Wout Berger - When I Open My Eyes
- Paperback: 130 pages
- Publisher: Fotohof (June 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3902675756
- ISBN-13: 978-3902675750
When I open my eyes in the morning, the first thing I see is the IJsselmeer.
Sometimes I take a picture of it, but really seeing it is something else.
Not until a friend said to me, "You live in your subject matter," did the penny drop.
I placed a tripod at a fixed spot in front of the bedroom window and began to look.
At first you're grateful for every sailboat that comes along. Every intense sky: a photograph.
But before long you start keeping every distraction out of the picture. It's what anyone open to the subject matter ends up doing.
I no longer photograph sailboats. Nor do I photograph birds, or people.
I do take pictures of little waves, patches of fog, rain and clouds. These, too, can be distracting; but their forms are almost always amorphous, transparent, wet. They scarcely have any color of their own, but they take on the color of light cast on them and then reflect that.
Sixty photographs in all: together they make up my IJsselmeer. No one photograph is any nicer than another. If you start looking at photographs that way, you get lost in aesthetics. I'm not after aesthetics. I want to photograph wind, light—elements that we know only by their manifestations. You don't see the wind; you see a wave. You don't see light; you see the cloud that catches light. And yet I still want to capture wind and light—by looking, time and again, at the same subject situated, time and again, at the same coordinates.
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