To be honest, we never were Hans Aarman fans. Maybe it's because of his name, but we weren't impressed by the live performances of this photography enthusiast so far either. When we saw his book 'De Fotodetective', we were triggered though. The image of the sparrow on the white coffee mug with the fresh yellow background on the cover. And of course the title. Curious as we are we decided to give it a try. The book consists of column-like stories which makes it possible to read it in episodes. However, the book caught us in a way, that once we started reading, we couldn't stop...
Hans Aarsman started his career as a photographer. He explains the processes he has gone through in his photographic development, looking for a personal style. He tried many styles. And once he knew how to do it, he started to dislike it and started all over again with a new style. This process is probably familiar to many photographers. Aren't we all in search for our own photographic handwriting?
In the end Aarsman quits being a photographer. He exchanges his camera with a magnifying glass and starts observing photographs. He does this in a way we have never seen before. He finds details in photographs that give it extra meaning. Intriguing. And contagious. The way Aarsman looks at photographs makes that you will start looking better at them too. It creates a new view on photographic developments, like social photography platforms (Flickr for example). He cites Sherlock Holmes: 'It is human nature to see what we expect to see, and that is why we seldom observe and notice what we see'.
Next on the list of Aarman is his claim: 'Subject is everything'. It is very important to choose good subjects. Not just anything, choose something that you really connect with, inspires or moves. That's how you'll create good photos. All subjects have been photographed thousands of times before. That doesn't matter, it's important to show your personal vision. And that is only possible when you really connect with your subject.
Well, we can continue for a while explaining the vision of Aarsman, better is to read the book for yourself (only available in Dutch however). We love his observations and the passionate way he describes them in his book. It must be a subject he really connects with... Hans Aarsman - the writer - found in EAGER a new fan!
Photo © Claudia Sola
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