stroll photography, Dutch Light, Wouter Brandsma

I have been


stroll photography, Dutch Light, Wouter Brandsma

I have been very distracted by many things recently. When I turned 41 I heard that I will definitely lose my job April 1 next year (no joke). My grandfather passed away and so many other things happened (some small, some huge). In the meantime…..

I have been preparing my first solo exhibition for over two months and it opened on July 11. In the midst of all the turmoil mentioned above. I just didn’t feel like really celebrating this moment.

stroll photography, Dutch Light, Wouter Brandsma

I have been hardly photographing this year. Working on the exhibition somehow really felt like closing a chapter, even if I didn’t want to. Sometimes it feels like everything is done and I don’t have a particular interest in other genres.

I have been thinking lately what I do find interesting in photography. Is it a genre, some subjects, or something else? The last few days storm Bertha hit the Netherlands and treated us with beautiful skies. Sun, clouds, showers, thunderstorms. While overlooking the Gouwzee near Volendam yesterday I saw amazing cloud formations pass by while the strong winds roughened the waters. The light was simply mesmerizing. The Dutch light.

stroll photography, Dutch Light, Wouter Brandsma

I have been photographing the last few days (again). While strolling I wondered what to do, how to see the small and precious things? And today, out of the blue, I decided to photograph everyday again. And to just see where it all goes. Nothing intentionally, I don’t care if it is B&W or color. No series in mind, just like I did a couple of years ago when I photographed for 72 weeks in a row. It might the same like I did before, but that admittedly is just part of me.

Well, for those in my neighborhood. You can visit my exhibition here (Dutch).

stroll photography, Dutch Light, Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma


53 thoughts on “I have been

  1. It´s good to see you again, Wouter. I´m sorry for your troubles. I´m glad you have an exhibition going. Would be great to visit it, but I doubt I´ll go to the Netherlands this fall. Lovely images, especially the cows. Been missing your rural photography.

  2. Hey Wouter, don’t lose track of what you are passionate about. We might lose sight of what makes us happy when we’re startled by life events. Whatever you capture, street scenes, scenery, portraits.. You are doing something important: immortalizing the moment. And you wondering of what to do now might give you inspiration to try something new and be even more successful.

    1. You’re right and I list track on many things and ocassions. That is also the reason why I started photographing again for every day. Just a few minutes a day might be enough.

  3. Hello Wouter, I appreciate the very special attitude of your pictures and your soulful feeling of light. Thanks for posting them. Your pictures are your new job, aren’t they? Thomas

  4. Hallo Wouter,

    I find your photo”s magnificent,
    I do wish you lot of succes with your exhibition,


  5. Wouter, so happy to see you’re back with some new pictures! Congratulations on the show, it’s a big accomplishment even if you – understandably – didn’t/don’t feel like celebrating it.

    What kind of job are you looking for? If I remember correctly, you worked in IT? Maybe your readers can help out? #followerpower

    1. Thanks Fabian. Since we met each other in Cologne nearly two years ago I have been struggling with my photography. By simply starting again I just want to enjoy the process again.

      Kind of job? Preferably as a reporting specialist or data manager.

  6. reading your post, i realized that for me photography might be the distraction. going through tough times for a while now (health wise, and too many other issues), taking pictures is an escape. when life gives me lemons, i make lemonade and loads of photos.

    however, i may well choose the opposite route you’re taking, as i said on twitter. no more (almost) daily, unintentional shooting; slowing down, and working on series and projects.

    good to see you picked up your camera again. and take your time to find out what currently works for you.

    1. I actually don’t enforce myself to find what really works for me. I just want to enjoy the process of photography again, as a distraction. I don’t need to take loads of photographs. Just a few a day is enough for me. What I did learn for myself is that working on a project and slowing my photography down really does become a distraction for my photography. I am curious though how working on a serie or projects will work for you.

        1. I have different things to worry about. And… I learned after many years that working on series or projects before hand is counterproductive to me. Even as much as having an agenda is killing.

          Admitted that I always liked your snapshot kind of photographing. Therefore I’m curious what the new approach will bring.

          1. not planning anything pretentious, i’ll stay true to my snapshot style. just thinking – or hoping – that five snaphots with something in common (same event/light/film/whatever) might be more interesting than one single snapshot. but we’ll see.

            1. I agree that a series may be more interesting, but I like to see if photographs in post processing and not intentionally shoot to create series. For me it can obstruct me from seeing other things I like.

