Tuesday, 30 June 2009

extrasensory synchronicity #1

© paul willaert (bruges belgium - 2009)

i'll be absent for some days
going to the big onion
hope to welcome you back in a week
thanks for visiting 'separatestories'

Monday, 29 June 2009

canvas #13

© paul willaert

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Friday, 26 June 2009

what about tomorrow #10

My name is Tommy.
I am 27.
Recently my girlfriend broke up with me.
My parents and I have a good understanding.
Although it has been different since I left home.
I have the impression relationships are like consumptiongoods.
Loyalty is a rare thing.
I live in Bruges.
Next year I could be moving. It depends on my job.
Here, at the lakeside, I can find rest and peace.
I'm intensily happy when I fish.
I hope a new relationship will restore my faith
and bring me renewed happiness and energy.
I suppose there's a lot of luck involved.

© paul willaert (tommy - brugge belgium 2009)

Someone has an opinion about the deviation of this two recent portraits (less formal posure ) in comparison with the other 'what about tomorrow' images?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

once i read

© walker evans

At the time, he was beginning to think that the possibilities of his medium were limitless and that no other photographer was taking advantage of its most valuable quality: its ability to describe the extraordinary visual reality of their own day. In the street, on the subway, everywhere he looked, there was movement, gesture, irony, emotion.

Belinda Rathbone in Walker Evans, a biography - Mariner Books

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

what about tomorrow #9

© paul willaert (michael ramsgate uk - 2009)

My name is Michael. I'm seventeen.
I'm studying to become a journalist... hope to get there.
I'm very curious about other people.
The relation with my mom is a good one. My father doesn't live with me.
My mom is quite motivating.
I'm not that sure about my future. I put that far ahead.
I prefer to stay with the people I know... but with a good reason I would be happy to live elsewhere.
I have no girlfriend around... wonder if this would enrich my life... I hope so.
I'm a firstclass 'prat'... let's go for that one.
Love to joke around, have fun, enjoying myself...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

canvas #12

© paul willaert (whitstable uk - 2009)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

wish you were here #9

© paul willaert (zeebrugge belgium - 2009)

Friday, 19 June 2009

featuring titus simoens

Titus Simoens (Gent 1985) grew up in an artistic family.
His father, Richard Simoens, is a visual artist.
Titus graduated last year at the renomated 'Karel de Grote Hogeschool' in Antwerp, Belgium.
His thesis, 'Close to Romania', received critical acclaim. It was published in 'Screenworlds', an overview of Belgian contemporary photography. The images were exhibited in the Flemish Parliament. Shortly after, his work was published by Lannoo.
As an emerging young photoreporter, Titus Simoens joined the Globe agency.

I could speak to Titus while he was preparing a journey to the US.
There, he will be working on a new project: 'In search of the cowboys.


This is my third trip to Romania with the intention of portraying the country and its people as realistic, as pure and as “close” as possible.
To get to the very heart of these people and their everyday surroundings, that’s my aim. To use my wide-angle lens eagerly and choose position right in the middle of the subject, that’s my strategy. Photographing, to me, also means experiencing: meeting people, trying to understand and appreciate them. That’s how you gain their confidence and get the opportunity to photograph them in a sincere way. That’s how you become part of another community and tell its story. That’s how this reportage got the title “Close to Romania”.
Close but bearing in mind the overall picture and keeping my eyes wide open continuously. Just to pick out that part of a scene that will represent not only what’s in the frame but also its setting and atmosphere.

© titus simoens

Three religious convictions prevail in Romania: the Romanian Orthodox (ca. 86 %), the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.
From Ciocanu I moved on to the north of Romania, particularly known for its monasteries and abbeys. I ended up in the village of Câmpulung, where someone introduced me to a priest of the Sihastria Rarau monastery.
This monastery was once burnt to the ground by the East Hungarians but rebuilt after the 1990 revolution. Today twelve monks live here, having parted with all material possessions and each performing his particular household duty. None of them is allowed to leave the precinct, only the spiritual father can make contact with the outside world. Women are strictly forbidden here. These men have to deal with a constant struggle with themselves, their dreams and their instincts. A rigid schedule of meditating and praying, from 8 o’clock in the morning till 3 o’clock at night, helps them with this task, day in day out.
There was no easy way of photographing these withdrawn monks. It took me five days of praying and fasting before I could enter their individual rooms, which lent those moments a very personal touch resulting in these strong portraits.

© titus simoens

Slobozia Moară is a town in Dâmboviţa, in southern Romania.
Practically everybody here depends exclusively on agriculture for his living. The town is surrounded by enormous fields and the region is particularly known for its potatoes. Only a few farmers have quite recently risked the change to tractors, all the others still till their lands using horse and cart.

© titus simoens

On my first exploration of the town I made the acquaintance of the Matache family. Ionel and Angela have been living all their lives in Slobozia Moară, together with their three sons: Petruţ, Ionuţ and Marian.

© titus simoens

As far as she can remember, Angela has been working the land in and around Slobozia Moară. Also Ionel spent most of his life farming, but his health is failing now and Angela and the children have to manage it on their own today.

Titus Simoens

tales of innocence #9

© paul willaert (gent belgium - 2009)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

wish you were here #8

© paul willaert (lille france - 2009)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

featuring liz kuball

Liz Kuball
(b. 1973) is a photographer based in Southern California.
She began photographing in 2006. Since then she succeeded in building up a portfolio in which she reflects a personal vision on her neighbourhood and the people surrounding her.
In search of surprising 'not-too-well-known-talent' I felt the need to contact this young imagemaker and was happy to receive an enthusiastic response.

I asked Liz to comment on a random image of her project 'California Vernacular'.

© liz kuball

This photograph is part of my California Vernacular series. I think my statement for the project gets at what I’m looking for in terms of the overall feeling: “When you move out to California from back east, you come for a reason: You’re leaving behind a bad relationship, or escaping your hometown, or thinking you’ll be a star. And what you find when you get here is that things aren’t what you thought they’d be. There’s some of what you expected—sunshine and palm trees and long, wide beaches. But there’s more: houses with cacti and succulents in place of the green lawns you grew up with; women in bikinis climbing ladders; trees groomed in an archway, the expected path between them blocked by a gateless chain-link fence. You answer an ad on craigslist for a used car and find yourself in a boxed-in car lot in Van Nuys and go for pie at Du-par’s afterward, because pie makes sense when you’re on Ventura Boulevard and it’s 95 degrees and the car wasn’t what the ad said it would be. And you’d think that, after all this, you’d become disillusioned and go back home, and some do, of course, but many more of us stay and instead of growing bitter, we hang on—hang on to a world that, to us, is even more fantastic than the one we thought we’d find, because it’s real in its absurdity and because we have stories to tell.”

I took this photograph on a Tuesday afternoon in February. Often, I take an hour out of the afternoon to drive around looking for photographs, and this was one of those days. At the time I take a photograph, I don’t stop to ask myself why—I operate on instinct. Later, when I’m looking over my photographs, I try to see if my instincts resulted in anything that helps me communicate what I’m trying to say about Southern California. It’s a feeling I’m after, and this photograph taps into some of the feelings I have about this place.


Liz Kuball's blog

Monday, 15 June 2009

open the blinds #2

© paul willaert (lille france - 2009)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

canvas #12

© paul willaert (blankenberge - 2005)

Friday, 12 June 2009

scalability #6

© paul willaert (oostende - 2009)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

featuring dan larkin

Recently I stucked upon Dan Larkin's images.
I found them 'extremely worth trying'...
to contact the man behind the lens.
As a surprising result I got an intimate and strong short-essay with the photographer's context.

Hello Paul,

I'm flattered.

Attached are 3 jpegs from my series "All About My Mother"
These portraits of my mother, Anne B. Larkin were made over the course of the last ten years of her life. They signify casual pauses in conversation during the routine activities we shared. I watched as she came into her own after the death of my father, we became friends. She forged a new life and seemed to relish the freedom of living on her own for the first time. Her struggle with both physical and mental illness makes me realize she was probably the strongest person I will ever know. These images evoke the passage of time and have become my quiet reflection on the fragility of life. I’m reminded of the significance of living in the moment.

© dan larkin

© dan larkin

© dan larkin

I have a distinctive sensitivity for the treatment of nuance of color and light. I've developed a body of work that separately, or when grouped together suggests an implied narrative. Of late I have been experimenting with strategies that use digital time-based media in hopes of extending the boundaries of a visual journal or diary. I like long walks on the beach with no one in particular, café latte and a bagel with peanut butter on it for breakfast, if I were blind my favorite color would definitely be tie-dye and I am devoted to photography because it offers me the opportunity to attempt to coax insight from the seemingly ordinary. My favorite job so far has been this one.

Dan Larkin

Associate Professor
Program Chair, BFA Fine Art Photography
Rochester Institute of Technology

B.F.A. Rochester Institute of Technology 1983
M.F.A. Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College 1994

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

living night dreams #2

© paul willaert (ramsgate - 2009)


A portrait can be more than simply a photograph of a person.
Under the right conditions it becomes a visual representation of a dialogue
between a subject and a photographer that is communicated to the viewer.

Dan Larkin

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

tales of innocence #8

© paul willaert (de panne belgium - 2009)

Monday, 8 June 2009

featuring drew thomas levy

'featuring' is a way of exposing the work and thoughts of a contemporary photographer
mostly it's a summary of a communication (live chat, interview, email, phonecall...) through which i tried to find answers on questions or to let the artist explain the idea behind an image

i noticed the photography of drew thomas levy some time ago on the internet
from the beginning i knew there was something special with this images
drew approaches his streetsubjects in a different way,
with a whole lot of consideration
keywords in his photographical life are memory, faith, time and loss...

© drew thomas levy

I took the photograph above on Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I took it outside a Haitian church. The church is housed in an old movie theater. They used to call movies motion pictures and before that magic picture plays. Those long threads of association may seem extraneous or even irrelevant, but they are the kinds of things I am thinking and chasing while I walk about taking photographs.

I first noticed this storefront church in the early morning, before the sun was falling across its facade. I locked my bicycle to a post across the street and walked away, off to spend the morning and early afternoon taking pictures. Several hours later when I returned to my bicycle, the westward-facing side of Lancaster Avenue had been transformed. The high, hot summer sun was pounding down on the storefront church, reflecting off its metallic surfaces. I made my way through the traffic to the other side of the street and set out to frame a photograph.

I remember the heat of the concrete as I kneeled down on the sidewalk to take this photograph. I remember thinking about the extremes of the light, not knowing exactly what the photograph would look like and yet trusting that it would work. I was conscious of my own reflection, but not of the reflections in their entirety: of the parking meter, the car, and the building that all work together to add earth to the heavens. I remember worrying about the words on the bottom of the poster and whether they would be legible in the photograph; I remember deciding it didn't matter.

I re-crossed the street, loaded up my two cameras in my bag, unlocked my bike, put on my helmet and began peddling home. As I rode, I kept thinking of this photograph, kept hoping I had managed to craft what I had seen. We talk about taking, capturing, even shooting photographs. These metaphors are as old as photography itself. And yet as I thought about this scene and this image on my bike, and even as I think of them now, I was thinking about translation. Photography offers to me over and over again the gift of the world's unexpected beauty and complexity and resonance and what I wanted more than anything as I made this photograph, as I make any of my photographs, is to translate an impression, the light, color, poetry. And when I am lucky, and that day on Lancaster Avenue I was very, very lucky indeed, photography allows me to translate what I see and experience and try to comprehend, it allows me to share my world with others.

In one way or another, I think all of my photographs are about memory, faith, time, and loss.

It's difficult to choose a single image. Difficult in the same kind of way that answering the question "what's your photography about" is difficult. Then again, for some people that question isn't difficult at all: "artist's statements" are a dime a dozen.

I live in Albany, NY, together with my partner Holly and my newborn child Daniel.
Albany is straight up the Hudson River from New York City.


Friday, 5 June 2009

canvas #11

© paul willaert (pegwell uk - 2009)

urban nature #12

© paul willaert (broadstairs uk - 2009)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

what about tomorrow #8

© paul willaert (james - ramsgate 2009)

My name is James.
I'm twenty years old and I live in Southampton.
I'm studying business. I want to become a businessadvisor.
I have a strong and close relationship with my parents.
We talk a lot about everything.
They do different jobs.
But they support me a lot towards what I want to do.
I'm not sure if I will stay here. Just see what happens.
I will go wherever the a job takes me.
The relation with my girlfriend is definitely enriching my life.
I want to live my life in full, be happy...

Monday, 1 June 2009

urban nature #12

© paul willaert (charleroi - 2009)