First impressions and initial response

Since I am not from the UK and missing some of the local cultural knowledge, I did some additional reading on the concept Y Filltir Sgwar. I tried to relate that concept to some other photographers and their work and life. I knew from that moment I would use my present life, people and the environment as base for this concept. It directly relates to who I am now and forms my Filltir Sgwar. It is of more significant influence to me as an individual then the happy, but somewhat average first 20 years of my life.

Inspiration

Looking at and reading about the suggested photographers (see online log), I found myself a bit lost in for me not-related Anglo-Saxon artists and style even. I needed additional inspiration and reference, perhaps. I started reading on “physically” Square Mile specific photographers. My research went from Ed van der Elsken, back to Ad Windig and Philip Mechanica. All Amsterdam based photographers, all artistically related and all influenced by the city Amsterdam and its particular and unique atmosphere. You could see and feel the influence it had on their work and life. It gave me sufficient direction for this assignment. I wanted to register the city and its people. Not posed, not a portrait, not staged, but just as is. I know it would be out of my comfort zone for sure. I do urban photography more often, but it always makes me uncomfortable, always ending up with massive amounts of “failures” outside the few successes.

Execution

I used multiple cameras over a more extended period and numerous shoots around the city. I know it would be in monochrome as soon as I developed this idea. Unlike other cities, Amsterdam is overcrowded with cars and bicycles. They will always pollute any frame and distract from the subject if done in colour. I did not want to make a default city-scape; the series needs to reflect how I sense the city, up close but with sufficient context.

I shot all images in RAW with 28mm  Leica Q2 or Ricoh GRIII (also 28mm equivalent) and some with my Mobile: Samsung Galaxy Note 9+ (Lightroom Camera PRO/RAW setting).

Postprocessing exclusively Adobe Lightroom CC (Mobile) to import and store the RAW files and simple manipulate to monochrome some minor adjustments as in exposure as some straightening/cropping.

Selfassessment and development

I tried to get “something” in the shot. An emotion, movement, gesture, situation, not being the apparent portrait or default shadow/light figures. In trying this, I could use some consistency and sometimes I’m simply too impatient. Series could be more coherent perhaps

Develop

Street/Urban photography is very intense but can be very rewarding. Getting better is mostly practice. However, nature and animal photography, specifically I find very relaxing and equally rewarding, especially when I try to combine both genres, to photograph animals as if they were human. The latter might be my next development journey, but as always, doubts all-over, hence I started this course.