These photographs are from places I am so familiar with. I came here as a young child with my grandfather cycling through the country. I loved the farmland, the dairies, the cows, the long lanes with high trees, the ditches, and the twisting roads.
In some ways things have changed since my childhood. Increased traffic, modernized dairies, the cities have grown, and people recreate more. But thankfully some things didn’t change. This place still has that charme I loved. The wide view, the open fields, the smell. I come here to relax, to enjoy, to photograph. And photographing this place has become something like an undetermined task for me. Something I should really see as a project.
I photographed here so often and will probably do so for some time. A kind of James Ravilious project for me. James Ravilious documented the region of Devon in England during a seventeen year quest taking some 80,000 B&W photographs.
He carefully selected his gear to do his photographic work. Wide angle and moderate wide lenses with low contrast, preferrably uncoated. Instead of using more modern Leica M cameras, he still worked with pre-War Leica rangefinders. No SLR cameras, no color film, but just B&W. He remained unknown during his quest, but his work gets a lot of attention nowadays after the BBC broadcasted a documentary (scrolldown this page) about his photography. And for those in the UK and interested in his body of work, there is an exhibition in the National Theatre in London until May 16.
I personally really like his style and how he modified his cameras and lenses to make it work for him. The cameras were simple, but the viewfinder gave him clear site of the composition. I am very much attracted by this simple approach to photograph. Simple cameras, just a view lenses with different focal lengths, and B&W photographs.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma