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Building Dreams: An Introduction

Building Dreams

I’m currently preparing a lead-in article for my blog. It’s about a personal project I have been working on for quite some time now. The project is about my hometown and the surrounding districts’ environmental planning. The town is situated to the south of Brussels and has always been highly industrialized. At the end of the 20th century, the industry in the area was declining, which led to lots of abandoned factory buildings. These days, the industry is mainly active in the distribution of goods while some of the heavier industry has faded away.

Despite the presence of all these factories, my hometown has always been located in a rather rural setting. The last few years, however, it appears to have become one giant industrial area, whereby nature is suppressed in order for the industry to expand. The ever-changing landscape has an impact on several levels, which I will discuss in more detail in this upcoming article.

The working title is called Building Dreams and is inspired by a caption I found on a building contractor’s advertising board. However, Surrounded by Concrete could also be a very suitable title.

To be continued…

Projects, Software/Apps

The Creation of my Photo Story

After reading Daniel Milnor’s blog at Smogranch, I decided to repost this article from my own archive.

For several years, I documented the life of my grandmother. It was a long-term personal project that I started in August 2008. During the last few years, several deaths occured in our family from which my grandmother never recovered. At the same time, she gradually started to suffer from short-term memory loss and as a result, she was losing her grip on reality. My grandmother passed away on January 5, 2012.

To show you how I select and arrang images in order to obtain a smaller selection for my final photo story, I created this short timelapse video. I can arrange the images in Lightroom as well, but the approach I show you allows me to keep a clear overwiew, which is not always possible on a computer screen as you are limited to the size of the screen. In my studio I have several walls at my disposal so I can split different parts of my story onto different walls. When I work on multiple projects I can assign each story to another wall.

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Letters From Jail

“Would you like to participate in a group exhibition in prison?” I was asked this question sometime last year. “Am I going to jail?” I replied. “Well, sort of; your images will.” The initiator is Victoria Deluxe, an organisation based in Ghent (Belgium), developing a platform and workflow for social, artistic and cultural projects.

The prison in Ghent celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The management and staff of the prison chose a number of activities to celebrate this event. One of them is a collaboration with Victoria Deluxe. Twenty-five prisoners were asked to write a letter, in which they describe a positive memory they have about a place in Belgium. Every photographer participating in this project received such a letter and had to photograph this place.

Those letters and images will be used to create a musical theater which will be presented in the prison between late August and mid November 2012.

Before this, however, I will visit prison to present my images to the author of my letter. I did pay close attention when watching those Prison Break episodes. You’ll never know they might come in handy 🙂


Find Stories In Your Own Backyard

With Spring arriving it was time to change my winter tyres and replace them with summer tyres. A few years ago, I photographed the employees of a local tire central when working on my car. This year, I decided to bring the camera along to do the same thing. Although the location may seem rather ordinary and boring, I was really curious about their day-to-day routine. What is going on in the warehouse almost never comes to mind of customers waiting at the reception desk. You don’t always have to travel to some exotic location in order to find interesting stories. It’s definitely worth looking in your own backyard as many potential stories are evolving around you and are available to be told.

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