This week, I was interviewed by Picfair. This is an online platform that has recently entered the business of image licensing. They have done so in a revolutionary way, providing both amateur and professional photographers a transparent place to upload a portfolio and sell their images. In the last two years the website has grown exponentially and this resulted in exposure for both the Picfair team and the photographers around the world. For example through their monthly collaboration with Rough Guides.
For me, Picfair is a great, down-to earth place where I can feature and sell my images. And… they strongly engage with their members, with weekly selections and interviews.
So, this week they interviewed me:
Q: Hi Jelmer! Tell us about yourself in two sentences – who are you?
A: I am a Dutch photographer, who currently spends his office hours (and sometimes more) as PhD researcher. As a photographer I work under the name JJPerspectives. I love how photography allows me to translate the way I see the world into images to share with others.
Q: What’s the weirdest situation you’ve found yourself in while taking a photograph?
A: Last year I went on a trip through Bolivia. No shortage of photo opportunities there. In the middle of the amazing Uyuni salt flats, we came across a group of Bolivian kids on a school trip. Apparently they were more amazed by our white faces than by the endless white landscapes, as we we were not allowed to move on before they had all posed with us for a photo. More generally, and probably more special than weird, are those moments when I am out taking pictures and suddenly I realise there are no other people around. It does not happen often, but even in a seemingly crowded Netherlands this is possible!
Q: What do you shoot on? What’s your favourite set up?
A: I like abstract photos, with few or no people in it. If there are people in my photos, they often are not the main object of the image, but are part of the scene. I have a natural preference for landscape photography, but I am increasingly getting into street photography, a mysterious world that I love to explore further. Last year I was one of the winners of the Amsterdam Urban Photo Race, a 12 hour street photography contest with several assignments. This obviously was a great motivation to get more involved in urban and street photography. Also, I find long exposures very interesting and plan to develop my skills further in this.
My first DSLR was a Nikon D50, but since 1.5 year I have a D7100. I own four lenses: the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX, the Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f2.8, an old Sigma 18-200m 3.5-6.3 DC and a vintage NIKKOR-Q 200mm auto f4. For long exposures I use the ‘big stopper’ B&W 110 ND Filter.
Q: What’s your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
A: Several tips, if I may First, practise. A lot. In between, read blogs, learn from other photographers. Second, make plans, anticipate on what situations you want to find yourself taking photos in. Try to visualize what image you want to end up with. And probably the most important lesson I learnt myself was a tip from the Dutch landscape photographer Bas Meelker: get out there! It is YOU who takes those amazing pictures, not all those lazy people who are sleeping in or staying inside when it’s raining.
‘After some thinking, my favourite pic I’ve uploaded must be ‘Urban Reflections’. It is taken inside the Christchurch art gallery, which unfortunately is now closed due to the earthquakes. I recognized the opportunities of the reflections, but had to wait a while (in a rather uncomfortable position) before the setting became interesting, with the people being in the right positions. I like the image, because it is abstract and complex. There are many layers in the image, because of the reflections and silhouettes. You can see parts of the interior, but at the same time the city is visible. I consider it a great example of the style of (street) photography I want to develop further.’
‘One of my all time favourites. It is taken in the Chartreuse mountains, close to Grenoble where I lived for a while. In the 2013 winter many snowfall records were broken and I often went into the mountains to go hiking with snowshoes. In this valley, just under the top of the Grand Som, many tracks came together. But besides this, the snow was untouched and the shadows and colours were amazing. The two hikers in the picture moved on to the next valley, providing a great anchor point for this image. Good memories.’
‘Taken in the harbour of Nelson, NZ. The small Laser sailing boat is dwarfed by the huge containership. I was lucky enough to be in the exact right spot for framing them in this position. Some things you can not plan. The contrast in size works very well.’
‘I recently moved to Amsterdam, which obviously is a great city for street photography. The Zuidas area is the financial district, boasting lots of modern architecture. At the same time it is developed as a residential neighbourhood. So lots of different dynamics are going on. It has a completely different atmosphere compared to the famous canals and is well worth a stroll for both locals and tourists. This picture was taken during the blue hour, so the colours of the building came out very intense. I had to wait for a person to pass along in order to give some contrast to the overwhelming buildings, but I think the bicycle in the foreground already does a good job too.’
‘Another typical Dutch scene, along the coast of the IJsselmeer. This is the biggest lake in The Netherlands, and used to be a sea until about 80 years ago. Some shallow places are perfect for kitesurfing. This was taken some years ago on the first spring day.’
‘One of the perks of being in academics is going to conferences. Last year, I went to Izmir (Turkey) and found myself along a huge boulevard. This must be the social heart of the city. Every evening it was filled with people, drinking, chatting, singing, fishing. So many opportunities to take photos. The amazing sunset made for an out-of-this-world atmosphere. These men probably were not distracted by any of this.’
‘Again taken in the Zuidas area of Amsterdam. I think one of the key qualities of photographers is that they look at things from different angles. One of them is looking up. People should do that more often. There is a lot going on above our heads. I love to look at the skies. I am a huge fan of the weather. Not just because the weather has a big effect on photography. The weather is so dynamic, interesting to look at and to consciously experience.’
‘A famous landmark in Berlin, which has been photographed many times. The concrete blocks are very impressive to walk in between. I was amazed by the patterns and I am happy how this picture shows both chaos and structure at the same time. I reworked the colours of the image to bring up the atmosphere of the scene.’
Read the original post here: https://www.picfair.com/blog/photographer-focus/Interview-with-Jelmer-Jeuring.