Some days ago I took the third picture of a nice family living in my street. I started portraying them in 2020, right before the pandemics rolled over each and everyone of us. Last year I returned with my cameras to their living room, but now I decided to ask them out, especially because they have this great cargo bike for the kids. So it was on a Sunday that we went together in the woods… Check out the album for the portraits from 2020 and 2021.
A while ago I took portraits of a young man in a beautiful white villa. That day the light was gorgeous and we had a good time taking the pictures in the several rooms of the historical building. As always after making the choice for the best pictures I was looking for text to go along with the images. I believe that this combination gives the best feed to the head of the viewer: the aesthetic image plus the endless stream of thoughts provoked by the words. Finding the right combination can be a long process, but all of a sudden the cognition is there. In retrospect this always seems rather mysterious to me.
All my life I have a big interest in philosophy, for me the thoughts and perspectives add depth to everyday life. I am fond of their merciless honesty and their contradictive inconsistencies. Also as a literary scholar I cherish a big love for poetry.
So what I did with the portraits of Emils was to combine them with quotes of Friedrich Nietzsche’s. I broke those quotes of the famous German philosopher down into pieces of poetry. For the whole album go here. Earlier I combined portraits of Abel with quotes of Andy Warhol. Let me know whether it resonates with you.
Like in a few years before I tried to take a picture a day in 2021 again. And yes, I managed to do so! This always feels as an accomplishment, because of course I had to remind myself 365 times during that year to go on a hunt for a hopefully interesting picture. And like in all those years before on some days that is very easy, for example when there is sun, a lot of time and special things planned. But the real challenge is every day life. Of course we were still in the pandemic and therefore not so much happened at all. Except for spending many many days at home.
The set of all the 365 made pictures you can visit on my flickr-stream. Here on this website I will post only my BEST OF consisting out of 25 photos, which will take you through all seasons, show you a lot of trees, water, sky, my love for the color red and for nights of course, please enjoy!
In the beginning of 2021 there was an official curfew announced in The Netherlands. By 9 p.m. everybody had to be inside in order to prevent the spreading of the Coronoa-virus. I experienced this time as a quite claustrophobic one, for me it is hard to have my freedom in movement cropped like this. During that period I took long walks before 9 p.m. And of course I took pictures, like I always do. Eight of the strongest images I used for making a card series. They all show varieties of darkness. Now I sell these 8 cards as double greeting cards with nightblue envelopes in a set. I sell them in Enschede (Concordia) and Hengelo (Oyfo), but if you are interested, just drop me a note.
Six more hours of this year, so it is time to look back. Honestly I am kind of proud that I managed to complete the a-picture-a-day-series of 2020, this very special year full of adjustments, disappointment and fears. I simply kept pushing the release and another big collection was formed. The pictures are all sorts of things, just like the past year was: interesting, also ugly, boring, blurred, but memorable, sad and funny, too, light and also very dark. It really means a lot to me to have found this personal way of retaining passing time. In 2020 I tried several ways of naming the pictures, I tried humour, sobrietry, philosophy and poetry. So in the future I can go back to a moment and meet the ideas of that moment.
In a way it feels like a rich life in this way. I fyou wat to have a look, you can do this here, later I will share some favourites on this website.
Though this is a time of staying at home for most of the time, we luckily get the chance to leave our home for a bit. And honestly, I very much need this. When I think about it, I agree with this good friend of mine who told me once: When I travel I am my true self. As beautiful as summer time is almost anywhere with its happy blue skies, merry white clouds, bees and butterflies everywhere – my mind seems to need watching out a of a moving object, my whole body wants to bridge a distance. All I want is watching landscapes, cars, bridges and people fly by and also breath new smells, get fresh views, just be somewhere else. Not to forget finding new motives and sceneries for my photography.
Today is the one hundred fourty first day of 2020. Since March we all are spending most of the time at home. We work from home, we teach the kids on the kitchen table, (video)call our friends. We cook, we clean, we are busy. Our trip to Melbourne in May was cancelled, like everything else as well. Birthday partys, concerts, weekends. Life feels quite small and often dull. But time keeps slowly crawling. Like a snail in no hurry, without stopping ever, instead continiously crawling forward.
My project of the 366 days in pictures goes on, I add one picture each day. In this current year – I have done a-picture-a-day-series before, I give them German titles, using a phrase of a call to action. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes just a good advise. Sometimes a real invite to do better. It differs. Depending on the images I see that very day or how I feel. Because I can tell: a pandemic is something you feel from the inside.
All the pictures I took in 2020 you can find here. Scrolling through them is kind of satisfying: all the days that lie behind you neatly organized. Memories fixed. And scary days overcome. For the visual pleasure you see how the colors change in the pictures from grey days to freshly light green days to juicy dark green days in my favourite month of all – May.
Of course the subjects of my pictures are very limited, actually I only have two: things at home and walks around the area. And yes, often it feels like living in a big fish bowl, circulating around your own thoughts and walks. But: I am happy to have the walks and try to reach 10 000 steps a day. Keep on going.
The other day I was biking through our street when I had a short glance at the big window of some neighbors. You know the size of Dutch windows: they are huge. I saw a young family sitting on their sofa and that was the moment when the pictures by Thomas Struth popped up in my memory. I really admire the family portraits of this German photographer. Maybe because they are somehow elevated and stately and you can look at them for quite some time. There is so much to see on them: like resemblances and differencies and an image of the period they were taken in.
That was the moment when my new plan was born: I am going to take pictures of families in their homes. And I hope to do this every year, so that I can catch the time passing by. The project is a bit similar to my former project My lovely neighbors, but back then it seemed that especially the children’s portraits would turn a bit outdated in a very short time. By taking pictures every year I embrace the concept time and alteration somehow. That is an intriguing thought. I hope to find many families that are willing to join in this multi-annual project. Let me know if you are interested!
The first family I took a picture of lives in my street and I was very happy to hear that they are expecting another baby, so the change within 12 months for the next picture will be for real.
Finally I found some time to present a new set on my website. It contains old and new work and plays with the colour red. I am very much a colour loving person which makes it hard to decide on preferences. In real life I am also much in love with sky blues, lemon yellows and mossy green. But regarding photography and film it definitely is Red that is winnning for me. It evokes just the right drama and sure is a great lone player. It can carry it all – as a detail or even as the main character of the image. Somehow. Do you get what I mean?
I hope you enjoy adding some passion to your eyesight.
If you are interested in buying a print or postcard, please drop me a line.
Twenty twenty. It definitely feels like living in the future. I work a lot with teaching and literature this year but I just could not leave the photography out of my daily routine. Hence I have started a new 366-series this year. For me it takes away the sharp edges of time passing. Catching a frame each day has a deep meaning to me. It makes me happy.
There is still some work I want to show on this website: a portrait series of Emils and some North American travel pictures. In the near future I am going to work on that. For now I only share number 23 of this year’s 366. I took it this week which was filled with foggy days.