Hi! My name is Mike and I live and work in the Netherlands. Photography is nowadays just a hobby for me, but on occasion I do take on a little project or photo shoot. This is a simple and personal photography blog, mostly about analog photography, with some news, articles and snapshots from all over the place. On this blog I also collect photographs I post on different websites and fora, old and new.
In the past I’ve done some studio work as well as weddings and photo shoots on location. These days I’ve moved away from controlled situations and let a lot of the intended results depend on a bit of luck and available light, I think it suits me better. I have been very fortunate to have been able to work with some very professional and enjoyable models, and do hope to work with more in the near future, if possible.
As of late I’m aiming to be a bit more productive and started collaborations with fellow photographers and artist’s (websites) to contribute articles and photographs to some really cool initiatives. I hope to be able to continue doing this on a regular basis, but only time will tell.
A few quotes by photographers I admire hugely that keep me inspired, thinking and learning about this marvelous medium:
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange.
“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” – Ansel Adams.
“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” – Richard Avedon.
“Women that can work a camera with ease often work men just as effortlessly for both require the same commitment to vanity and manipulation.” – Tiffany Madison.
“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham.
“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.” – Arnold Newman.
“Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.” – Lord Patrick Lichfield.
Gear and gas
I consider myself lucky to own a small bunch of cameras, and I try not to let this become an obsession to buy more (GAS, anyone?). So in order to keep things simple for myself I’ve made two groups of camera kits/bags: ‘Jip’ (serious) and ‘Janneke’ (fun). More on Jip & Janneke here. In Jip I keep:
- Nikon FE with a 50mm lens (a.k.a. César).
- Nikon F100 with a 28mm lens (a.k.a. Olivier).
- Yashica Mat 124G with a 80mm lens (a.k.a. Wolfie).
- Backup: Olympus XA with a 35mm lens (a.k.a. Thom).
These cameras are used for street photography as well as model shoots and I usually load them with my favorites: Kodak Tri-X, Portra or Ektar/CineStill (Vision 3) film. I develop the black and white negatives sometimes myself and send the color negatives to a pro-lab. Also, most negatives are photographed or scanned digitally at home for online publishing. Janneke contains:
- Lomography Diana Baby 110 camera with 12 & 24mm plastic lenses (a.k.a. Gary).
- Canon Ixus L-1 APS camera (a.k.a. Jack).
- Miranda Auto Sensorex EE with a 28mm lens (a.k.a. John) or a Zenit 12XP with a Helios 58mm or a Mir 37mm lens (a.k.a. Agent Smith), depending on which one actually works on the day.
- Backup: Yashica Electro 35GX with a 40mm lens (a.k.a. Clint).
This bunch (or one of them) comes along when I visit friends or family, or do groceries. The films in the fun bag vary from time to time, I do enjoy trying out films unknown to me. Mostly though there’s a ready stack of Lomography Orca B&W 110 film, Adox Color Implosion 100, Rollei Retro 400S, Kodak Advantix or Fuji Nexia APS and any other (very expired) film I can get my hands on packed in the bag. All these films are developed and scanned at any lab or store most convenient to me.
I do currently own a digital Olympus Pen (and used to own DLSR’s like a Canon EOS 5D), as well as a Polaroid, but I don’t use them much. The digital camera(s)..well..there’s plenty digital photos on this blog but most are from archives. I just don’t like digital much. And the Polaroid..I’d love to work more with it but the film is just a little bit expensive for my taste.
Lists, lists and more lists
A bit more about myself then..what do I like?
- Coffee. Lots of it.
- The magic of film photography.
- Weird foreign movies.
- To travel. As much as I possibly can.
- Eggs for breakfast.
- Good, dark Belgian or Dutch beer.
- Better, New Zealand, Australian or French wines.
- Vodka! But only proper Polish ones.
- Chocolate. Which I shouldn’t. It gives me pimples, like I’m 16.
- Cranberries. Meh.
- Flying. The smaller the plane, the better.
- Meeting interesting people.
- Alternative music. And Radiohead. And Muse.
- A good book, on occasion. I don’t read enough. There’s just not enough time.
- Local cuisine, anywhere I go. Especially home-made. Trinidadian cuisine. Doubles!
- Cats. And Dogs. Though I never had a dog.
- A lazy Sunday afternoon.
- Classical music.
- Cheese, blue cheese and paté. Well basically I eat everything.
- The S-word. Syrup waffles.
- A good documentary. Like Mr. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi.
- Growing old(er). Everything just gets better.
What don’t I like?
- Digital photography. I just can’t get my head around it. I know, it’s silly.
- Beans and squid. I’ll eat it, but that’s it.
- Snow. Unless the sun shines.
- Missed flights.
- Traffic. Traffic in rain. Especially in rain.
- Chewing gum.
- Uncomfortable chairs.
- Talent shows. Especially for kids.
- Hangovers. Therefore I never have any. It’s all about practice.
- Milk in coffee or tea. Except for a Caramel Macchiato.
- A small coffee cup.
- Breaking corks in wine bottles.
- Cloud computing.
- Pointless 3D movies.
What do I still want to do?
- Not kick the bucket, or any bucket, just yet.
- Move to a warm country and open a B&B there.
- Travel. A lot. To places like Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, Scandinavia, Cuba, Eastern Europe, Asia.
- Try everything at least twice.
- Have a pool. Just for the heck of it.
- Make a parachute jump. There’s something completely wrong about that. Which is the point.
- Have an exhibition. Like that’s ever going to happen. But I still want it.
- Race an Aprilia like a maniac over a circuit. I’m practicing. It’s the noise, baby.
- Wake up and smell the music.
Hope you’ll enjoy browsing around as much as I do posting photographs here. Thank you for visiting!