Last weekend myself and twelve of my colleagues went to the Landschaftspark in Duisburg, Germany, for an extended weekend of photographic play. Honestly, I cannot call it anything other than that: we played together! And it was a ton of fun!
I am part of the Master Photographer’s Network. Within this group, I qualified as a Silver Master Photographer back in 2015. This weekend was just for the Silver and Gold qualified photographers. I was part of the task force that organised the trip. Our intent: to organize a trip that would allow these rather good photographers to learn from one another. For this purpose we found an amazing location, and we put together a fantastic group of models, dancers, free runners, musicians, make-up artists and fashion designers. And we brought a ton of equipment!
I am going to post a new image on this blogpost every day of this week. Above is my favourite image of the whole weekend. I love the juxtaposition of old and young, worn out and beautiful, static and dynamic, dark and light, gracious and grungy, the past and the future…
Model: Emy Woudstra — design: Monique Désar — Make-up and hair: Prolooks.
Lady energy floating through abandoned factory
I want my images to tell a story. An old factory like that, and a beautiful design like that, seems to beg for a storyline that pulls it together. I make it up on the spot, and then ask the model to act it out. Some models are better at this than others. Color, light, composition and post-production editing are determined by the photographer and do the rest. This is where it fun to not have a client look over your shoulders and tell you what to do, but rather to carry out your own vision.
When I saw this beautiful dress I knew instantly where I wanted to photograph her. In my minds’ eye, I saw her as the energy that floats around the factory, even as the workers have all left and production has come to a standstill.
In the evening the Landschaftspark is lit beautifully. With all kinds of colors and neon lights. That’s… from a distance. Inside the Landschaftspark it’s actually very dark. I wasn’t quite prepared for that. Luckily, we (me and group of 2 colleagues and our model Lisa) found this abandoned crane. This image was exposed by flash, and the exposure time needed to collect the light from the back ground was 1 full second. That’s a fairly long time.
Also, we totally forgot the flash has a modelling light. So we were focusing by the light of our mobile funs. Like a bunch of amateurs 🙂
I told you, I like telling stories! When model Lisa presented herself in such a hot outfit, I thought she looked dressed for a hot date. Then, when she said down under such a sad light there (one of the lights permanently in the park, I thought she looked sad and alone.
Queen of the factory
The Landschaftspark is an industrial complex, but also a bit of an urban jungle. So when model XXX presented herself, dressed in this amazing outfit by Monique Desar, I looked for a way to have her ‘own the complex’. Fortunately she was very willing to climb up for my photo, so that I could photograph her from below and get some of the metal structures into my photo.
Jump towards freedom
Besides models we also brought a team of freerunners. They did whatever we asked them to. So cool… Of course, I had to make a story again. I saw this old factory, retired, static, rusty. And I saw this young dude, athletic, energetic, flexible. In my picture I sought to juxtapose that.
Model: Minded Motion
Photo’s of the park itself
We spent two days at the park. Before we left I walked through the park one more time, this time without models or athletes…
Click on the pictures to see them larger.