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.
Great street photography makes ordinary things look extraordinary. It is the beauty of the small things that often are overlooked in every day life. It is there for everyone to see but only the photographer is able to catch the moment and create art. I live nearby the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, so visiting this great museum is something I regularly do. As the museum was packed with tourists the last time I paid the museum a visit, I decided to put my focus on the many visitors instead of the displayed art. Due to the fact that it was so crowded and everybody was taking pictures with their smartphones themselves, I was free to take some pictures of the visitors, something you actually hardly can do anymore these days because everybody is so hyper sensitive for having a picture taken without their strict permission. Looking through the crowd, I saw the three figures on the paintings looking at the three persons sitting in front of it and quickly took a picture. If this is an example of great street photography is for others to decide, but it made me chuckle nevertheless 🙂
You find yourself in a strange dynamic being a Leica shooter. One day you are being envied and seen as a snob who has spend too much money on a camera that lacks so many features other camera’s have, the other day you are being praised for your pictures you take with it. We live in an era in which the camera itself is a statement and fashion item too, beside being just a tool for creating art of capturing moments. For some people, owning a particular camera seems to be more important than actually shooting with it. I’d guess that’s all right too…whatever floats your boat. Instagram is flooded with ‘eye candy’; just pictures of Leica’s, but also other brands, instead of pictures taken with the camera. Being a substantial financial investment (hence the second hand option I took), it attracts both haters and lovers of the brand and for different reasons. I try not to identify too much with the gear I use, but having said that…..I actually do. I do but more in the sense that this type of camera make me feel they are my soul mates. Not to state something pompously, but the less is more approach of the Leica brand really resonates with me. They really are an extension of my eyes, heart and soul. Stripping the camera of all of the non-essentials enables me to focus (not pun intended) on the key points of my photography: seeing and capturing. I recently saw two Youtube video’s, in which both the M8 and M9 are being praised, despite being ‘old’ and ‘lacking’ or expensive. It prompted me to write this comment:
Hi Mattias, thanks for the effort you have put in this video and the one the M8. It strongly resonates with how I feel using my M8 and M9 (both second hand bought). In this age of ‘low light madness’ and the need for having a camera that does it all (including video), it is refreshing to hear somebody talk about these two camera’s and their specific qualities. What I like the most about using these kind of camera’s, besides obvious things like the IQ, handling, manual focusing and build quality, is ‘the less is more’ approach of Leica. The very reason I still shoot analog besides digital. This makes it not a camera for every one, but if it is it…..it surely becomes a soul mate of you and technical specs will soon be irrelevant :-). You can check out my pictures at http://vincentvankleef.wixsite.com/lightonlight . Cheers, Vincent
Till next time, thanks for reading this post. 🙂
I can really get annoyed by all the scooters in Amsterdam. I try not to (non-responding is a spiritual practice you know….) but boy they can get my nerves as they spit out so much pollution and noises. Foremost however, it’s the way they are driven; often in a reckless way. Having said that the Vespa is true design classic, just like the Leica M and iPod Classic are.This Vespa caught my attention as I walked out the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. I like the structure of the background and the great detail the Zeiss lens produces.
I like how lines can create something that resonates with the very thing that ignites your sense of beauty, especially if they are a result of functional design. Walking on the Museum Plein in Amsterdam after visiting the Stedelijk Museum, I passed one of the entrances to the underground car parking. The lines and lightning immediately caught my eye. These kind of pictures work best in monochrome, so I already had my eyes in ‘monochrome mode’ when I took this picture.
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.
Shot from the hip as they say. I can’t get enough of watching children exploring the world. As my daughter is growing up to be a wonderful adult, I keep being fascinated by small children. Besides the symmetry in the composition, I like the way the child moves its arms while walking down the path. The sheer wonder of a young human being exploring all that’s new, is a never-ending inspiration for me to keep grounded and have that beginners mind.
If a city can be a muse, than Berlin certainly is. It oozes with good and inspiring vibes and makes you want to visit one place after the other. I took this picture while I was strolling through Berlin with my girlfriend. I did not wait particularly for someone to pass by (a technique used often in street photography, see this post) but this person happened to walk into the frame of my rangefinder. I like the atmosphere, the lines and the silhouette-like figure of the man walking.
As I stated before in this blog, photography is sort of walking meditation for me. It calms me down and makes me more aware of my environment. I practice meditation at home too, but to be honest I enjoy this kind of calming down the mind more than just sitting down. It is something I cannot do in the companion of someone, let alone the fact that I am not in very communicative state when I am in this mode…..
Through my girlfriend’s professional network, I recently was asked to document a charity event. This event was held in a youth hostel where vintage clothes, books and all sort of used stuff were being collected and passed on to other people. There were also services being offered like hair dressing, learning guitar and massage. A wonderful initiative which not only helps people in need but also brings people together (hence the name ‘Blend’ Market). I saw this girl, emerged in looking at the picture she was holding. Her bright pink sweater and orange butterfly tiara made this an even lovelier scene. As I post only black and white pictures at this blog, you have to use your imagination here ;-). I noticed the man, probably her father, behind her but caught his admiring look only when I was processing the image.