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Making a photo to document the world

Josué Ronkio – electric bass

You can take a photo to document the world. To capture a moment and be part of an action. Moments you want to share with your friends. On Facebook, Instagram or by showing it in the old school fashion way of a photo album.

Yesterday I visited a jazz festival in Valencia. Mar i Jazz it’s called, as the venue, a park, it is located near the sea. It almost looks as Jazz and the sea have some relationship with each other as there is also the famous North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland.

There where some great bands, especially the progressive flamenco trio lead by Juan Pérez (piano), David Boa (Drums) and Josué Ronkio (electric bass) was amazing to listen to. I had my camera with me, although I didn’t have any press pass.

There were a lot of people taking pictures. Besides of course the snapshots from the mobile phones. But one way or another I did not really feel like making photos. I was much more happy with dancing and enjoying the music. And then it suddenly dawned on me that I was not interested in making photos to document the moment. I did not want to make a picture, just to take it with me as a memory.


A photo as a document or a photo as a world on it’s own..


No, I suddenly realized why I like to make pictures. And black and white photo’s in particular. I do not make photos to document the world. I make pictures to create a new world. To change and use the reality and mold it into my own world. That’s why black and white photos are so great. The real world isn’t black and white, so you’ve already altered it by creating an black and white image.

A picture is not a memory of an event for me. I do not take pictures like an news paper photographer, a wedding photographer or a wild life photographer. With all respect.

No I make photo’s and use the subjects to transform the real world into something else. The photo’s I make are part of the happening, not a documentation of it. I want my photo’s to be an extension of the art work, the dance, performance or music.
Understanding that, a photo is not the reality but I try to change the image into an extension of the it.

The photo for me is not an document but a poem, a visual intriguing, pleasing or challenging art work.

And this is why I found it so hard to make any pictures on the Mar i Jazz festival in Valencia. I could not change the things I saw on the stage into something different. Maybe it was because of all the microphones that where in the way. Or all the music stands that literally forms a barrier between the musician and the listener. Or the observer in my case.

The music was great, but it did not trigger any visual inspiration on my part. I made some pictures from Josué Ronkio, an amazing flamenco bass player. But I’m not quite sure if I’m happy with it, as the photo is for my taste to much of a documentary. Something I try to avoid…