On March 14 I will be publishing my photo book ‘absorbing life‘, with 210 black and white pictures, street photography. Why have I been working on this book? I don’t want to wait or waste a moment of this precious thing we call life, but follow the nagging urge to grab the essence of life with my camera. For years I have been intrigued by the idea of objectivity, for example, in Italian postwar neorealist movies, although I know there is no such thing. Trying to find and mirror reality is what drives me. Ithat are not perfect – the fringes – that are often the most interesting. With my camera, I reflect empathy for the one person in the street and daily life.

“If your picture is not right, you haven’t been close enough”, said war photographer Robert Capa. This closeness is what I aim for. I have never been in a war but from time to time, life has its own times of war. I think that the challenge is to continue seeing life as a playground; with the imaginative power of our childhood, with curiosity – observing what we can feel but have no words for – and to enjoy the moment without the masks we have learned to put on.

In fact, the best pictures are those that contain a question. I love capturing questions. You cannot direct street scenes. The moment of coincidence is intriguing. In the same split second in which I see a situation, I assess and choose what is valuable, frame it and try to mirror it by capturing it. Sometimes I hold my breath. Taking pictures of people from close up has something very intimate about it, like looking through a keyhole.

IMG_6973This book ‘absorbing life’ consists of sets of black and white pictures that speak to each other because they either resemble each other or are completely different but strengthen the message they have been grouped to convey. Frozen and framed themes from several countries around the world: the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, South Korea, Taiwan.Decisive moments that show the strangeness, loveliness and dread that make a picture. But more important, that reveal humanity, the innate absurdity of everyday life.

I will present the photo book ‘absorbing life’ in the Van Abbemuseum (2:30 hours) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. You are welcome to join! Sign up here: www.absorbinglife.nl

Price: 34,50 euro (sales via www.absorbinglife.nl and via carina.weijma@carwei.com directly)

Printed and published by Lecturis

ISBN 978-94-6226-112-8

 

What is ‘life’? How can we visualize the smell of children’s hair, the sound of the sea, or the feeling of love and sorrow?