Thoughts on GDPR and color

2018, Photography, thoughts

‘Thought’ is maybe one of my most favourite English words. And it is very much part of my personality. When I did a Birkman method test some 18 years ago it was clear I was a thinker.

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In a week, on May 25 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation will set in. And I wonder how that will affect us photographers. And especially those who publish work regularly on the internet or printed publications.

Now let me make clear that I don’t collect personal data. You can subscribe to my blog and you will receive an update in your mailbox whenever I publish a new blog post. The owners of wordpress.com, Automattic, also use cookies to track your internet behaviour. By next week they have to be compliant to the GDPR. I don’t run biometric software, but I’m aware that my photographs do sometimes show people’s faces. Automattic made the following statement about GDPR. If you, as a visitor of my site, want to know more about what Automattic, and it’s partners, do with the collected data, you can read that here.

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Regarding privacy concerns I try to determine how that will affect my photography. I don’t photograph on the street with consent and don’t ask those photographed for their permission to be published. I have no commercial intentions for publishing my photographs. I don’t seek payed photographic jobs or clients. I have a day-time job and photograph for pleasure, therapeutic reasons, my personal mindset and right-doing, and because I just love photography and it is very much part of me.

Privacy is still a concern to me, and I will try to keep you informed on how this new legislation and all the privacy concerns will affect my photography. So, one of my first measures is activating the EU Cookie Law widget you might notice below.

I’d like to know what you do to comply with the new regulation. And will you take the GDPR in consideration when taking photographs in public spaces?

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And when it comes to photography you might have noticed an increasing amount of color work on my blog. During my therapeutic counseling due to my burn-out I started using positive mindfulness on daily basis. And somehow using black and white in my photography didn’t feel right to me. Now looking back at my photographs from the last two months I noticed that subconsciously started to do a lot more in color. Therefore I decided to stop black and white for now. Right now, color photography syncs so much better with my current state of mind.

At some time I will try to dive deeper into this subject. And I’m sorry for my thoughts of sort on the new GDPR, but I feel an obligation to you, the readers of my blog, to make this clear.

And on a different note, when it comes to 100% photographs post (like the previous one) I will probably keep the comment section closed so all the focus will be on the photographs instead. Feel free to contact me by mail or twitter (and follow me there too).

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

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Convenience

2018, Photography, thoughts, weekly project

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I admit it, I’m all in for convenience. Since last autumn I’ve written a lot, really a lot. I used notebooks for that. Small and simple notebooks with a black cover, so I could take it with me everywhere. I wrote daily, and it helped me a lot learning and realizing what was going with me. It helped me deal with my anxiety and doubt. I still write on a daily basis, and in the meantime filled multiple notebooks.

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There is one thing though for me. 12 hours a day I’m working and traveling. I stand up at 5 am and get home around 5:30 pm. With some family time, eating, and walking or cycling, the only time remaining to write is shortly before I go to sleep. That is at 9:30 pm. And while I love the writing process, it felt restrictive to only have a short moment a day to write. Despite the size of the notebook it felt uncomfortable to write about my private life in public spaces. Also the storage thing was becoming a worry.

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What mattered to me was being able to put down those words. It really didn’t matter how, as long as I’d able to write whenever I had some time available. Not the tactile feeling, but the convenience is important to me. It is easier to type something on my phone. So now I use a cross platform notes app, so I can write on my phone or Mac. No costs, no stress of time availability. The whole writing process can easily blend in with my daily huzzle.

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It reminded me of photography when I was young, when we’re still shooting negative film or slide film since it was the only choice we had. For me, most of the time, film was expensive. I learned to be sparse on exposures, to be cost effective. It also meant waiting a long time before I processed one roll of film or sent in a slide film (and doing the framing myself).

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Now I love restraints, like using a single focal length, but when digital photography took off I was finally able to feel unrestraint from the burden of the costs. I could photograph whenever I wanted, just because of the conveniences of digital photography.

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And speaking of blending in. I photograph pretty much on a daily basis again. My commutes, my strolls, my bike rides. Not that I have any intention to restart a daily photography project, but enough to return to the weekly collections.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

What is next?

2018, thoughts

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I’ve run this blog since 2007, but I know I haven’t posted a lot in the last two years. Having dealt with a burn-out last year, I’m doing fine now, I started to wonder what to do with my blog. Is a blog about my own photography sustainable, should I broaden my horizon, or should I just put an end to it?

From all the social media efforts and platforms we’ve seen in the last decade I still believe blogging is still the best in the long term. In essence blogging hasn’t changed, while platforms came and disappeared. Whenever a larger company buys a platform it might grow in number of users, but also loses it’s core essence. Just look at Flickr or Instagram, in my opinion.

So I decided to keep running my blog. In what form I’m not still sure yet. Maybe it will become a combination of image(s) posts, micro blogging, and long form pieces. And maybe, or possibly, beyond photography.

I still love photography, but there is so much more I like or am interested in.

The blog is not dead!

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

Continuation

2018, Photography, thoughts

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I hoped to get on a more regular blog posting schedule, but it didn’t happen. Instead I have been working really hard on my mental and physical recovery. I’ve come a long way since acknowledging my burn-out last year. I feel stronger, both mentally and physically. I especially use positive mindfulness to make me feel stronger, happier, and more positive. Interesting how much we can alter our perspectives and force our minds to get a more positive outlook. And I’m curious how it will affect my photography.

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More than ever I feel my phone is more than enough for my photography. The simplistic interface, no distractions, and the awareness of the camera’s limitations makes it my absolute favourite camera to use. The ability to change the camera user interface by changing apps and using airdrop to easily download photographs or videos to my Mac is absolutely fantastic. My real cameras start to collect dust, seriously.

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You see, we have our preferred processes. Some like film, some like rangefinders, some like landscapes, while others like portraits. I’ve written before that gear is just so much more popular to write and read about. It is easily consumable, while becoming a better and a more completed photographer takes so much more.

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That is however so difficult to understand and requires a different and whilfull mindset from the photographer to focus more on images instead. It is a popular subject to rant about. And honestly, often fueled from negative experiences.

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So why I should I be bothered about it? I shouldn’t! Do what you want, and feel good and happy about that. It is your path, your effort to personal fulfillment. Whatever that may be. Just do what feels right.

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I’m after my personal fulfillment too. And last year, with my depressed thoughts, the low self esteem, and lack of personal fitness, I was on a completely different path. Now, I feel completely different. I’m still the same person, but with another, more brighter outlook. And I’m trying to figure out how this affects my photography. I’m in search of a new beat, another rhytm, a flow that mixes well with my personal life and work.

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All photographs by Wouter Brandsma