  7. Lovely images, Wouter.

    The light is so beautiful in the Netherlands. Tuscany in Italy has wonderful light too.

    No matter where you are, whatever you do, just believe that this is the right place for you at this time in your life. While one door closes, another one opens.

    The important thing is to be happy. I never really knew what happiness was until I had to quit working suddenly due to chronic illness & pain. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent or my living expenses, but things turned out better than I could possibly have expected (despite a very frugal pension on which to live now).

    It’s never too late to start again or change your life direction. And while I am very sorry to hear your Grandfather passed away and that things have not been going well for you, I trust you’ll never lose hope for a positive future.

    1. Thank you Vicki. You’re absolutelly right is to be happy, or at least be happy even about some of the most modest or most simple things in life. You just can’t really plan life or the outcome of it. I guess it is better to just enjoy the things in between. Good to know that things turned out good for you.

    1. I felt putting an exhibition together was very stressful, and while it is rewarding to see my work on the wall I even more remember the work that needed to be done to get the show going.

      I hope it goes well with you too Richard. Thank you.

  8. Welcome back Wouter it has been too long since you posted, good luck with the exhibition and the job hunting, I have clicked regularly just to see if anything new has been posted so it is lovely to see the new images, almost a different style, you defintely, but different, `i suspect that may be as a result of past problems.

    1. I realize that it remained quiet on my blog and I felt that I didn’t need to produce new work while working on the exhibition. I now hope to share new photographs more often. Despite my book and solo exhibition I still actually prefer the online sharing.

  9. Doesn´t matter what or how you shoot, as long as you shoot… Welcome back, Wouter and good luck your quests.

  10. Must be like a dream come true feeling for you. I also noticed you have no update for a long time. Once you force yourself shooting again, you’ll continue. I lost complete interest in photography just because I do not force myself to travel out of district alone, or i should say when I get alone time I prefer resting. ha. I hope you it won’t come to you.

    1. I needed the rest too Alan. There was this continious drive for so long and all of a sudden it was gone. The interest was certainly gone in photography. On the intermet I just saw too much promotion, to little passion.

      I hope you find a small spark again. A break can actually help.

  11. My friend Wouter is back, man I missed you. I completely understand all those life circumstances you mentioned. Glad its working out and very happy to see you photograph once again. Yeah, I know what you mean, sometimes a break is great and much needed. The spark goes away and somehow it magically comes back, such is life.

    Good luck in your new photographic pursuits, thanks for everything, you know what I mean.

        1. Yeah, I just posted my first finished week. I decided to close the comments sections for these photographs only posts. Not for redactional purposes, but more for aesthetics.

  12. Wouter, I visited your exhibition last week. Most photos were dated before the time I actively started to followed you. I must say that they clearly show your strong BW vision. (I always struggle to envision things in BW, especially landscapes). I enjoyed it, and I think they deserved to be seen. But I think that your vision have grown better over time and was hoping to see more of your recent work. But I understand why these won’t fit the theme of the exhibition. I am patient, maybe someday.. Nice to see that you intended to shoot regularly again, (for us, the followers). Good luck!

    1. Dank je for visiting the exhibition Daniel. My more recent work wouldn’t fit the location in my opinion. Maybe some day in a gallery nearby, but I would do an exhibition with some other photographers and certainly not alone for a very long time. And maybe in a different form too.

  13. Good to see you back Wouter and with a marvelous set of photographs — as you say, incredible light.

    I, more than most, can appreciate your anxiety about the future but don’t lose hope. Things have a habit of working out for the good.


  14. I haven’t been coming by everyday lately, so I’m a bit behind the curve here. Good to see you engaged again by the light. Life seems to cycle its up’s and down’s sometimes, so perhaps this marks the beginning of a positive cycle. Like these images, sometimes the storms lead to the best light. It’s my strong hope that’s true with your job situation and life in general. I’ll look for you to post some of the exhibit images if you can and to keep engaged going forward. Be well.

    1. I will soon post the exhibited photographs. Good idea Greg. And yeah, I need the cycle of life. The good and bad times, although sometimes I’d think I had enough of the bad times. The glass is still half full though. Thank you and you too.

  15. It’s great to see you’re back! Wonderful land and skyscapes and fantastic light. Sorry to hear of your loss. Hopefully you will soon find a new job – good luck!

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