What is your favourite ice-cream taste? ‘Chocolatecakeicecream!’ Don’t you just love the enthusiasm of kids? 😀
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.
Although I wrote in my former blog post about being in need for a break after doing so much portraits, I am still doing at least one a week and enjoy it to the fullest. This time I focus on the many small local businesses in my Amsterdam neighbourhood . They play a significant role in our neighbourhood, as they have many residents as customers. Take Amy for example, she runs Westdogs Hondenuitlaatservice, where she walks the dogs of fellow residents who are to busy to do it themselves. She had brought her 3-year old son with her. Sure enough, besides being a very sweet little guy, he started to run away and decided to play peekaboo among the many places where you can hide in the park.
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! 😀
When did you last just look at somebody with such a wonder and innocence like this boy? Just showing the other one your smile and your loving personality? We kind of lose that as we grow older. Magical things will happen though when we decide to do this very thing and to return the smile with a look of love and compassion back.
Up to a wonderful 2018!
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.
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.