WEEK COLLECTION 32

2018, Photography, Project

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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

WEEK COLLECTION 31

2018, Photography

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It has been a long time since I posted something on my blog. Last year I took you with me on my struggle with a burn-out. I have come long way since them, but I’m still not at a point where I want to be. It is often a two steps forward, one step back process. And I need to take my time. I am able now to deal with doubt and anxiety. And I see and feel a lot more positiveness.

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One of the things I strongly notice is the desire to get out and photograph again. And I also sense a strong emotion that is withholding me from doing it. Photography is on my mind though. I gradually try to find a balance between family, work, and creating time and space for my photography again.

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I know, and also strongly believe, that I will start making photographs again. I long for the feeling of getting in a flow again, the stream of unconsciousness. I don’t feel the need to push it.

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So today’s collection is a small and moderate set of photographs from all the weeks I didn’t share any work.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma