zondag 1 september 2013

Paul Van Hoeydonck

About four or five years ago, I was told about a Belgian artist who was the only artist in the world who had his art displayed on the moon?!
Needles to say I was impressed and more so intrigued by who this amazing person could be!
Over the years I began to read about him and discovered that he was mostly a self made man, this might not be very impressive to you all, but for me it gave the whole concept much more meaning.
He studied History of the art and majored in it, but never finished art school, he actually started art school but wasn't satisfied with the teacher telling him what to do.
He believes that as a teacher you need to be able to sparkle the students interest so they can develop there own personal sense of direction, not trying to push a student in a direction you as a teacher think is the right direction, or as Picasso once said,  "Everything You can imagine is real"
Clearly a big mistake on the teachers behalf because Paul left and started to do what he liked doing, creating art without any pushing in any direction from anyone!
A very important development in the life of an artist, find your own way looking at things.
In a way I could feel his pain as I have met my very own mind numbing people who always seem to know better what is good for you.
In the 60s, 70s and 80s Paul was one of the most famous artist in Belgium with some really nice exhibits across the land.

The last 20 years for various reasons it became silent around him, when spoken about the subject Paul Van Hoeydonck http://paulvanhoeydonck.com/ as such, he became not more than a small footnote that after a while was forgotten all together, and if possible not even mentioned at all.

Paul on the other hand kept on working, and showed it to people who were interested to see it, all over the world.

In Belgium however people forgot to mention him not realising that he became bigger and bigger in almost every country but Belgium!
I tried to locate him and thought for a few years that he lived in Deurne a suburb of Antwerp, but never found the courage to contact him!
Once I did call him up and heard a young mans voice saying his name and I soon realised this couldn't have been the same person, as Paul Van Hoeydonck had to be in he's 80s by now!
So I started to look him up again on the internet and found he lived in Wijnegem, actually right around my corner.

Because the respectable age of the artist these days he had a secretary doing most of his "other stuff" so Paul could concentrate on his work, what he is still doing today by the way, as you can see.

I contacted Dirk Fret who arranges his agenda and I told him I really wanted to take pictures of Paul if this was even remotely possible?
I send him my website so he could see if it was a style he liked or not, and that I had been taking pictures before.
A few weeks turned into months and two weeks ago he contacted me asking me if we could arrange something this last week.
I went to Paul Van Hoeydonck's house and found a somewhat older house that from the outside could never reveal the Artist inside.
So I met him after all these years, and the man is still my hero today even more so because I had no idea that he created so many things over the years, his house is a small factory filled with treasures behind every corner.
On one of his walls a plastic case with picture inside and an actual little aluminium man or "fallen astronaut" as the world knows it.

Needles to say I was very impressed, so many things I saw that carry so much history and beautiful peaces of art and some I didn't understand but probably made very much sense to the artist for sure.
This is my humble homage to the artist as I think we are all to blame if he is not known in Belgium for the art he creates still today.
I am contemplating to buy a peace of his art, mind you not because of the investment value.
But a memory to a Nice man who made me realise that working hard for what you believe in, makes you believe it yourself most of all, and this is the most important input you can generate, because you become your own generator for your own creations, and if you,  by all people don't believe in what you are doing than how can you expect others to understand or even like whatever it is that you do.
He had to fight so may years to get recognition in Belgium, since 40 years ago his little friend arrived on the moon with can only be described as the most expensive art transport ever accomplished in the world today, or as I would like to say a very small statue but a giant leap for mankind ;-)

Ohhh let people laugh…I’m on the moon!
Paul Van Hoeydonck

zaterdag 6 juli 2013

Faro, a place to go!

Back from Faro...
What a wonderful experience (and place) surrounded with very nice people, doing remarkable things, 
Met up with Joao from Boom and Paulo from The photographers lounge at the restaurant to have a look at the location to get a feel of the place where what photo etc...

Than we went off to Paulo's to see the prints always a very intense moment when you see your photos printed on cotton paper!

After the paper choice and size, the passepartout and frames...

 Back to the restaurant to have them measured and fitted onto the walls to be able to shuffle them around to make sure they look good as a whole!

And the two months expo is off!

vrijdag 31 mei 2013

Up close and personal

It is Monday morning and my girlfriend tels me she took a day off to spend with her kids, and if I would be interested to come and spend some time with them...

I bought my new Nikon D4 Saturday so I have been testing for two day's now just a little playing with the new buttons and positions of those buttons that makes the camera worth a lot more so I was told.
The video possabillity is an overwhelming featcher that makes me want to try this new world of capturing, not just frames but intire movements, like little story's waiting to be told.
A very fast capture and freezing a single moment or what we call a photo is something else than capturing everything that went on before or after the photo without recognising where within all those frames the actual picture you wanted to make went!
Not mentioning yet everything that is captured without wanting it to be displayed or heard in the backgound... like trembeling or unexpected sounds that enter your video extavaganza?!

