week 51 | 2011

2011, Photography, Project, weekly project

I don’t write blog posts to generate lists. My job is mainly focused on generating list, I am a data-analist. There are already enough blogs around who capture thoughts, ideas, just name it in ranking lists. I try to write blog posts that give an inside look. I am not even good at it, but at least I try it.

Week 51 just finished and I am standing on the doorstep of the latest week of the year 2011 with a nasty flu. It is also the last week of my first year of daily photography. Taking photographs can either be easy or complicated. There are so many variables to take into consideration. A whole lot depends on how you feel and time available. But selecting the photographs for each day can form even greater challenges. I really took nothing into consideration when I started this project.

The end of 2010 was photographically and creatively speaking an awful moment for me. I lost many photographs, was unhappy with my photography, and was very close to stopping. I received many advises on what to do. Most heard was taking a break, enjoying the free time, reading, watching movies. And when ever I thought about these advises it felt like it would take me further away from photography. Was that really worth it? Around Christmas 2010 I was glad the year was nearly over, but I also realized that I took some photographs I was actually proud of. It became obvious to me that photography would be the best way to defeat my lack of creativity. But how?

On the first day of 2011 all of a sudden I knew it. The idea was simple and I decided to start immediately. Photograph each day. I life, feel, think, and dream photography. I just love it. A sort of passionate necessity. Photographing each day seemed like the most obvious thing to do. On that first day I thought about several things. Did I want to edit my photographs daily or at different moments? Did I want to share my project and when so, how? I however never thought about my photographic intentions.

I follow some photographers who try to photograph and post daily. While they learned to edit and choose quickly, it could also be stressful to post daily. I absolutely didn’t want to edit my photographs daily or post them daily. I don’t chimp so much on my LCD screen for reviewing. Sometimes you know you took a good photographs, but I got the feeling that a certain flow and continuation in my photographs was important for me. I still wanted to have something that was regularly timed, to keep a certain pressure on me.

I have always been open on my blog that I do have my doubts and do feel quite uncertain about my photography. And I try to conquer it by actually writing about it and publishing my photographs. To be excited about your best photographs I thought it wasn’t so bad to be open about my lesser or bad photographs too. I therefore decided that I wanted to post my photographs. But how often? Daily posting wasn’t an option for me. To stressful, to many moments. I really need to get away from it. To take some distance from my photographs. As a result I opted for a weekly posting and editing.

How do I know what photograph to pick for each day? There is nothing scientific about that. Sometimes you know an image feels right, but most importantly the images I select have a certain flow. This flow kind of resembles how my week turned out. Usually the images that I pick fit into the kind diary that my blog turned out to be. It all sort of evolved. I had no particular plan in mind except photographing what I see. I knew that it wouldn’t necessarily come down to simply the best images. No, I knew I wanted and had to stay close to my feelings. Mood in every direction affects what I photograph and eventually choose. Alone that feeling is worth all the effort for me.

Not the photographic project became the center of attention, but more everything that came with it. Learning to see things daily and differently. In the meantime I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

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26 thoughts on “week 51 | 2011

  1. “A sort of passionate necessity. ” Exactly! That is how I feel about photography. Thank you for sharing your photographs and ideas with us. I enjoy your blog very much. Best wishes for many good photographs in 2012.

  2. I just love reading your insights. Not only are they inspirational but they show us a different view, a view into your mind which is simply amazing. Thanks for the wonderful blog and best of luck for 2012.

  3. Love this mirrored fens image. Unmistakenly our signature, Wouter. From my point of view, 2011 was definitely a successful year for your photography. Looking forward to seeing more of it in 2012. Wishing you and your a wonderful festive season. markus

  4. I think you have already found your way (your style) in photography. It´s personal and it´s good. Keep going!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
    António Marques

  5. You’re finishing the year on a high note, Wouter; this is definitely a very strong set, start to finish. The tiny flight of geese (i presume) against an immense grey sky is particularly poignant. I hope that you feel better and that you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season.

  6. All of these are beautiful! Now that you’ve moved up to the Panasonic Lumix, do you miss the RicohGRD III, or do you still use it? Which do you prefer now?I ask because I have several small cameras and it’s hard for me to stick with just one of them. I switch each day depending on a specific look I’m going for in each camera. I really like the Ricoh GRD IV and am tempted to get one. It defies all logic as I have a Leica D-Lux 4 and Canon S95, but the files look different to me. I like the Canon for vibrant colors, and the Leica for the certain look, more dynamic range and B&W. The Sony is smoother in low light, and holds better due to larger sensor, but the lenses aren’t the greatest. Each camera is different to me. Just wondering what your opinions are on the Ricoh and Panny.

    1. What camera I use very much depends on me and external factors. The Ricoh cameras have been my workforces for so long, but I lured for a slightly more tighter perspective for my imagery. And while I love the 28mm, I knew that something between 35mm and 50mm would be best know for me.

      When I want a more sketchy and harder look I go for my Ricoh. Due to the smaller lens and the rather contrasty lens it is great to capture blacks and whites. And for that I want/need rather sunny weather with deep and lengthy shadows.

      Here in the Netherlands we very often have mushy grey weather. For these midtones I absolutely prefer the Panasonic. The photographs from the Panasonic still have nice texture that I like, not too smooth.

  7. Interesting to read your thoughts about opting for the weekly posting format. And it makes sense, if you aspire your “photo-a-day’s” to tell an ongoing story.

    It’s probably the former journalist in me, but I still have the tendency to post photos asap, when they are still “hot” and fresh. Although they are not newsworthy at all. Anyway, something to think about, before I start my own 365+1 project next week.

    Have a splendid 2012.

  8. Learning to see things daily and differently. That’s what you’re teaching us the way you tell your excellent stories, the way you share your weeks with us. And besides it’s an incredible wild ride through the nights with our heads in the sky. A ride through the rain & the necessity of not stopping to tell stories. I’m glad you didin’t stop simply because I need to look at these gems. I need them to guide me on these rough & shady roads. Thanks Wouter!

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

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