Almost

2013, Photography

photography, stroll photography, melancholy, darkness, wouter brandsma, light, shadows, ricoh, ricoh gr

I almost pressed the publish button for a provocative blog post. I almost thought about quitting my blog and to start all over again. I almost…….. Well almost.

photography, stroll photography, melancholy, darkness, wouter brandsma, light, shadows, ricoh, ricoh gr

I do think we, photographers, worry too much about the wrong things. We try find solutions the easy way, but often realizing later on that these were all just distractions. Honestly, when I stop with photography now I will be forgotten in a heart beat. I just try to photograph for myself. And I hope you’ll do so too.

photography, stroll photography, melancholy, darkness, wouter brandsma, light, shadows, ricoh, ricoh gr

I really appreciate you all visiting my blog and viewing my photography. Current mediums all seem to be about easy consumption of blog posts and photographs. We tend to forget the past easily, both readers and creators. This blog now has over 500 published blog posts. There is a lot of unread stuff here. Therefore I am thinking about rewriting and reorganizing some older blog posts so they become more interesting to read again.

photography, stroll photography, melancholy, darkness, wouter brandsma, light, shadows, ricoh, ricoh gr

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

63 thoughts on “Almost

      1. I think this very same thought all the time – less writing & more photos. Perhaps it’s a common theme we all approach at some time in our blogging life. But then I think it’s good to have that record of how far you’ve travelled in photography.

  1. couple months ago i did the same thing ….changed my theme on wordpress …..deleted some posts and created some new posts ….
    always keep a critical mindset about youre work …..stay sharp and focused 🙂

    1. I need to be critical. I will start rearranging stuff and blog post later this week. I regret loosing some good comments, but many of these articles are not read at all anymore.

      1. take youre time with this ….a good theme is half of the works …….trust me 🙂 good luck with it 🙂

      2. I would advice not to worry at all on the posts not read. I go through this once in a month in my own blog. I have 375 published post and when I look at the numbers a lot of the older posts are not read. But guess, I don’t care at all. I’m blogging for myself and only myself, its my own journal, the comments, likes, tweets, etc are just that nice things but they are not the primary focus of the blog. Take a breather and decide later, don’t act quickly.

        All the best,
        Jorge

        1. Even if I do it for myself, which I do, I still care about what I did in the past. Maybe I should realize how blogs work
          And simply go with that. Maybe it is the lack of light Jorge. Maybe it is my doubts. Maybe you are right and I do need time.

          1. Yeah man, take your time and think hard. Your blog is a great repository of information which deserves its space. If no one reads them, then so be it, its your journal, your visual thoughts, plus since you’re hosted via wordpress dot com, its free anyway.

            My suggestions:

            Buy a premium theme for wp.com and have fun with it or go self hosted via wp.org and have fun as well (more choices) or look for another services. I’d stay with WP due to your SEO you can go self hosted and have a “site redirect” and not loose your daily visits and stats. In fact, I’m looking at that scenario right now. I’m setting a blog transfer back to WP hosted via Bluehost to have the theme that I like that has all the things I need and with room to grow, plus a real responsive mobile experience much better than my current premium theme.

            Good luck

            1. Thanks for the suggestions Jorge. It all sounds very interesting, but is not my number one priority. And I don’t really understand all of it nor have the means to do so. I’d rather buy a good printer instead.

              I still look forward to your 2014 changes. Thank you.

  2. Starting all over again sounds like re-birth. Do you know in who’s hide (figuratively speaking of course) you would like to come back, given a choice?

  3. I think this set of photographs depicts your angst, Wouter. The dominant darkness contains sources of light, pointing the way out of the gloom. I am sure revisiting old posts will have a therapeutic and reaffirming effect.

    I have days when I feel like packing everything in, selling off my cameras. Two years ago, I gave up any hope of deriving any form of income from my endeavours. I just photograph for myself and photography is my only pleasure in life these days.

  4. Dissatisfaction is key to improve and improving is not necessarily a straight, linear, progressive path. It has ups and downs that we can only evaluate properly with some time passing. Reposting old stuff, even if the photos are top notch, wouldn’t be for me. It’s like re-heated food… never the same.
    A (online) portfolio makes more sense for sharing the best work, regardless of chronology but blogging is for the “here and now”, I think.
    With that said, I would like very much to see your previous stuff…
    By the way, Wouter, #2; just great!

    1. It has nothing to do with previous photographs, more with my writings and interests that time. Although maybe also that indicates the changes I made.

      Fair though to say that you can’t change the past, but based on new insights and better understanding gets rewritten.

  5. You have something special to say through both your words and your medium. All creators struggle with the end product but we must never forget the process and the craft.

  6. Hey Wouter why even considering to stop. I wish i have your talent and perseverance to keep a blog for over 500 post!. just keep going. keep writing and keep shooting. theres a few of us who love your work.

    1. Thank you Chris. Sometimes I feel like I want to start over again or to start something new based on what I consider important now. I think however I should be photographing each day again.

      1. IT happens to me too. But every once in a while i love going back in my post and see my changes, or progression or not. ITs a good exercise you would be surprise and most likely its always for the better. keep up the great work. And perhaps you should take this a step further and do a book with your thoughts and photos. could be cool!.

        1. I made a small book last year. Check below, it is called ‘Saudade’. It really helped me and there is something special about the tectile feeling of the past, the present, the changes, progress, and directions.
          Thank you Chris for mentioning.

  7. worry less about what’s already been done. I think that’s one of the key motivations to have in order to continue with my blog. It’s kind of difficult for anyone to go back to read the archive anyway, unless it’s a review of so and so camera.

      1. Yes, there’s just no way to organize blog posts easily, or reader’s friendly. I just think that’s not what blog is intended for. Unless you’re making your own magazine, backtracing the issues can still be done 🙂 You ask me where to find a blogger’s first post, it can’t be done. Or really i won’t. I’d look for the latest instead, unless certain posts had drawn traffic to your blog, i believe you meant those. It worths spending time refining them 🙂

  8. “Current mediums all seem to be about easy consumption of blog posts and photographs. We tend to forget the past easily, both readers and creators.”
    That’s it. It’s also called excess of offering, and the digital age is going to make great harm to our own memory (it’s no more necessary, is it? Just google it…). But we should stay away from the subsequent logic, which is called “hits”. A huge potential audience may have nothing to add to your own being and acting. One random reader digging to read a single post of your older ones is enough, and in the worst case it will be your own memory, just in case you’re going to miss anything.
    Want to have a different take at what “quality” is, in our digital life? Read Mr. Leutard’s “explore flickr” booklet, a pdf he published to explain how to have success/followers. It’s a true mine of tricks. But in the end I don’t think his (good) photos will persist in people’s memory more than yours.
    The word is “ephemeral” and we must learn to cope with that. Now let me dig into your older posts…
    Best
    Alessandro

    1. My remark was in partial a sarcastic one. We blame the excess of offerings on others, the number of social media platform, the digital age, but often fail to mention our own ability to filter it. We still need to be in charge, but seem to fail coping with it. We seem to have a desire to be noticed, therefore acknowledging the power of the likes and brief comments. Thomas ebook was absolutely a proof of that. You don’t hear that much from him now.
      No, instead we should it make it our own journey. And cherish those who follow that and become part of it too. Thank Alessandro.

  9. Hi Wouter,

    I am a regular (weekly) visiter of your site. Alway eager to see new articles and great photos. I hope you’ll continue enjoying what you do and share that with us. Or even the things you struggle with, because I think many of you readers experience similar things that you write about. At least I do.

    I have seen many amazing photos here, and I don’t doubt that that will stay the same.

      1. I often thought about that, too, for we live only within a mile from each other, I guess. What about meeting somewhere near the train station with a cup of coffee or a little stroll? What day suits you best? You can send me a PM with flickr or email (if you have access to it) for details.

  10. Almost….almost………almost. What almost was…..what almost could have been. It’s a great word. And a complex state of mind. Whatever decision you make, I suspect it will wind up being the right one. And things are not always what they seem – nor do they always turn out the way we expect. Sometimes when one looks back at photographs – or words – or older posts – one sees things one never suspected. Sometimes, one sees the exact opposite. In ‘Catcher in the Rye’, J.D. Salinger writes – “Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad.” The idea that things designed to please can cause sadness – something in this dichotomy captures the essence of ‘almost’ for me. So – I’m personally glad you didn’t pull the plug on parts of your blog. Although in my own creative endeavors, I know that sometimes letting something go – gives me the freedom to explore something else. What if……almost…..maybe.

    Whatever it is you choose – wherever the path leads you – I hope some form of this blog continues. Your images and words together are quite remarkable in my opinion – and I would hate to lose them. And – on reflection – though I don’t believe I’ve read all of your posts – the idea that I can go back in time and find older ones…..is appealing to me.

    Good luck…..buena suerte…..and bonne chance.

    1. Between ‘Almost’ our thoughts can go back and forth, but I think we all need it as a comfirmation that it is real and we all have doubts and concerns. Aware of my past I follow the yet unwritten path to the future.

  11. Wouter, your work is really great, you would not be easily forgotten. You and a few other photographers really inspire me to keep shooting and improving my own photography. I have days and weeks where I really don’t feel inspired to take photos or by my own work, but then I revisit, and all seems great and new again.

    I have a dream of owning a photography space one day that displays the more different offbeat styles of photography and you are one of the photographers that I would be seeking out for an installation. Keep up the good work.

    1. Oh my Shane. I don’t know what to say. I just try to do what I like, although I am often in the same place like you too. I break that habit now and just photograph everyday, even just for a few minutes is good. Thank you.

  12. It’s good to read that you only ‘almost’ thought about quitting and hopefully will not actually do it. You are of course absolutely right Wouter, older posts do get lost and forgotten in the Blog world. A blog posting is indeed a very short lived, moment in time media, and it’s quite saddening to think of all that good material hidden away. Perhaps a website, somewhere where your favourite images can be sorted and presented to your large and inspired public might be worth a thought?
    Good Luck with whatever you decide.
    Oh, and by the way…. I particularly liked the wet road Photo 🙂

    1. I can’t really quitte Vic, but I doubt about the short lived terms of blog posts. I don’t think it is a bit against all the efforts done. Funny by the way, thought about that this week, I don’t have a website where I posted some strongly curated photographs. Certainly something worth considering. Thank you.

  13. I have that feeling too. Sometime when I go back my archive, my posts aren’t the same as I thought they are. I changed and so my point of view. So I have the urge to start all over again. It’s a distraction to me, take me away from focusing on what’s really happening, to spend most of my time not looking forward but looking back.

    I’m here not to ask you to start all over again or keep up the good work, just to say I love your photos. A lot.

    Thank you for sharing.

  14. wouter,
    i have been following your work for years, and you are a favorite of mine. i appreciate your blogs about your approach and process, but the photography is what separates you from others. it is a lot to ask of a photographer to be a blogger as well. maybe you should take a break from the writing part.

  15. Your photographs are really hard hitting, I like the way you use black and white to emphasize emotion, i take a lot of photographs similar to they way you did the second image with the wall. It’s very similar to Lewis Baltz, you should check him out if you do not know of him already.

    1. Lewis was more from the new topographic movement with their more observational style of photography. I wouldn’t immediately say this movement lacked emotions, but it leaves room to be become judgemental of what you see. For me, emotions is the essence. Or at least, I try to convey that with my photography, my reflections. Thank you for your remark Daniel.

  16. You have one of the nicest blogs I’ve ever found, and it’s no small thanks to your writings for contributing to a deep, thoughtful mood.
    I just wanted to send you my encouragements.

  17. Wouter, I ask a personal favor for you to continue your blog . See, I cut back a lot on mine and I may not post a lot on yours, but I do read every word and enjoy every image. I find your stuff more interesting then my own. So if you stop feeding the blog, I’ll have to start mine again……The Horror!

      1. I really enjoy your blogging and your picturemaking, perhaps especially your rural and small town images. They´re often calming and soothing and don´t scream for attention, and neither do you, in your writing. I like that, and your “style” is worth a lot of respect.

  18. Hello, I just came across your blog and enjoy seeing your photos, as well as reading some of your posts. Coincidentally, I just spent all afternoon today re-organising the categories and tags on my blog so that it’s easier for other people to find information that they might find useful or appreciate. I think this also helps me have a clearer idea on how I would structure the content. Look forward to seeing more of your pictures and posts!

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