensor it yields a nice grain like look-I think.
Citroën 2CV’s have the ability to just go on and on while being eroded to a point you seriously wonder when they will just fall apart. I’ve owned a blue, red and white one (funny: the colours of both the Dutch and French flag) and enjoyed driving these cars so much that I still yearn for owning one….again. This particular one I spotted in Den Haag, while walking down the wet and shiny streets (see this post).
This is awesome: I got interviewed by the renowned Dutch Leica photographer Joeri van der Kloet. Joeri is a friend of me too, so that’s a double whammy eh? No featured photograph this time….just check out the interview 😉
Expressing your love for someone in a way that gives full meaning to what you actually feel on a soul level other than with your touch, is impossible.As I expressed in this post, be able to connect to your soul and someone else’s, enables you to experience life beyond the perceptions made by your mind’s ego.I follow guided soul meditations for some time now for that very reason, but recently got the insight that my love for children is the way my soul is expressing itself at its strongest.Every day I get moved by something I see in a child.The sheer innocence and the playful nature of a child really moves me.This can be a child of a stranger, a child of a loved one and of course my very own daughter.This picture I took from my daughter just a few days ago, is a picture she does not like that very much…but I do.I resonates strongly with what she means to me.One of my favourite guitarists Harry Sacksioni has the gift to transcend the love for his daughter into a truly moving piece of music.As he explains (in Dutch), before playing the song in this video, he composed the music when his daughter Jessa was barely out of the womb. Amazingly but actually not surprisingly, the character of the song totally matches the character of his daughter.