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Day 5 out of 5: MotorBoys

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I’m already looking for weeks to my two MotorBoys, the colourful toy which is made in China. The bike is red with yellow lines, the suits are blue, the helmets are yellow. And they are extremely cool ūüôā What to do with it? Since this morning they were just a funny item next to my books, now they are my new rock-stars, cool MotorBoys, my new characters for next weeks, driving around exploring the world. Perhaps not the world, perhaps just within a circle of 10km. I don’t know yet.

My idea is to make a series of the MotorBoys, so we can join them in their adventures, and being witness of the objects they counter. The first picture: a very old porcelain headphone-head, a reference to the traditional holiday pictures people take when seeing statues or monuments during their trip. In the second picture the MotorBoys drive on a wooden body-surf board out of the 70-ties with the flames of the design indicating movement.  In the last picture the MotorBoys driving in my apartment, the lines on the floor and the vague background could indicate they are in an urban area.

Lets see if next time i allow them to drive outside, in open air.
If you have any suggestion for the MotorBoys, let us know and we might go for it.

#motorboys #Hh #hermanhanssen #blackandwhite

Day 4 out of 5: Ephemeral in Casco Viejo

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This morning i decided to go for an early photo-shoot at Casco Viejo, Panama City. Looking for a link with the theme of the week: Ephemeral. Always when I walk around, my eyes catch wall signs, and there are many. Graffiti, text, numbers, calculations, messages, signals, symbols, etc, etc.

The signs are somehow mysterious, referring to something that is often unclear. They serve or have served a purpose, they are most often handmade, they are temporary.  They are made by a person for a person. And they became part of the street image. But always temporary, just now, today. Tomorrow they can be gone, cleaned, overwritten, destroyed. No matter if their purpose has been served or not.

When I start shooting the signs, I wanted to make the pictures more interesting, so I decided to wait for passengers and shoot the moment they cross the sign. Above you see the result of today. Tomorrow I might go back again. To find new signs and to catch the moment of a person crossing it.

#blackandwhite #B&W #photoshooting #cascoviejo #panama #signs

Day 3 out of 5: Fresh

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Fresh

I associate FRESH with youth: “a young person with a fresh perspective on life”. And a fresh perspective on life must be positive, must be linked to happiness, balance, playful, adventure and peacefulness. And that is very often found when looking at playing children. When i look at my children, i get energised when seeing happiness, when seeing their curious eyes looking into the world, with hope and with trust.

Above pictures i took from my kids on a beach in South Africa. They were dancing, building castles and collecting shells. A shell represents “protection of life”, and also a shell is a beautiful design of nature. And that is what our children are. Beauties of nature, and protection of life, of mankind.

Day 2 out of 5: Explore

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Today i visited the Metropolitano Natural Parque in Panama. Three months ago I moved from Sao Paulo to Panama City, and since that time i did not took my camera. Today was the first day again that i went out to explore. In Sao Paulo i made lots of photos on the street: people, buildings, shadows of the city. Here in Panama i have started to look at nature. The city is not the same as in Sao Paulo, but i received something back: nature.

The Metropolitano Parque¬†¬†was originated in the first Soil Management Plan for the Panama Canal Area in 1974. In 1983 the area where the park is today, was declared protected and recreational area.¬†In 1989, the Metropolitan Natural Park became a center of training for the ‚ÄúFuerza de Defensa de Panama‚ÄĚ FFDD (Panama Military Force). Today the park preserve a natural area within the City which will contribute to the maintenance of the balance between the Park‚Äôs environment and the urban area, reducing pollution and maintaining a healthy environment.

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I love to walk around and explore. Looking at shapes & shadows. Many beautiful leaves and trees, with the sun trying to find some space to shine her light into the forrest. In the middle this jungle a bunker appeared. A building without windows, no sign of how the building was used in the past, no nothing. Only 2 doors, the main gate closed, but the side door open ! Not possible to go in as the entrance was blocked by a big hole filled with water. Later at the main gate of the park the guard explained that its not a good idea to go inside. Too dark, too many bats, dust, not good for health to go inside. Perhaps i should go back one time, with a flashlight, and explore the inside.

Day 1 out of 5: Challenge

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Thank you Lucile, my dear friend, for the 5 Photos / 5 Stories Black and White Photo Challenge. Lucile inspired me to start writing this blog, and so far i really enjoy it. Great to meet you all, great to chat with you about photography, thank you for your connection and your time to share ideas.

My first picture represents CHALLENGE. I made this picture in Indonesia, my two beautiful daughters at their first (and so far last) body surfing lesson. When i look at this picture, i always image the instructor saying “go there to catch a wave”, pointing in the direction of the danger. And Dinah (my oldest daughter) thinking “ok, i will do that” without seeing the waves as her board is blocking the view. She does not see the view of a beautiful but aggressive wave, waiting for the young surfers. Maybe she can hear the waves i never asked her. Rachel, my youngest, not in a hurry, slowly putting the line around her hand. Perhaps thinking “let my sister go first”. In the front of the picture you clearly see the white foam on the sea, indicating the sea is rough, its playing time.

I like some specifics contrasts in the picture: the black and white bodies and their different postures. The different kind of waves, coming together in one frame. And the intense White and Black color of the enormous waves in the background, waiting for the new surfers to get close. A big hand for my brave girls.

part of the 5 days photo challenge is to nominate every day a new person. As i’m just new on wordpress, i cannot nominate yet, my group of wordpress friends is still very limited. Sorry for that. I will try to find a person during next 5 days.

