Number 11 - Summer 2018
VIEW FROM THE RPS BENELUX CHAPTER ORGANISERS
Since the last eJournal the Chapter continues to grow slowly each month so welcome to our new members whether you live in Benelux or France. Wherever you are we hope that you will join in our meetings and contribute to the Group. The Royal Photographic Society Benelux Chapter Copyright The copyright of photographs and text in this eJournal belong to the author of the article of which they form part, unless otherwise indicated
Despite the fact that distance often means meetings aren’t so well supported as we might hope, we do endeavour to take the quarterly meetings to different locations. We are also trying to deliver a programme in line with the feedback we received from the recent survey we conducted. So given you told us you wanted a ‘Street Photography’ workshop, we expected more participants. In this publication you will read that those who did had a thoroughly enjoyable day and learnt some new tricks as well. Will we see you next time? The monthly Study Group, held in Rotterdam, continues to be very popular and Carol Olerud and André Meyer-Vitali are to be congratulated on their recent ARPS successes. In this issue we see the images from Carol and Andres work will be shown in the next eJournal. In the next week three members are being assessed for their LRPS, so fingers crossed all will be successful. All these
Cover photo Armando Jongejan FRPS
Editor eJournal Armando Jongejan Proof reading Dawn Black Journal Editorial committee Richard Sylvester Eddie Maes (B) Dawn Black (NL) Simon Hauxwell (L) Janet Haines (NL) Webmaster André Meyer-Vitali
members benefitted from attending the Distinctions weekend we ran in Ghent in February, with others well on the way to completing their panels ready for assessment. No matter where you live one thing you can certainly join in with is our ‘Summer Challenge’. More information about this in your eJournal and an email with the details will come out shortly. Enjoy the summer and enjoy your Chapter
Janet Haines and Richard Sylvester RPS Benelux Chapter joint organisers
IN THIS ISSUE - SUMMER 2018
MONKS’ LIFE - ST ADELBERT’S ABBEY Armando Jongejan FRPS
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY Roy Robertson HonFRPS
A DUTCHMAN IN MAROCCO
VIEW FROM THE RPS BENELUX CHAPTER ORGANISERS Janet Haines ARPS and Richard Sylvester LRPS
IN THIS ISSUE
Janet Haines ARPS
28 MY FIRST CAMERA Eddie Maes LRPS 30 MY WAY TO ARPS Carol Olerud ARPS
22 THE STORY BEHIND... "PROUD FOR ONE SECOND" (DISPLACED IN UGANDA) Jan Jansen
38 THE NETHERLANDS IS TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS Janet Haines ARPS and André Bergmans
42 SUMMER CHALLENGE 2018 Janet Haines ARPS 43 THE VAN DER KWAAK FAMILY Janet Haines ARPS 44 STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP Janet Haines ARPS 48 OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION AND BOOK PRESENTATION MONKS’ LIFE André Bergmans
MONKS’ LIFE - ST ADELBERT’S ABBEY text and photos by Armando Jongejan FRPS
An open air service on the Adelbertus Field I first got acquainted with Abbot Gerard Mathijsen of St Adelbert’s Abbey (Egmond-Binnen, the Netherlands) in 1995 when I worked on a series for the photo book Villagers of Egmond. I made a number of photos of brothers of the abbey during an open air service on the Adelbertus Field, a beautiful, quiet place against the dune edge. I returned to the brothers in the abbey more than twenty-five times between 2002 and 2004. Everything was recorded with my analogue camera: prayer services, activities in and around the abbey, and the leisure time. It was peaceful, concentrated working. The end result was brought together in the 2004 photo book A Quest (Een Zoektocht). The abbey is doing well. Actually above expectations! In 2016 Brother Gerard invited me back to record the changes within the walls of the abbey. He had written in his foreword to A Quest: “Nobody knows whether we are dealing with a final phase or with a new beginning.” The incentive to create a new body of work about St Adelbert Abbey was simple and yet also unexpected - the fifteen hundred photo books from A Quest had sold out. Additionally, several new brothers had entered the abbey; as Br Gerard emailed me: “The abbey is doing well. Actually above expectations! The house is too small for the aspirants! Who would have thought that?”
I had missed an “Armando moment”! On 26th June 2016 at 7 o’clock in the morning I started again with the new photo series on the Adelbertus Field. It was a beautiful day, the rising sun shone on the altar. It was still quiet. A limited number of visitors had come to this service. At the second shift at ten o’clock it was busy. Since then I have worked with my camera in and around the abbey about fifty times: in the greenhouse where Br Adelbert grows vegetables for meals, watching Br Beda painting beautiful icons, in the sacristy with Br Columba, and so on. I sometimes heard during a visit that I had missed an “Armando moment”! My presence with the camera was becoming a matter of course for the brothers. There have been many beautiful and special moments, such as the festivities on the occasion of the abbot’s 80th birthday. Normally only monks would be present, but I had become a familiar face in the abbey – as was also the case during the feast of the 60-year-old profession of Br Frans Melkert. The novices had prepared several gigs and it was clear to see that everyone was having a lot of fun. On this occasion the brothers were permitted to partake of a Westvleteren Twelve, Eight or Blond (an exclusive Belgium beer), a glass of wine, apple juice or homemade liqueur.
A spiritual life focused on prayer and mutual service A lot has changed over the past twenty years. The smartphone has become commonplace in the abbey, and Br Gerard regularly puts photos of daily life on his Facebook page. There are new faces, with new brothers becoming novices or accepting their perpetual vows. The perpetual vows of Br Adelbert and Br Columba in the autumn of 2017 made it clear that the community of St Adelbert Abbey will continue with new faces - a development that was not expected back in 2004. However, much has remained the same. Br Ole is still waiting six times a day in the Claustrum near the wall clock and the rope of the church bell. Originally from Norway, he is sometimes in his place twenty minutes before the ringing of the bell. He keeps an eye on the time and the clock is accurate to the minute. His bells bring the other brothers from the abbey to the church choir. This second book of the abbey contains a selection from two years of photography of the daily life of the monks of St Adelbert Abbey - a spiritual life focused on prayer and mutual service: Monks’ life.
Charles van Leeuwen
Wilco Art Books
300mm x 300mm
140 black and white printed in duotone
© Armando Jongejan
A signed copy of the new photobook is now available. Price € 29,50 or € 37,50 including packaging and shipping in NL. More information: email@example.com.
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
ÂŠ Armando Jongejan
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY
text and photos by Roy Robertson HonFRPS This time Roy Robertson HonFRPS was invited to write an article about his background, photography and his involvement with The Royal Photographic Society Where to start? First of all…why? I have been involved in administration within the Royal Photographic Society for around 27 years – first as Regional Organiser for Scotland (19 years), L Panel member (8 years), then Council for 8 years, followed by 2 years as Vice President of the Society and 2 years as President. While on Council, I have also served as Exhibitions Chairman (4 years), and since my Presidency, there have been 4 years as Chair of the Awards committee. In addition, there have been 6 years as
© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - possession
Chair of the Fellowship Board and 8 as a member of the Distinctions Advisory Board, of which I am currently Deputy Chair. Throughout, I have had a particular involvement in the Society’s Regions and Chapters – the members are the Society, and it has been particularly satisfying to establish and support so many Chapters. Throughout this time, my purpose has always been to support the Society’s members in developing their own photography to meet their own interests. The Society’s Distinctions support this – by encouraging members to find their own way to achieve the standards set down – in different genres and media. Although now a majority of submissions come as prints, applications are also received in images for screen, books, installations, research, science, medicine…. It is about achieving a standard through the creation, or application of, images.
Â© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - fulcrum
So where did I come in? As a raw amateur becoming dissatisfied with the prescriptive work in camera clubs. The club was excellent in addressing technical issues, but less so in considering depth and meaning in an image. Although I had work accepted, and had organised, the Scottish Salon, the arbitrariness, repetiveness and lack of depth exasperated me. I became involved in organising a Photographic Survey of our nearest city – Dundee – to mark the 800th anniversary of it’s royal recognition. 40+ photographers for a year to produce an archive of 1000 images and an exhibition, as well as lectures and workshops by significant documentary photographers – a real learning experience. At the same time, I had photographic collages accepted for the Scottish Society of Artists, receiving a number of awards. These were seen by a member of the RPS Distinctions Panels, who encouraged me to submit them for Fellowship – after submitting an Associate Panel first! So I spent 6 months getting things right technically for an A application, and then submitted my Fellowship – Cibachrome collages up to 1200 x 900, and including anything up to 20 images - successfully 6 months later. A long term project after a year documenting our local theatre People who know my images now can’t believe that my Fellowship was not from my series on Contemporary Dance, but that only developed as a long term project after a year documenting our local theatre. From that, I’ve produced exhibitions in the UK, Italy, Germany and China merging Dance and Scottish landscape and a book in Italy, working with poets and a calligrapher. I want to develop the meaning in my work However, since becoming Vice President, then President, of the RPS, I will admit my photography has not progressed as I would have liked. I have always taken time to think about how I want to develop the meaning in my work, the work involved for the RPS, in particular time spent travelling, counted against that, and my contacts for documentary work were lost as the RPS took priority. Against that, however, I met, and learned from, a wide variety of photographers. I travelled widely, meeting members across Europe, in Australia, the USA and China. With more time now for family, we now spend time in Belgium with our daughter and her family – an opportunity to explore a different landscape and history from Scotland, and think about how it can be presented through the camera. We also travel more widely, visiting China – a country the RPS introduced me to, the USA and Australia. My photography reflects this, and maybe is returning to its roots in some ways – Travel, Natural History, Landscape. I see a great deal of excellent work Promoting the Society’s Distinctions, their standards and diversity, still takes up a considerable time, but I see a great deal of excellent work, meet people who approach their photography in different ways – I could never have anticipated where my photographic road would take me, and it has been, and continues to be, a fascinating journey.
© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - communication
© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - shall we dance
Â© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - fallen giant
Â© Roy Robertson HonFRPS - birch trees recycling
A DUTCHMAN IN MAROCCO by Janet Haines ARPS Lived in many countries Bob Endert is a very unusual Chapter member in so much as he lives in Morocco. A Dutchman by birth Bob has lived in many countries including Belgium, USA, Japan, Malaysia and Switzerland and now having retired from 28 years of Canon 'corporate worldâ€™ chooses to live in Morocco with his beautiful wife Fatim. When still working he was employed by Canon (Belgium) and C-Printing was one of his customers. At this stage he struck up a friendship with the owner of C-Printing Bruno Bosschaart, with whom he has kept in touch with over the years through Facebook. Recently Bob has really taken huge leap upwards in his photographic journey and being the wanderer that he is has been exploring lesser known areas of Morocco, done jungle tours to Costa Rica, sailed in the Arctic, and travelled to the most remote islands of Japan, drawn there to shoot exotic wildlife. Nature photography is his favoured genre, but people in their natural environments also appeal to Bob. An exhibition Seeing some of his work on Facebook prompted Bruno to get in touch and together they explored putting on an exhibition of Bobâ€™s work in the working environment of C-Printing. Bruno selected photos from Bob that worked really well on the various types of reproduction materials that are part
From left to right: Bob Endert, Philippe Convents, Zakaria Chaouqui and Stijn Endert photo Janet Haines ARPS
of his wide products and services range. Where an image required a matt finish he sympathetically used an appropriate media, keeping the glossy, vibrant acylics for the sparkling tropical birds and tree frogs. And everything in between. Maybe the most impressive reproduction is on the outer front wall of C-Printing where Bobâ€™s red eyed frog now proudly sits 6 meters high for all to view from the nearby motorway. Just friends and old colleagues Unconventional to the last this was not an exhibition hung on pure white walls, perfectly lit and beyond the reach of man - this was large scale prints laid out on top of printing tables, with a few
Photos: Janet Haines ARPS
