We all have the innate ability to be still and not be part of the whirlwind that is generated by all of our obligations, worries, needs, desires and fears. As long as we can take refuge to a place in which we can be still. Like this boy. In the midst of a busy street during nationwide festivities, he decided to drift off. In the comfort of knowing that with mummy everything is just fine, he simply let go.
How wonderful is that?
As we walk on our path, we soon discover that the journey we call life is never a straight line from A to B. Life keeps throwing curve balls at you. Being happy for me means keeping your focus on the big picture. In that way, you’ll discover that everything that crosses your path is there for a reason, to help you grow. Sometimes that’s quite a challenge, I know. However, being still and be able to take a step back to look at what has happened, you’ll see that the twist is actually part of a line to your destination. Just like the lives of anybody else who is along your path.
Shot with the wonderful Leica M8 and Voigtlander 35mm lens.
I have a weak spot for the Dutch singer Sabrina Starke. Not only because of her music, voice and presence, but also her look on life. I heard an interview with her a couple of years ago on the radio about the Buddhist teachings she has adopted. She came across as a lovely, warm and compassionate human being. She has just released a new album and is in the midst of a new tour to promote her album. I was at the first concert of the tour and shot these two pictures of her with my trusty Leica M8, paired with the classic Voigtlander 35 mm.
I caught these wonderful children lying flat on their belly. Their plan? Let’s find out what the doves will do if we make ourselves even smaller and keep quiet….
When was the last time you let you inner child take the decision?
I can shine it all on and still be amazed.
If I want it I pay
My true love
Well she threw it away
Mark E Everett-Eels
Shine it all on
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.
Although I am a huge fan of Mark E Everett and his band Eels, due to some personal little earthquakes last year I had a difficult time listening to his music that has often a melodramatic character. He is a master in expressing the struggle he has with romance and love:
What I Have To Offer
What I have to offer
Well, there’s a lot
Now I’m a modest man
But look at all I got
For all the wear and tear
I look OK
I got good manners
And I make good pay
And you know I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, there’s so much
I care and nurture and a
I got a pleasin’ disposition
And I don’t care about
Football or fishin’
And you know that I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, check it out
I’ve learned some things
And I know what it’s about
I’m quite discerning and
I’m pretty smart
It takes an awful lot to
Win my heart
But you know that I’m so full of love
So when this amazing artist recently visited The Netherlands, I hesitated for a moment to go but just for a brief moment. I took my beloved Leica M8 with me and being signed by Anton Corbijn it resulted in this photograph which reminds me of the Rattle and Hum period of U2.
Thanks Mark and Anton for your art and inspiration.
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.
I alway shoot in the RAW format. I makes shooting kind of sketching; just the outlines of the composition and the subject are important. With the latitude you’ve got with shooting RAW, adjusting the picture to your liking is something you do in post. However, when I recently got invited to a photo contest, I was forced to shoot in Jpeg because you had to deliver the photo’s at the end of the day to the jury. It forced me to take some test shots with the M9 around my apartment the day before. I actually like the result and have set my M8 (which is known for its excellent B/W pictures, hence its name “poor man’s Monochrom) and will take it out for a test-drive soon.
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 😉