zondag 11 december 2011

Almost another year gone by

At the beginning of the year I wrote my first blog. I put down some goals for this year and now I'm looking back to this. What have I done? What didn't I do? And I'll once again look at the future. What are the plans for the future? What are the 2012 things I want to do?

First I'll look back to the year we still live in: 2011. I wanted to follow a band, touring with it and make a book of it. Things didn't work out, still want to do it. 2012 maybe, 2013 to be more realistic. I'm still improving my concertphotography, trying to put it to the next level. Trying to have my signature in the pictures I make. I'm now taking pictures for the site Dutch Distortion. It's a site which aims on the metal-side of music. I'm doing some of the live photography reports.
The fantasy shoot I had in mind also didn't happen. What happened is the plan to take several years for it and make it some bigger project. Character creation and storytelling. Won't tell more yet ;)
What did work out was the plan to do some more sportsphotography. Went to the Ajax youth team for most of the home games. I'm blogging about it, trying to see what players are the real talents and are the ones to make it to the first team. Visit my voetbalscout blog to see more of it.

That's not the only thing I did this year. I went to the KvK and now I'm officially running my own company as a freelance photographer. Upgraded my site seth-photography.com and now I'm working on it to improve and expand it. It was one of the big steps I have to do to be able to live my dream. Takes quite some time and in the beginning it doesn't work out that well yet. But for the next year, some shoots are planned :)

That was in short how photography worked out for me last year. For the upcoming year there are also some ideas, some wishes, some plans. First of all, I'm going to do some wedding shoots. I hope people will see that the wedding pictures are one of the most important pictures in life. You don't want to have it messed up, but well, people just don't want to spend that much money on it. Having a professional camera doesn't make you a good photographer. The challenge is to get the maximum out of the circumstances. I bet most pro photographers make better pictures with a compact camera than people who didn't take much pictures and by a €3000,- combination of camera with lenses. You have to know how photography works. This year I took the wedding pictures of my nephew and it was a real long day with only short moments to take a break. People underestimate how much work it is. And people mostly don't realize how much extra work it is to sort it all out and deliver only the quality you're aiming for. This is why professional photographers sometimes ask €1500,- or more for a wedding shoot. It has to be perfect and you don't get a second chance.

In 2012 I would like to go to Italy by car and do some landscape photography. I really love the scenery out there, the culture, the language and the country itself. On the road I want to capture the Swiss mountains, the Tuscan hills, the beauty of Rome, Milan and Florence. There are some really nice bands playing in Italy in a short amount of time this year and I hope it'll be able to shoot 2 or 3 shows out there. Visiting the Ferrari HQ in Maranello is also a wish for the upcoming year. This year I did a shoot in the Hessing building in Utrecht. The cars are really lovely and the building is a great work of architecture.

I'm currently working on a book with concertphotography. It'll contain the better pictures I took since I started to visit concerts with my camera. Some pictures made by a 2 megapixel compact camera, others made with a DSLR. Can't wait to see the result :)

2012 in short: Trip to Italy shooting landscape, concertphotography and cars. Having my first book with concertphotography ready. Doing some wedding/portrait shoots. Starting to work out the fantasy project (aiming for 2014/2015 to be ready). Doing more sportsphotography.

dinsdag 22 november 2011

Misty Utrecht

Two days of mist is what took away the view in Utrecht but instead of locking me inside I felt inspired to go out with the camera. Mist wasn't the only thing that can spoil your pictures, I also chose to go out at the evening. After getting dressed for a cold and wet night I packed my bag and closed the door behind me. No watch or phone did I take with me and I left the bike where it was to go on foot. Those things were with good reason. I didn't want to rush, I didn't want the time to be of any influence. I went on foot and I only wanted to return if I had a good picture.
First part was the park.. Tried a bit but it was too dark to be able to make any interesting pictures. Too little contrast in the area. After that I decided to go to the city center. There were alot of cars, bikes and pedestrians giving a nice image with lights and shadows. I shot some silhouets and went to the next place. Utrecht Central Station, tram-stop. Busses went on and off, cars passed and sometimes a tram came by. There were more pedestrians and bikes here and the wet ground gave some nice reflections.
After that I had a small trip through the city but I didn't get that interesting images. I've got 2 series of 3 pictures now that I want to share. First serie is the red serie of the tram-rail close to my home. Second serie is the blue (almost black and white) serie that I took at Utrecht CS. Comments are more than welcome. Either positive or negative. I prefer the negative ones with arguments so I can learn from it :)

donderdag 17 november 2011

Analysing Klaas-Jan van der Weij

5/5: Klaas-Jan van der Weij (no website)