tacked to the walls. They were touchable and could be examined close up - in the hand if you wished. There was no opening hollow speeches but just friends and old colleagues milled around enjoying the works and each others company. It was a great idea to put both artist and the printer together like this. Far more informal, inspirational and exceedingly enjoyable. www.cplusprinting.be
THE STORY BEHIND... "PROUD FOR ONE SECOND" (DISPLACED IN UGANDA) text and photos by Jan Janssen
A photograpic story about the modern Batwa Pygmies My name is Jan Janssen, born and raised in a small village in the south of the Netherlands and I have been a photographer for over a decade. I’m not the kind of a person that frequently takes pictures; I'm more a collector of images - images from a certain area, certain people, or images with a clear
subject. It is said that a single photo can speak more than a thousand words but I feel a series of pictures can tell a complete story. That is the reason why I like documentary photography so much. The stories behind images can be told so much better, with a deeper perspective and context when you shoot in series. A few years ago, I was searching for a group of people that shared my feelings about photography. A friend introduced me into the Dutch Photo Journalistic Group and it was exactly what I was looking for. We critique each other’s work as a group of photographers and do not always agree with some of the photographer’s choices but that is what makes it so valuable. That
is what you need to develop as a photographer. The Batwa numbers dwindled The Virunga Mountains are situated along the Northern border of Rwanda, and the Democratic of the Congo and Uganda. These mountains are the home of the mountain gorillas but in the past the oldest people of Africa, the Batwa Pygmies, lived there as well. I used to travel to Western Uganda a lot, so I already knew what was going on among the people there. During that time I met a young
man and I decided to make a difference for him so sponsored him for several years, giving him the opportunity to go to school and get a proper education. This also gave me the idea to shoot in Uganda and expose the story of the Batwa Pygmies. Their story is so heartbreaking that I took this series of pictures to show the world how they have to live their lives. These are the oldest people of Uganda, and they have been evicted from their ancestral land to protect the mountain gorillas. The Ugandan government had them relocated with no compensation what so ever. Even after 25 years, they don't have farming land of their own to grow crops and food to sustain themselves. They are
impoverished and do not have access to schools and healthcare, which only compounds their problems. In the meantime, the government is filling its pockets on tourism from the mountain gorillas. It took 3 weeks to shoot the story I visited the Mukingo Batwa Village, consisting of 35 households, in October 2016 and stayed for 3 weeks. The church of Uganda has built 15 units of house holding facilities for them and the rest of
the families built their homes with reeds and polythene papers. My heart is with the mountain gorillas, but it also broke when I met these people and saw the conditions in which the Batwa people have to live. Proud for One Second I asked every family if I could photograph them and they all posed for me, Proud for One Second, because they need to be seen. I also asked every family about their thoughts about their future.
Sadly, they all share pessimistic, dark thoughts and don't have faith in a better tomorrow. I sincerely hope my images can help in some way, so the plight of these people will not be forgotten.
ÂŠ Photo Jan Janssen This family is headed by mother Nyirankunda Justina who lives with her 5 children. Mbarimo, Isaach, Muhereza, Gapusi en Racheal. Since they have access to free education, they are optimistic about the future. Nyirankunda believes that her children will become better people when they can go to school.
© Photo Jan Janssen This family is headed by Nyiramuhirwe Jackline who lives with her 3 kids Monica, Emily and Rebbecca. They don’t have faith in the future. Agriculture is the only foodsource they have, and they became discouraged continuing it because the crops don’t yield. The mother sees them giving up on agriculture even she predicts famine to her family.
© Photo Jan Janssen Head of the family Kyomugisha Sylvia is a mother of 4. She predicts tough times and has no hope for a better future, since they already lacking food while she is still able to work for food for her family. She does’nt know how they will survive when diseases put her down. Her kids will die poor because they can’t go to school like the other kids in the village.
ÂŠ Photo Jan Janssen Head of the family Patrick Munyambabazi with his wife Janet Kamashamba and their 5 childeren. They say they have lived a poor life since they left the forest till now. "We beg for everything, from food, clothes, money and even sometimes shelter. We have lived a life of begging and our children are heading for the same life, without medication and famine".
© Photo Jan Janssen Head of the family Nyiramarunga Sophia with her two children. Sophia predicts extreme poverty and famine in the future. Although working in people’s gardens, they have no clear source of income and she can’t provide their basic needs. She also mentions her kids spending the little money there is on alcohol instead of buying food for the family.
