photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

Expectations

2014, Photography

Often we all have different expectations, sometimes even none. The thing is it to see beyond these expectations. Last week I read a blog post on LensWork Daily commenting the “use” of grain in Sebastião Salgado’s landscape photographs published in his book Genesis. The blogger thought it seemed uncomfortably out of place in landscape photographs. He wished the images didn’t suffer from such a flaw. It is however the writer’s personal expectation to see landscape photographs without grain, because it is technically possible. And sure Salgado might realize that too, but he sets his own standards and aesthetics. Should grain only be expected in street photographs? Should every detail, like foliage be noticed? Why do we tend to think so obvious and based on expected standards when it comes to photography genres?

I haven’t been posting many photographs lately and I decided to take it slow on that for the upcoming time. There is just a lot on my mind. Here a small collection of photographs from some recent visits to Amsterdam.

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

39 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. I shot landscape photos with B&W Tri-X film for a while. It was especially good at representing the ‘starkness’ of Winter…and the graininess added positively to the effect. Nice collection of photos here…:-).

    1. I personally prefer to photograph landscapes with small sensor cameras and I agree that works especially well in emphasizing the ‘starkness’ of Winter (and for my Autumn too).

  2. All great photos…I especially like the ones of the bride and groom, the bicyclists, and the one looking out of a shop (I think it is?). It’s interesting that you mention the graininess issue…right now I’m exploring a new landscape and taking lots of photos. My “go-to” ISO is 1600, though, as it was when I used the darkroom, even for landscapes! It’s not a default exactly…I’ve tried the lower ISOs but like the painterly quality or the…I’m not even sure of the word!…of the higher ones. Not sure what this means in the greater scheme of landscape photography, but at least someone else shares your preference. Well done. 🙂

    1. I like the sketchy look in landscapes you get from shooting higher ISO. And the grain gives it a pleasing texture unlike real life. But then I don’t feel the desire to replicate the reality. I think it is most important to do what you want to do instead of what others expect you to do.

  3. I don’t know how fast life is in Amsterdam but here in Mumbai it’s like blitzkrieg. So easy to get swept away in the fast current of the river of denizens.
    Likewise in the case of social media. The urge to share gets so ridiculously strong at times that one ends up making a mistake.
    “Slow Down”. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a sad thing that I have to remind myself to do that.
    Hmm. . .
    Great photos. Thank you.

  4. It’s like the fifth frame, Wouter: Slowing it down, thinking it over, talking things over even only with yourself & a good cup of coffee. Than heading out into lights & shadows & find them gems. Slowing down a bit tells wonderful stories because it helps to understand that every day is a new adventure may it be small or a bigger one. Slow rides made us look more intensively. It’s not only seeing but feeling.

    The seventh one is a outstanding photograph, my friend.

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

  5. Great Images!

    As a relative beginner photographer, and certainly an amateur, I always thought grainy photos looked good, especially in B & W. But people keep telling me what great software they’ve got to remove grain. I wish it would come back ‘into fashion’.

  6. Hi Wouter,
    Jan told me you thinking about a new toy. He says you will start now with SLR Photography. For the time beeing a compact camera is your tool, and as far as I heard also a GXR was not that what you expected. I can understand that you have to extend your scope of pictures, but I couldn’t understand that you will use a 5D. How far are your ideas about this change? At least I would like to support you with a K-3, to collect first impressions. What do you think.
    Best regards Wolfgang
    Von mir gesendet
    >

    1. Hi Wolfgang,

      That sounds interesting. I’m considering SLR for my photography to slow down my pace and focus more on landscape photography (I like to go wider than the 28mm too). The 5D is relatively cheap now and I could use my older lenses with adaptors). I will mail you.

      Cheers,
      Wouter

  7. Don’t forget about the Sigma DP Merrill series cameras. you get the quality of a Nikon D800E and some medium format rigs like the Pentax, in a very small package. Yeah, the battery use is nil, but they give two batteries. I doubt you shoot more than 200 photos per day, so two batteries is sufficient. You also need to shoot low ISO, 100-200 is optimal, but ISI 400-800 in B&W is still phenomenal, and you would love the results. The files are quite lovely. Not sure if you wanted something small to carry around. You can shoot wide with the DP1 Merrill camera. It’s 19mm, which is 28mm with crop factor figured in. It’s cheaper than buying a D-SLR. unless you’r shooting film again and getting an SLR? Not sure.
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sigma_dp1_merrill.shtml

    1. I shoot a lot less a day Lainer, but even when you don’t use a Sigma camera the battery still drains incredibly fast. I just don’t like them, despite the fantastic low ISO image quality. A SLR is coming to me and I currently figuring out what lens to use. To reasonably cheap options are either the weather resistant kit lens or an older Tokina 20-35mm f/3.5-f/4.5 lens (admitted I prefer the Tokina).

  8. Whatever has been on your mind, it has resulted in some wonderful images already this year and these add to them.

    The picture of the wedding pictures and the Cafe Krom are, I think, very strong images and related, perhaps, in a way. The pride, joy, beauty, and open ended possibilities under an open sky and stunning architecture of the newlyweds contrasts strongly with the mature couple framed by the Cafe window against the dark background and the clutter of the street outside in their more serious poses, him with his mouth covered, she pulling on her ear; both looking so thoughtful, perhaps even a little troubled. Only slender moments in time, true, but interesting documents none the less.

    As for the SLR or DSLR, that will be interesting, too. As I’ve said often, I’m a big fan of your landscape based work. It’ll be fun (for me anyway) to see where your current thoughts/feelings take you down that road.

    Be well.

  9. Heel mooie eigen stijl. Amsterdam blijft mooi. Ik vind altijd inspiratie in de stad, ik kom zelf van het platteland, dat heeft er vast mee te maken! 😉 De stad en de kust! Ik ga je zeker volgen.

    1. Volgens een westerling kom ik uit de Achterhoek (alhoewel Ede veilig tussen de Utrechtse Heuvelrug en de Veluwe ligt), maar de stad en dan vooral Amsterdam is een heerlijke afleiding en inspiratiebron. Niet alleen vanwege de prachtige onderwerpen daar, maar ook omdat ik meestal daarna het landelijke karakter van mijn eigen omgeving weer zo waardeer.

  10. Erg mooie foto’s! Ik fotografeerde altijd veel in Rotterdam, Tri-X ontwikkelt in Rodinal, juist vanwege de korrel. Vooral in de winter en bij slecht weer gaf dat een bepaald effect wat ik erg mooi vond. Industrieel en mysterieus. Helaas gebruik ik geen film meer omdat mijn doka is opgedoekt. Zit dus nu ook aan de Ricoh GR te denken. Komt erg dicht bij de ‘look’ van klassieke zwart wit film.

  11. That’s no common streetphotography, but with the view for special situations. I don’t know, which pic I like more, but I last a longer while at the scenery with the men in the cafe.

  12. I wonder, do you let your subjects know you’re taking a pic of them or do you click away with the risk of getting some angry dude threatening to smash your camera?
    I enjoy your work by the way. Doing it for passion’s sake & I see it coming across some of your pictures. Just looks liberating!
    Keep it up!

    1. I don’t interact and ask the subjects, but I try to avoid a form of exploitation in my photography. I’m really interested in how people act in their surroundings. If you treat people with respect you won’t witness some angy dudes.

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