2019 marked the beginning of my photography journey.
In June I bought a (not so dirt cheap) Canon AE-1 wishing to shoot 35mm film. It hadn’t been shot with in a decade and it needed a right cleaning and revision of the light seals.
Anyone familiar with the AE-1 knows it has no automation, let alone any other bells or whistles. For starting photographers, like myself, it was the perfect tool to learn about the basics of photography. Over the year I shot about 12 rolls of film. Mostly my personal holiday snapshots and my first sortie into street and landscape.
In September I made the plunge into digital. By this time I knew better what I wanted out of a camera and I definitely needed a sturdier/more reliable platform than the AE-1. Just a side note, I beat up my gear, they’re tools and tools are meant to be used. There weren’t any issues with the AE-1, I just needed a brick, that’s all.
Enter the Canon 5d Mkii. Weather sealed, check. Built like a brick, check. Heavy as f#&, check. First thing I did was order the EF 40mm f2.8 and quickly expended on that. In the future I might do a separate blog entry on my gear. For now let’s check out my best images of 2019.
On a grey Sunday afternoon my buddy Thomas invited me along to come wakeboarding. Since I had been snowboarding for over a decade every winter I thought; ‘’Sure, why not.’’ Well I was glad to have brought along my camera. Turned out that wakeboarding is nothing like snowboarding and after having my lunges full of water, I literally had my fill. Thomas turned out to be a pretty avid wakeboarder and keen on getting some air. Still having my wetsuit on I jumped back into the water with my camera (fitted with a polarizer) and got shooting. This picture made me think of a two page spread like in my old skateboarding magazines. Not tack sharp on the subject, but what the heck.
This is probably the shot I put most work into before actually pressing the shutter. I knew what subject, the location and under what circumstances I wanted to shoot. All added up and then an hour or two before sunset, thick clouds started to roll in. So I took a breather, re-adjusted, and shot the same composition throughout blue hour.
During 2019 I visited Amsterdam on two or three occasions, each time to go to a concert. Generally I don’t care to much for the capitol. To put it blunt; it’s a tourist infested commie free lovin’ death trap with some lovely canals and tons of people on bicycles, and drugs. Fine if you visit once a year, but it gets old pretty fast. Alas I digress, in November I visited with the plans to shoot some street photography before heading to the venue. Walking late afternoon from the main train station to West I came past this cinema. It had started to rain. People were hustling in. I waited maybe a minute or four and when the right scene appeared; I took the shot.
On new year’s eve, late afternoon, I went for a stroll through the pastures and fields near the village I grew up. Deciding to take a route next to the river “Gender,’’ I came across this scene right around the tail end of golden hour. Tumult in the higher atmosphere. A golden rim on the horizon. A small dam for foreground interest. The river bending towards the middle of the frame. In the background a pigsty like you find many in and around this area. I put my DSLR on my tripod, fitted the 40mm with a polarizer and found the right composition. All in all a difficult palette with browns and oranges, greens and greys. But I’m surely satisfied with the results.
Simply put, I quite pleased with the result from the past year. Looking ahead, 2020 is bound to be an exciting year for me personally as professionally. Taking conscious time out of my schedule to develop myself as a photographer and moreover a storyteller will be a challenge most worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.