The resurrection of the NX 100

Alphen aan den Rijn, today. Imperfection [ reality ]

Above: Family party in a Dutch bird Zoo to celebrate the birtday of Irma's uncle. Uncle Jaap, an older brother of her father. A retired high-school teacher. He turned it into a family reunion. Before dinner, there was the opportunity to make a quick, unprepared groupportait of the family. I love doing unprepared group pictures. It is never perfect, and to those holding opinions based upon perfectionism (what ever that is) it might even be annoying ("Rude!") -- people will not appear visible at all or partly masked, covered by others¹ -- I consider that part of what makes group pictures interesting and fun. The natural group dynamic at work. The composition as it forms itself as everybody takes position as part of a group. Of course you offer a little help -- a few basic guidelines -- but not 'overdirecting' and ruining life for the sake of making it 'average'. Yes, it can always be better. And it is only a picture. But the magic is to create a photo that looks good on paper.

Min/max temperature: 12°C/23°C; humidity: 72%; visibility: 14.4 kilometres; precipitation: 0 mm; sea level pressure: 1025.51 hPa; clouds: partly cloudy; wind: West 14.8 km/h.; Moon: Waxing Gibbous, 51% illuminated

Technically it proved to be the resurrection of the NX 100 by Samsung. It turned out to be for sale last week at a second hand store (Samsung has discontinued the production of camera's). The group photo's were made with both a more fancy, yet unfamiliar camera from N(something). A 'new' camera -- after the 'old' Samsung broke down after almost 10 (!) years. And, as said, with this trusty NX 100. Just to be safe. As my mentor and friend Guillermo Ruiz would say, '... let's see what happens'. On the Cinema Display at home after unbiased comparison, the NX 100, the old, cheap camera, turned out to be superior in its 'look and feel'. This is not science. It is taste. Maybe even naïve!


¹ The concequence of prefering to shoot from a natural eye level, as opposed to eleveted from a high-angle, requiring everybody to look up to the photographer. Creating a sort of God-pov, looking down. Especially when things need to be arranged fast, I prefer to keep it simple and under control. This begins with the selection of the location. What will be in the background? The image was shot at a Zoo on a Saturday. The selection of the shooting spot was determined by the light -- filtered trough threes to create contrast and depth -- and keeping the frame 'clean' from unknown visitors passing by. On the terrain we found a quiet, dead end street. I wanted to prevent having to wait for vistors of the Zoo to have passed by, loose focus and bring impatience among the people in the family group. They wanted to go and have dinner. Make it quick. Not pose endlessly for a photo. The end result is the coming together of all the elements. If it works, it is OK. If it doesn't, all the talk in the world will not make it better. And the opposite is true also. As Robby Muller once told me: " [...] the case is, if you look at the rushes, and everyone applauds for the rushes because they think they are beautiful, if you don’t like them yourself then they are not right. Because the other one approves of it very fast. He sees the sun going under and it looks beautifully orange. You didn’t have to do anything for that, you’ll always succeed. But there were also more difficult things. With Friedkin, that was some real good photographing. Because he could listen very well. Then there was a complicated shot, with a car. It drives over a big terrain and into a hangar. And with a crane, going down. And then I said: ' … well, why make separate shots? He can come driving into the hangar and I can simply follow him with the crane... .’ And then I said: ' … theoretically there are 3 possibilities. The twilight is very short. Do a shot in twilight with exactly the right light. Do one before that, slightly overexposed. And one afterwards, that will just fit. So you have 20 minutes for 3 shots. He got that. Then he organised everything strictly this way for the complete situation. And then we immediately did the first shot and then got it all in time. But you need people that can react. A director that motivates his team and especially actors." Interview Robby Muller