MY FIRST CAMERA by Eddie Maes LRPS
I was hooked; today, I still am… This article carries a title that sound like a high school composition, and that is absolutely deliberate. The camera at hand is indeed much longer in my possession than any other in my collection. It has belonged to my parents since 1945, the year I was born. The name of my uncle inside the leather carrying case may indicate that he bought it years earlier, the first year of production being 1936. It (I fondly tend to refer to this camera as “he”) was entrusted to me to take on a four day school trip in 1958, shortly before I reached the age of 13. There, then, I was hooked; today, I still am… The Agfa Billy Clack is a very basic camera, : one shutter
© Eddie Maes
speed (1/30 or something about there), no focusing, three fixed aperture setting on a rotating mask (f:8.8 the largest), and an inbuilt yellow filter that slips before the lens. The Igestar lens is a simple periscope type, consisting of two identical basic meniscus lenses mounted back to back. No focal length is indicated, it must be around 75 mm. Separate clear viewfinders for portrait and landscape format are built into the front plate. More than a plate, it is actually a voluminous, and well built, body part containing all the camera’s functions and controls, except the film transport. Film format is the common R120 rollfilm, used in many
© Eddie Maes
box and folding cameras in 6x6cm or 6x9cm size, but also in the twin lens Rolleiflexes, and later in the Hasselblad. Here however, half-format is used, yielding a negative of 4.5x6cm size, and allowing for 16 exposures on a film. To achieve that, the film numbering on the backing paper always has to be positioned first behind one red window in the back, then advanced to the second one. Although an unsophisticated camera, it is well built, and still in working order. The front plate has an “art deco” pattern, made of chrome lines in the black enamel. The body covering is made of Robusit, a vulcanized rubber material very similar to the Vulcanite used on Leica bodies. “He” accompanied me for a good five years, without letting me down.
© Eddie Maes
ÂŠ Eddie Maes - photo made with the Afga Billy Clack - Porta Nigra - Trier - Germany (made in 1958 and printed in 2001) Notice how the simple lens renders the center of the image very sharp, but looses quality towards the edges and corners. The film I then used was Gevapan 33 (125ASA, made by Gevaert, Antwerp), which disappeared after the formation of Agfa-Gevaert. Agfaâ€™s Isopan film was essentially the same formula, later replaced by the Agfapan line.
SILENT JAILHOUSE - A SUCCESFUL A-PANEL text and photos by Carol Olerud ARPS It’s recording my life I’m an Australian Dutch woman living in The Netherlands now for 24 years. I’ve been taking photos since I was 12 years old, like it’s recording my life for me. What I see, what I do, where I am etc. I have 3 (grown) kids and after the youngest was born – 21 years ago – I joined my first photo club. A
whole world opened up for me! I met new like-minded people and I could discover more with my photography. I followed workshops, courses, was in groups learning more about my camera, a Canon.
© Carol Olerud
I like to tell stories I was always curious as to why some photos are better appreciated than others in competitions, so I went to all the meetings where the jury explained their choices. This way I learned to see more again and understand the different genres and what makes certain photos more interesting for a larger audience. My style is documentary/journalistic. I like to tell stories. Of people, or what I see on the streets. I document my family, friends and usually always take series of photos. I joined the RPS in 2017 after having gone to several study group meetings in firstly Den Haag, then Rotterdam. The group was always inspirational and work brought was on making panels, L or A and even F. There was no pressure at all. I enjoyed these meetings and found it a challenge to come up with something that may turn into a successful A panel. It was great talking the photo talk in English, I even learnt new terminology as I was used to the Dutch jargon. Also, super nice was meeting expats and other Dutch people that have travelled widely, or work for an international company. I went straight for an A panel as I already photograph in series and themes. My plan was to be alert for making a new series - something that could be a good subject for 15 photos.
I felt the silence The old jail in Utrecht was allowing people inside to see how it all was, so I was there with my camera and a 50mm lens. Immediately I felt the silence and wondered how it had been to be locked up here. It was a high security prison, so no one was allowed to see each other, nor share rooms nor go
outside. The airing room was even a barred cage. My letter of intent was not yet on paper at the time of photographing, but I had the feeling clear of what I was seeing and what I wanted. Also, I took very many photos!
© Carol Olerud Then came the challenge of putting them all together. This process I let happen over a longer period of time and each visit to the study group new layouts were tried. I even went back to the original photos to search for missing viewpoints. I did not get the opportunity to photograph again in the jail, so it really was a hit or miss, a one chance only type of thing. Slowly the panel took shape, my letter of intent was edited several times and in the end I felt I had something good. I used the availability of getting an online advice, which came back quite positively, with a few
suggestions on what to change. Which I did. Then in February this year we had a Celebration of Distinctions weekend in Ghent, where Ray Spence attended. We saw fabulous successful panels and then we showed our own work for his advice. My panel again got a positive review, I had to add the word ‘sterile’ to my letter of intent and then it was as ready as it ever could be to go to Bath. Since the jail is not abandoned at all, it is very clean inside, this may have been confusing, or thought of as an Urbex type of situation. Photography means a lot to me, I am forever seeing the world through the lenses of my eyes. Even when I don’t have my Canon with me, I use my iPhone, so I can take photos at any time wherever I am.
