A self-taught fashion and portrait photographer, Duipmans always shoots on film. Often in black and white. His work bears a striking character. Call it pure, natural, close, honest, maybe. Usually, there's movement involved. Always, there's a play with light.
I work in a very traditional way. Ten frames, that's what I'll have to get it done with. If it works, I'll know when I develop the photos. There's no editing afterwards. It forces me to go back to the basics. Before I even click once, I have to get the story right. Not that I know the story beforehand. I let the subject guide me. Moving around it like a dancer almost, observing the different angles. I move at a slow pace.
It's a very personal thing. It has to do with beauty, what I conceive as beauty. I start exploring how the light falls when I move around. I study the gestures and the expressions of someone. Maybe there's a breeze in the space that affects the subject. I like that there is an element of surprise to it. Spontaneity. Also, with me. It's like starting this journey, and then along the way, things happen.
I was immediately captivated by the idea of creating lifelike portraits of the distinctive hardwood samples. Each wood bears its own character, grain structure, and history. As a photographer, to be able to capture that essence and at the same time create a new narrative was intriguing. When I learned about Bogwood and how it's been hiding underwater for decades, lying there in moist, dark muddy surroundings — this knowledge made me look different to the species. With the Portraits of Wood, I tried to surface this narrative by translating it into how I used the light.
I wanted it to become a body that expresses the story and character behind the material. It took me a while to get it right. I quickly saw that placing it flat on a surface didn't work at all. It was a matter of time. Finding the right angle. Allowing merely a ray of light in the studio. And long exposure times. Time affects the quality of the light; it seems to tuck around the object. Or at least that's what I see.