2009, Photography

This post is absolutely going to be different from all my other posts. I visited the NDSM werf in Amsterdam, a former shipyard, where I had a meeting with another photographer, Björn Utpott from Canada. He guided through this very interesting industrialized and artistic location, while I had the opportunity to try his Panasonic LX3, GH1 with the 7-14mm wide angle lens, and Pentax K-7 with the DA 40mm f/2.8 Ultra Compact lens. Admitted, that these are just very short impressions, but I really liked working with the Pentax and the GH1.

So not only are these photographs taken with a dSLR, the Pentax as a matter of fact, but I kept them in color too. It was very interesting to use this camera, because it made me rethink my compositions, due to the camera and the focal length (60mm equivalent). It made a lot of sense to me to use a completely different focal length on the dSLR from what I am used too.

Chairs by Wouter Brandsma

Chairs by Wouter Brandsma

Chairs by Wouter Brandsma

Chairs by Wouter Brandsma

Chairs by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma


20 thoughts on “Chairs

  1. I’m curious a little more of your thoughts since I just went the other way. I just came from a Pentax K20/40DA lens combo that I shot for almost a year and am now shooting with the EP1 (loaned from a friend). I find now that I tend to shoot too wide and that I get to much perspective distortion with the wide angle. The Pentax required a lot improvising if you had to take a photo in tight quarters, but I can say that I don’t think I ever “missed” a shot because I couldn’t go wider.

    1. Although my impression was still short I had no problems finding a proper angle to take a photograph from. And it felt quite natural too, in particular because I mostly work work 28 and 35mm on my GX200. Than the camera doesn’t become a substitute, but a tool for a different job.

      I have been considering a camera with a larger sensor for a while and always thought about getting a wide angle lens, but now I think a very fast ‘normal’ lens makes much more sense to me.

      What do you think of the E-P1 and working without a viewfinder? I loved the optical viewfinder of the K-7 and really had to get familiar with the EVF of the GH1.

      1. I just gave the EP-1 back. I didn’t mind not having a viewfinder when shooting at the wider end, but at the tele end, I didn’t like it as much. The GH1 might just be the perfect combo, lol.

    1. I was quite amazed too and I could do things in my editing with the colors that I can’t do with the photographs from my Ricoh GX200. Different camera, different purpose so to say. But last night I also did some B&W’s from both the GH1 and the K-7 and it is impressive too. Still debating though whether I will keep the photographs in color or B&W. But that has also today with the location where a lot of complementary colors could be found.

  2. Hi Wouter. It’s always inspiring to see how another photographer reacts to the same environment. This is a great series; the various methods of framing the chairs, from vignetting to grids and shooting through openings focus attention on the chairs and unify the series. That last one is superb: the ponderous curves framed by two pillars made of cardboard. There’s got to be some symbolism in that.

    1. Thank you so much Björn! I had an amazing and wonderful time with you in A’dam. And I really need to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to not only try the LX3, but also the GH1 and the ‘lovely’ K-7. Last night when I was editing I had so many keepers that I needed to re-edit it again and trim down the selection of photographs even more.

      I really like your photographs. In particular this one.

      And for those who don’t know Björn Utpott. Please make sure to his photographs of the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam.


  3. Gx200 will let you shoot at 50mm and 72 as you well know. so I wonder what made you feel like you had an altogether different tool in your hand. Incidentally I liked the pictures a lot.

    1. There is something totally different between a small sensor camera with a 50mm lens or a larger sensor camera with a similar focal length. The small sensor gives a lot of depth of field. Also the GX200 lens at 50 and 72mm lens isn’t that fast anymore. A fast lens and a larger sensor gives completely different results with more depth feeling and there is always the option of shallow depth of field.

      I do however still like compact cameras for wide angle photography. I always use my GX200 at 35 and 28mm. I made less than 15 photographs with the 50 and 72mm.

  4. Hi Wouter — I enjoy your site, and your thoughts about photography.

    Have you tried the pancake 21mm lens with a Pentax DSLR body? (The “DA Limited 21mm”). It may be the right field of view-size-and-weight combo for you in the “DSLR-size” range. (Or not; these things are very particular to each individual).

    It’s not that much bigger than the 40mm you tried, but a lot wider, much closer to 28mm-equivalent on the GRD and DP1, e.g.

    1. Hi Yuanchung,

      Thank you for your comment and recommendation. I was very fortunate to try my friend’s Pentax K-7 that he uses with 40mm lens. Interesting you mention the “DSLR-size” range. It is a very different format from what I am used to. Therefore I think it is interesting to maybe use another focal length.

      I also tried the Panasonic GH1 with the 7-14mm lens which I kept mostly at the 14mm focal length (28mm equivalent), but it reminded me more of compact cameras even though the image quality is much higher. So I think something like a 50mm equivalent lens seems right to me.

  5. Hi Wouter – Holy Crap color!! Very nice shots here, I love the way you captured these various chairs in their natural habitat 😉 I am glad you got the chance to try out a Pentax. As you know I am a huge Pentax fan. Even though I know it is just equipment, which is of course a personal choice. My favorite lens on my Pentax is a fixed 50mm and I am saving up for a 40mm fixed lens. There are many reasons why I prefer the 50mm but I really cannot articulate it very much. It is more of a feeling or maybe I am just full of it. But I feel it forces me to move around the subject which makes me look at things in a specific way. The only difficulty is mine is an older 50mm and is manual focus. It is kind of quirky but I still love it. Again I enjoy coming to your site, always learning and thinking of new things when I visit. Have a great week.

    1. Well John. That 40mm lens is a lovely lens in my opinion. Very small and still has a very nice draw. Still the 50 is much faster and that can be a huge advantage too.

      And I totally agree with you on observing subjects and look harder.

      Cheers and thanks man,

  6. These pictures are quite a departure from your style and it shows how a different camera can influence the results.
    I especially like the 2nd picture but all have a nice dreamy quality to them due to the higher dynamic range and they appear also softer.

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