Lines & Clouds

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For some reason i like lines. When i was living in Sao Paulo, i saw the lines of the electricity cables everywhere. In the air and their shadows on the street and walls. There are so many cables, I decided to spend some weekends on the street, shoot the lines. And as i also love clouds, all pictures included the clouds as well.

It was fun to walk on the streets, most of the times on Saturdays, from 9:00 to 13:00, in Vila Madalena, where i used to life. At 9am the streets were empty, some people walking around, just awake, jogging or go out for their groceries. Around 11am the streets were getting full, the street market started and you would see people walking around with vegetables and flowers.

I always loved to walk in between them, with my camera, shooting into the air to catch the wires. And stop occasionally for a coffee and some bread, sitting on the side of the street at a small pad aria. I still remember how i felt, i always came back home with a lot of energy.

In Panama i will start my clouds project soon, there are not a lot of cables here, so I should find another theme that i can combine with the clouds. I will give myself a couple of weeks to get inspired. And then i will go into the same flow: saturday or sunday morning hunting for shoots.

I bought a book from Mitch Dobrowner: Storms. Impressive pictures of clouds during a storm. It must have been exciting to hunt for the could during the storm as a storm can produce the highest energy of light. This brings me back to the electricity cables.  Perhaps my theme should be: energy, and replace storm for sun.

Orange is the new Black & White?

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Orange you glad it‚Äôs photo challenge¬†time?.

My passion is black & white, but with the orange challenge i learned that an orange should not be black or white, clearly illustrated on above picture. So i started to google: are black & white colours? On colormatters.com i found 2 theories: 1. black is not a colour, white is (theory of light), 2. black is a colour, white is not (theory of pigment).

I googled more as i got confused: should an orange be black. And off course i found the Netflix series Orange is the new black. When i googled: should an orange be white, i found that i should not trow away the white parts when i peel an orange. Its healthy. Now i got a little desperate. Should i switch from B&W photography to colour?

Lucky enough i googled some more. And i found that we should never wear orange during an job interview. Black clothes convey leadership, white gives the feeling of being organised. Orange is the worst colour, 25% of the employers say it is associated with someone who is unprofessional.

So back to B&W: leadership and organised. I think that indeed is in the soul of a good B&W photo.

Two moments of history at the same time: every day, everywhere


Last week i was in Buenos Aires and on friday evening i had time to go out for a drink and some food. It was 10pm and i went to Palermo with my colleagues. The streets were full with people enjoying their nice beers and wines, with good food and chatting with their friends, a similar situation on every corner of the street. The chairs and tables on the street sides were all occupied, the bars played good music, it was a very good moment to walk around and find a place do the same: to enjoy life.

The atmosphere and the architecture reminded me of Paris, where i was half year ago. I stayed in Montmartre, with my daughters. Montmartre is a place of worship in history, the druids with their rites, the romans with their gods, and later the Christians with their edifices. And today you feel there is no other place like Montmartre, above picture shows the worship of friends, drinks and talks in a sunny afternoon in Montmartre.

I took above picture in Paris, but i could have made a similar picture last week in Buenos Aires. But every time i walk on the street with my camera, in a neighbourhood with a beautiful architecture, i want to go inside the buildings. I never do. But i would love to do. To see what is inside, to explore the hidden side of the street. I have a book at home from Sylvain Margaine: Forbidden Places. Beautiful pictures of abandoned hospitals, villas, factories and other special buildings: unlisted ruins. The pictures are amazing, capturing elements of how the life was inside many years ago, today dusted, rusted, and broken. A great contrast with the outside street life. With a thin line in between the outside that is alive and the inside that is rusted, only with the front wall of the buildings in between both moments in history.

In July i will visit New York, and i hope to find an opportunity to go inside an unlisted ruin, an abandoned building, with a lively street life in front of it. To see two moments of history a the same time. The moment of today and the moment of the past.

I took the side of the Mannequin Dummy

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In the book of¬†Annie Leibovitz, A Photographer’s Life, Annie shares that she is not a journalist: “A journalist does not take sides. I have a more powerful voice as a photographer if i express a point of view”. ¬†

Last year, i was shooting my beloved street theatre group in Sao Paulo. This time they brought a mannequin dummy and included her in all their plays that day, at different corners of the street, in different scenes. I was focusing to portrait the artists and the audience. But my eyes loved the contrast between the golden coloured mannequin, the shouting graffiti and the scenery of the poor neighbourhood. And so i captured the mannequin in most of my pictures, without realising. My eyes decided to choose the side of the mannequin, and not of the artists.

Mannequin dummies embody an ideal, and in the contrast of the challenging neighbourhood of that day, she created an interesting contrast. The contrast of ideal versus reality, the contrast of expressive actors versus a static doll, and at the same time the mannequin is taking a prime role in the play, it almost seems as if she is there alive, adapting expression, role and posture, being part of the group of actors.

Later at home, when i was working on the pictures, i decided to promote the mannequin to the lead artist, to choose the view of the dummy. To bring her alive for this one day, a day out of the life of a mannequin dummy.

To finish with a quote from the above mentioned book of Annie Leibovitz: “I like scouting for locations for shoots … without the pressure of actually having to take a picture¬†‚Ķ”.¬†Perhaps i should spend some time to start scouting for locations of mannequin dummies and make it a next project.