week 50 | 2011

2011, Photography, Project, weekly project

Photographically speaking this must be one of my most productive years. I took approximately 10,000 photographs, which is a lot for me. Normally I get to something like 5,000 to 6,000 photographs, realizing that almost half of the photographs I took are the result of my daily photography. These additional photographs feel a lot more personal. With a particular project in mind you set requirements and expectations. With a lengthy project like this one, without any striking event, you simply can not avoid becoming the prime subject. That feels odd, but for me it was very meaningful. It is a lot about capturing mood.

It made me feel vulnerable too at times. I often had doubts. Doubts about the quality of my imagery, doubts of my intentions, doubts on whether I should continue. Sometimes I do really miss taking landscape photographs, just simply enjoying the pure essence of how light can transform something we generally consider beautiful. But then I do also feel that a lot of people already taking extraordinary photographs we feel are beautiful. And I realize that photography can be too about the ordinary, the simplicity, but also the complexity. That photography doesn’t need to be beautiful or exceptionally interesting. No, what for me really matters is that it is close to me.

I know this year only has two weeks left. And I could finish it and consider the project done. But to me, it feels like the start. I intent to keep this project going and do my regular weekly posting with everyday photographs.

Update December 19, 2011
I have been way to positive in my calculation of number of photographs I took. When I checked the number of photographs I totally forgot that I have set my Ricoh GRD and Panasonic GF1 to take both jpegs and raws. Totally stupid of course by me, but that means my total of exposures is slightly above 5,000 instead 10,000. And that number is comparable with what I normally shoot too annually.

The photographs of this ongoing project will also be updated here.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma


34 thoughts on “week 50 | 2011

      1. I made a miss calculation Kate. Yes, I got approximately 10,000 photographs. But when I take a photograph with my camera it saves both a jpeg and raw image. Since didn’t always use this feature I realize I pressed the shutter slightly over 5,000 times.

  1. GREAT to hear your project will continue on. I really have become a fan of your style and your Saturday night postings have become a weekend highlight.

  2. Congrats on an amazing year. 10k photographs is certainly quite a feat. Looking forward to whatever 2012 brings. Cheers.

    1. I totally misjudged the number of photographs I took. I checked the numbers in Lightroom and forgot the double exposures (jpegs and raws). So stupid, but it does mean I took less photographs.

  3. What a tremendous week, Wouter: Monday models to start the week just to find us looking down into puddels & discover a shaky beautiful sky. Caught in rain & darkness just to end up looking into a bright young face. Week after week always rolling, always burning. Brilliant, my friend, just brilliant!

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

  4. Respect my friend. 10,000 photos! WOW! I don’t think I have taken that many in my entire photographic life. OK, That’s a little exaggeration there.

    I visit your blog near enough every week.

    I am going to be polemic in my usual tackless, outspoken, opinionated and abrasive manner.

    You maybe aware of http://www.1x.com (have a look), to me most of it is photoshopped crap.

    I like your photos because they come across as genuine, honest, like you have just developed that roll of Tri-X and produced some prints on grade 5 paper (you like your contrast don’t you?). I really respect your ‘365 project’ and respect you even more for the determination required. I couldn’t do it! If I don’t feel like looking at a camera, I don’t. I think if I had to take a photo-a-day it would drive me mad. But I think the Aspergers plays a big part in that.

    You photos are refreshingly genuine. Like a breath of fresh air in all this photoshoppping. Sure, you use Photoshop, so do I, but the honesty, integrity and reality is still there. It’s all real and not some digital fake. I know the lines can be easily blurred. The essence of the original exposure is true.

    All the Best Wouter, keep up the good work.

    Best Regards


    1. Thank you so much Chris. I never thought I could, but one year ago I thought it was the best way to defeat the doldrums in my creativity and inspiration.

      Sure, the post processing matters to me. But lately I have been trying to simplify things. The moment is more important.

      Thank you so much for regularly visiting my blog. It means a lot to me.

    2. I walked home after work and started thinking again about those 10,000 photographs and the actual shutter accounts. And you know, I totally forgot that I have set my camera to take jpegs and raws. As a result just over 5,000 photographs. Or at least those are actual shutter counts.

  5. Another great series of photos, Wouter. And good to hear that you intent to keep the project going.

    I am actually thinking of starting a 366-days camera phone project in January. As you know, I’m officially not blogging anymore, but I just cannot resist the fun of playing around with my camera phone. Especially because a guy on some forum called me a fraud, idiot and clown for using my phone as my main camera. That really got me going again 🙂

    Already “warming up” on my Tumblr right now, but hopefully I’ll manage to post a daily “faux instax” in 2012.

    1. For some, cameras are the reason to take photographs. For others, like us, cameras are just the tools to do what we love to do, taking photographs. We care about the moment, they care about image quality in terms of pixels, noise, dynamic range. Do what feels best for you, but do it because you want to do it.

      1. You are right. It does feel best for me. Mobile photography suits my current need and desire to simplify life.

        And although by no means I claim or pretend to approximate the original polaroids or instax photos, I do embrace the “instant” sense of shooting with my phone. I take a picture and it is what is. Nothing I can change about it, no post-processing. And not every shot has to be a masterpiece.

  6. 10,000. So Many. And in your “spare” time. Wow. I’d hate to even think what that would cost in film. I wonder what the pioneers of photography would think of that. Several minute exposures, wet processes, glass plates. I think there may be a philosophical question in there somewhere, but that’s for another day.

    Congratulations for maintaining the discipline for so long. You keep shooting and I’ll keep looking and (I hope) learning.

    Love the young woman in her fur trimmed boots with her wolf, er I mean dog. I definitely would yield to them. 😉

    Have a happy and healthy holidays.


    1. 10,000 may sound like a lot it (it does to me), but there are people who already bring back half of those photographs after a 3 weeks holiday. I am sure many other photographers take that many or even more in less days a year. It did however surprise me that I took so many.photographs. But they say, to become better you need to practice more. And they did that in the film days. How many photographs do you think did a National Geographics photographer take on an assignment?

      Important it to learn to edit and throw away what is not usable.

      1. But the NG guys didn’t buy their own film on assignment. 😉

        In the end, it’s not how many but how good they were. I think you’re in good shape there, WB.

        1. Regarding the NG guys, it probably depended on being a staff or hired photographer.

          But if you realize that only 1% is good enough you need quite some photographs to increase the absolute numbers of very good keepers.

    2. See my update Greg and some of the comments I left behind. I actually took slightly above 5,000 photographs. I forgot the jpegs and raws I get when I press the shutter 😉

  7. Dear Wouter,

    thanks for another set of nice and inspirational pictures.

    Your pictures and your photographic style have convinced me that I must give the GRD-4 a try… I have just ordered my first Ricoh…. now I am anxiously awaiting delivery, hopefully before Christmas, so I can play with it over the holidays.

    Have you ever shared your preferred camera settings for the GRD-3 so that the pictures have that gritty black and white look?

    kindest regards


  8. Hi Wouter,

    Top photo. I fancy the third one from the left. Is she available?

    Sorry mate. I just couldn’t resist, and that’s the naked truth.



  9. Wouter,
    This has been a long journey. I have studied your images and words since day 1. It is very obvious how you have become focused as a shooter. In the beginning there were images that reflected what you were writing. Often an image seemed to lay sleeping amongst the rest. It was just waiting for more like it to be produced. Then about half way thru certain images showed us a bigger part of you and your relationship with the world. Exciting!
    Now it seems that the images that were sleeping are fully awake and singing.
    Your words reflect the the images and not the other way around. You have grown. We have shared in that growth and likewise are given the chance to grow along side your work.

    I for one thank you for the journey and am happy that it shall continue in 2012.

    I’ll be there, silently looking and reading your thoughts. Have a great holiday and healthy life.
    Don aka shooter

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Don. I still can’t believe what it brought me, but I continue on this path next year. It feels like just the beginning.

      I wish happy holidays too and good light for 2012.

  10. I LOVE the first picture with the mannequins. (Especially the male one and his junk. Cracked me up for a few minutes!) I love coming here and seeing your work. I like that you use smaller cameras, not necessarily the ones with the biggest sensors, but that you make beautiful photographs with them just the same. I prefer the cheaper, smaller cameras.

    My favorite times were when I brought my old Olympus XA to NYC and took B&W shots. I am trying to do the same with smaller cameras. I had a Canon SD800 that had very quick AF, but it didn’t shoot RAW. Still, that little camera had a tiny OVF and took cool photos with it’s wide angle zoom. The Canon S95 and the Leica D-Lux 4 give similar results, better quality, but I miss the OVF! I have a Sony NEX 5, and the shots are wonderful, but I like the idea of a pocket camera best. I’m tempted to get a GRD IV, even though it’s not considered the way to go these days due to the smaller sensor design. I also like the Nikon V1. Again, small sensor. I don’t know why I love these little cameras. I used to shoot with the XA, an Epic Stylus and a Yashica T4. Loved them all. The XA broke, the Yashica T4 was given to my friend who needed a camera, and I kept the little Epic which I still use to this day. Each camera has its own personality. I would carry a few of these around and have B&W and color film loaded. I always preferred the B&W, though sometimes the color was wonderful. C-41 was certainly cheaper to develop, as I didn’t develop my own B&W stuff. (That may change soon when I move.) Anyway, I’m getting all nostalgic and babbling on. It’s just that I don’t see too many people who shoot with the smaller stuff and take lovely shots. To me it’s more of a challenge. Though I have to admit, we have come a long way with these cameras. Remember when 2MP was wonderful? Keep doing your work and come out with another 10,000 lovely shots.

    1. LOL, his junk! I was waiting for someone to comment on that. Small cameras are just so liberating to use for photography. And 2MP? I caught up with digital when we got 4MP.

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