Liberation from sharpness

2009 was a special year for me because FINALLY I started to somewhat understand how to make a beautiful photograph. For the first time I had the feeling my photographs could be about something. It started with loosing my obsession with sharpness.

White flower
White flower – photo Joeri van Veen 2009

Since I started photography sharpness had been my holy grail (no doubt influenced by the countless photography forums). It has taken me until this summer to liberate myself. After studying classic photographs I could only conclude that, while definitely being a parameter, sharpness is not the most important for a photograph. Thinking about The kiss from Doisneau, the portrait of Ezra Pound by Bresson… I started to experiment with unsharpness by focus or movement.

In the autumn of 2009 I followed a course by photographer Hapé Smeele that was not about photographs perse, and certainly not about technique, but about finding your starting point. I learned a lot about subjects, approaching scenes and keeping at it, looking, looking and looking again. This marks 2009 for me.

Treestump – photo Joeri van Veen 2009

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