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Schaefer bridge #1

Schaefer Bridge

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Schaefer Bridge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Schaefer Bridge, named after the local politician Jan Schaefer, is located in the center of Amsterdam. It connects the city with the former harbor islands that are currently being redeveloped for housing. The bridge is a landmark, and many have shot it. I saw that as a challenge.

For me, shooting it at daylight would have been too easy. Instead, I used an HDR technique to shoot the bridge at night. I decided to stretch the technique to its limits, using it as a contrast limiter instead of implementing is simply as an effect. This made the bridge come to life in the dark. Every small detail of the bridge is visible, just like in daylight, which wouldn’t have been possible with the large contrast between shadows and the city lights.

The results, I think, are breathtaking.

Resurrection | Marc van Oene

Resurrection

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Resurrection

I received a phone call from a friend with whom I worked with on the Tegenkracht foundation campaign. She asked me if I could help her with a picture of her and her friends from the Amazones foundation, a group dedicated to young women with breast cancer. Because I’m an enthusiastic guy, I immediately agreed. Of course I would help!

I soon learned that “her friends” were, in reality, a dozen women representing the Pink Ribbon Award. The year’s theme was “together”, and they had decided that it would be a great idea to pose together and wanted my help for the shoot.

My initial reaction of enthusiasm quickly changed to fear. What was I going to do with twelve women in one photograph? It’s never easy to make a group portrait with so many people. And, these women are ill–how would I represent them honestly and compassionately?

After thinking about the problem for a while, it was clear to me that if the photo is about breast cancer, we would have to show it. I knew I had to ask them to pose (half) naked, to show their suffering. How was I going to approach them with this suggestion?

The women had already made up several ideas for the shoot, and discussed them lively on the Amazons forum. I too had my ideas. I was thinking–what would it be like to face a diagnosis of breast cancer. Naturally, one would be extremely upset; and, for some reason, this thought reminded me of one of my visits to the cathedral of Orvieto in Italy. In the aisle, there are stunning frescos by the Italian painter Luca Signorelli. That work inspired me to choose the theme for the shoot: “resurrection”.

Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter I was very nervous, and I had not told them the idea. On the day of the shoot, I finally revealed what my intentions for the shoot were. Fortunately, the women understood the idea completely, and were very enthusiastic. 

Everyone needed makeup for the shoot. So, to speed the process along, I chose to photograph the women in small groups of two or three. This also gave me maximum flexibility when compositing the shoot. In postproduction, looking at the details and putting everything together, I was faced with the reality of what these women had to go through. I felt humbled to work with their images.

Because most of the girls did not knew each other in real life, only through the Amazon forum, cinematographer Mark van Eden shot a short film as a reminder of the shooting day, and the project as a whole. The film can be watched here (English subtitles)

I hope that in creating this image, I played a small part in making the public more aware of this horrible disease.

office staple clean light

The office

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The office

In the advertising business, clients usually want things to go big. They want their products to fill as much ad space as possible. Bigger, in other words, is almost always better.

Here, in this personal visual experiment, I tried the opposite by asking the question: how small can the product be in a composition without taking away the image’s attractiveness?

In these images, there’s no doubt that the eye moves immediately to the staple, the rubberband, and the foam. Without these visual cues, the viewer is left to drift. See? Size doesn’t always matter.

 

Jaguar XK bonnet

Jaguar XK

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Jaguar XK

Over the years I’ve shot many, many cars.

Usually, my clients are eager to show the entire product in the shoot. Sure, a car is a sum of its parts. Why not give the customer the entire picture?

However, in this personal study of a Jaguar XK, I wanted to shoot from a different angle. Instead of photographing the car as a whole, I wanted to reveal its beautiful lines and create a more graphical approach towards my car photography. Like my Office series, I wanted to make an engaging image without showing the entire subject.

