Capturing The Moment
When I started with street photography, I had trouble figuring out what exactly caught my eye and what I’d like to capture and expose. The result was, that most of my photographs were a complete mess.
My name is Bas Hordijk. I’m a 22 years old street photographer based near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Currently, I’m a final year student at the University of Arts in Utrecht. Because I spend a lot of time traveling back and forth to Utrecht, I frequently find myself inside and around train stations. This has shaped the signature look of my photography, together with my use of composition and colour.
Photography has been in my life ever since I can remember. My father was always taking photographs, so naturally he bought me a toy camera to play with during trips.
I started shooting candid moments in the streets with a Canon 700D when I was 18 years old. At that time, I had no idea what street photography was; I never even heard of the term until 2017 while looking into the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Throughout the years, I have learned to be more selective about which elements to keep in the frame; And most importantly, which to leave out. I believe that when a photograph is overcrowded with elements that don’t add to the story, the viewer doesn’t know what to look at and will probably move on and forget about the work very quickly. The trick is to show just enough to catch and hold the viewer’s attention.
The split second I take a photograph, I’m capturing a moment that makes me feel something. This could be a feeling of nostalgia, a sudden burst of energy or sometimes just a combination of light, texture, shape and colour which I consider to be beautiful. Reflections are also a recurring element in my work. Even a simple reflection can obscure reality and turn it into a completely new world no one has ever seen before; I think there’s something beautiful in that. You could say photography is a way for me to explore and capture these hidden worlds in our surroundings that mostly go unnoticed during our everyday lives.
When the winter of 2017/2018 arrived, I noticed my Canon 700D wasn’t a great match with the dark and rainy nights I liked capturing so much. This is when I made the decision to switch to Fujifilm.
Currently my setup consists of a X-Pro2 and a XF35mm f2.0. The ISO capability is great and it deals with rain without any problems. The small mirrorless form factor is great for street photography because it’s way less intrusive than a big DSLR.
I usually set my ISO and shutter speed to auto. This way, all I have to think about is the composition and how large I want my out-of-focus area to be by spinning the aperture ring. The X-Pro2 allows me do this very well because of its analog dials. Without needing to think about numbers, I can focus on capturing moments. Sometimes these moments can happen quickly without any warning. If you’re not fast enough to get the photograph, the moment will be gone forever.
There are multiple reasons most street photographers prefer prime over zoom lenses. Arguably, being able to change focal length with a zoom lens could be very useful in certain situations. However, constantly thinking about your focal length is another distracting element while shooting. When you stick to a prime lens, and therefore to one focal length, you’ll learn what will be in frame even before lifting the camera up to your eye; very useful when you need to be quick!
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Dutch street photographer, obsessed by the human figure in its surroundings. With his eye for composition, he captures the fleeting moments of romance and delicacy within the chaos of everyday life. He posts work to his Instagram page daily and has a website for print sales and showcasing his portfolio.