maandag 20 juni 2016

Great Writing Conference London GW:

Great Writing:  The International Creative Writing Conference 2016
After 2 days of attending the Great Writing Conference at Imperial College in Londen my head's full of new ideas how to connect creative writers with... creative writers! Wouldn't it be great to combine Fine Art with Writing?

On Nicole Cooley

She put down her glasses
Creating a moment of peace
In her dazzling world of words

Photo Poem by Melanie E. Rijkers © 2016.

In the Netherlands we can't study Creative Writing so it seems. Bummer. I am curious if it would be possible to get a scholarship to study abroad. What I learned from the conference is that all lecturers were very driven to share their thoughts, papers and projects. I wonder, after you get your degree, what's next?

More than once I heard someone say: "Pity I cannot land myself a teaching position in Creative Writing". In the future I would like to see Academies of Art hire inspiring people like these to teach Creative Writing to art students. Writing is changing. Art is changing. Let's collaborate!

On Hyde Park: Face

Staring down
Stuck in place
Tiny feet touching his head
Flying off into space

Photo Poem by Melanie E. Rijkers © 2016.

Photo Poem: a new Short
Nicole Cooley's talk Tiny Texts: Flash Fiction, short poems, one minute plays raised questions like "But what if someone wrote a brilliant piece of 300 words, and the assessment says 2000?" At an Academy of Arts they'd know what to do. Also the digital era is here. Graphic Design, Arts and Writing are all in it together. A photo and a text are only ordinary until an artist puts them together brilliantly.

During Nicole's inspiring talk I wrote 3 pieces of what I call Photo Poetry. Being a visionair, working with Miksang Contemplative Photography and teaching Eyespiration, this is my answer how I'd like to combine the art of photography with the art of creative writing. 

On Hyde Park: Fountain

In the air I fly
Having landed I slide
Blending with family
I watch people walk by

Photo Poem by Melanie E. Rijkers © 2016.

Thank you Nicole, your talk was the last piece of information I needed to accomplish my writing goal. I was also inspired by Daniel Juckes and many more speakers, and will tell you more about Great Writing in my next blog!

maandag 13 juni 2016

Alaska Cruise Golden Hour Workshop

Early morning sunrise
It’s the first morning onboard the Jewel of the Seas, when I go outside on deck to watch the sunrise. I’m in Alaska in June and nights are short, it's 5 AM. The wind almost blows me of my feet when I enter the top deck, but the views are so worth it. Amazing infintiy, with on one side a hazy purple light blue sky and on the other side a warm, golden glow behind some clouds. 
Magic colours
Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean
I never imagined you could see this far from a boat. Sorry, ‘ship’. The cruise ship amazed me by not being bumpy by waves at all, and I actually enjoy the movement of the water while meditating with the group. I am attending a seminar at sea, and never been onboard a cruise ship before. With the amazing views I see each morning I want to sail forever. Staring over the water, with only a few other people present, I feel one with nature.
Amazing views
Golden Hour onboard
Amazing skies, infinite water and colours that touch me like I am in a light bath of beams. Golden eye in the sky, the sun finally rises above the mountains. I am surrounded by pure magic, I never felt so close to nature before. So much Eyespiration! I feel blessed to witness all this beauty on earth. I am sharing my photos with you to show you how beautiful Life is, if only you can See.
Miksang Moment
Pure Magic when the Sun comes up
You can join me in October 2016, when I will be attending the Cruise into Spirit. I will teach you how to See if you join me onboard for an Eyespiration photo walk. It not so much a workshop, it's Meditation with Eyes Open, and free of charge. You can join me with any kind of camera, or even without one and take 'mind pictures'.
Selfie in the wind
Sunrise at Sea
Purple sky - Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean
Being in the moment. Onboard a cruise ship, early morning, you can really be whole, complete, one with nature. We'll use Miksang techniques, when you learn how to look at Life with Pure, Fresh Eyes. Be, See, Zen.
Golden Light Shadow Selfie
Workshop Meditation with Eyes Open
Onboard you can walk. I like walking, It makes my head clear. I can really stop thinking when I walk. If I concentrate on what's around me, if I am in the moment, I see Miksang Moments. Miksang Moments are photos with a very, very good moment captured, with great composition in lines, light and subject. Most of the photos in this blog qualify Miksang Contemplative Photography.
Golden Light - Sunrise of Love
If you'd like to know how to take those photos, I'll show you how to See. Join me onboard for an amazing Full Moon Cruise into Spirit in October. Please note you don't need a fancy camera, the above photos were all taken with a smartphone. Seeing Fresh, with Pure Eyes, is all you need.

woensdag 11 mei 2016

#Eyespiration: Reflection

Landscape pictures with a reflection will draw people's attention and keep it. Reflection in water or double images in a window: when did you look into the 'mirror' with your camera lately? 
Hollands landschap met reflectie van molens (Kinderdijk) in water
Dutch landscape by Gerhard Nel
Looking at something beautiful twice 
 By using a reflection of your subject you'll create an intriguing image. This beautiful Dutch landscape is twice as impressive because of the reflection in the water.

Apply extreme cropping and use the mirror image only. Use the image you see in a puddle. Look in a window and use the double image that makes a weird, but often fascinating picture. Also shiny surfaces like chrome hubcaps can create beautiful images.
Weerspiegeling in zee op het strand van Kuta
Hindu offering Kuta Beach, Bali Indonesia
Clouds visible in the water, how beautiful to capture this in one photo. All you have to do is bend over and zoom in, crop the sky and place the horizon line in the top of the photo to create a fascinating image.

If you're on holiday try to use this kind of photography next to the snap shots and selfies, to create a story with alternating images. When you travel you'll find many new compositions because of the new environment you're in. Try to experiment with reflection and mirror images, and most important of all: have fun while doing so!

If a photo doesn't work out: just delete it. Oh, the joys of digital photography ;)

Erasmus Brug Rotterdam, weerspiegeling in water #eyespriration
Weerspiegeling in chrome wieldop
Cityscape: a sort of selfie in a chrome hubcap

To find reflection 

• Landscape: we all know the beauty of landscape photos with reflection in water. 'Sandard' or not, these kind of photos always work out. The beauty of a landscape seen twice in one composition, yo can't go wrong. Try to place the horizon at the top of the image.

• Water: a true mirror of the sky. Taking a picture of a reflection in water only also works well. Try to place this photo upside down for a change. This will create an intriguing image for sure.

• Rain: a wet day? Use the puddles and rain drops. Make sure you use a camera that's not affraid of water and can handle a drop or two. Always try to avoid direct rain when possible. If you're with someone: make this person hold an umbrella to keep you and your camera dry while you'ra taking photos.

• Glass: a window or bottle will create a whole new world when you take photos through it. Alienation is fascinating always, but try to avoid vague photos unless you like to create an abstract image.

• Chrome: shiney surfaces always work well for photographers. Not just to take a different kind of selfie, but also to capture reflections of the world.

Try to challenge the viewer. Alternate images will make your story more exiting.

By using reflection and mirroring in your story, it will be much more fun to look at. Being a photographer shooting a wonderful and exiting image will make your day. Even on a rainy day, you'll feel the joy of capturing a beautiful image using the rain. When you find that treasure and are able to capture it... utter feeling of joy and pure happiness.

Find reflection by... reflection. It's also very mindful to look for reflections. The happy feeling you get, 'Yes! I got it' when you take a good photo is priceless, no Prozac necessary, nothing can beat this emotion. It's really worthwhile to learn how to see and find your Eyespiration.

But I'll tell you more about that in my next blog!
Foto door glas zorgt voor bijzondere vervreemd beeld
Cityscape: challenge the viewer with a see-through photo
Gebruik moderne architectuur voor mooie compositie
Use modern architecture to capture reflection 

vrijdag 29 april 2016

Prince vinyl and tour books for sale

Te koop Prince cd's en elpee's, maxi singles en tourboeken
Prince records, 12" maxi single, 7" and full albums for sale SOLD!
Prince Tour Books for sale  SOLD!
On Mr. Roger Nelson's birthday (7 June 1958) I made my last sale... all my items, but a few which I like to keep for good ol' times' sake, are now off to new owners. Hope you'll all enjoy his music as much as I did, and do. But this stuff... could go. Really. I just want less and less stuff, so I am free :) 

So long my sweet Prince, will always love you ♥

donderdag 28 april 2016

The more I travel,
the less I want to go

New York City Mindfulness with my camera
Eyespiration, New York City - Times Square

Last night, I spent another lonely Christmas
Darlin', darlin', you should've been there
'Cuz, all the ones I dream about
You are the one that makes my love shout
You see, you are the only one I care for

Remember the time we swam naked
In your father's pool?
Boy, he was upset that night
But boy, was that ever cool

Remember that night we played pokeno for money
And you robbed me blind?
Remember how you used to scream so loud
'Cuz, you, you hated that number 9?

Hey, I saw your sister skatin' on the lake
This afternoon
Good heaven, how she's grown
She swoons the boy skaters, she's so tall
But of all your father's children
All your father's children, baby
You know, you are the finest of them all
You are brighter than the northern star

And I, last night, I spent another lonely Christmas
Darlin', darlin', you, you should've been there
You see, of all the ones I dream about
You are the one that makes my love shout
You see, you are the only one I care for, yeah

My mummy used to say, always trust your lover
But now, I guess that only applies to her
'Cuz, baby, you promised me
Baby, you promised me, you'd never leave
Then you died on the 25th day of December, oh, baby

Last night, oh, I spent another lonely, lonely Christmas
Darlin', baby, you, you should've been there, oh, oh
'Cuz all the ones I dream about
You are the one that makes my love shout
You see, you are the only one I care for, yeah

Your father said it was pneumonia
Your mother said it was stress
But the doctor said you were dead
And I, I say it's senseless

Every Christmas night for 7 years now
I drink banana daiquiris till I'm blind
As long as I can hear you smilin', baby

You won't hear my tears
Another lonely Christmas is mine
Yeah, mine, yeah
Another lonely Christmas is mine

Last night, yeah, I spent another lonely, lonely Christmas
Darlin', darlin', you should've been there, yeah
'Cuz all the ones I dream about
You are the one that makes my love shout
You see, you are the only one one care for

...I have always loved his lyrics, it's like poetry ♥ RIP my Prince, superfunkycalifragisexy you are!
Prince, 1987 pencil drawing by me

Prince: Another Lonely Christmas, B-side of I Would Die 4 U (12" vinyl Purple Rain album, for sale)

More lyrics via Metro Lyrics 

zondag 17 april 2016

Eyespiration at Art Breda show 2016

Today is de last day of the annual Artbreda show, a big show with fine art and antique. I made this set of Eyespiration photos during opening day 9 April 2016, using Miksang Contemplative Photography:
Blue, White & Red Floor Art

Kunst & Antiek Beurs Breda, 2016

Kunst & Antiek Beurs Breda 2016
Do you look?


Do you See

Miksang Moment

Miksang Moment in Art Show Breda 2016

Inspired by life my photography shows life as it is, subjects SEEN as they are. Struck by its beauty or remarkable appearance, in detail often, life is photographed by me. The plant in above picture makes the photo, the weird relation between its leafs and the paint curls of the piece of art. This is #eyespiration. Let life inspire you!
Miksang Moment - Rood, Wit, Blauw 2016
Red, White & Blue - 2016


Each year new groups of Miksang Contemplative Photography start at Artstudio23. In only 10 meetings you'll start to see life fresh, with pure eyes! You can sign up for the newsletter if you'd like to know more or join me in a workshop.

donderdag 7 april 2016

Mindful Moments at SMC Rotterdam

#ikzieikzie... wat jij niet ziet!
Social Media Week Rotterdam 2014 - Attending and Leading 3 'Mindfulness With Your Mobile' workshops
Everywhere I go I SEE. I try not to look at the world, but use the mindful state of ... emptiness and let the world come in without judging what I see. When you do so, you look at the world with a pure eye, 'Miksang' in Tibetan. This state of being to me is meditation with eyes open. Mindfulness with an empty mind.
During the coffee break I noticed this reflection and also the red flower:
Coffee break
Photography: Melanie E. Rijkers

Photographer: MelanieE. Rijkers Breda the Netherlands
A speaker preparing himself
Architecture Miksang Moment
 It was a dark, grey day, so what do you do? I looked out the window and saw grey skies, rain, no colour. But lack of colour also sooths the mind, makes you turn to yourself and I like grey too.

I used the raindrops on the window and when walking through the building I noticed a spectacular glass ceiling. Blessings from above!?
Fotograferen als het regent

Architecture Miksang Moment

Reflection of the Erasmus Bridge, Nhow terrace
Erasmus Brug

The restaurant turned out to be a place full of mindfulness. Reflection in the glasses is pure Miksang. Because of the bad weather I took my Mindfulness With Your Mobile group to the (empty) parking lot, also in the Nhow building. Meditation with our eyes open:
Parking Nhow - Emptiness

Parking - Nhow building
Escalator Reflection
It's really not that hard to see with a pure eye. Just try to show life as it is, SEE subjects as they are. Struck by its beauty or remarkable appearance, in detail often, life is a beautiful composition. The above photo I took of the escalator is very inspiring because of the extra layer creating a depth in the picture. Beauty is all around us:
To Be is to See
In stead of the left photo try to zoom in on the beauty of what you see. The right photo is taken from the exact same spot. The 'double' (two) ladders caught my eye when passing.


Nhow with Erasmus Bridge

zaterdag 19 maart 2016

My last analog wedding films sold

Fuji Reala, Fuji NPH Pro 400, Kodak BW400CN and Kodak Elite Chrome film
This week I've sold my last Fuji Reala and NPH films, and gave the student my last Kodak BW400CN as well. Together with Kodak Elite Chrome film, this typical set of films I used in the analog days of shooting a wedding.

My Last Analog Wedding
I don't even feel sad, though seeing the lot like in the photograph above, it brought back memories! This, or same set with one or two extra Fujicolor Press 800 films and maybe one extra BW400CN film, was my ultimate wedding kit. I've been taking wedding pictures for over 20 years now, and the analog days were the best, considering how clients loved their photos and paid well for a good wedding album, as hardly anyone had the guts to shoot a wedding in those days.

It was hard work! Carrying two cameras, lenses and flashes. Always having extra batteries and enough film with you. I still have my two Nikon F100 bodies, and one of the two SB28 DX flashes still works. My two 24-70 f2.8 Sigma lenses are written off, I can only use these lenses to teach our students where to find aperture on a lens etc. Same for the flash, this flash doesn't go well with the digital camera bodies and can even damage the camera.

Me with two cameras
My last analog wedding was the wedding of Annemiek and Wilfred, in 2007. This is me taking a selfie in the lamp of the wedding car. You couldn't take any decent photos with your phone, so often I used the last frame to take a photo like this, just to finish the roll of film.

Variety of Films
Having two cameras and wanting to shoot in- and outdoors, as well as B&W and crossed E6 film, I was always juggling which film to put in what camera at what time, as 36 exposures sometimes was too much. E.g. after a portrait shoot outdoors, using the Fuji Reala (100 asa) entering the church, you do need 400 asa (Fuji NPH) and sometimes there were quite some exposures left.

But shooting 100 iso film inside a church simply wasn't working, so you did need to change to 400 or sometimes even 800 iso. It was fun too, to try to get the most out of each film. I did like to vary in colour and B&W, so by picking your film wisely you created the best wedding series.

Using Black & White film added variety to an analog wedding serie

The E6 (slide) film was always cross processed so the colors would come out bright with big grain
Using one roll of slide film helped me to get some bright and over the top colours into the series. Fuji film, especially Reala, was the best and most neutral film with awsome skin tone and natural colours, but I always liked to add bright reds and blues to the posing portrait photos. I'll tell you more about how we got those colours without Photoshop in another blog later.

So in general I used 6 to 8 colour films, and 1 slide and 1 or 2 B&W films, meaning 360 exposures max. Clients would get an album with 80-100 printed pictures, and that was it. The book told the story of the day, with a roughly average of about 5-6 hours of photography per wedding shoot. Fuji Reala film is discontinued, as well is Elite Chrome and other Kodak film. It won't take long untill all professional films will be gone, leaving photographers with consumer films only.

Digital Era
Well, in these days clients don't mind I reck. When seeing all the photos of weddings shared on e.g. Facebook and other social media, all comments say "Beautiful photo!" etc. No matter what quality, as long as the bride's dress is visible in the photo people will like the it and say how beautiful the bride looks. Soon after the first digital cameras were good enough to shoot a wedding with, the lomo photography kicked in. That might have been the first sign that we don't care about getting the best quality (in film) anymore.

The poorer the quality, the more a lomo photographer likes it. The student who bought my films though, was really looking for the Reala film, as it's discontinued and she really love the specs of that particular film. The difference between Kodak and Fuji was really about bright colors versus natural colors, as both brands were excellent film producers. A lot of analog film will be gone soon, just being discontinued.

Fortunately we can still have a look at the photos and relive the moment of (one of) the most beautiful days on our life. Thank you Annemiek & Wilfred, the last analog wedding I did was awsome and I'll never forget the fun we all had!