Blog category: Essay
While visiting Ethiopia some fellow travelers joined me on a walk in the streets of Harar. Soon they found out that for me photography is serious and not just in for tourist snapshots. They asked about the camera I am using and what type of photo’s I produce. They looked how I make photo’s and became inspired. Soon they started to take also photos with their cameras and smartphones. When I saw something and made a photo they took same spot and tried to imitate my actions.
Making portraits became impossible for me, I asked for a photo and then they also took the same photo. I started to feel like in the zoo or being a guide that says “take a photo here, it is an amazing spot”. So I had to give up on portraits for that afternoon. I thought the only thing left was Street Photography.
When I waited for the right moment at a promising spot, the travelers where doing the same. With their behavior they more or less forced me to leave and continue to look for another subject.
In Street Photography I not very often make photos from people walking in front of me, it is just not interesting enough. This woman and the color combination was unique but the travelers still where with me. With some frustration I pressed the button.
The resulting photo visualizes the paparazzi feeling that accompanied me that afternoon. Maybe it was not the most productive afternoon but considering the constraints I made an interesting photo that captures that special feeling.
I know, there are organized photo-walks. I’m not sure if I am going to feel well during such an event but maybe someday I’l give it a try and challenge myself to come home with something unique.
How about you? Do you have any experience with photo-walks?
Up to now I worked in black and white, in my work there always are people. Last weeks I have been posting more abstract work. I am not sure if this is what I really like, as of today it fascinates me a lot to show the exceptional in simple things easily overseen.
On the G.A.S. side I am back now on the Canon Track, just picked up a 5Ds R… not for work like this but for modelling work which, is another experimental track I have taken recently…
Let me know, should I continue with this or stick with the style I had last years?
Last Saturday I arrived in a new Airbnb apartment in Switzerland, I had to move. Outside it was raining and I felt somehow sad and depressed. Things here are not very fancy, it is just ugly. At some point I started to see a strange kind of beauty around me. This beauty made me to pick-up my camera that was resting for weeks in the bag. What you see here is what I saw, not my typical style but for me it is an interesting series.
Meanwhile I start to appreciate the apartment, I made my self to feel at home and the sun just came out.
In portraits it all is about the person and expression shown. Some portraits clearly benefit from the square format, they get more powerful.
By choosing the square format the features of the face get more attention and the character of the person becomes more relevant. This portrait has been made in a house entrance, the background almost is pure black and helps to put even more focus on the man shown.
More portraits can be found in the portraits section of the galleries section on this website.
A few days ago I posted a tip to motivate to use the manual mode. A comment in dutch, was that sometimes one want to play with DOF (Depth of Field). The video in the post post is staring with shutter speed then the f-stop. This method works very good street photography and allows to create a consistent look for series of images made in various directions.
Of course it also is possible to start with the f-stop, then shutter speed and if needed ISO, this might work for static subjects where image composition is important. I however think that the benefit of manual mode is not that high. For photos where DOF is important I prefer to work in automatic mode with aperture priority (A Mode) and then use exposure compensation to play with the light.
Conclusion from my side is that manual mode is perfect for street photography.
In another post I explained why I started publishing color photos. Today I took one from the Ethiopia trip and let the colors play. The colors in the original RAW file where too poppy for my taste, I carefully reduced them and this is what could make out of it.
For my taste this is the kind of color I am looking for in my photos. One of the visitors of this blog (Stefan) took his time to look closer to the photo and gave some valuable feedback.
The image slider on the right shows the original and new version (slider left). In the new photo the background has been blurred and color is a bit more desaturated.
I invite everybody to make critical comments to my posts, a bit more than beautiful, wonderful is highly appreciated!
G.A.S. what the hell is that??? Well let me explain, it is the so-called Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a problem a lot of people who want to take (great) photos suffer from. Mostly it are men but, some women also might be affected. I had it as well; bought too much far too expensive stuff to take photo’s with. At some point it was enough, this point was reached when back in 2007, I planned a trip to Mali. During the preparations I learned that there’s a lot of dust in Mali. Too dangerous for all my “expensive equipment”. At the end of the day, I got a Panasonic FZ-50, my new tool survived sand and dust and I took my first portrait shown here.
Not bad for a start, I almost got healed. But then I bought a Canon 5D with L-Glass. Far too heavy and expensive and in 2015 I ended at Fujifilm X Pro: the end of my G.A.S. What comes after G.A.S.? First of all there is the widely unknown, P.B.A.S. (Photo Book Acquisition Syndrome). I am still suffering from this but this syndrome is more constructive, it is a source of inspiration. Maybe at some point I start to blog about all those books I have on my bookshelf. I currently suffer from the W.D.S. (Website Design Syndrome) and try to find an escape. For the previous website (photo-vinc.com) I spend far too much time on design of the site itself. Early 2018 I found my old website (Photo-Vinc.com) needed a successor, I decided to stay with WordPress as framework, got a nice theme and some promising plugins. The idea was to use everything without modification. This did not work out, I made a child theme to solve problems I saw, CSS to make things look consistent. It took me over 10 months of time to finalize this website. Far too much, to less time to work on the material I had from various trips. My advice? If you want to focus on images and present them, try something like SquareSpace. This will be much quicker als looks (almost) as good as your own design. And if you don´t follow my advice and want to know what I use then check the about section of this site where, at the end I explain which theme and plugins I used for this website. Can I help you? To keep it short: No, might be able to see some symptoms but I’m not able to heal you. You have to find your own way.
Till recently, I showed my work only as black and white. While processing the images sometimes I start to think about color. For me this was a difficult decision, it took me months to take the step to color. Finally I published two photos in Color on my old Photo-Vinc website.
On this website I now will bring more color. I am trying to find my style, not too much colors, decent slightly de-saturated.
Bellow some samples:
More colorful work in the portraits section here on this website.