The Saturday Market

Some 40 years ago I accompagnied the famous Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken on the cattle market in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Bois le Duc). I was allowed to carry his bag. In oneandahalf hour he shot 1000 pictures (4 rolls of 250) with his camera with motordrive and after looking into the contactsheets in the dark room only 4 were in his critical eyes “suitable to work with” …. Van der Elsken used a 300mm lens to shoot images of weather torn faces of farmers and traders and their bidding (hand clapping) and that morning I learned one thing from him: “There is no public place where people are so themselves than on a market”.

When I was browsing this morning on the Saturday Market in nearby Hermanus I could vividly remember his words. From 3 different locations on this lively market I kept on shooting people (and a few goods). In total 211 shots of which about 120 were deleted on the spot and the rest was, briefly and by far not as critical as Van der Elsken, selected in Photoshop. If I look into the pictures again next month or so I doubt if there will be any left for the archive….. Van der Elsken also learned me something else: one of avery 250 photo’s is worth working with. And until so far in this photographic journey he’s proven right…

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