When I was in LA I had the groovy opportunity to have an interesting conversation with Charles Lucima about the quality of video and how it could very well be the future of photography.
We contemplated that when taking that perfect shot right before or right after the shot made there might have been an even better shot, but in all fairness we would never know this unles we shoot in bursts of 3 shots for instance, but then who is to say that right after these bursts or before there might have been another perfect shot or the best shot of them all…
There is just no way of knowing this unless video becomes such a good quality that a single shot you take out of a video you created is a large enough format usable in your photographic work, so that you can slowly work your way through the length of the video until you bump into that moment of delight.
Needless to say the quality is not yet what it would have to be at this moment but the future might be closer than we think, and handling the D4 gives me a very exiting sensation when I see the quality of the film produced, and wonder about the talk we had in LA.

Anyway since I love portrait photography, my girlfriend’s kids would be the next specimen to place in front of my lens.
I decided to use a tele/macro Sigma lens 70/300, just a very old lens I bought a long time ago when the price of the lens was still very much an issue, and even though the lens is a reasonable 5.6 it is great for outdoors working with a lot of sun and fast photography. 
Her kids are 5 and 8 and the smallest is always everywhere and at the same time, very explosive, I needed to be ready for that one moment she would be or, one moment focused on something else or far enough to be able to focus on her face and close enough to be able to let the macro do its thing…

And then it happened, she let her guard down when mom asked to do her finger nails (red) and I moved backward to try and focus on her face, being less than 2feet away from her it was not an easy task and I practically fell over the railing leaning back but I could see the moment happening as I moved slowly away from her and…there she was!

vrijdag 10 mei 2013

Vrouwenpolder take two

Blogging... not easy when doing 4 jobs...but here go's
When looking at the photos from Vrouwenpolder I can’t help wondering how that light comes about, it is late in the afternoon and gives, what I can only describe as a misty glow even though the sun is out and there is no mist to see anywhere at all!
However the way the lens catches this soft light makes me ecstatic when composing the next shot.
I can’t seem to stop shooting as every shot from here might be the perfect one...it feels as if you are running and catch your second breath, you just have to go on now there is no way you can stop.
This warm feeling of creativity overwhelms me and I know the result will be everything I expect it to be.
And even though I'm never completely satisfied, I'm happy with the result of the light.
I read in a blog I believe from Jan Scholz, who is a master in using soft light in he's work, where he said that the way soft light is captured on film it can never be done digitally.
Naturally I am such a stubborn person I don't take anyone's word for it unless I get to figure this out for myself...
And so I have been testing with the craziest things to try and get this effect, I red in a magazine that in the old day's photographers used Vaseline on the lens to get a blurry or soft light effect.
I don't have to tell you this is by all means not an easy task to preform nor is it very professional when you get out the Vaseline during a shoot, and start smearing Vaseline over your very expensive lens!
A lens that becomes all of a sudden very adhesive towards sand, dust and even plumage from a wondering pidgin that was interested in the shoot as well :-/
Covering your lens with Vaseline will not leave out your also very expensive camera with greasy finger spots all over its body.
To make a long story short, it is not a good idea, so I started looking at products that could be used in the same way, and as an orthopedic we use a lot of plastics and adhesive see through latex that don't harm your lens, nor camera in any way.
And so this digital soft light was born...
I'll keep on testing untill I'm happy with the result.

vrijdag 26 april 2013

Vrouwenpolder, My very first blog...

Raphaella send me a text asking if I had any time on my hands to do a shoot, as she was going to be in the area.
The idea jumped in my head to shoot at an underground garage, brand new and never used somewhere in Antwerp, the place looks absolutely fantastic to say the least it is really great and is perfect for some creative photography, even though we never got there :-/
I had to teach (shoe design) this Saturday and finished at 5pm so went to pick her up at the grand central at 5:30 and we decided to go to the ocean in Holland it seemed an excellent idea at the time the sun was out and in the car it was nice and warm, by the time we would end up in Holland the light would be perfect...
I have no feeling for direction and even with a gps in the car it is possible for me to not find where we have to be and get totally lost...
After 7pm we got there we had to walk through the dunes in beach sand, with heavy backpack and 4 herniated discs complaining when we would end up at the location.
The location was well worth the walk, even though the cold wind made posing almost impossible, the things models have to go through to give us the images we want to create!
Trying my new lens baby and a few other test lenses I prepped...to catch the soft light just as an analog camera would, at least that was the idea, I really love this effect!