Everyday is an opportunity to have a blissful moment. An encounter with someone who sticks in your mind or is a start of something meaningful, being a witness of something beautiful or just having something ‘click’.
Last week I added a new lens to my camera gear. It’s the Voigtlander 35mm 1,4 MC lens. It’s a tiny almost pancake-like lens and has a classic, vintage lens and aperture blade design. It’s a match made in heaven with my now vintage Leica M8.
I often use the pont across the Amsterdam IJ, to sit across the water with a cup of coffee, a book and my thoughts. On the photo you can see the buildings on the left side of the futuristic Eye Theater which is on the right. That’s my place of stillness.
It was last week when I spotted this man, looking across the water as we waited on the pont to start the little trip to the other side of the water. I decided to grab my camera and take this shot.
Due to the ancient metering system of the M8 this shot was under exposed. Correcting in post production it brings out the wonderful ‘grain’ of the Kodak CCD sensor. Combined with the nice bokeh of the lens, it produces a wonderful film-like look.
When I was shooting for a storytelling project I am conducting these days for the city of Amsterdam, my path crossed that of Sjuul. Sjuul is, besides an awesome guy, a personal trainer and movement/mobility/Capoeira specialist. We had a chat and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot which turned out quite well. Jules knows every bit about your body’s alignement but the title of this blog has an other meaning. When things are aligned and well, beautiful things can happen, even if they are not planned like the photo shoot with Sjuul.
‘True love shines through one’s eye’
This sentence popped up in my mind when I thought about Sandro Miller and his wife Claude. I still cherish meeting the famous photographer Sandro Miller and Claude. As if meeting a photographer with such an immense talent was not already enough to have a profound impact on me, meeting him and his wife was a testament of how two people can be ment to share their lives with each other. Their eyes sparkle when they speak about each other and each other accomplishments.
As I was recently going through his feed on Facebook, I came across this quote that he wrote when they got married:
Meeting you was fate.
Becoming your friend was a choice.
Falling in love with you was beyond my control.
Well, that sums it all up, right?
I don’t know whether this comes from Sandro himself but that obviously does not matter. As you stay true to yourself, the people that resonate with your true being are destined to enter your life and will just do that. They help you to destruct what is no longer useful and to manifest what helps you along your path ❤.
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.