WARNING: Window on nudity • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #79

Window with a view 1 •Lens-Artists #79

Having lived on the border of the infamous Red Light District in Amsterdam for years, this edition of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – a window with a view – took me immediately back to that period. Pounds upon pounds of female flesh – sitting or standing behind windows – gazed upon by either largely male or tourist crowds. When living there, there’s is absolutely no sexual lure whats however. Instead I learned much of these ladies’ first names, and from some even their background on my walks from where I had parked my car to home. Waving to them, chatting with them and even having coffee with them. But rest assured, that was as far as my interactions with these ladies went.

WARNING: Window on nudity

But rather than photograph them, which feels kind of cheap and easy, I found the below picture in my files. It reminded me of a stupid little ‘joke’ of one male duck saying to another when the bouncer of a strip club had refused them: ‘let’s go to China Town. They display the ladies nude there in the window of restaurants’. You’re not laughing…good…always thought this was a little too pathetic to become so popular is those days.

Window with a view 1 • Lens-Artists #79
Waiting to become a Peking Duck

You can find more entries in photo challenges here.

Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78

Skyline •Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #78

This edition of Lens-Artists I found not to be the easiest. The challenge being ‘Now we are looking forward to seeing Your very special spot shots – maybe a room in your home, a garden, a mountain, a city, an exhibition, a lovely café…a place that is special to you!’

‘A place…’ Singular. While I have so many hunting grounds. But if I have to settle on one, it is the city of The Hague. Not just because I live here, which makes it easy, but for a variety of other reasons…

It is one of the few cities in the Netherlands with a skyline

Skyline •Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
Skyline •Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

It has a formidable Chinatown

Skyline •Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
Chinatown • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

It houses the Kunstmuseum in modern art. One of my favorite musea.

Skyline •Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
KunstMuseum • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

There are still loads of abandoned bicycles littering the streets

Abandoned • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
Abandoned • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists.jpg

…or they’re being dredged up from the countless canals

Dredged up • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
Dredged up • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

…or they are abandoned in one of the parks

Abandoned in the park • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists
Abandoned in the park • Special Spot Shots • Lens-Artists

You can find more entries in photo challenges here.

Favorite Photos of 2019 • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77

Favorite Photos of 2019 • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77

A round-up of my favorite photos of 2019 proved harder than I initially thought. I hate killing my babies. Hope you appreciate the survivors.

Looking at it as a gallery, one thing becomes clear: it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I don’t have settled on one specific style (yet). The way each of these photos turned out has for the largest part to do with a challenge in mind. Obviously.
The only other thing I’d like to mention is that all photos were taken with an iPhone. Either an iPhone 6 or an iPhone XR.

Favorite Photos of 2019 • 6 word story
One of my favorite 6 word stories
Favorite Photos of 2019 • Peace
Favorite Photos of 2019
Favorite Photos of 2019
Korean Doors
Favorite Photos of 2019
Signage Volkshotel
Favorite Photos of 2019
Atomic winter
No trespassing
Favorite Photos 2019 12
Peacefully quiet

On Display • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #76

On Display • lens-artists 16:9

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #76 • On Display

‘On Display’ so to speak is part of Thierry Mugler fabulous haute couture creations in a must-see exhibition in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. For those of you where the mention of the name Thierry Mugler only rings a faint bell in the distance, here’s a brief attempt to refresh those grey cells into working order.

On Display • lens-artists Thierry Mugler Kunsthal
On Display: Thierry Mugler

To quote the site in the above link, Thierry Mugler is ‘undeniably artistic figure – visionary couturier, director, photographer and perfumer’. You can find more on this famous couturier here.

I’ll leave you with one more, albeit blurry, photo taken of a film on display in this wonderful exhibition:

on display thierry mugler woman on fire
On Display: Thierry Mugler • On fire

Thierry Mugler is on display until March 2020, so if you’re in the neighbourhood…

Especially since Museum Boijmans is closed due to reconstruction.

Nostalgic • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #75

I miss me. Nostalgia

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #75 • Nostalgic

Tina opens this challenge with a quote from Margaret Fairless Barber: ‘To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.’

While its positivity is something I can inherently relate to, my Parkinson Disease infused nostalgic moods tend to lock me up into something like:

I miss me. Nostalgia
Nostalgia • Found this photo a while back in a Facebook group of Parkinson patients.

I’ve only started cautiously writing about my PD recently, yesterday as a matter of fact. See this link if you’re interested. I need to thank several people for this therapeutic form of writing. First and foremost my girlfriend Heleen Arends, who I owe my sanity to…and so much more, and finally Cee Neuner who gave me the final encouragement.

Somewhere in between those two is my parkinson psychologist Roy Kuiper, who, amongst many other valuable ‘things’, has the following piece of ‘direction’ on his whiteboard:

nostalgia • roy's whiteboard quote

This translates into something like;
• is my thought right?
• does my thought help?

This pulls me back every time one of my nostalgic moods tend to start bordering on self-pity…or worse.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #74 • Abstract

Abstract bowl up close 2

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #74 • Abstract

‘There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.’ Pablo Picasso

So I gave that a try:

This photo is not of some abstract art. Rather it is a close up of a ceramic bowl on display in the Kunstmuseum in the Hague.

