What is photography

Centre Pompidou, Paris. The photo above is the only lasting memory I have of the exhibition that bore the name “What is photography”.

What is photography to me?

  • A way of seeing
  • Getting up early
  • Hunting for light
  • Waiting for the moment
  • Bending the truth
  • Passing the time.
  • And more…

National Treasure: Anton Corbijn at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Two times in the last month I’ve gone to see Anton Corbijn’s double exhibition at the Photo museum and the Municipal Museum in The Hague. The first time we were late and in a rush, but I did manage to shoot a few pictures of the man himself as he faced a two hour long queue lining up to get his catalogue signed. We didn’t queue.

Three weeks later, I took my time to see both exhibitions again and marvel at Corbijn’s vision. These retrospective, wonderfully presented, shows made me more appreciative of his talent than I’ve been in the last few years. You could say I’d been taking it for granted.

I hadn’t seen his latest work, which I think is phenomenal. He’s dropped the laboured post processing (a big part of his look was created through the printing proces) and now creates what he wants more in-camera. The prints are a different kind of black. They often had a brownish, reddish hue before, due to the lith proces, but the newer now prints have a cleaner look, a fresher kind of matte black. He’s shooting artists (painters, sculptors, writers, painters: Koon, Lucien Freud, Hirst, Marlene Dumas) rather than musicians – which made me see the work differently, not informed by my opinion of the music.

I may sneak in a third look.

Crush the Composition

I use a lot of Kelby’s tips and tricks from his ‘Photoshop for Photographers’ books. He is a reliably inspiring and funny voice in the very crowded world of photography bloggers, vloggers and blowhards.

I’d seen this before, but watched it again today. I particularly like how he works a scene to come to his shot. (the bit about the Taj Mahal) I can be lazy, too easily pleased. Photography takes time.

Because Japan

A morning at Zaanse Schans

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment

Delightful interview with Henri Cartier-Bresson from 1973.

Over the moon with my Fujifilm X-E2

I’d fallen for the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 through reviews and pictures of it, but when I saw the real thing in BIC Camera in Shinjuku when I was in Japan earlier this month, I realised it’s just too big (wide) for me. But I spotted the X-E2 in the same shop, read up on that one and by the time I returned to Amsterdam, I knew I had to have one sooner or later.

I’d barely hit the tarmac and was already searching for a second hand body, preferably with a lens that suits my style. I got lucky, found what I wanted (a black body with the Fujinon 18mm/2.0 wide angle), made an offer which got accepted and I picked it up last week.

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It’s hard to explain what exactly makes the X-E2 such a joy to shoot with. It’s the right size. The retro look is sexy. I love the odd shape of the 18mm/2.0’s lens hood. I love looking through the EVF and the way it freeze frames the shot you take. I love the so very Fuji colours this camera spits out and the incredible sharpness of the lens in combination with the camera’s sensor.

The Fuji X-E2 has returned the joy of shooting to me. I’m excited in a way my SLR (which I haven’t touched in a year or more) hasn’t made me feel in a long time. I’m reading up on photography again, I’m listening to the “On Take Pictures” podcast and I am making plans during the week to shoot on the weekend.

Mirrorless, baby!