Every artist’s struggle is to find an effective form of expression – for Joel Tjintjelaar, who was already hooked on B&W photography, the story he was trying to tell was missing a plot.
“This changed when I found out about long exposure photography. I loved the surreal dreamy look to long exposure images. They were images from another world. And they resembled the mood of my inner world. A reality blurred and softened by time – just like my memories. I found out that the longer the exposure time, the more surreal and ethereal the images would look,” says Joel.
Joel then began experimenting to push the medium further – by adding ND filters up to 16 stops: “This way you always use the sweet spot of the lens, which in most cases is around f/8 and you have much more control of the end result. It was easy now to have exposure times of 5 minutes or more at bright daylight and the photos came a bit closer to what I wanted to express.”
Joel Tjintjelaar then began fine-tuning his own specialized post-production workflow (which he continues to do so today), taking that final step of transforming his photography into fine art and capturing the artistic expression he was after.
“I express my artistic vision by moving away from reality as far as I can. I use B&W, since it isn’t part of the colorful reality we live in – that’s step one. The second step is the use of long exposure techniques and revealing things that aren’t visible to the eye. The third step from reality is creating presence, a 3D-like look by altering tonal relation ships and creating luminosity. I also added a fourth personal step by altering light and shadows in a way that reflects my mood and aesthetic preference,” says Joel.