Practicing

Yesterday I decided to practice, getting up close to people. I put a 35mm on my camera to force me to get up closer. And with the adrenaline racing through my veins I kept shooting, again being constantly surprised that so few people seemed to bother. Well, one lady in a group of 4 muttered: “But sir, you can’t really do that, just take a picture like that”. But then it was in Dutch of course, very difficult to transfer the real message. She was mildly shocked, not angry, like a mother who admonishes her child without really expecting it to listen.

Anyway, nothing presentable came out of that shoot, so here’s a picture from 1997 at the Scheveningen Boulevard. I remember exactly how I felt when I took it, the excitement of seeing the line of people, dressed for business and probably on a lunch break. Looking back I realize I always wanted to do this kind of stuff. The background of this one is one big, unattractive clutter and that disturbs me; today, when watching work of great photographers, the importance of background and composition makes itself abundantly clear. Having to shoot quickly is no excuse for being sloppy.

Another shot that was on my mind for many years, until I finally got around to scanning this slide. Again I remember the excitement when I took it, with my Nikon F3 and 2/35mm. Disappointment came over me when I saw it on the screen for the first time, it wasn’t half as good as I liked to remember.


I’m almost ashamed to admit it took me thirty-odd years to realize what photography I really want to do.

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