Statement of Intent
“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.” Haruki Murakami
© Carol Olerud - hanging plan - Silent Jailhouse
As I walked inside this old empty sterile jail I felt the silence. My intention was to try and capture this feeling which overcame me. I have never been inside a jail before, so I had no idea of what to expect. The silence was eerie. It would be depressing to be locked up, with bars on your windows, confined and surrounded by darkness with limited or no access to life outside. Always alone in your cell, being watched over and never feeling free. Searching for the light, missing the freedom you had, quietness and loneliness surrounding you. I left, glad not to have had to stay for long.
Carol Olerud - 120 words - 2018 ARPS Panel - Conceptual & Contemporary Category
Â© Carol Olerud
Â© Carol Olerud
Â© Carol Olerud
Â© Carol Olerud
Â© Carol Olerud
HEEL HOLLAND FOTOGRAFEERT (THE NETHERLANDS IS TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS) text by Janet Haines ARPS and André Bergmans
Words of wisdom and admiration from the curator May 9th 2018 the Nederlands Fotomuseum (Dutch Museum of Photography), in Rotterdam Netherlands held the opening evening for the Heel Holland Fotografeert (The Netherlands is taking photographs) exhibition. The title Heel Holland Fotografeert is a cheeky reference to Heel Holland Bakt
(The Great Dutch Bake Off). With almost 400 people, at the opening of the exhibition only, keen to see the works hung in this prestigious venue first came the speeches. Words of wisdom and admiration from the curator, Nicole Robbers (freelance image editor for the quality Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, editor for
© Carol Olerud - Ruud Visschedijk during the opening speech
© Frank Roosendaal - from left to right: Mira Matic (projects museum), Armando and Nicole Robbers
the Dutch photo magazine Hollandse Beelden, and judge of the Zilveren Camera (Dutch contest for professional Journalistic photography) and World Press Photo), the director of the museum Ruud Visschedijk and the FotoFestival aan de Maas (Photo Festival by the Maas) chairperson Harry Sikkenk.
It is tough to get hung at this national exhibition with more than 18,000 images in 2.700 series being selected down by Nicole Robbers to just 41 panels of work. The RPS Benelux Chapter were delighted that two of our members: Armando Jongejan FRPS and André Bergmans both had work selected. With speeches over and the exhibition declared open we were given the opportunity to see everyone’s work. Armando was delighted as he had a wall all to himself. His panel showed a selection of his St. Lioba nunnery work, with for example a nun bouncing on a trampoline being the star image and printed large. This photograph was also show outside the museum at the Deliplein (Deli Square), size ‘big’.
© Armando Jongejan - the series of the St. Lioba Nunnery in the Dutch museum of photography
About the curators statement and what was asked for The ’Fotofestival aan de Maas’ is not a traditional photo competition. Hence there is no jury but a curator. The objective of the festival is to show the best of what the Dutch amateur photographers have to offer. On the website extensive guidelines, hints and tips and expectations were revealed through text, videos, interviews and examples of acceptable work. The careful reader and photographer could therefor read what body of work would make any chance to get through in this festival. No theme, topic, or genre was indicated but the format of a series was mandatory. Series transcend the lucky shot and are made by photographers that consciously and focussed work on the particular topic and the result shows the handwriting of the maker. In the curator statement Nicole Robbers explained she was looking for an original approach and elaboration, serial format, stopping power in terms of astonishment and admiration. Also she was looking for classical series like portraits. This requires powerful work, daring topics and a daring approach; this should be possible in any genre of photography. In short and to my opinion Nicole Robbers was looking for work of amateur photographers that is as close as possible to personal (gallery) work of professional art photographers.
