Two men walking

The past few weeks I noticed how I try to include people in my photographs. I find it indeed very difficult to point a camera at someone. It feels like I am intruding in that person’s personal space.  And when I come to think of it, I don’t really need them in my photographs. Well, maybe to show how huge something is when a human being is in a frame.

Yet I wish I could overcome this reluctance, this distance with other human beings.
In a few weeks I’ll be attending a workshop on street photography.  One evening is about theory and the second half day is getting some practice.

Visiting the Boris Mikhailov exposition in Antwerp moved me very much and afterwards Sweetheart and I talked about documentary photography.

I took following a Syrian refugee arriving an trying to settle in my home town as an example. Maybe the project becomes an exposition, a book, whatever… I then would feel like I having exploited someone on my road to success.

Sweetheart thought people crave to tell their stories, and they could be examples for other new arrivals or open people’s eyes who tend to resent the whole refugee thing. It could be an interesting interplay and a potential win/win for both.

All this made me think and Sweetheart is well placed to help me in this matter. She asked me why I did not consider taking sponsorship of a newcomer so I could help a family with learning our language, helping them with their administration, helping them getting acquainted with the help agencies. I would be able to be a part of their life, make photographs, talk, interview, write.
Become involved.

Life has been rather friendly with me compared to what other experienced.
Today I can say I have a great job, my two daughters are doing okay and I have found the Love of my life. I’ve a roof, a bed and hot water. Food and beverages in abundance. I’m healthy.
I am happy.

Guess it is time to give something back. More on this later.

Two men walking (2016) Nikon F5 with Nikon 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X
Two men walking (2016)
Nikon F5 with Nikon 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X
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A day in Antwerp

March 29, 2016

Sweetheart and I enjoyed our day off from work and I took her to Antwerp for some cultural fun.

It was Sweetheart’s first time at the Antwerp Photo museum. We visited the Boris Mikhailov exposition. He is a socially and politically engaged photographer from Ukraine. Is is mostly documentary photography. Some of his photographs are extremely poignant, showing poverty and despair in its harshest forms.
Most of it was shot in film.

Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp
Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp
Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp
Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp
Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp
Boris Mikhailov exposition at Fomu, Antwerp

After that we enjoyed lunch in an authentic Falafel restaurant before heading to Gallery Fifty One where we visited an exposition by Bruno V. Roels. Not really our cup of tea but fascinating nevertheless.

Unfortunately the Ingrid Deus gallery where my sister Veronika has her new exposition was closed.

After that I took Sweetheart to an old cafe in the shadow of the Antwerp Cathedral. It is called “Elfde Gebod”, literally the Eleventh Commandment and is filled with a zillion statues of religious figures all originating from antique shops and old churches.

Elfde Gebod, Antwerp
Elfde Gebod, Antwerp

We ended our day at our local Sushi Restaurant and then we headed home and enjoyed our evening together but even more each other.

We really had a great and wonderful day.

Frogs and frogspawn

Saturday, March 26.
It is not even 8 in the morning on a weekend and I am awake. Even after a short night. Had to get up at 03:00, dropped Little A., my youngest daughter, at her school. Waved at her when the bus left the parking lot. She was to busy with her friends to notice me. Parents are quickly forgotten.  Malines, Brussels, Calais,the train, Dover, Brighton, Stonehenge, Oxford, Canterbury, London and back by boat.

I am happy for her, it will be a great experience. Yet I’ll be happy to hold her close to me next week.
After all these are dangerous times.

She has my old Olympus E-PM1 and the kit lens to help her collect memories. I am pretty sure she won’t use the camera though. Her generation shoots with a cellular phone.

Back in bed at 05:05 but it was hard to fall asleep again. Would have love the company of Sweetheart. I am not saying we would have slept though.

This morning I went for a walk in the nearby woods.

It is cold, windy and overcast. Found this pool filled with frogspawn. A zillion eggs, predators, chance and luck. Only a few frogs will make it.

Frogspawn (2016) Nikon F5 with 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X
Frogspawn (2016)
Nikon F5 with 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X

The promise of new life is now everywhere. In the water, in the trees and little buds breaking open the soil to expand, soon, colorful petals.

Frog (2016) Nikon F5 with 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X
Frog (2016)
Nikon F5 with 70-300 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X

I like the Kodak Tri-X, its grain and look ‘n feel. Not enough though to switch. I’m sticking with Ilford HP5+ It is film that I know and feel.

 

Grave House

I haven’t been taking images much these past few days. Lack of time or inspiration or not feeling like it.
Hope to get out of the door soon and shoot some new stuff.

This is one I made about two weeks ago at Schoonselhof Cemetery with my Nikon F5. I like the composition but in fact I was more curious about how the camera would meter in this light situation. It did fabulous.

Grave house at Schoonselhof (2016) Nikon  F5 with Nikon 24-120 VR and Ilford FP4+
Grave house at Schoonselhof (2016)
Nikon F5 with Nikon 24-120 VR and Ilford FP4+