For this shoot I focused on a specific section of the car to highlight its beautiful design. I used a background with subtle roughness to emphasize the smoothness of the car and its shiny metal surfaces. The lighting is also tweaked, making the colors really pop, and to create something quite different from the typical studio approach to car photography.

 

liquids Milk in water

Liquids

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Liquids

This is another personal project that engaged with my fascination in details. This study explored the behaviours liquids exhibit when poured into water. To create an interesting contrast, I poured milk and black ink, a sort of yin and yan of colour contrast, into the water and photographed the result. Both liquids created a unique, magical dance that was a joy to capture. 

Notice the complementary background.

liquids Ink in water

Cape Canaveral Kennedy space centre Florida rocket space shuttle kodak tri-x

Cape Canaveral

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Cape Canaveral

Another personal project; I took these shots during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

The scale of the projects on display in Cape Canaveral was, to my mind, simply overwhelming. The vehicle assembly building, used to assemble manned vehicles for space travel, has long been the largest single story building on earth. In fact, during my tour, I was told that the internal volume of the building is so large that rain can form inside the building. Incredible.

The size of the first moon rocket, the Saturn V pictured here, is incredible. Over 110 metres tall, and ten metres in diameter, it is the largest rocket ever built. An example of one of the Saturn Vs launched from Cape Canaveral was on display, and I knew I had to shoot it.

The photographs shown here are taken in the so-called “rocket garden”. There, different test rockets are on display, including the Saturn V, which is laid down and shifted in parts so the different stages of the rocket, used to exit orbit, are completely visible.

These pictures were taken on Kodak Tri-X film at 800 iso and scanned digitally. I used the clouds floating overhead as part of the retouching process to give a foggy look to the picture, representing the massive exhaust fumes that arose from a launch.

Young women

Young women

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Young Women

These shots were original made for an assignment and intended for commercial use. The client wanted me to shoot these women for an advertisement, specifically a medicine that would fight cancer that affects women.

I found there was something more to these pictures, something morose. I totally reworked the images to come up with a moodier tone. I used a subtle complementary colour shift, making the whites look a little bluish in contrast with the darker parts, which come out a bit more yellowish. These colours, combined with the fine details my camera was able to capture, created a haunting series of images that stick in the mind.

  

Poggio in Caiano Italy animals moonlight zebra volture flamingo crane bird oryx

Poggio in Caiano

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Italy, Poggio in Caiano

Poggio a Caiano is a town in the region of Tuscany, Italy.

These images were shot in an ancient villa that was built by Lorenzo de Medici in 1473. The house is beautifully decorated, and boasts a reasonable large garden where many parties were held. Lorenzo could, as one of the wealthiest people of his time, fulfill his most exotic wishes when building this exquisite villa. In that spirit, I wanted to create a shoot representing what I imagined for this beautiful construction.

In postproduction, I changed these daytime shots to look as though they were captured by moonlight. I shot animals from a zoo , shooting at just the right perspective, and with the perfect amount of light in which to seamlessly drop my images of the animals into the photos captured at the villa. The result is a dreamy menagerie of my own making.

More info about the villa can be found here.

 

Chucky skin disease

Chucky

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Chucky and his skin disease

This is Chucky. He suffers from a very bad skin disease that causes him unthinkable pain.

I wanted to find a way to express Chucky’s pain, and his anguish at their not being a cure for his disease, in a sequence of haunting images. I came up with the idea of using latex as a symbol for his skin. His peeling the latex away would be a physical representation of the relief he craves from his oppressive affliction.

Unfortunately, the cure for the disease is still undiscovered.

 

Kitchen design stainless steel Vola tap hob sink stylish design dark

Kitchen

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Kitchen

When I rented a new studio, I was forced to rebuild everything. The studio was in truly bad shape and needed some loving care. In this rebuild, a new kitchen was needed. I love to design, and instead of hiring someone else, I decided to create my own vision for a dream kitchen. Of course, once it was built, I just had to photograph it.