From the 20th until the 28th of October 2018 I had the pleasure of showcasing a selection of my work during the Dutch Design Week (DDW) in the inner yard of the Design Perron. I was a bit overwhelmed by the idea of spending 9 days in a row telling my story, because 1) I assumed my images would speak for themselves or people could make up their own story and 2) ….9 days!
However, it really is true that, in general, people want to hear your story. They want to kind of relive that moment with you when you made the image and hear your approach and considerations. That feels special to me...certainly when your work is actually physically there next to you. Work that covered almost two years.
It basically was a moment of contemplation, enjoying that I’m really there, enjoying that work makes some people happy. So if you’ve visited my exhibition, thank you for coming by, sharing you positive energy and thinking along with me creatively and business wise.
I’ve spend 9 days from 10am - 6pm at this location together with all these different designers and it’s been a pleasure getting to know some of them, their work and their motivations. It’s not just the work that you see, it’s the story behind those works.
I strongly believe that as a photographer, designer, creative person - so basically as a human being - you should try to look around you to anything that could inspire you, not just your own niche. A thing I tried to do by looking at color use, design & finishing details.
Thanks for the inspiration and fun guys!
During the week I received a lot of questions and below I will answer the 5 most asked ones.
1. What’s the story behind your work at the Design Perron/DDW?
In general I tried to show a balanced image of works, energy and colors that match together. It was quite the challenge to pick my ‘best’ works, especially according to myself 😉 so yes, definitely asked input from others too. Here you can read the individual stories about most of the works.
2. How do you produce those colors?
Not one straight answer to that. The last two years I really spend a lot of time learning how to get closer and closer to reproducing the colors I see in my head, apart from already trying to capture them to the best of my abilities. Understanding the editing software is a start, moving some sliders and trying stuff out will definitely get you somewhere, but trying to develop a feeling of which colors go well together (also those you wouldn’t expect!) and those which don’t is the real challenge. Especially since the processing possibilities are endless. My general workflow in a nutshell: start in Lightroom, create a certain vibe, continue selective editing in Photoshop using Hue/Saturation, Selective Color, Color Balance and 3DLUTs (3D Look Up Tables) and the necessary masks. Usually finishing of with the Curves and Levels tools.
3. Do you use Photoshop to manipulate your images?
Yes. However, more and more of my work is ‘real’ for the most part and the people are always real. I do play around though with perspective changes, playing architect now and then (check an example at the bottom of the page here), cleaning up and the most obvious...color editing.
4. Do you look up spots and prepare your shots?
Seldom. Yes I do have a massive list of spots I’d like to visit ‘someday’, but in the end it almost ends up in having a plan to go somewhere and then ending up on a parking garage, in an alley or some street or building I just spotted while being on route. Even when I do go somewhere planned, the images I’d like to make are almost never planned. I’d like to feel the rush of letting myself feel inspired and go with the creative flow of that moment. You prepare yourself to be ready by shooting a lot the year round. As Seth Godin nicely pit: “you’ll never run out of ideas”. Nonetheless I'm definitely gonna play around with more though-out concepts.
5. Which kind of material is that you used for the exhibition and where do you print them?
Photo print on Fuji paper pasted onto Aluminium Dibond. It shows great contrast, deep blacks, nice whites and has a luxurious feel to it. Printed at Profotonet NL. Not to kiss some ass, they did not sponsor this, but their service has been awesome (thanks Ben!). I don’t know a lot of companies sending you a personal (written) card in this way wishing you good luck.
As I told a lot of visitors, my shop with prints will be online soon, thank you for your interest already. If you'd like to get notified, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Olympus for assisting me with the realization of this project. As Olympus Visionairy it’s great to feel that a brand wants to support your work.
Last but definitely not least...Big thanks to the whole team of Design Perron for the great opportunity. I learned a lot this week. And for those who know me well, that’s when I’m a happy guy :).
If you have any questions after reading this article, don't hesitate to contact me via mail/socials or comments below!