I've never seen a photographer giving such a nice presentation as Klaas-Jan van der Weij does. He's a real storyteller. He has won the 1st price in category Sports at the '91 World Press Photo awards and the 2nd price in Sports stories in the year '94. He captures the special, funny, emotional, dramatic, strange moments in his own way. He looks in his own way to things and that's why he makes different pictures than other sports photographers, he chooses positions others don't choose. I've seen pictures of him taken from extraordinary positions. Cycling pictures made out of a tree,  pictures taken with a wide-angle from almost off the ground and almost on the road. Cyclists falling, looking back.. A picture that I like very much (but can't find online that fast) is a picture taken in the Tour de France, where Klaas-Jan stands on a bridge, looking towards the finish. You can see lots of photographers behind the finishline and the first cyslist looking back over his shoulder towards the camera. Actually he's looking back where the followers are, but they're not in the picture. After 10 years of sports photography Klaas-Jan quits. Looking back through the pictures he says his pictures are some kind of diary, where you can see how he felt at the moment.

Analysing Louis van de Vuurst

4/5: Louis van de Vuurst (www.vuurstphoto.com)

Louis van de Vuurst, one of the Dutch top sport photographers. He's the main photographer for Ajax and the Dutch national squad. But soccer is not the only thing he can shoot. He has also shot bands/artists like U2, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones. His main strength is being there. Working hard, traveling much. He's not an outstanding concert photographer but when he's visiting a soccer match, he knows how to capture the moments and the emotions. He's also quite good at shooting portraits. The photos aren't that perfect themselves but are technically good. The combination between situation, timing and historical value make his pictures special. Not only the day after the picture has been shot, but most of the times also when years have past. Examples below are Jaap Stam after his last match as a professional soccer player, a young Clarence Seedorf at the beginning of his professional career, Frank Rijkaard working with Bobby Haarms on his comeback. Below that are two more recent pictures: Christian Eriksen and Luis Suarez. 2 players who have the talent to become one of the best players in Europe.

maandag 14 november 2011

Analysing Ville Juurikkala

3/5: Ville Akseli Juurikkala (http://ville.juurikkala.fi/)

At the merchandise stand of Nightwish, at a concert, I found the book Dark Passion Gallery. It was a collection of photo's made by Ville Juurikkala. This book wasn't just about concert photography. It described the atmosphere during a tour. It contains live-photography but also bandshoots on locations and portraits of the members of Nightwish. Looking at the pictures you can feel the desire from the band to end this tour and go home, you can see the fun they have, how tired they can be and how much work has been done by the crew before the concert even starts.
When you look at the pictures, those are quite grainy. I think most of the work has been shot on film. Ville also knows how to use the surroundings to get a feeling in the picture. Tram rail, tree, seashore or even on a graveyard. His portraits are of high quality. He really builds his photos on emotion and that, in combination with the mostly dark pictures, is what I like.

Analysing Anton Corbijn

2/5: Anton Corbijn (http://www.corbijn.co.uk/)

One of the first photographers I knew by name. Anton started as a concert photographer and became famous shooting bands like U2, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, David Bowie.. He now both shoots photos and video.
When you look to his photography you can clearly see his signature in the pictures. He has his own style and his own way of looking at things. He has some humor in his photography as well, using objects in the picture to do something with the subject. For example the picture of the tree growing out of Lance Armstrong's head or the lantern above Johnny Depp's head. He also used to do bandshoots with the band on the background in focus and the leadsinger blurred on the foreground. The picture of Depeche Mode is a good example for that. Most of his works look black and white and show more dark than light.

