About being a photographer

  • About

My explorations as a photographer go together with my adventures as a painter. As a photographer I work with light, colour, composition just like in my paintings. More importantly, the subject matter, I work on themes that are close to my heart. But in contrary to painting the palette differs in that I use ready-made objects or natural objects. This limitation of choice is a wealth to me, I probably can till the end of times, look at the same object from literally different angles and make something out of it.

If other people feel a connection to the result I do not know but it does matter to me. Photography is like my painting a form of communication. And what is communication without a receiving party. The topic of everyday objects has both a practical origin and a much deeper philosophical thinking behind it.

It might have started very early in life but certainly during my time at the Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam, I had to think deeply about why I would design something. A teacher of mine posed once the question, and I heavily paraphrase this, “Why do you (as a group) design once again a chair, don’t we have enough chairs already and isn’t it enough?”. This made a great impact on me because this is my thinking too and I felt instantly at home.

So everyday objects is partially about question, partially about the registration of something as mundane as a coffee cup. How do I place them? Against what backdrop? Dark or light? Colour or Black and White? Light tones or darker? Sunny or moody? How about the reflections? And more and more questions. I could go scientific about this but there are so many variations possible that I have no worries about running out of ideas at all.

Once again, maybe it always has been part of me or maybe it has developed over time, but I am fascinated by product families, things that belong or not, things that have something sharing, things that feel a logical continuation of something preceding. I naturally think in themes, groups and with photography I can efficiently explore these.

One trap in photography is technology, the ever present “better tool”. My tools are very humble. A Canon 60D, a good Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 and a Tamron 80 mm macro lens. I use a tripod, Capture One Pro 12, Pixelmator, Helicon Focus and Remote and that is about it. Then I use primarily the available light so not strobes, LEDs and other goodies. I got nothing against the gear, it is just that I want to explore my creativity with the tools I have readily available.

I spend as little time as possible on editing my photos. I easily become irritated or rather, restless, when I sit behind the computer too long. This is subjective and seriously depends on the subject matter, but after one hour I need to do something else.