When wandering through the portfolio of Jacqueline van Bijnen, it feels like walking in a dream-world. She loves to create her own 'new world' when she is surrounded by nature, using all the poetry caused by the peaceful feelings, silence and mood in her images.
Let's take a little journey with her with this fine interview and learn more about the person behind her work.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, dear Jacqueline.
First of all, I want to thank Yvette for this invitation which was totally unexpected for me. I am already a very happy person when the curators find one of my images special enough for publication.
Let me start by telling something about myself. I was born in 1958 in the Southern part of the Netherlands. As a child, I quickly came in contact with photography because my father was a photographer. We had a Photo Store including a photo studio. We also had a big dark room where my father was working a lot. He often was retouching on the glass plates or on the photos them, standing behind huge light-box with pencils and knives and of course the prints were also made there.
I'm often thinking about him. If he was able to see now all the possibilities of the “digital darkroom” he would not believe it. And yes, as a little girl I stood many times in the darkroom, watching how he made magic with light and baths. It really was fascinating me since a very young age!
Later on, I was working myself in the Photo Store, making passport photos, shaping photo books from weddings, selling cameras etc.
Unfortunately my father became ill at a pretty young age and couldn't exercise his profession any more. Our shop was sold and it took a long time before I wanted to do something with photography again.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
For years I did,'t do anything with photography any more, but with the purchase of a digital SLR camera about 10 years ago, made me picking up with my old hobby.
As I did photo editing in the past, I started exploring and studied on my own all the possibilities of Photoshop to increase the expressiveness of my photos. Very fast, it became a passion.
Photographing and editing my photos gives me opportunities to create new worlds.
I love autumn, stormy or rainy weather, and with some songs from Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits in the background, I really get inspired to process my work into creative images.
I love to walk in the polderland when it is foggy, my favourite weather. The world looks so different in the mist when you are alone with the trees and birds. I enjoy so much the invisible mystery, the silence and peace it creates. It make me feel so comfortable.
Most of the time, I like to walk on my own - on the beach for example – capturing that feeling of space, the feeling of wind and water all around.
I miss a bit guts to photograph people ;-)
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
What influenced me the most, is looking a lot to the wonderful work of others on photo sites and in photography magazines.
I am a member of 1X for several years now and that has definitely changed my view on photography. For the first time, I saw that a photo does not have to be technically perfect but that creativity is at least even important.
I also joined a photo club where the creativity of the person behind the images is stimulated to make it visible and to develop your own style. It is a nice group of people supporting each other by doing different things with their work and exchanging their experiences.
What first attracted you to photography?
The many settings and choices you have on your camera regarding the final result. Of course, growing up with the target that a photo should be technically perfect (choices you make when it comes to aperture, shutter effect, composition), I still enjoy a lot these basic principles. Black and white photography also is very attractive to me, because of the stronger artistic mood it evokes.
Can you describe your overall photographic vision.
I would like to evoke some feelings when people look at my photos. I would like to “touch the poetic soul” of the viewers with my “reality”. Technical perfection doesn't always is the most important, it is all about the mood. I will always strive to use all my creativity to achieve this.
Why are you so drawn by creatively edited photography?
Creating an image of the reality as I see or feel it is essential. It means a world to me to capture a moment and edit it into something special.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Definitely and without a doubt, the mood!
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer? Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
When walking around, I often come on locations which are interesting but with too much disturbing elements on the background. I'm going back to these places as soon as the circumstances would lead to a better result, for example foggy weather. And furthermore, I just let myself be surprised by unexpected sceneries.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I work with a Nikon D5200, a 18/140 Nikon lens and a lens-baby composer pro.
What software do you use to process your images?
I initially work with Raw files in Photoshop and also use Nik filters
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
First I go to camera Raw, then get started in PS with my own textures, multiple layers, adding noise. I do not have a standard workflow. It is different for each photo.
When I download my photos on the PC, I can discover some nice ones, but some can just disappear in the trash as well.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in creatively edited photography and how do you get started?
I would say: look a lot at what others are doing and get inspired. Try and work hard to create something with your own stamp, be yourself.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I admire the work of photographers as Teru, Jorgen Feldstadt, Marianne Siff Kusk, Gustav Davidsson and many others. I like the mood and creativity in their photos.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve ?
Developing more my own style. My preference goes to black and white photography but some images/subjects ask for colour.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
This is one of the first photos where I succeeded to give such a tremendous melancholic feeling.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1X is a beautiful site and nice community. The images are optimally presented. It is a huge source of inspiration and very educational because one can see so much outstanding work from so many talented photographers.