America revisited

TheAmericans[klik hier voor Nederlandse vertaling]

The Americans, we become acquainted in 1989 at the George Eastman House in Rochester. Eastman, Rochester? Yes indeed, the city in upstate New York where at that time Kodak’s headquarters and factories flourish. And home of the International Museum of Photography and Film where I immerse myself three days in the history of photography: in the morning visits to the library, and the afternoon … in the afternoon the Holy of Holies, the print room – access by appointment only. You can take nothing with you inside, on request you’re provided with paper and pen (pardon – pencil only permitted), and white cotton gloves are required to handle the photographs but all photos are original prints. I see one photography icon after another, photos that I only know from books. And because the staff of the print room has fun in their newly graduated overseas visitors, they also bring portfolios from the vault I didn’t asked for, portfolios of work by photographers that I do not know, but that they suspect that will appeal to me.

FriedlanderThis way I get for example acquainted with the work of Lee Friedlander and I buy Like a One-Eyed Cat in the bookstore of the George Eastman House. The influence of American photography history with Frank, Friedlander et al is tangible in the years tha follow and many visits to the U.S., especially in New York follow. In 1993, I exhibit and publish my
Stadsstillevens & Streetstills. PdPT_NY copy

More than twenty years later, the USA and the photography of American origin again play an important role in my life and work. On the eve of a trip across America, coast to coast, along with my daughter who is currently studies history in Ann Arbor (Michigan), it’s the history of American photography that inspires once more. The black and white from the past and from my own work has been replaced by color, one of the new inspirations is Stephen Shore. Somewhere in my bookcase is an older book with an overview of his work, but recently I purchased the classic Uncommon Places was given to me (the reprint of a few years ago, with previously unpublished photos).
SS_UncommonP_coverThe book is the result of several trips across America and reflected according to the blurb, the “essence of the American landscape.”
Monumental is the first thing that comes to mind, not only in terms of the size of the book, but it is also a monument to the history of photography, with its rarely seen, bright and penetrating view, a view that transforms everyday places (‘commonplace’) to another reality, with stunning colors nd fabulously performed. Concerning the latter, Shore worked with a large format view camera, but do I want to follow his line of of work and bring a large format or panoramic camera? Or does the upcoming trip needs a complete other tool? The question about what kind of camera has the appearance of photographers-talk, but the real question is what do I want … Ultimately, it is another book of Shore which helps me to determine my thoughts. Read the next post ‘Point & Shoot’ to see how it ends …

Point and shoot

Na lang wikken en wegen besloten om de ‘nieuwe vriend’ niet mee te nemen op de reis. Nieuwe vriend? Ja, de camera die ik sinds de afgelopen zomer voor mijn luchtfoto’s gebruik (zie de blog op mijn site).

De kwaliteit van de D800E-foto’s is onovertroffen, het gewicht is overkomelijk maar voor een visueel dagboek is laagdrempelig gereedschap nodig.Het is  Stephen Shores ‘American Surfaces wat mij helpt om m’n gedachten bepalen. SS_Surfaces_Cover

Shore gebruikte bij zijn eerste reizen door de States een kleinbeeld compact camera, point and shoot in het jargon. De belichte films werden gewoon naar de Kodak ontwikkelcentrale gestuurd in een envelop. Zo’n envelop vormt nu de cover van het boek, maar oorspronkelijk was er helemaal geen sprake van een boek, want de presentatie was in de vorm van een enorme verzameling snapshots gerangschikt op de muur van de gallerie. American Surfaces is een voorstudie voor Shore’s magnum opus ‘Uncommon places‘ (zie ook de vorige post).

En hoewel ik moet sparen voor de reis, is er toch een nieuwe camera in huis, de compacte Nikon P 7800 (geen idee waarom ze zo heet). Het kleine zusje van de D800E en wat je noemt point and shoot camera. Maar wel een waar de GPS van de grote broer op past en voorzien van WiFi om onderweg op dit blog te kunnen posten!








After much deliberation decided not to take my “new friend” the journey. New friend? Yes, the camera I have been using for my aerials since last summer (see blog on my site, w. illustrations but in Dutch).
The quality of the images from the D800E is unsurpassed, its weight surmountable but for a visual diary a more accessible tool is necessary. Stephen Shores ‘American Surfaces’ helped me to make up my mind, he used a 35 mmm compact camera for his first trips. A study for his magnum opus ‘Uncommon places‘ (more on that later).
And although I have to save up for the trip, I couldn’t resist a new camera, the Nikon P 7800 (no idea where the names comes from). It is the little sister of the D800E and what you call a point and shoot camera. But one that fits the GPS of its big brother and with WiFi to post on this blog while on the road!

Uit het archief | From the archive

Stadsstillevens & Streetstills

We schrijven 1992 als ik voor het fotoproject Streetstills & Stadsstillevens 3 reizen maak: naar Berlijn, St. Petersburg en New York. In Dagblad TROUW doe ik wekelijks verslag met foto + tekst.
Anno 2014 verslag van voorbereidingen van de aanstaande reis op internet – via dit blog. Maar Father & Daughter – Coast to Coast zal deo volente ook in druk verschijnen. Meer nieuws volgt!
Voor meer Streetstills & Stadsstillevens (link naar mijn reguliere site).

We write 1992 as I make three trips for the photo project Street Stills & City Life: Berlin, St. Petersburg and New York. National newspaper Trouw features a weekly  photocolumn + text.
Anno 2014: preparations for the upcoming trip:  including a personal blog, this is the first post! But Father & Daughter – Coast will hopefully also appear in print, more news to follow!
More Streetstills & Stadsstillevens (link to my site).