The Obvious

2014, Photography

I’m now half way week 9 of my photo a day project and didn’t write anything on my blog since August 12. That sure is a long time for me on my blog. Then I also decided to close the comment section for my weekly postings, because I wanted these posts to fully focus on the photographs. No distractions, just photographs. Still thank you to those who mailed me. Very much appreciated.







Just a recap of these months. I wrote in August that I would be dismissed at my work (a lot of colleagues would lose their jobs too). My photo exhibition run for over 3 months. On August 10 I woke and thought about my photo a day project in 2011 (it lasted 72 weeks) and instantly decided to start all over again. And in color, deliberately, cause I done so much in B&W. I wanted it, I needed it. Sold three exhibited photographs. Planned to go to Photokina. Found a new job in September. Did eventually not go to Photokina. Finished week 8 of my photo a day project. And I’m currently enjoying a short break before starting my new job later this month.




Taking the long photographic break earlier this year and working on my exhibition kind of felt like working on finishing a chapter. It was my photo a day project in 2011 – abruptly stopped in 2012 – that made me realize I needed to finish some things, personal and photographic. In that time I published my first photo book Saudade and did my first solo exhibition, “Between light and darkness”. To celebrate the end of this chapter I share with you the photographs I exhibited this summer.







With this new photo a day project it allows me to experiment again. For the first time since going digital in 2004 I feel getting really familiar with color again (I shot mostly slide films in the years before. Fuji Provia and Kodak Ektachrome with my Ricoh GR). I’ll keep photographing the things close at home, strolling the familiar and unfamiliar places, the mundane, the boring, the ugly, the beauty, the obvious. Yeah, the obvious.





All photographs by Wouter Brandsma


2012, Photography


In August Jamie Pillers suggested in a comment on one of my blog posts to make a Blurb book. Now the idea to make a book is not really new, but he said to just select images that pleases me. Nothing formal or project based.

For a couple years now I have a few numbers of selections for a book resting on my computer waiting to be printed and bond together. But each and everytime I doubted. Was the concept strong enough? Would my purposed intentions meet my expectations? How about the B&W printing? Would it bring color casts? Somehow there was something holding me back from letting go my photographs.

Jamie’s suggestion to basically make a random selection gave me new inspiration and energy. And a fair method to temper my personal expectation too. What kept my mind occupied though was the form. A large book, something for on the coffee table, or something differently? For a first book I didn’t want to pay and charge too much, but a large book with quite a lot of photographs really sets the price.It became even more obvious to me at Photokina where Pentax displayed their photo books. The high quality paper, the size of that book, the dedication of the printers, and the price set me a sight.

It was later in September when I read an article on Daniel Milnor’s Smogranch blog where he talked about the Blurb trade book format. Small, 6×9 inch, easy to take with you, and fair in price. Perfect for me, a small book format that doesn’t raise the bar too high. Together with the help from my German friend Jan Klose, who suggested to make a playful book, I did it.

And so I am proud to say I finished my first photo book, titled ‘Saudade’. Saudade is a Portugese word I learned about when I heard a Fado a couple of years. The nostalgic and longing feeling associated with Saudade sounded perfect to me.

The can be ordered here.

No gear, yet Photokina

2012, Photography

I mentioned previously that I would be going to Photokina in Cologne. Not too long I ago they asked me, and some other photographers, to participate on a project for the Pentax Ricoh booth at the fair. They wanted to create large photobooks and arrange an exhibition.

On September 18 they invited us to come to Cologne and see the exhibition and photobooks for ourselves. On the booth they had a very large photobook with, I presume, A2 prints inside. Additionally they made A3 sized photobooks that focused on several of the cameras in the product line of Pentax Ricoh. My photographs where printed in a book where the participating photographers used the Ricoh GRD, GXR and the Pentax Q.

What I liked best was meeting the other photographers and the organizers from Pentax Ricoh and the design agency.

And what about the rest of Photokina? Of course a lot of cameras, but I couldn’t care less about that. It is very crowded and you see people trying cameras, basically pressing some buttons and checking the menus. Asking questions is even funnier, because there is always some young girl or boy friendly smiling you and just rambling some feature set.  It was a place I felt quite alienated and I was glad that at several places there was some good photographs at display. In particular the Leica gallery with the work of Elliott Erwitt, Jacob Aue Sobol, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Steve McCurry, and Nick Ut (the Napalm Girl photograph) was special.

At the fair I had a chance to meet up with Sean Reid from Reid Reviews. And best was talking with Fabian Kruse at a café near the Cologne Central Station briefly before going home again.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma