I’m a freelance photographer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
I started to photograph musicians in the 1980’s during the well-known North Sea Jazz Festivals in the Hague, the Netherlands. I have been always interested in theater and dance photography because of the challenging conditions with available light and the possibility to use the light and dark to create interesting contrasting light effects with the subjects to photograph.
This so called chiaroscuro (Italian for light-dark) is often used in paintings and woodcuts by artists to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures. The use of dark subjects dramatically lit by a shaft of light from a single constricted and often unseen source, was a compositional device developed by Ugo da Carpi (1455-1523), Giovanni Baglione (1566-1643), and Caravaggio (1573-1610), the last of whom was crucial in developing the style of tenebrism, where dramatic chiaroscuro becomes a dominant stylistic device. The Dutch and Flemish masters are influenced by this style and Rembrand created later his own ambient/natural lighting style (source Wikipedia).
In photography, chiaroscuro often is effected with the use of “Rembrandt lighting”. In more highly developed photographic processes, this technique also may be termed “ambient/natural lighting”, although when done so for the effect, the look is artificial and not generally documentary in nature. In particular, Bill Henson along with others, such as W. Eugene Smith, Josef Koudelka, Garry Winogrand, Lothar Wolleh, Annie Leibovitz, Floria Sigismondi, and Ralph Gibson may be considered some of the modern masters of chiaroscuro in documentary photography (source Wikipedia).
However, while photographing a revenue on stage in a theater with fast moving flamenco dancers, there is no possibility for the photographer to create this chiaroscuro ambient lighting himself but he needs to use the available light in combination with the right moment, the possibilities and camera techniques to obtain the chiaroscuro effect.
In 2006 I started to photograph dance and flamenco in theaters and during the last 11 years I photographed many of the younger generation flamenco dancers from Spain during their performances in the Netherlands.
Photographing flamenco is photographing passion and the same passion is needed to do it well. A good understanding of the dancers and musicians, the flamenco, camera techniques and the audience in a theater are important.
I try to do my work from a distance and in silence to avoid any disturbance of the revenue and the audience.
My work is used for exhibitions, marketing purposes, illustrations on websites and promotion of national and international flamenco festivals.