It is all about the message


Christmas Eve, a great time for self-reflection. Have some thoughts about why I shoot images and why I shoot them the way I do. I have thought for a long time about what moves me to photograph and also why it is that particular subject I choose. My love for nature explains a lot. I like to spend time outdoors and I have loved looking at flowers, birds, landscapes from an early age. It was always easy for me to lose myself in a field full of flowers or at the edge of a frogpool. Nature moves me. As a child I liked to draw flowers and landscapes. Capturing something also allows you to get to know it better. Ever since I discovered the camera, I feel some kind of urge tot capture the natural world, an urge to draw it with light. I have this ever-present drive to give in to the inner urge.

But it still doesn't explain why I photograph that particular flower or butterfly and why in this way. And that, I thought tonight, has everything to do with the message. It is because a scene literally appeals to me that I want to capture it. It's not that I choose the subject, the subject chooses me. It evokes a feeling in me and challenges me to translate what I feel into an image. I try to capture what touches my soul, as you wish: to pass on the message a scene gives in a soul-to-soul conversation. This may sound a bit vague, but it's exactly how it works with me. It is also the reason that I like to be in motion when I shoot. That I prefer to photograph while walking to shooting seated from a shelter. I like to be surprised and guided by what comes my way.

Photography is a beautiful means of expression. The technique of photographing is a fantastic tool to really put a subject in the spotlight, to emphasize it, to set accents. The better you master the camera, the better and more credible you can make a subject speak. It's hard to put into words, yet it's the best advice I can give my students. Before you shoot: stand still and listen to your feelings. Let the landscape choose the composition for you. Let that tiny flower draw your attention towards it. This may take some time, but after a while you know immediately what it is you like to capture.

Wollegras in het gouden morgenlicht
Schotland: the River Pattack

Enough philosophy for today. Have a nice Christmas Eve everyone!