birth of a blog

Hi there, Hans Verbrugge here.

I’ve decided to accompany my photography site with a blog, which hopefully will show you a bit of who I am, why I photograph and how some of my work was made.

I think my interest in photography started when I was in my teens. My dad had a Agfamatic (the 2000, if I recall well) and I remember I was very interested in playing around with it. The flash-box I found especially nice. It made this nice sound when it popped while producing its flash.

I liked how a small piece of technology was able to capture the world around me into something that could be looked at and remembered when everything else moved forward.

Later, I bought my first camera, a Konica SLR with a 50mm prime lens. I don’t remember the type. I used it for some time, shot quite some stuff when I did my military service and then sold it when I moved to Amsterdam. A decision I regretted for a long time.

Then came study and work and I forgot about it for a while. I regained interest when I went on a vacation to the Dutch Antilles; I wanted to have an SLR again. So, off to the nearest shop to get one. I ended up with a Pentax Z50 with a Sigma zoom. It did the job well. Years later, it broke down and I got a Nikon F80. I really liked the Nikon way of doing things. The position of the buttons, the menu, the grip. It was slightly larger than Canon SLRs, at the time, and given the size of my hands, I thought it’d be the best choice. I got it with the kit zoom lens. It was during this time that I started to really learn and appreciate the technical sides of things. I learned Adam Ansel’s Zone System, became aware of how actually my camera measured light. I started applying it (even though I was using colour film at the time) and switched from matrix to spot metering. I wanted to have total control. By then there were so many good resources on the Internet; I was like a sponge.

Then came the digital SLRs and I bought a Nikon D100. This was end of 2003. After a while I got annoyed with the bad image quality and the fact that they looked so digital. I aborted it in 2004. Around the same time, I met a Canadian guy, Andrew Murphy on an online critque forum. He went back to film and started experimenting with black and white film. I was so impressed with this (and I liked his photos), that I decided to try it myself. I went back to the F80 and got myself a few rolls of Kodak Tri-X. In to the development tank with them, when I was done. As soon as the first roll was dry, I cut it in strips and scanned them. It was an eye opener. I loved everything about it. The grain, it was so beautiful. I was sold and hooked. More and more rolls followed (most of my work in my portfolio is from scanned b/w negatives) and a lot of pushed and pulled film was processed. I stuck to Tri-X mostly, although I had fantastic results with Agfa Scala slide film, developed in B&W developer. See photo #13 here

I had been shooting different subject matters until that time, in search of what one could call “a style”, or “interest”. Not long after starting using B&W film and getting friends with Andrew, I found what I was looking for. Portraiture. Not posed but in it’s most bare form, just trying to show people as I saw them. Pure. This is what I still do and what I will keep on doing for a long time, if it’s up to me. I hope you enjoy my work and hope my photos speak for themselves (or show a little bit of myself, perhaps). For me, the camera is an extension of my eye, what I see. A tool. Just as much as I love to see though other peoples eyes, I hope you enjoy looking through mine.

Thanks Dennis for helping me with the blog design and setup.