PAD photography, photo a day, stroll photography, Wouter Brandsma, Ricoh GR

September update

2018, Photography, thoughts

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I’m sorry it took so long to post something new on my blog. Working, commuting, family, it all consumed a lot of time. In between I still try to photograph, a bit. The pictures will follow later, but I thought it was time for an update and some thought.

So Ricoh announced the GRIII a day before the Photokina 2018 opening. The GR series are basically the only cameras that really interests me. I’ve been using it since the end of 1996. 12 years with the GR1, and since 2009 with the GRD1, GRD3, and from 2013 the GR. While I love the concept of the GR series, I also believe that going digital caused scope creep with the designers. The digital GR cameras became programmable machines, and all I tried to do was make it more simple in it’s usability.

You see, the 1996 GR1 was a simple camera to operate. Choose your aperture or put it in P-mode. The only add-on was exposure compensation. Simple. My GR though has Tav mode, many programmable buttons, a rocker dial on the back that is as unpredictable as the weather in West Europe. So all I did, was choosing one aperture, ISO 1600, and using the zoom button for exposure compensation.

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When I look at the back of the new GRIII prototype the user interface has changed. Less options, it seems. I’m personally glad that they ditched the flash, and that the GR has no tilted screen. I hope it can still be operated with only my right thumb. I will hopefully figure this out soon. More about that later.

Street photography. It seems no other genre in photography gets people more opinionated. While I wouldn’t call myself a street photographer I admit taking a lot of photographs that others think is street photography. I don’t take these however with street photography as my intent. With the new GDPR legislation that took place in May this year it is good to think about this intent. There is more protection now for the individual and personal data. And photographers are part of the personal data too. Cause I think honesty and respect are of the utmost importance, I think it will also alter my photography. And strangely though I find this very exciting.

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So here both above mentioned subjects come together. Earlier this year I was interviewed for a German street photography magazine, Soul of Street Photography & Philosophy. It was as a joy to be interviewed by someone I know. It allowed us to dig a bit deeper in my reasoning, and thought process. So what has this all to do with Ricoh and street photography? Upcoming Saturday, 29 September 2018, Ricoh Germany and the Soul of Street magazine invite users and enthusiasts of all GR camera generations to the first GRmany Meet & Greet. It will take place from 10 am to 6 pm at stand A041 in hall 2.2 at Photokina. In their “photographers corner” the people of the Soul of Street Photography & Philosophy magazine and some GR-photographers from the PxP-Portfolio will be there, including me. So maybe I see you in Cologne. And the magazine, it is available here.

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photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

Expectations

2014, Photography

Often we all have different expectations, sometimes even none. The thing is it to see beyond these expectations. Last week I read a blog post on LensWork Daily commenting the “use” of grain in Sebastião Salgado’s landscape photographs published in his book Genesis. The blogger thought it seemed uncomfortably out of place in landscape photographs. He wished the images didn’t suffer from such a flaw. It is however the writer’s personal expectation to see landscape photographs without grain, because it is technically possible. And sure Salgado might realize that too, but he sets his own standards and aesthetics. Should grain only be expected in street photographs? Should every detail, like foliage be noticed? Why do we tend to think so obvious and based on expected standards when it comes to photography genres?

I haven’t been posting many photographs lately and I decided to take it slow on that for the upcoming time. There is just a lot on my mind. Here a small collection of photographs from some recent visits to Amsterdam.

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

photograph, photography, stroll photography, street photography, amsterdam, wouter brandsma. ricoh gr, black and white

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

photograph, stroll photography, forest, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

Gloomy

2013, Photography

photograph, stroll photography, water, river foreland, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

A gloomy autumness day in October. Despite the prevailing darkness I still want to see and feel the struggling light. It hurts, my leg. Again after two years. The rain, cold and fog fuel it. I try to defeat it with a long stroll through a nearby forest. Climbing up and down, high trees, hills, river forelands, and covered horizons. Not even captured, nature draws high contrast sketches.

photograph, stroll photography, forest, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

photograph, stroll photography, water, river foreland, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

photograph, stroll photography, forest, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

photograph, stroll photography, water, river foreland, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

photograph, stroll photography, forest, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

photograph, stroll photography, forest, trees, light and shadows, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, gr digital

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

What’s in my bag

2013, Photography

ricoh, ricoh, gr, gr, gr digital, iphone 4, sd card, camera bag, camera

Admitted, this is not my typical blog post. Normally Japan Camera Hunter is known for his ‘In your bag‘ posts and recently Ming Thein covered what he was using now. Unlike many bags though there isn’t much really to see in my bag. Just a single camera, one (sometimes two) SD cards. In fact I still only use some older 2Gb cards. And something to remain connected to the outside world and providing some music for the mood and senses.

I don’t need much more for my photography. Simplicity and restrictions. Everything else is just weight which I often find not used at all.

On a different note. You might have noticed the new layout for my blog making it a bit more future proof again. For now the wordpress platform served me well, but I am looking for a more flexible platform though.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

Thought(les)s

2013, Photography

Almost two weeks passed by since I mentioned that much in my personal life – work related – would change. Knowing that in a year, at most two, I need a new job to support my family and pay the bills it made sense to thing thoroughly about my near future. To what extend could photography help me with that? What other valuable options are available? And what is really my relationship with photography?

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

I love to work, I need to work. I work hard and I wouldn’t mind working for myself. I am pretty good at what I do and have over 10 years of experience and gained knowledge. It may not be the most beloved job, but I am passionate about working hard. I love my job. It might not be as glamorous, but it allowed me to be a photographer too.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

And I love to photograph, I do my best to become better and learn every day. In fact I am very passionate about it. So passionate though that I decided it is not worth it to me to become a professional photographer.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

There are over 15 professional photographers in my home town, a town with 65,000 inhabitants. Most of them do weddings, portraits and corporate photography. Probably commercially the most attractive genres, unless everyone tries to succeed there. You need to work really hard to get there. Following your passion won’t make difference.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

To me however, that passion drives me. Photography is my personal outlet, my therapy. It helped me when my son was diagnozed autism. It forced me to get out when I was recovering from my back problems. And it will likely help me next year when the going gets tough. That passionate outlet is there for me as a person, not a money maker. For me it is an emotional ride and with that my expectations of quality may vary. Sure I could deliver always, but I don’t want to.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

What next though? I want to work on some long term projects covering the region I live in.  Also a lot more urban photographs in the darkness (like these in this blog post). I will for sure do more landscape photography. When I am calm and patient (or in need of) I prefer landscape photography. For anything else I stroll the streets and cover it. Bringing it all together is an amazing feeling. That is what matters to me. And these landscape photographs? They look amazing printed large, especially on someone else’s wall.

photography, photograph, street photography, stroll photography, light, darkness, shadows, color, street, urban, night, wouter brandsma, ricoh, ricoh gr, pentax, ricoh gr digital, light and shadows

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma