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.
So what’s new? Two weeks ago I removed my pictures from Café t’Bolwerk. I am actually very happy with how things went. I got to hear a lot of kind reactions on the images.
Furthermore I am busy with teaching and also I am working as an author now. I am in a team for an educational publisher and we are writing a school book about German literature. This consumes a lot of time, but also means a lot of fun. Having literature in my life, makes me very happy.
Two months ago I decided to quit my 365-project because I did not want to get bored by my own frames. After a few exciting trips in 2019 my horizon would be rather fixed. I still think it is a pitty because the chain of the days is broken, the diary is kind of broken. But hopefully there will be new chances in the future.
Two months ago I also bought an iPhone and I have to admit that its camera is quite nice, so I find myself very often using the phone instead of my bigger cameras. However I do have made some concrete portraying plans with people and as always I am very excited about them. I am so curious how the collaboration will turn out. And how the (November)-light will be of course! I will keep you posted.
I still have – ahum – about a thousand pictures from our summer trip to North America. These pictures are waiting for postprocessing and some organization. I am planning on making a picture book, which I actually never have done before. I did not because I like to have loads of pictures and coming across them for serendipity reasons. But having a complete book of a phantastic trip has its advantages of course. I can see that. Today I had a look at pictures of the first days, our stay in Toronto. It honestly is magical how you can catch moments of time within the images. It makes one’s life so much richer, don’t you think?
If you know my pictures for a while now, you also know that I am very fond of water blues. I just love swimming in pools in the sunshine. I even do it in the rain. And I love taking pictures of these moments. But now the season is over, in fact I went to the indoor pool this morning, which is quite an adjustment. During the last open days I took some more pictures of the water in order to take the beautiful blues with me throughout the eight months until the pools open again. I will sort them out in the next few weeks.
I have another announcement to make: I quit my 365-series. I do not feel good about it, but is was too hard after traveling North America to start working again and having somehow no choice than taking pictures of sofa cushions at night. So I reminded myself that it is me who actually makes the rules. It sure is a pitty, creating a collection of one year feels quite meaningful. It is nice to try out different styles and concepts. I hope to be able to continue later. A form does help me.
Bad news first: On the first of September the meteorological summer will be over, but the good news is: my new exposition will be officially opened! In Cafe ‘t Bolwerk there will be the phantastic jazz singer Janina Stopperka, a friendly reader of the poems and of course some words from me. The show is called Emily because the pictures are based on six poems of the great Emily Dickinson.
Today I installed the pictures and I have to say, I am quite happy how it turned out. The photographer Cyril Wermers helped me with the practical hanging and took a picture of me afterwards, I like to share it in order to give an impression:
The series is shown for the whole month of September, so if you have the chance please go to the café and check them out!
Two days ago we returned from Toronto, Canada. We have also been to New York City and to Boston, the trip was just wonderful. I took my new camera with me and after a while I kind of learned handeling it. Of course I took many many pictures. And now it is quite a job to look through them. As I will continue my 365-series I only have to choose one picture for each day. Maybe I will make a new set later.
The 365-series continues. We already have passed the longest day and thereby entered summer, the biggest time of the year lays behind us. In June I used CLOUDS as a topic and I very much liked how my photosream turned into blue. The picture one by one were not that spectacular but as a series they turned somehow into a blue carpet. I really dig this process: it is like moments are woven in a bigger frame: they turn into time. For me it is a way to actually catch time.
For July I chose a new topic and this has become: REFLECTION/MIRRORS. I am afraid there will be some selfies involved, but not exclusively. For the obliged title I continue using fragments of Susan Sontag‘s lovely essay “On photography” (1977), she covers a lot of very fascinating aspects of taking pictures. For me this works very well.