© Armando Jongejan Deliplein (Deli Square), container sizes: 2.4 x2.4 meters
‘Dead and Gone’ displayed in a prominent position Andre’s work was also displayed in a prominent position and printed to a good size. His panel is titled ‘Dead and Gone’ and shows items of personal memorabilia. This panel was noticeable and refreshingly different from the majority that had been selected. The curators brief was clearly reflected in the exhibition. Robbers obviously has a preference for (quirky) people panels as they predominated the exhibition, with few landscapes, nothing truly creative and minimal animal or architecture work in sight.
© André Bergmans the series of ‘Dead and Gone’ in the Dutch museum of photography
Disappointments and as cherry on the pie The various panels were all given plenty of space and displayed at a comfortable height for close viewing. Observing the crowd I was a little disappointed to note how quickly they moved past the various works with few taking their time to really ‘look’ at the works in detail – and many deserved
closer examination to truly appreciate the quality of photography. Though the works that got through into the exhibition generally had stopping power it does not mean these series were easy to read. This did put an extra challenge to the visitors of the exhibition.
© Carol Olerud ARPS - winner of the daily mini-competition
Another disappointment for me was the quality of the printing. This had been done by the organisation and not the individual photographers. Some works had obviously suffered from not being properly printed, loosing details or looking too flat . However that did not take away from the fact that the exhibition had a good buzz about it, with many of the exhibitors quite rightly delighted to be hung. As all are amateur photographers to be hung in the Nederlands Fotomuseum is a great achievement and all are to be congratulated. To make it a real festival there were numerous other open air activities outside the museum: expositions, portfolio discussion, lectures, mini-competitions, music and childrens activities. Carol Olerud managed to win the daily mini-competition on day two.
BENELUX CHAPTER SUMMER CHALLENGE 2018 text by Janet Haines ARPS Just a fun thing This is just a fun thing to get you focussed on taking photos during July and August. It is open to anyone who wishes to participate, whether a Chapter member or not. By having 10 Challenges, or different topics and techniques, it aims to stretch you and can be achieved at what ever level you are at in your photography. If you are still aspiring to achieve your LRPS Distinction it might give you focus. If you ended up with 10 quality images they would be, at the very least, a good start towards your panel of 10 that you need. All 10 Challenges will be announced at the beginning of the programme. They do not need to be shot in any particular order but do need to be marked with the Challenge number when submitting them to our Chapter Webmaster, AndrĂŠ Meyer-Vitali . AndrĂŠ will put all the images up on our web site www.rps.org/benelux as well as the rules and 10 Challenges details.
THE VAN DER KWAAK FAMILY by Janet Haines ARPS
Their interest in photography started much earlier Is this a first? The Van Der Kwaak family, who live in Alphen aan den Rijn, Zuid-Holland, have all recently joined the RPS Benelux Chapter. The RPS and the Open University (OU) work together to run a course for Photography. Mum Sandrine did the RPS OU Course in 2017 and was delighted
when she passed. That inspired her to join the Society. But it seems their interest in photography started much earlier than this. Alf (Dad) was always keen and in the earlier days of their marriage used to drive Sandrine crazy whilst she had to stand around waiting for him as he took a shot. Then they went in to the kid
The Van Der Kwaak family - photo Janet Haines ARPS
rearing years – too little time and too little money, so his camera got put away as other priorities took over. More latterly Sandrine suddenly discovered that she too liked the art form so set about
learning her camera skills and techniques by doing the OU Course – then she was hooked. Now the entire family has joined the Society and have enthusiastically embraced the idea of working towards their LRPS Distinctions. For each it is a journey – a personal journey that will see the quality of their work improving. Each have their own different strengths, so it will be really interesting to see how this family individually approach the Distinctions and whether they will influence each others work or not. Perhaps in a years time we will return to find out how they are enjoying their Society membership and the development in their abilities.
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH RENS HORN by Janet Haines ARPS
I was well outside my comfort zone May 19th Chapter meeting was a Street Photography workshop with Rens Horn. We started the day with Rens showing us a variety of work from different street photographers and looking at their individual styles. He then set the group a couple of challenge ideas and let us out on the streets of
Rotterdam for some practical time. Each went off in their own direction returning to unload their cards and discuss individually with Rens what we had taken and why, discovering what works and how we could have improved our images. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the day…
Janet Haines ARPS I was well outside my comfort zone and thought I didn’t like Street work. Rens gave me the confidence to realize it isn’t necessarily about a direct confrontational style of working, but more about observation.
