Pure Playfulness

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

© Nicolaas Kuipers

Nicolaas Kuipers has a distinct, photographic voice. As a viewer we can see it in his playful approach to whatever he chooses as a subject as well as to the whole photographic process. For Nicolaas no angle is impossible, no rule is to be obeyed, no story is too small or too big to be photographed, no challenge undoable. Nicolaas attended two of my workshops last year, and already during the first one in Villajoyosa, I noticed his playfulness and the positivity he permeated into his photography. Already then it was possible to see the development of a distinct, photographic voice (his images from this workshop has been showcased in the post Stories behind Stories). Half a year later when he attended the Cuba workshop, this voice was even more developed. By then his visual sense and understanding had grown and every day he returned with amazing pictures. Part of this is he outgoing persona, his willingness to engage with anyone and give of himself in any situation, part of this is the pure joy he infuses everything around him with, and part of it is his photographic understanding. The outstanding photos following this post here, are all from the Cuba workshop. As I wrote in my last post, we as photographer, should not chase any style, but let it come to the surface by itself, through time and experience. For me Nicolaas Kuipers is the true embodiment of this understanding.


About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
This entry was posted in Photo Workshop, Photography, Travel Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Pure Playfulness

  1. Well said as usual Otto! Pure joy has to be infused into any creative endeavor for it to come to life. These photos are a great example of that. Thanks for sharing them. I really enjoyed them. ~Rita

  2. There is a real sense of place in these photos – they could only be taken in Cuba. But more than that, Nicolaas has captured the indomitable spirit of the people.

  3. Nicolaas Kuipers says:

    Thank you all for encouraging comments. I am very happy to have participated in the two workshops, I have started a completely new way to capture pictures. It has to be learned what to look fore, and then make your own style/selection. I believe it has a lot to do about enjoying the “now” and have fun, and there is always more to learn. I use the camera as a way of communication and meeting new environments, wow It,s exiting and very challenging. I can strongly recommend both Otto and Sven as excellent teachers who brings out the best in people.
    Thank you very much 🙂 🙂 🙂 Nicolaas

  4. Colorful and layered in meaning, really enjoyed their energy.

  5. Gertie says:

    Ja, vad kan jag tillföra tro?
    Jag kan tillföra och förtydliga det du skriver…att Nicolaas har ett förträffligt seende, ett utmärkt och vaket bildspråk…och sin egen stil (hoppas jag) och jag förstår att workshopen var givande för er båda:)
    My compliment to You, Nicolaas…Your Eyes are wide open…all the best to You!

    Och Otto, jag önskar självklart även allt gott till dig och hoppas att du får fler elever av denna kaliber.

  6. ツ Knipsa says:

    These are wonderful pictures, pure fun to look at 🙂
    A bit dramatic, but I guess most comes from the
    rainy clouds 🙂 Love the last one with the flag shirt
    and the bright blue car 😀
    Thank you Nicolaas and Otto 🙂
    Have a great time

  7. Love the colors–so vibrant. Somehow, they remind me of Hemingway.

  8. Elaine- says:

    well he’s a seriously great photographer, and i of course want to look behind and see the lens, and see the processing, but the main thing i want to see is that he never loses that JOY 🙂

  9. sixpixx says:

    Wonderful. Will Nicolaas be starting his own site where we can see more?

  10. Patrizia M. says:

    Le foto sono bellissime, l’istinto di fotografo era in Nicolaas e la grande gioia che prova nel fare foto è sicuramente un grande aiuto, come lo è stato partecipare ai tuoi workshop, perché sicuramente gli hanno aperto altre prospettive. Complimenti a NIcolaas, molto molto bravo!!
    E come sempre complimenti a te, grande maestro!
    Ciao, Pat

  11. Angeline M says:

    His style seems classical. Photographs freezing the moment. My favorite is the boys boxing; I keep returning to look at that one. Beautiful work.

  12. Very good pictures

  13. YellowCable says:

    I have the same comment as “Angline M” that Nicolaas just freeze a moment. They capture things in motion – the lady walked passing the car, two boxers in a fight etc. I love the capture of the young man was approaching close and his face was down.

  14. mfryan says:

    His angles and colors are wonderful.

  15. Love his wonderful photos. They really are a lot of fun.

  16. Nice work. The colors and the wide angle are stunning.

  17. I love the angles and bright splashes of color. Really does create a sense of fun and life and the feeling you’re right there.

  18. Francina says:

    wonderful pictures, I love how the colours of the objects stand out against there surrounding. Thank you Nicolaas and Otto for sharing.

  19. Poppy says:

    I have just started following your blog. I am a “developing photographer” myself, and your comment, “…we as photographer[s], should not chase any style, but let it come to the surface by itself, through time and experience,” let me off the hook. I’ve been chasing that illusive style and coming up short. Now I believe I just need to give myself time and practice.

    • Yes, I believe that’s the way to perceive it. In addition always be open to learning and increasing you skills and understanding. Development goes hand in hand with finding your artistic voice.

  20. Candace says:

    That, to me, is how I imagine Cuba! Love them!

  21. Nicolaas Kuipers says:

    Fantastic and overwhelming ! Thank you all for nice comments. I have put a lot of my pictures on Facebook, I haven’t thought about any new website yet, maybe some day 🙂

  22. Ptck says:

    Very spontaneous !! and beautiful dynamic wide angle

  23. lumar1298 says:

    I love the way these photos have come out… And do doubt they are from Cuba… Lovely…

  24. Just so. Wonderful, and that first one just grabs me. Kudos.

  25. These are all wonderful photos. I really do respond to them. But I just LOVE that last one! 🙂

  26. shoreacres says:

    Sometimes, etymology can give us additional insight into a seemingly common word. “Play” is a good example. It comes from Old English “plegan, and plegian,” which mean, among other things, “to move rapidly, occupy or busy oneself.” The German “pflegen” means to “take care of, cultivate” and comes from the root *dlegh- “to engage oneself.”

    From this perspective, play isn’t frivolous at all, and certainly not tangential to the “serious” business of life. To play is to be engaged, to be so completely engrossed by an activity that all else fades away. I think part of what makes these photos so wondeful is that the photographer was “playing” as surely as his subjects. “Playing around” with a camera — becoming so completely engrossed — may be one of the best ways to develop a personal style.

    • This is very much true. I know Nicolaas becomes completely engrossed in the photographic process. Thank you for elaborating around the understanding of the word play and connecting this understanding with Nicolaas photos.

  27. themofman says:

    I admire his use of minor foreshortening in so many of his shots, and yes he does have has vision.

  28. Dalo 2013 says:

    These are great shots ~ lively and as you say just a great glimpse of fun. Beautiful, although if having to choose I’d say the first one is my favorite 🙂

  29. Andrew says:

    A unique and unforgettable series of images. Thanks for showing them, Otto.

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