Piet Mondrian had the following to say about this subject of abstract:

Non-figurative art is created by establishing a dynamic rhythm of determinate mutual relations which excludes the formation of any particular form.

Abstract bowl up close 2

Taken like this, this photo of another bowl on permanent display in this museum is a piece of abstract art. Just as the photo above. But the reality I’ve removed – the bowl as a particular form – has created the first part of Mondrian’s viewpoint.

Here’s another example (whether you label this as art is beside the point, it is abstract):

This is a close up of a picture of the inside of a nuclear plant or something like that. It gets its abstract qualities by losing its meaning altogether. In this case by re-framing an already non-familiar object of sorts by just highlighting a subsection of it.

So far, I’ve used ‘objects of reality’ like already existing pieces of art or highly unfamiliar objects as a source to create something abstract. But that is not always necessary:

Whether you like this or not – rate it as art or rubbish (I do hope the latter) – it does ponder the question: what did ‘reality’ look like then? This was my original photo:

Do you always re-frame reality to create something abstract? Absolutely in my mind, but I’m open to other points-of-view.
I am capable of re-framing reality into something abstract by taking something physical as my starting point. Hence I’m not an artist and am I not producing art, merely some abstract ‘nonsense’ such as this:


Then what makes for good abstract art?

Please do not get me wrong… I’m a fan of abstract art. Good abstract art. Abstract art that comes from a vision. As a good Dutch kid I was spoon fed with the work of Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, and the other of their De Stijl movement contemporaries.
In the early 1980s I was a co-owner of a gallery specialized in Sōsaku Hanga (modern prints).

The paragraphs above are merely the summation of various conversations (as far as I can still recall these after 40 years) I had with the master of Japanese abstract art, Toko Shinoda. She said about her way of working:

‘Certain forms float up in my mind’s eye. Aromas, a blowing breeze, a rain-drenched gust of wind…the air in motion, my heart in motion. I try to capture these vague, evanescent images of the instant and put them into vivid form.’

elation• toko shinoda

If you’d like to see more of my entries to various photo challenges, just click here, here, here or here. Or simply scroll through the menu on the side.

Waiting • Lens-Artists Challenge #72

Is that bloody train finally coming?

WaitingLens-Artists Challenge #72

Waiting • Lens-Artists Challenge #72
Waiting • Photo by Michael Wolf

Japanese commuters, whether it’s by metro, bus, train etc. all share this one burning question when waiting for their means of transport to arrive during rush hour. When will we – in heaven’s name – finally arrive?

Monday rush-hour 2 by David Wolf
The dreaded waiting • Photo by Michael Wolf

These 2 photos are photos of photos by Michael Wolf taken during an exhibition – Life in Cities – in the Hague. It perfectly captures the experience most Japanese – and gai-jin’s for that matter – must endure when traveling by subway in the notorious rush-hour.

Paradoxically, waiting to arrive more often than not is worse than waiting to depart!

Is that bloody train finally coming?
Waiting • Is that bloody train finally coming?

I rather walked or biked the journey to the office and back in the time that I worked there. And when the weather was bad – hot, humid and rainy as in most of the summer- I indulged myself and took a $20 cab. Anything better than to wait in a smelly, humid and packed metro to finally arrive.

Parts of this post were previously written for J.I. Roger’s Six-Word Story Challenge – “Waiting” and the Monday Window Challenge by Ludwig Keck– “Monday rush-hour”.

Creepy • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #71

Creepy • goats heads 16:9

Creepy • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #71 In her post Leya gives a dictionary definition of this week’s theme ‘creepy’: ‘causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease’.

Creepy • goats heads

I have had more than my fair share of creepy foods to eat. No…fortunately spooning a brain out of a live monkeys head wasn’t one of those. But one of my worst experiences was having to eat sashimi out of an alive flatfish’s back. This was in Hokaido, Japan at a dinner hosted by a few high ranking Dentsu officials. Dentsu as in the largest single advertising company in the world (6000+ employees) and being a major shareholder in the ad agency in Tokyo I worked for at the time. The image of the fish gasping while people were literally devouring it, kept me awake for most of that night.

Creepy • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

But by far the creepiest food experience was at a dinner table of an extremely hospitable Morrocan family we had met earlier that day when touring the inland’s of that country. Towards the end of the meal being we were served some deep fried balls that were simply delicious. When I asked what it was the host told me it was a rather old family secret. But he was willing to show me what it was if I came with him early the next morning to the local souk.
When we arrived there around 7 am he took me well into the back of the market where he suddenly stopped and pointed to these goats heads. What I had simply devoured the evening before where deep fried goats eye-balls. Needless to say I had to fight to keep dinner and breakfast in as I looked at those glassed-over eyes. Never again…

If you’d like to see more of my entries to various photo challenges, just click here, here, here or here. Or simply scroll through the menu on the side.

Candid • Lens Artists Photo Challenge #67

Karin candid

Personally, I find good, outstanding candid shots one of the hardest things to achieve… In my case, more often than not I find my candid shots – while some of them carry wonderful memories to me – boring, cheesy and quite middle-of-the-road to anyone else.

But to give it a shot (no pun intended), here’s a photo that passed the test of my scrutiny. As my entry to the Lens Artists Photo Challenge #67.

Karin candid

If you’d like to see more of my entries to various photo challenges, just click here, here, here or here. Or simply scroll through the menu on the side.