August 26, 2008

Last winter we spent in Bavaria/Germany. I had changed job in autumn 2007 and needed to go to my new employer’s HQ for a five months training. A great opportunity to get away from the Asian metropolitan crowdedness and enjoy the alpine beauty of southern Germany.

The kids loved the snow!


food culture

August 22, 2008

Singapore is a wonderful place when it comes to food and food culture. The invention of styrofoam take away boxes, however, did not really contribute to that…

In 2005 and 2006 I started a project in Shanghai about the common people in this fast changing city. Some months before, we had moved to a 1940s apartment complex in the former French Concession in central Shanghai. Almost all our neighbors were ordinary Chinese and we were well known in the neighborhood.
I prefer to take portraits of people I know (and who know me) because then I am clear about what I want to show and the subject is more relaxed, more willing to open up. I always find it a little awkward to approach strangers on the street. Very often there will be an air of uneasiness remaining which can spoil the image.

I started the project with placing a small stool in from of the wall of our building, right along the back-alley that leads to the main door (which is the back entrance). I then asked passing by people to sit down and get their portraits taken. I used a 6×6 Mamiya twin reflex camera for that, trying to be as little intrusive as possible.
The result is a series of portraits in black & white and color, showing ordinary people of Shanghai from all social backgrounds. The pictures show flaws due to the improvisation of the setting. This was not always intended but kind of contributes to the natural character of the project.

After leaving Shanghai for good in 2007, this is the project that mostly reflects my personal view and feelings about China, Shanghai in particular.

high key

August 5, 2008

Last weekend we went to the beach. For children outdoor pics I often take my digital camera (cheap DSLR) because it’s more convenient and rather for the family album anyways.
The light was very bright on the tropical beach and I had to do a lot of corrections getting the exposure right. Eventually I discovered that this lead to a very interesting hight key effect. Pushing exposure and contrasts even further the whole thing turned into a digital high key project.

Even though this is completely off from everything that I usually do, I kind of like it for its artistic twist. The elimination of the background lets the people almost float in the light. The interactions between the people in the water contributed even more. The three teenage girls approaching the boy, indecisive whether to join him in the water, obviously attracted by him. Great story to watch!


August 4, 2008

This is our son Luka, two years old. A rock of determination…

Sally Mann

August 1, 2008

One of my favorite photographers is Sally Mann. A lot of what she shows in her images really represents my own feelings about photography. She has been highly controversial showing fine art photographs of her family and especially children, being accused of feeding pedophile phantasies etc.

I don’t agree. As Sally Mann states in this video, you can only truly portrait what you love and what you really know. Showing your children the way they are, naked and beautiful, doesn’t make the pictures pornographic or pedophile. The same applies to the wonderful photographs of Jock Sturges.

Abuse of these images is another question and may be a problem. But art should never give in too much to zeitgeist.