Long silence

Long silence so lots of news. Finally completed our 3rd move in 6 months (first from Dubai to Malaysia/Singapore, then from Singapore to Aalst in Belgium and finally to Gijzegem (where?) in Belgium…), let’s hope the chaos diminishes now fast… cause chaos it was! Add to that sending 3 kids to new schools (in a for them strange language), and the crazy idea of the undersigned to enroll at the Academy of Arts in Aalst. Or is it that crazy? Not in my view, it was a long outstanding dream of mine to finally enroll in such an art school and to try to give a more defined style to my photography. Abroad these schools were always out of reach budgetwise, in Belgium however things like this are far better organised. Result: since beginning of September i am back on the schoolbenches twice a week (although contrary to my younger years i now actually look forward to my commute to the school). Shocker No. 1 for the younger photographers under us: year 1 & 2 concentrate on black and white photography, and yes – using film only! (I have to say I was happy about this: i still feel film gives (for me) nicer results then the faster paced digital photography so whenever possible i was using my Fotoman 617 panoramic camera anyway (although i purchased a Canon EOS5d II in Singapore)). So back to film (and even Black and White) it is… In order to be able to keep on submitting my school work (which is going to be the larger body of personal work in the coming years) to the stock image libraries I decided to buy a new (?) camera using a larger (then 35mm) format. Finally my eye fell on a second-hand Rolleiflex 3.5F with a fixed 75mm Zeiss Planar lens which exposes film in a 6×6 format, building year somewhere in the 1960’s (!). As usual i am blown away by the results of this medium format camera (in terms of achieved sharpness in the negative, but also by the beautiful bokeh). Shocker No. 2 : we are developing films ourselves and… Shocker No. 3: printing (and i dont mean by inkjet – no, no: using darkrooms and developer, water and fixer baths) ourselves. Again for me this makes the photography process so much more complete – to be able to hold the film, to smell the developer and fixer, and to see the image slowly coming out on the paper. Our individual photography styles are being honed by learning us how to “see” (one would think that is easy…) – this is done through a number of subjects as defined by our teacher Frank Michta. Current subjects to be completed before the Christmas holidays are: “Reflections”, “Rain” and “Viewpoint of a Dog”. I will post some intial results of these (self-developed/printed) photos shortly.