I was here, and this is what I saw ...

I've always been interested in photography ever since I discovered National Geographic and great photographers like Jodi Cobb and William Albert Allard. I never liked the stories about animals or plants, for me it was always the stories about places and the people in them, places I'd never heard of, but which made me want to go there and see them for myself. 
Inspired, I bought a camera and learned how to develop film, but then life got in the way, and I took a break from serious photography for a while as the kids grew up. When things got a little quieter and I had more I time picked up my camera again four years ago, followed a few courses and workshops, and got out there again, documenting the world around me.
I like simplicity and silence. When I look back over my images and say to myself "I was here, and this is what I saw”, then I want that to come through. We all live such busy lives with little time to just stop, look up from our screens, and not feel overwhelmed by all that goes on around us. So, I try and capture those rare moments of silence, of banality, and the ordinary, which can be beautiful in its own unique way.  

I love the work of many photographers, some famous, some not so much. I much admire William Eggleston and Fred Herzog for their colour work, and for making it okay to picture the boring and the banal. Saul Leiter also fits into that category, as does the colour work of Vivian Maier, work that never fails to inspire for its simplicity and beauty. The work of Stephen Shore is another source of inspiration, as is the work of several of the artists that eventually came to form what we now call "The New Topographics" movement. The images that Steve McCurry created in India are nothing short of breath-taking, as is the work of Don McCullin.

There's a load of people I follow on Instagram whose work I admire - I won't list them all (there's too many, really) but I'll add a list of the new interesting one's I find every month in the blog.
Fuji X-Pro3
So, I finally got an X-Pro3. It's been on my wish list for so long now, but I've never had the funds to buy one - until recently. I had bought one from the local camera store but browsing on Marktplaats (the Dutch version of eBay) I found a second-hand copy, Dura Black (or: the expensive version) with only 1900 clicks, complete with four Fuji branded batteries, a choice of lenses (a 23mm f2 and two TT Artisans, the 35mm f1.4 and the 17mm f1.2 which is the one I ended up getting), a grip for the body and a battery charger, all for 1500 euro. 
Too good to turn down really, even considering the three-hour round trip needed to get it. 
I'm still getting used to it - it's quite different to the XT2 - but if nothing else I am thoroughly enjoying my photography again. With all the dials and the amazing OVF, it really does remind me of my first ever camera, an Olympus OM10. 
And if anyone reads this and is wondering about the LCD screen that only flips down - forget about it, you won't miss it at all. In the first few hours after I got my copy, I found myself referring to it constantly but after a while I had gotten used to composing only with the OVF. I check the LCD occasionally to see if I've got the settings right, but once that's done, I only ever shoot with the OVF, it's a real pleasure to use!
Fuji XT-2
I had the chance to buy a used XT-2 to replace my XT-20.  It's a bit battered - it fell from my shoulder while I was cycling, sending the battery and lens in different directions. But aside from a few scratches on the ISO dial and a battery compartment door that opens up rather easily it still works perfectly fine! The change from the much smaller XT-20 to the much larger XT-2 was enormous - it just felt like a 'proper' camera, all dials, and buttons and a decent EVF. It felt good in the hand. Solid, comfortable, not too heavy and the build quality made the whole thing feel like a professional, serious camera. Not like the X-Pro3 mind you, that thing is a BEAST, but a great camera to have as a backup!
Kodak Ektar H35
Hoping to get (back) into film photography, I bought one of those half-frame cameras
Despite rising film costs, Kodak hopes to keep film shooters snapping by offering a way to shoot film on a shoestring budget. Taking a cue from a 1960’s trend in camera design, Kodak has released the Ektar H35 half-frame camera. The new Kodak Ektar H35 is a point-and-shoot half-frame 35mm camera that will give me 72 photos per single roll of 36 exposure 35mm film. 
Half-frame is an interesting format. Instead of the conventional 36x24mm image of 35mm film, half-frame cuts this in half to 17x24mm. The resulting images also differ from 35mm in that they are vertically oriented; when holding a standard 35mm camera horizontally, it produces an image that is longer than it is tall. Half frame is the opposite. When holding the Ektar H35 horizontally, it produces an image that is taller than it is long.
My Lenses
23mm f1.4
35mm f1.4

50mm f2.0
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