Photo essay

Corporate story telling and social photography, in the form of a photo essay, are 2 of my exam assignments. While studying this genre of photography, I re-visited the Eugene Smith photo essays. Among his most famous essays are Country Doctor, Nurse Midwife, Albert Schweizer, Minimata and Spanish Village. Smith worked for Life and his magazine features set a ‘new standard for evocative picture stories. They showed essential human experiences such as compassion, pride, daily labor, birth, and death, with strength, clarity, and beauty’. In Eugene Smith’s stories all the images are powerful and they can stand by themselves. When Smith run into essay magazine layout issues and got frustrated with restrictions,  he left Life and became a member of the Magnum Photo Agency. With his “Pittsburgh” essay he pushed the essay boundaries as well as this luck. Hardship followed. Despite this he never gave up working on essays. His life story is as intense as his work.

William Eugene Smith (December 30, 1918 – October 15, 1978), was an American photojournalist, renowned for the dedication he devoted to his projects and his uncompromising professional and ethical standards. Smith developed the photo essay into a sophisticated visual form.

Smith said, “Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes-just sometimes-one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses to awareness. Much depends on the viewer; in some, photographs can summon enough emotion to be a catalyst to thought. Someone-or perhaps many-among us may be influenced to heed reason, to find a way to right that which is wrong, and may even search for a cure to an illness. The rest of us may perhaps feel a greater sense of understanding and compassion for those whose lives are alien to our own. Photography is a small voice. I believe in it. If it is well conceived, it sometimes works.”

Eugene Smith dedicated his life and his art to a humanistic photography style. He inspires me even though my essay will not be about social inequality or injustice. My essay will feature a social human interest event that celebrates respect, love, spirituality and life’s connection.

Eugene Smith Images

Boekpresentatie Inge Tielman

Den Haag, 22 februari 2015.

Boekpresentatie Inge Tielman.

Gedichtenbundel ‘Mozaiek van licht’. Haagse Kunstkring.

Zie ook de foto’s en video’s van op HKK’s FaceBook page (link opent in nieuw venster).

Evenementenfotografie | Boekpresentatie Inge Tielman 30_MG_9970web
Maria van Loon en Inge Tielman. Haagse Kunstkring. 22 februari 2015.

Meer over Inge Tielman (17.03.1931 – 27.12.2015) en haar poëzie.

Judith den Hollander – fotografie | Fotoreportage

Disappointing news and disappointing communication

Yesterday I received disappointing news in a very disappointing communication : I had not been selected for Euroclasses on Documentary Photography.

Text in Dutch : “Je bent helaas niet geselecteerd om deel te nemen aan de Euroclasses on Documentary Photography 2007 van Noorderlicht. Het is ons niet gelukt de nodige extra gelden te vinden voor de serie Euroclasses, waardoor we hebben moeten besluiten slechts één van de masterclasses te laten doorgaan. De selectie was daarom extra streng en moeilijk. Ik dank je voor je interesse. Hou ons in de gaten, en probeer het bij een volgende Euroclass wellicht weer”.

My English translation : Sorry but you are not selected to take part in the Euroclasses on Documentary Photography of Noorderlicht. We were not able to find necessary extra funds for the Euroclasses serie, as a result of which we have had to decide to continue with only one masterclass. Hence  the selection was extra strict and difficult. I thank you for your interest. Check back with us, and try to register again for a future Euroclass.

I’ve asked Noorderlicht to inform me about the criteria for selection, to explain more. Being so vague in communication leaves one totally in the dark. Why the other candidates and not me? What was a key factor? I think that everybody wants to be properly informed : see some sort of motivation to be able to understand a decision.

On the day that I registered, I read on Noorderlicht’s website that 4 classes were scheduled and that early entries had a better chance of getting selected… A few weeks later Noorderlicht changed the number of classes from 4 into 2 . The information on Euroclasses is still on the site… Then they prolongued the registration date with one month. (Had I known this, I had allowed myself more time to write my presentation and motivation). By prolonging the date with a month, more people could register. Now they say there ‘s only 1 class for a few. I don’t understand this procedure/policy. And I wonder why it was not mentioned on the website that funding was still pending and the number of classes unguaranteed? (Had I known this, I might not have taken trouble to register and so on).

I’m also puzzled by the odd remark “check back with us and try again in the future”. Because the sequence of their classes is every four years. Next time I will not meet the criteria as it will be more than 4 years after my graduation, but only max 4 years are allowed…

Anyway, I say congratulations to the photographers that were selected. I hope the euro-master class will be a good and inspiring experience for you. Share some lessons with us.


9/10 – N.B. Noorderlicht replied on 8/10. Due to the constraints, they had selected students that had already experience with documentary photography. I said that :
– I could understand the reasoning, but the experience was not mentioned as a condition (I have no experience but am eager to start with documentary photography) ;
– I appreciated the explanation, but I will think twice before registering again in future, considering the above…