years I took the above photograph. A man trying to reach the dry part of the
beach by making a huge jump. He’s now forever floating above the edge of the
sea. Sorting out my archive of negatives I found this flying man. I digitalize a
selection from my archives. It is quite a job. One starts to realize that one made a lot of
rubbish. But sometimes a hidden treasure is to be found. Often it is a feast of
of a advertisement lightning sometimes turns out to be an icon for my
photography. As a young boy of 5-6 years old I was always gazing at boxes with “Trix-Express”
trains in the shopping windows of “Galeries Modernes” at the Vismarkt (Fish
Market) in Groningen (NL). Turning around at the hand of my father I saw that
huge sign at the opposite of the square. It was for the assurance company RVS.
It consisted of a man with a walking pointing at the letters RVS, a small dog
and a woman with a black umbrella. That umbrella impressed me very much. Some
30 years later I shoot a series “Umbrellas in the streets of Amsterdam”. Until
today I often find umbrellas at my photographic path. Up: This was the advertisement
sign, at the top of the walking stick one could see the letters RVS. Middle:
Amsterdam, April 1984. Under Amsterdam: 2017/12/10, 5.06 pm.
Some time ago
I was at the opening of the exhibition of André Kertesz in the Foam museum in
Amsterdam. To me Kertesz is the master of very functional form and very functional
compositions. Often, he is also a very gifted player with surreal and
surrealistic elements in his images. I could not resist to take a photo in his
style. I used some elements from a big print of his photograph. His photographs
have a bigger impact if they are printed rather small. The small prints were
beautifully printed. If you are in Amsterdam, go and see this exhibition.
Photo: Amsterdam, 2017/09/14, 5.19 pm.
around I often cannot resist the temptation of shooting a self-portrait/selfie.
Sometimes a strange mirror in the bathroom is the reason, sometimes a weird lamp
in the hotel lobby, sometimes a tree seems to grow out of my head. Up: Derry,
17/8/29, 8.13 am. Middle: Ballina 17/9/4 5.40 pm. Under: Westport, 17/9/7, 1.00
I was invited for the following by Harrie. Of course I accepted
"Paul challenged me to
take and post ONE B&W photo per day of my life for 7 days with NO people
and NO theme and to challenge a different person to do the same. Jaap
Bijsterbosch, how about you? Do you accept the challenge?"
On the 3rd day I wrote this: “This photo was made today,
yesterday’s photo in this challenge yesterday, and the 1st photo the
day before yesterday. No archive images!”
After the 7th day I wrote this: “For me this is the end of
this challenge. It taught me again that I’m basically a color photographer.
Although I am sometimes finishing off portraits and self-portraits in b and w.
So, a portrait as my last one. Not a picture of a human being, but of a doll in
a friend’s garden”.
on being a Winner at the 12th Annual Black & White Spider Awards. 8,121
entries were received from 74 countries and your work received a high
percentage of votes overall. Certainly, an achievement, well done! The Jury
represented the industry's biggest names and tastemakers including The Armory
Show, New York; Christie's, London; McCann, Singapore; GQ, New York; Hot Docs
Film Festival, Toronto; Y&R, Malaysia; Sharon Calahan, Pixar Animation
Studios, Emeryville; Bloomsbury Auctions, London; and Donald Schneider Studios,
Berlin who reviewed the entries online before making their nominations and
honoring 672 title awards and 1034 nominees in 31 categories. The Awards could
not have wished for a better group of professionals to work with.
Congratulations once again, we wish you a most successful photography year.
it was raining cats and dogs. Sometimes I walked long enough and my feet were tired (good
shoes are essential for a photographer!). On top of a bus is a wonderful spot
to get another perspective of street life. Up: Dublin 15/9/13 1.47 pm. Middle:
Dublin 13/7/19 4.20 pm. Under: Dublin 17/8/27 5.19 pm.
rambling photographer is confronted by situations where huge colorful areas
form a big chance to capture an image with a lightly alienating meaning. In
Ireland people often use strong colors in painting houses and walls. Maybe as a
therapy against the often-grey light.
But if there is sunlight, the light has often a very intense
quality. Up: Derry, 17/8/28 4.58 pm,
Middle: Monkstown 17/8/26 11.26 am, Under: Cork, 12/9/15, 10.30 am.
impressions from the Botanic Gardens in Belfast. (http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/leisure/parks-openspaces/Park-6614.aspx). As a photographer I am always
trying to make an own reality from the reality of these premises, by carefully
selecting the elements I capture. I do not show you everything that was there.
Up: Belfast 17/9/2 11.28 am. Middle: Belfast 17/9/2 11.36 am. Under: Belfast
17/9/2 11.26 am.
to see how letters and text can play a role within a photographic image.
Sometimes as the main subject matter, sometimes as text in a kind of image from
a comic strip, sometimes the capture of what is happening in the photograph is a
kind of illustration of the text in the
same photograph. To make it perfectly clear, these texts were not added by
means of photoshop. (Upper picture: Dublin 2017/08/25 4.15 pm, middle: Belfast 2016/09/08
2.56 pm, underneath: Sligo 2015/o9/06 4.53 pm).
may know I recently made a trip through Ireland. No need to say I had my camera on
me. I used the device as a kind of sketch book. Sometimes I used just one take
for a situation, sometimes I shot quite a lot. And of course, many sketches
didn’t work out at all. But some did I think. My main subject matters were:
people in the streets, pieces of landscape, and shopping windows. Some self-portraits
were also made.
After almost 30 years it is a strange experience putting
these photographs into a book. Frankly, when I went to Ireland in 1988 I had
not a clear idea what to expect. Ireland was a faraway country to me. Don’t
forget there was no internet in 1988 to get information. Of course, I went into
some brochures to get an idea of the landscape and the way the towns looked,
and I read some books about the history of the country, but still it was a step
into the unknown.
I never forget the day I arrived in Dublin. I was
standing at the bridge over the Liffey and I felt immediately at home. The city
felt very familiar to me. This feeling
of familiarity never left me during the trips through the country. Whether I
was in Galway, or Cork, or at the West Coast, I always felt a kind at home: I
had fallen in love with Ireland.
I wandered with my camera through the country as a
curious lover. Going to festivals, cycling around, sitting in trains and buses,
sometimes accompanied by wife Petra and my mother-in-law, the love for the
country never disappeared. Ireland was always on my mind.
After some 25 years I came back in Ireland. The
country had changed, I had changed. But my love for the country was still
there. But that’s going to be another project. Ireland was still on my mind. It
will always be.