Elvis Costello:

Miles Davis:


Johnny Depp:

Massive Attack:

Lance Armstrong:

Nicolas Cage:

Herbert Gronemeyer:

Depeche Mode:

Kylie Minogue:

Analysing Nicolas 'Sparth' Bouvier

1/5: Nicolas 'Sparth' Bouvier (www.sparthphoto.com)

Nicolas has inspired me since the first time I've seen his work. I've had those images from John Avon (www.johnavon.com) in my mind for a long time and I was looking for a way to make such pictures. Wasn't really able to find a way to do this. After a long while I found the flickr account from Sparth (www.flickr.com/photos/sparth). The things that draw my attention is the way Nicolas can put a certain feeling inside the pictures. Most of the time there's one person standing out on the picture. And most of the persons stand on the picture with the back towards the camera. Nicolas mostly uses a wide aperture to create a small depth of field. Most of the photos are quite dark, as you can see below. Nicolas shoots both city and landscape. His landscapes mostly have this air of mystery. He uses mostly heavy tele on his landscpaes giving the picture that atmosphere.

vrijdag 7 oktober 2011

Art, art, art, art, art, .... ART

Ok, where to start? At the beginning? Alright :)
Today we went to Het Mauritshuis and Het Gemeente/Fotomuseum in The Hague. It was a day full of inspiration, examples (both how to and how not to), people.. Lots of people. Well, at least at Het Mauritshuis, where 2 classes and a group of tourists were guided through the 2 floors full of paintings. Well, I don't want to report the situation, I want to talk about some paintings/pictures I liked, starting with the paintings in Het Mauritshuis.

 Jan Brueghel the Elder & Hans Rottenhammer - Christus descending into Limbo
The reason why I like this picture must be the contrast in the painting with the dark/light in it. The scenery itself is quite detailed and is quite literally. It doesn't give that much space about the meaning of it. It's quite straight to the point and most people will directly see what idea the artist had.

Willem van de Velde the Younger - Ships in the roads
In this painting there are things I like and things I like less. First thing I have to say is, and that's one of the 2 reasons why I chose this one to write about, the technique being of very high quality. The details in the painting are very well done. The ropes of the ships, the sails, the flags. All those things are very detailed. Second reason to chose this painting is something I didn't like that much. When you put aside the amazing technique and look to the painting itself, what's on it, it doesn't say very much to me. Just a couple of ships that are being packed or unpacked, with a city in the background. The image itself is, in my opinion, quite boring.

Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem - Travellers attacked by brigands
The reason why this painting got my attention must be the same as with the first picture. The contrast in it is quite there. The white horse, the smoke and the sky against the darker troops and shadows. All attention goes to the main action on the painting: the men on the horses shooting at close distance. The fallen troops on the front make it a more dramatical scenery. This is quite in contrast with the good weather. I think this painting wouldn't stand out this much when it didn't have this much contrast in it. The details in the picture are quite good. Technically it's one of the better paintings of a battlefield I've seen.

Willem van Haecht - Apelles painting Campaspe 
This is the last painting I want to draw some attention to. It's not just one painting. It's a painting containing about 50 paintings in it, piece by piece very detailed by itself. You can keep looking at the painting and seeing new things all the time. The big painting on the left, just above the table, has quite some depth in it. The painting on the right with the 2 men talking looks more like a look through the window than it looks like a different painting. The hall in the back has quite some detail in it as well. Some of the paintings in this piece of art are actually in Het Mauritshuis as well.

After the visit to Het Mauritshuis we went for a lunch and after that we went to Het Gemeente/Fotomuseum. There we've seen photo's from The Photo Academy Award 2011. It was a mix of all kind of styles. Documentary, portrait, abstract, series, single pictures, stop-motion and lots more. Can't find much of the pictures I've seen on internet so I'll link some of the photographers' websites here.

Sjoukje van Gool (www.sjoukjevangool.com): Really liked her serie where a girl becomes part of the forest. I really like the way she uses the natural light instead of using artificial light. It makes the picture quite natural to look at. 
Barry van Leeuwen (www.bvlfotografie.nl): Quite interesting techniques have been used to make the result look better and more authentic. Those photo's aren't just portraits. It's all the details that make it complete. The use of the light, the background, the technique that makes it look older. It all matches.

Mark Nettenbreijers (www.mn71.com): Really love his serie "Heimwee". Those photos in the forest aren't just pictures. They've got a very strong emotion in it. He wanted to go back to basics, to go to places where none has ever been before. He did a good job looking for the right elements in the picture, the good light and using the colors in a good way.

Enough inspiration for a while. Really had to put this blog online. Hope you'll find the same inspiration I did, looking at those pictures. I hope you'll have the possibility to see the pieces of art for real. For more information you can check the following sites: http://www.mauritshuis.nl/ and http://www.photoacademyaward.com/