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 volunteer at a bio organic farm as a documentary photographer. A lovely family with a dedication and a work ethic which blows me away every time I am at the farm. I experience quite some stress at my work at this moment which means that today when the sun is shining, I am behind my Macbook working on the Q4 goals of the company. I have canceled the appointment with my brother and his wife, but allowed myself to write this blogpost in order to relax and to keep the creativity flowing.
My workload is nothing compared to that of the farmers. While I am still able to workout, take photographs and meditate twice a day, they have to find refuge in the small things. While we took the cows to the barn, Monique the farmer’s wife, said something very profound while looking at the sun, hands raised to the sky: THIS is my daily meditation’.
This picture I took yesterday resonates strongly with the point I try to make. Most precious things in life are often small and entwined with all the necessary things. Keep light-hearted and be grateful for what you have.
Once in a while I switch to shooting analog and I never regret it. The sheer joy of using a camera like the Olympus OM2-n and the results themselves, makes me want to switch to analog for good. Having said though, I don’t want to part with my Leica’s either….This picture was taken at the Katwijk beach. Shot with Porta 400 and converted to black and white in Lightroom. This particular roll of film has yielded quite some keepers. You can check them here (the last 22 pictures).
Nature surpasses all concepts of greatness. The wonderful thing is that you can be awed by it in so many ways. As I live in Amsterdam now, all the places that are not occupied by concrete or cars are safe havens for the mind. I took this picture in the Westerpark, a park along a busy road. You can sense the different state of mind of people when they are surrounded by nature, even if it’s a park.
As soon as you are aware of your surroundings, you start to perceive things you would have not noticed otherwise. When I walked across the boulevard of Scheveningen, I noticed this pattern in the sand. I immediately imaged it in black and white, although I had a color negative film, Porta 400, loaded in the OM-2.
I took this picture a while back with the Yashica medium format, at the Oostvaardersplassen. You see me standing at a beautiful, serene place in the Dutch polder where the nature is let alone in the sense that it is not being cultivated and nature management is kept minimal. On this picture you see the result of a fiery natural fire that destroyed the majority of trees. By letting nature off the hook, they hope it will harmonizes itself while standing tall.
The winter in the Netherlands has been very mild so far. So when we did experienced a little snow, many got out to enjoy the lovely weather it was accompanied by. In my case, I jumped on my bike to take some pictures. As I cycled along the meadows, I noticed the lines of the ditches disappearing into the distance so I decided to move my bicycle nearer to the meadow. After I had managed to get back on my feet, I realized that particular part of the street was quite slippery….Oh well, I managed to take this picture so why complain eh?
Everybody needs a bit of ‘me-time’ once and awhile, don’t we? The scenery you see here is a great place to be; the woods surrounding the Kroller Muller Museum. Next to me, my beloved Yashica TLR. When processing the picture I noticed the pockets of my pants stuffed with my keys and iPhone. Pants with pockets like that are very handy when traveling light but not so elegant I suppose. Well, not that of an issue when you’re all alone in the woods….;-)
Reading a very inspiring post on Henri Cartier Bresson and his use of perspective and composition, I’ve come to realise more than I have ever done before that observation, timing and foremost patience is key to capture a picture that stands out from others you have taken. It has become a sort of worn out statement but it’s all about ‘the decisive moment’ (I recently came across a bumper sticker that states ‘I brake for decisive moments’ wich is quite funny though). Take this picture for example. Bicyclists and hikers were enjoying the weather and moving along the canal. I was intrigued by the pattern created by the trees aside the canal, the parallel lines of the canal itself and the moving people along the road so I decided to stop and take some pictures. Focusing on the other side of the canal I waited for an interesting composition to arise, which eventually did happen. The man in the front peeks at the other man on the other side of the canal. Both cycling and with their own direction in life.