Jenny Kooiman What I learnt again during the workshop, and like to practice more often is: “When you put your camera(like Leica, Fujifilm) to your eye with an SLR you block the world. But when you put the rangefinder to your (right) eye, you are seeing the world and the context at the same time.” Joel Meyerowitz
Richard Sylvester LRPS Just taking my time to reflect on passers-by.
Cobi Neeft ARPS I learnt to focus on 1 or 2 things e.g. reflections or parallel or structure and for 2 to 3 hours. Street photography is not a detail of the street, but something with chaos of the street.
Sue Goldberg LRPS It was great fun and we got lots of good tips: Look for details that express emotion (the boy so anxious he is standing on tiptoes to see the fries) and patterns that tie elements of the image together (stripes on clothes, shoes and backpack in this case).
Katherine Maguire LRPS Not everyone in the photo needs to be whole, it is acceptable to have people cut off in your images.
Trevor Simpson I find that it tells the story of activity in a busy street showing all that we expect to see. Additionally the image raises a little smile, which is always a bonus.
Jean Makkinje I'm not a person that comes close to people with a camera and press the s hutter, so this is quite new for me. Rens is a very inspiring person and his explanation was very clear and inspiring. I think this is the idea of the images. "People in the mirror and they see themselves as a advertisement."
Jeroen Dorrestein Try and see and capture the usual, otherwise you are just making copies of reality!
AndrĂŠ Meyer-Vitalis ARPS The eye of an experienced photographer can teach you to see lines and shapes in your own pictures that you weren't even aware of. Catching the moment is as essential as finding the right place and conditions.
OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION AND BOOK PRESENTATION MONKS’ LIFE text by André Bergmans
Event in the Saint Adelbert Abbey Saturday June 2nd the exhibition and presentation of the photobook ‘Monks Life’ of Armando Jongejan FRPS was the event in the Saint Adelbert Abbey in Egmond-Binnen (NL). It was hard to say who was celebrating most. Armando Jongejan of course was celebrating his new photobook after an intense photographic journey of more than two years. During these two years he was allowed to attend ‘everything’ that happened in the monastic community. This meant being in the chapel at odd hours, celebrating, experience magic moments and observe daily life. Being a fly on the wall as a second nature.
photo André Bergmans - with flute brother Michaël Weidemann and Horst Houssen
Looking at all preparations done in the kitchen by the monks, to get all nice food and drinks in place,
they were also preparing to celebrate the end of the long journey. They got the best out of their kitchen, garden and orchard. The opening really was in style of the venue. As one may expect from an abbey… food for the soul (images, words and music) and food for the body. Deep an meaningful speeches amongst others by abbot Gerard Mathijsen osb. Armando Jongejan, Charles van Leeuwen (historian and author of the essay in the photobook), and Leo Fijen (head philosophy of life of the Dutch broadcast channel KRONCRV). Brother Michaël Weidemann and Horst Haussen played intermezzos (music from George Philipp Telemann)
The place was packed but all visitors had ample opportunity to have a quiet look at the images in the exposition selected from all images in the photobook. The exposition and the book give an insight into the modern monastic life but not only by documenting religious celebrations throughout the year. We get an insight into daily occupations like: a little banter in the kitchen, a fun football game
outside, ironing a shirt, cleaning the greenhouse windows. Also a series of images made during a funeral of one of the monks. Very intense and probably as close to such and event as you can get as a photographer. The abbey is doing well as the number of monks grows. The abbey has an open door, outward
photo AndrĂŠ Bergmans - Leo Fijen, abbot Gerard Mathijssen and Armando Jongejan
looking philosophy but normal visitors can never get as close as Armando did in his new book. Will the prosperity of the abbey continue and what will change in the nearby future? I might take another
long photographic journey to find out and document. Why visit? First of all the exhibition of rich content and excellent print. Second to get a copy of the book, a must have for all that appreciate long documentary journeys. Last but not leastâ€Ś. The abbey and their inhabitants, the orchard, herbal garden, candle workshop and the little village of Egmond. You will really feel welcome: Vennewatersweg 27a - Egmond-Binnen, Open Friday and Saturday 12.00-16.30h. Note If you are not able to join, but you want the book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Cees Bijl - impression during the opening. On the left with microphone the abbot
RPS eJournal Benelux Chapter issue 11 Summer 2018