Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam 1966

Warmoesstraat Amsterdam 1966

Demolition Prone, Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam 1966

When I first started to make pictures I soon found out that photography was not only a way to register reality but, first of all, a tool to show others what I saw. How I experienced things. A way to express or accentuate all kind of ideas and emotions, ‘put things in a certain light’. Little things, sometimes, that you’re not always aware of, but which are essential for a fully conscious existence.

I understood that photographers could do with images what writers can do with words. That it was possible, like in poetry, to transmit feelings that are hard to describe, but give a deeper meaning which can be understood by others. To be a photographer seemed like a great profession.

Once I had discovered these means of expression, the fact that nothing was ‘as subjective as the objective’, and it had become clear to me that photography was the preferred medium to give importance to seemingly unnoticeable things, I understood that the opposite had to be true as well. That no other medium would be able to give such a distorted, exaggerated or even completely false impression of a situation, create feigned sentiments in such a flawless way or show people and circumstances totally different from what they are.

Appearances are deceptive, nothing is what it seems. Especially in photography.

It is because of this subjectivity – in contrast to what, to my surprise, a lot of people still think – that photography has little to do with the ‘real’ reality, while it shows us an image that looks like it at the same time; something professionals use constantly.
“Photographs don’t lie,” Lewis Hine said at the beginning of the twentieth century, “but liars may photograph!”

 

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