dinsdag 25 september 2012

self portrait pt 2    
revealing my self without being visible   
creating a self portrait doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be clearly visible within the frame.... 

in this vertical triptych i am actually present, but indiscernible. i am leaning over a bridge railing with my camera, trying to capture a mirror-image of myself in the water, but the movement of the ripples distorts and transforms my reflection, breaking it up in an endless stream of multicolored particles, floating away on the surface.
if you look closely you might recognize bits of my face and hands and the lens of my camera.

some people say that any picture you take is in fact a self portrait, because by choosing your subject, arranging objects within the frame, deciding on camera settings etc. you already reveal something about yourself. 

by giving this image the title: self portrait, i actually invite the viewer to search for clues about my identity. it is up to the viewer to interpret the visual information conveyed by  the image. does the graffiti in the back of the shed mean that i am gay, or exactly the opposite, that i hate gays? does the chaos at the bottom of the shed reflect my chaotic personality? or do i feel used up, discarded and broken like the dirty remains of moped and wheelbarrow on the floor? does this image reveal how i feel about myself or how i feel about the world in general, where people keep abusing eachother with words?

zondag 23 september 2012

self portrait     
putting myself in the picture
the first assignment for my advanced photography class is a self portrait.
this past week i have tried out different ways to put myself in the picture in a creative way

by creating a self portrait you can reveal certain parts of yourself to the viewer. here i have opened the blinds and parts of my face and hand become visible. because the focus is on my camera lens, what is revealed of my face is a bit blurry.

this shot was taken while standing next to my van, looking in the side mirror. more parts of me are revealed here, because of the multiple reflections from the car window.  this self portrait provides a bit more context: you can see the roofs and windows of the houses in the background.

here the 'revelations' are mainly contextual. i am merely a shadow, a silhouette, portrayed against a backdrop of green rushes and blue water. the viewer is free to interpret the image in her/his own way, as an interesting combination of lines and shapes and color, or as an expression of my fascination by nature and the movement of water.

this multi-layered image is both personal and contextual. my face is a blur, blending in with the other layers, just one of the many things to perceive within the bigger picture. there are parts of a brick wall, silhouettes of bicycles, neon reflections, and a lot of bright red and white lines and shapes that are undefinable. so what does this reveal about me, apart from the hazy imprint of my face? again: it is up to the viewer to decide if this image is about the lines and shapes and general atmosphere or about my love for night shots, shop window reflections and the color red.

maandag 17 september 2012

a musical encounter at the beach
last sunday my dad & i went to Kijkduin for lunch. when we got out of the car we heard the sound of brass music coming from the shopping mall along the boulevard. we went over to have a look and a listen and of course i grabbed my camera....

a color symphony in blue, white and gold with the long shiny slides of the brass trombones lining up beautifully

the white helmets have gold shields and chains, and are topped with a bunch of blue and gold plumes

mellophones, trumpets and sousaphones all make their unique contribution to the sound of the band

the huge bells of the sousaphone overshadow the band players 

the band has a great youth section with lots of dedicated young musicians

even between performances they appear very focused and serious

sometimes almost contemplative....:-()

maandag 10 september 2012

allowing space     
creating room for improvement
Kat Sloma's 'exploring with a camera' series this month is about 'space' (the separation between objects within the frame) as a visual element, a tool for creating compelling photographs.

I have been browsing through my images from the past few days to find out in which ways i allow space into my photographs and how it affects the impact of my images.

Last wednesday i took a whole bunch of shots of all the airplanes flying over, preparing to land at Schiphol Airport. The sky was a wonderfully clear blue color and i was able to capture a lot of crisp detail in the airplanes.

By letting the airplane fly out of my 'frame', picking it up and refocusing a few seconds later, i managed to keep the crisp detail, while at the same time allowing more distance, more space and more context into the image, which, in my opinion, makes it a lot more interesting

Here three other images i took recently, that have definitely improved by allowing more space into the frame. First the fluffy white seed head of a thistle, surrounded by  green grass and red clover. Second the silhouette of a cormorant, resting upon a light pole alongside the ice rink. Third is a young boy walking away from the mall with a candy bar.

Here is the thistle seed head again, this time it's a close up with a shallow DoF that makes it stand out from the background, emphasizing the details of the seed head, especially the tiny dewdrops clinging to the fluff. Instead of allowing more space by creating distance while maintaining the detail, like i did with the airplane, here i have achieved the same effect by moving closer and enhancing the detail by decreasing the DoF.

Here i allowed more space into the frame by choosing a horizontal perspective, focusing on the cormorant and the top of the light pole, thereby excluding most of the pole itself. By changing my position i managed to include some of the white cloud. Allowing more space around the silhouette increases the contrast, thereby enhancing the impact of the image.

The boy in red walked by while i was standing on a bridge just outside the mall. I first managed to 'capture' him unawares while he was standing still, nibbling on his candy bar. Then he walked on and slowly disappeared into a tunnel. I kept shooting, allowing more and more space into my frame. This shot is the last one before he disappeared completely, and for me it is the most compelling one, precisely because of the amount and the quality of the space around him: the lines and the color of the tunnel wall emphasize the shape and the color of his clothes and allow his shadow to 'follow' him going down into the tunnel. 

zondag 2 september 2012

sharing my august photo-heart connection     
celebrating a new photoblog collaboration
there is absolutely no doubt about the image that best represents my photo-heart-connection for august

here is the image i picked for the launch of a new photoblog i created with Els, a woman i met in one of Kat's classes and who happens to be dutch as well... somehow we 'clicked' and our connection has grown over the past months with this blog as a creative and mutually inspiring result.  it would even be better if i had a photograph of Els or of the two of us together, for she is my true photo-heart connection for this month, but although we don't live far apart, we haven't seen each other yet.... so maybe next time....!