Traveling and wondering

2012, Photography
Recently I saw a blog post by another photographer with some rough sketchy kind of photographs. At first the photographer mentioned that he though they weren’t great, but they kept him going through the day while traveling. For me personally photographs were you briefly catch what you thought interesting and was on your mind helps me visualize my day. It becomes my diary.In the comment section there was one comment that kept me busy the entire week. The one who commented said: “I like that kind of images. I look for such a feeling myself but I’m often struggling to visualize what I really want to communicate“. A long time ago I questioned that myself too. When I saw photographs in photobooks or in magazines I often wondered how some photographers could photograph so loosely, freely, yet so intentionally. I think the lesson I learned was to be curious. We see interesting things daily. It briefly occupies our minds and than we let it go, because we notice something different. It can be the light or an angle that seems unusual. My friend Don always says you are making photographs. Even when you don’t press the shutter you are always to see if it is interesting. If you hesitate making these photographs, just wonder for yourself how it may actually look like on a photograph. Just do it, aim, frame, press the shutter. I make quite a lot of these photographs, but don’t try to rush anymore to edit them. I give them a rest.I learned that it helps me structure my thoughts, doubts, experiences, failures, successes, you name it. It also serves for me as a sketch book to think of even more meaningful projects. I admit though that normally keep geting stucked in these sketch books.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

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23 thoughts on “Traveling and wondering

  1. I really like these images! And I understand what the person means when (s)he said: “I like that kind of images. I look for such a feeling myself….“. Sometimes I think it’s easier to appreciate other photographer’s work than your own. At least it’s like that for myself.

    Again great images!

    1. Agreed Thomas, yet many have the desire to make these kind of images too or at least feel unrestricted in making photographs. At such moment it is probably just best to start doing it.

  2. For me, I really “mastered” seeing this kind of moments when I was shooting primarily with a phonecam. No pretensions, not thinking about settings or framing – just quickly responding to a ray of light, striking colors, an outstanding pattern or a distinctive person.

    Since then, I am trying to translate this technique to my “normal” photography (well, as far as shooting with cheap anologue cameras is normal nowadays).
    And it works. My photos don’t meet the standard photography rules, but they do show how I approach daily life.

    1. I agree with Robert. A lot of people hate Instagram or other iPhone apps, but it has opened up the doors to creativity. You take more chances as it’s not a big deal. Then you can bring out your better camera and just shoot with feeling. It’s a great exercise.

      1. And I think you can photograph with feeling too when using a cell phone. I believe that creativity and emotions are unlimited and unrestrained. The only limit and restrictions will be you. If you still prefer to use the higher quality camera too, you can always use the cell phone or compact camera as a sketch book.

    1. Thank you so much for encouragement KUM. I didn’t want to rush it, but I knew it would be coming back. Reasoning for the hiatus was different too. Maybe I explain more about that later.

  3. Wouter: Thanks for the words as well as the fotos. I thoroughly enjoyed both and I am motivated to go out and do some of my own!!

  4. And giving these short & fleeting moments time to rest opens up a hundred more stories to be told. Every frame has it’s time. And every pcitures tells a story though the way may be a long one, Wouter. And these questions of yours sound so familiar to me. Just like the ways you walk to one photograph look so familiar to me. A great storybook you assembled here, my friend!

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

  5. I’m noticing a certain sense of imagery, one I can date back a few months ago, even maybe last year. I notice a deeper connection with this set. I like it. I could be wrong but it tells me you’re feeling better about photography as whole. I also happen to agree with your response back to Fritsch, its an emotional state of mind. Excellent imagery, photographically speaking I love the grittiness.

      1. Well, I like it Wouter. Getting that feeling can take time. In my view, its not so much the picture taking process but the actual frame of mind. Also, one’s life experiences affect that rythm. In time, I’m sure you’ll “rekindle” your love affair with photography.

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