Tuesday, 27 April 2010

WHY KNOT??? To ART or not to ART?

Please do not COPY or use any of my images on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.




For an image 'representing' Summer, one of the props was a very colourful skipping-rope (jump-rope).
The moment I saw this out of all the other stuff, my creative juices started to flow...
I photographed it in my own style... Called the first one WHY KNOT??? Uploaded it on Flickr and to my surprise, it did very well. Today I got an interesting comment that I want to share with you, as it provoked a reaction from me...


"In a way this photo is everything that is WRONG with Flickr. And, everything that's RIGHT. Some people will say what does a mess of different colored string all placed together and tied into a knot mean? How is that art? Others will say ah, what an excellent metaphor/s that applies to so many themes. What a simple minimilist piece of art. Why didn't I think of that? its been right in front of me a million times. Most people will lie somewhere in the middle, struggling with the image for a second and quickly flipping to the next piece. Isn't art strange? LOL Thanks for sharing,..." Mason Pickholz

I replied by email:

You mention the big A... art? I consider myself a creative photographer, not an art photographer. It is such a massive discussion what art is... been there, worn that T-shirt, lol.
Until the day there is a definite and 'plausible' definition of ART, that's when I'll change my mind, in the mean-time, I'll stick to creative...

When not 'dictated' by a client, I take images that come out of my brain, the birth of the idea, the development of it, my vision and the creation, my enjoyment and the challenge, the hype and the anticipation, the playing with light, to me, the ultimate high, I don't need anything else.

Once the image is there, I'm content, and if it 'inspires' others, releases an emotion, that's wonderful!
And I've seen how my photos have 'inspired' many!
I'm not stupid to think that everybody is going to like, let alone understand my image, but I can easily live with that, because I do not have that expectation!
I, in the first place, have to be happy with it, the quality, the composition, EVERYTHING, it has to be immaculate, I have to stand by it 100% or the outside world will NEVER see it!
That goes for my pro AND my free work (what you see on Flickr).
I wouldn't have it any other way.
I hope that you enjoyed my 'rave'?
Take care, all the best and above all... enjoy your photography.
If the day comes I don't enjoy it anymore... I'll GIVE AWAY all my gear (it's a lot, gathered over the years, please don't hold your breath, heeeee), M, (*_*)

I got a lovely reply:

I really like that, "creative photographer." I am always interested in how people see themselves, they're creative process, and how they define themselves. I think its great that you know who you are and I very much enjoyed your "rave" it shows passion for what you do. And that, my friend, is all that matters. It doesn't matter what you are doing or what you are calling it, the passion shows through in the end. The work will be judged as art or not or the debate will continue but its not something that you concern yourself with it. Its like you said if it inspires other they may want to call it art or craft or photography or whatever. At the point you are done, you are done--do with it what you may. Call it what you want I'm going on with my creative process. I'm not going to get bogged down in conversation I have too much creative photography to do to waste my time defining the limits of what I have created. That's a pretty cool attitude and you say it works for you. So, go with it. It was good talking with you. See ya around, Mason Pickholz

All in all an interesting exchange, thanx, M, (*_*)

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Please do not COPY or use any of my images on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.


last photo by Paul Indigo

I grew up in Ostend, a great city, with industrial-, fishing- and yachting harbours.
It is situated in the center of the Belgian Coast, with its gorgeous dunes and wide beaches.
I was warned from a very young age about the dangers… the vortexes around the wave-breakers, I learned about the tides and their effects.
I was taught about sand!!! Do not delve deep sandpits or tunnels, they can collapse, and sadly each year they do and take lives… usually children!

Whenever we visit Flanders, to see family and friends, there is ALWAYS that pull towards the beach and the sea. We love it.
So, this time was no different.
Having some ‘free’ time, we drove to our old hunting grounds, under the tall lighthouse, where the East-pier used to be, it has been demolished, apparently to make the harbour-entrance bigger. It used to be so special! The two piers like two embracing arms, either welcoming you when you came home or loath to let you go when you were leaving…
Whether for pleasure or work…
Getting out of the car, I felt like an animal, ready to go, head and nose towards the sky and sun, snorting the familiar air and smells of tar and salt, my eyes taking in all the old and the changes.
I ran down the slope, onto the beach, it was Easter Sunday; gatherings of family dotted the huge sand planes, with children, dogs…
The top of the Dyke was fenced off, full of cranes and bulldozers, heavy machines, on the beach, it was beautiful, wooden stakes each with their own orange buoy… the tide was out, it was very photogenic… however, they were connected with rope, and at the top, there were not one but two warning signs, NOT TO ENTER the CONSTRUCTION SITE!!! Forbidden!
Now as a photographer, hhhmmmm, often when you want THE shot, you sometimes (OFTEN?) have to take risks?
Plus, I wanted to climb onto the latest ‘wave-breaker’, to make images of the changed harbour view! The main (remaining) pier taken from the other side! With the city behind it! Unique! What an opportunity.
There was silence, judging by the tracks from the trucks they had been working there earlier! The tide was coming in though, so they must have gone home… the path was clear, I composed image upon image, excited and exuberant, it felt like there was not going to be enough time… a photo-frenzy, lol!

I saw three tall guys coming off the rocks, crossing a patch of sand, walking bye…
I neared the huge blocks (some weigh 10 tonnes), came to a sandy patch, after all the rain and probably the type of sand they used to ‘create’ the beach they were working on, I’d felt and seen that my shoes were leaving deeper imprints… so what?
I stood and saw two wet areas, left and right, the middle patch was ‘dry’, THAT was where I was going to cross!
I jumped as far as possible and felt not only my foot but my leg go in, my boot filled up, I put my other foot down for balance, and it also disappeared and filled, I tried to lift my leg, but that did not work, on the contrary, QUICKSAND!!!
I called Paul’s name, and spread my body out as much as possible, holding my cherished camera above my head.
I did not panic, but was well aware of the possible implications. I looked around, the beach was now deserted, no-one to be seen.
Paul came running, quickly, assessed the situation, realising that speed and care were off the utmost importance.
He stayed as far back as he could, we reached out, he grabbed my wrist, his shoes sank away, he yanked me out with one huge pull, I turned sideways, all I did was shout: “ My camera, my camera!!!!”
A little later, after overlooking the ‘damages’, we sat on one of the rocks, the sun and wind already drying the fine sand on my clothes.
We climbed up, somewhat shook up, we nervously joked about, ‘why had Paul not taken a photo first, before pulling me out?’, he’d missed an interesting photo-journalistic shot! Clearly he has his priorities right!
We continued our photo-mission.
It was only later, when we came home that it dawned fully on me, how silly I had been… all the pains and ‘ifs’ came out… what if you were there by yourself, what if it had been Paul, could I have pulled him out? What if he had NOT been able to reach me?

We came home with lots of good images; whenever I’ll see them… they will be a constant reminder of what happened.
I know that next time, I’ll not ‘tread’ so lightly and enthusiastically where it tells me NOT to go.
As a photographer you need to take risks to get THE shot! Also, can you call a life without risk LIVING? I don’t, however each one has to make that out for themselves, how far are you prepared to go.
We now carry an extra bit of kit… rope! Tee hee.
Thanx, take care but have fun! M, (*_*)