Traveling and wondering

2012, Photography
Recently I saw a blog post by another photographer with some rough sketchy kind of photographs. At first the photographer mentioned that he though they weren’t great, but they kept him going through the day while traveling. For me personally photographs were you briefly catch what you thought interesting and was on your mind helps me visualize my day. It becomes my diary.In the comment section there was one comment that kept me busy the entire week. The one who commented said: “I like that kind of images. I look for such a feeling myself but I’m often struggling to visualize what I really want to communicate“. A long time ago I questioned that myself too. When I saw photographs in photobooks or in magazines I often wondered how some photographers could photograph so loosely, freely, yet so intentionally. I think the lesson I learned was to be curious. We see interesting things daily. It briefly occupies our minds and than we let it go, because we notice something different. It can be the light or an angle that seems unusual. My friend Don always says you are making photographs. Even when you don’t press the shutter you are always to see if it is interesting. If you hesitate making these photographs, just wonder for yourself how it may actually look like on a photograph. Just do it, aim, frame, press the shutter. I make quite a lot of these photographs, but don’t try to rush anymore to edit them. I give them a rest.I learned that it helps me structure my thoughts, doubts, experiences, failures, successes, you name it. It also serves for me as a sketch book to think of even more meaningful projects. I admit though that normally keep geting stucked in these sketch books.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Shout

2010, 2012

“Shout!”

Maybe I am strongly opinionated in photography, and maybe I have completely different expectations in photography too. I am an amateur in the true sense of “lover of”. I think I suck at photography most of the times and just sometimes everything I learned and tried before comes together. But maybe I am not learning as quickly anymore, or don’t feel the desire to learn about photography like I did before.

I learned photography through reading about photography, learning and exploring techniques and searched the crap out of me for good tools, preferably the best. As such it made me partly the photographer who I am now. But my interests changed, and so did my perceptions and priorities. These changed in my daily life, my relation, work, and friendships, but I also think these changes strongly influenced my photography. As a result I really don’t care about gear anymore. Sure I like to keep my current gear working and like to use it to it’s maximum potential.

But I like to be realistic too. Why dream about a Leica M9 and doing all these efforts to keep up with reviews and sharing my thoughts about these on forums and my blog, when I know I just simply can’t afford it. What? I can’t even afford a new lens for my GF1 and when my GRDIII falls a part I won’t be able to buy another one. Yet, I am fine with that. When I picked up this gear it was fine for me, and it still is. I strongly believe it makes sense to focus on things that are likely achievable.

Remember I do photography for the love, not to get the best image quality. I try to share something from my inside, not to make it look perfect on the outside. Sure a Gibson Les Paul or a Stradivarius will give the musician the best, richest or finest sound, but may as well sound as crap when played without passion. I don’t think there is right or wrong in photography, it comes down to the intentions.

I don’t mind that others are interested in gear and technique. Please keep on doing that, because we all like to do things we love. Sharing these thoughts seems pretty much a 1:1 experience. We all get that and understand that. Sharing about our insides, motivations, and why we do the things we do. Well, that is a completely different thing. To get that message across is harder and to understand it too. These kind of conversations lack the immediacy and convenience that gear and technique have. If I can share these thoughts with just some and some are willing to share that with me, to me that makes all the differences.

I really don’t mind that many others are more interested in different photography related stuff. You see, I am aware that most of you who come to my blog search on gear or technique. And it is my fault too. I wrote some impressions of cameras I used and shared those on my blog. I shared some post processing techniques too. You know, I still explore post processing techniques, but more in an effort to simplify it. I still explore camera techniques, but in an effort to closer got to my imagined intentions. I often wrote before that I like it when I made final decisions before pressing the shutter. What I however did learn and experience that I got at times extremely distracted by it. I am still exploring what I really want to with my photography and I know that I torture myself a lot with my doubt and insecurity.

I like it to slow down and think. Don´t just press the shutter, don´t just check every website and sharing platforms, don´t immediately ingest photographs, edit, and process these. I like to listen to music, read books, and help to get my mind focused. There is more in life. I also like to think more deliberate about projects I have in mind and finally be able to execute it. But I also like to pick up my camera again and take at least one photograph each day. I will however be sharing less too as a consequence.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma