Chatting with Richard Heersmink

In my street photography, I’ve no particular strategy. I usually just take my camera, walk around in the city and see what happens.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a photographer who specializes in cityscapes and street photography. I was born in the Netherlands in 1981, moved to Sydney in 2010, and returned to the Netherlands in 2014. Initially trained in biology, I switched to philosophy and received my PhD in 2014. When I went to University, I had a general interest in 20th century art such as Cubism, Surrealism, Futurism, and also developed an interest in installation art. I remember doing a course in “Philosophical Anthropology and Technology” given by Petran Kockelkoren. For this course, we watched parts of Ron Fricke’s documentary, Koyanisquatsi, and I remember it fascinated me deeply, particularly the time-lapses of cities.

 Richard Heersmink

How did you get interested in photography?

I’ve had an interest in photography since I was a teenager, partly due to the photos my older brother took of cities in North America such as Toronto and New York City. After graduating from University in 2009, I went backpacking in Southeast Asia. Before I left, I bought some books on travel photography and learned the basic rules of composition and lighting. I really enjoyed photographing Southeast Asia, but I had a Canon point-and-shoot, so my creative options were limited. In 2010, I moved to Sydney, bought a DSLR in 2013, and got hoooked to photography, often spending many hours a day taking photographs. Sydney is a very photogenic city and there is something for everybody. Skylines, beaches, tropical parks, interesting buildings, markets, events, etc.

IMG_7147 Richard Heersmink

Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?

This may sound odd, but I’m not really influenced by classic photographers. For my street photography, I ’ve studied the classics such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Atget, Vivian Maier, Fan Ho, Joel Mereyowitz, and many others. And I’m sure they have influenced me in some way, but not consciously or explicitely. Regarding cityscapes, I’m not sure whether there are any classic photographers in the same way as there are for street photography. Most of my inspiration comes from other photographers I follow on Flickr and 500px.
Examples include, in no specific order: Black Station, Navid Baraty, Tom Ryaboi, Mike Orso, Martin Dietrich, Jon Siegel, Ronnie Yip, and many others.

In addition to photography, other forms of visual art inspire me as well, for example 20th century Futurism, a form of art engaged with themes such as movement, technology, and industrialized cities. I particularly like how Futurists try to capture movement, something I try to do in my photographs as well. Futurists are great artists, but I’ve no affinity with their social and political values.

I’m also hugely inspired by the documentaries of Fricke, who made Koyaanisqatsi and Samsara, amongst others. Fricke’s documentaries tell an exclusively visual narrative of the development of human cultures in a variety of settings, sometimes using time-lapse photography. His work is visually stunning and a great source of inspiration for me. You can press pauze at any moment in his documentaries and you’ll have a great image. Some interpret Fricke’s work as criticism on our technological culture, which it might well be, but I’m mainly interested in the way he visualizes human culture.

IMG_7717 Richard Heersmink

How do you educate yourself to take better photos?

When I bought my first DSLR, I looked at blogs, websites, YouTube videos, and also bought some books on photography. These were definitely helpful, but I don’t think you need much information to master the basic skills of photography. What you do need, however, is a lot of practice and perseverance. Sometimes I go out shooting just to practice a certain technique. For example, I’ll put on my 50 mm lens with a low aperture and take pictures of random objects just to practice depth of field. Also, I’ve never been a member of a photo club, but I’m planning to join one, so I can learn from other photography enthusiasts.

How do you come up with ideas for your projects?

In my street photography, I’ve no particular strategy. I usually just take my camera, walk around in the city and see what happens. Sometimes I see an interesting background that allows me to frame a subject or has an interesting symmetry. I then wait patiently until a subject walks through the framed background. But more often, my street photography is a random activity without preset goals.

With my cityscapes, I often have a location in mind. When you’ve lived in a city for a while, you know where the interesting vantage points are. It might take some time to get there, particularly when you have no car, but it’s all about the hunt. When I finally make it to a location, I usually look for frame-filling cityscapes/skylines. I try different positions and angles, look for foreground/background contrasts, and take photos at different times during the blue hour (sometimes a few minutes make a significant difference).

IMG_9937 Richard Heersmink

Do you take photos more for yourself or for others?

This is a tough question. I think very few amateur photographers begin with photography to take pictures for others (unless your goal is to become a professional of course). But as you progress as a photographer and put your pictures online and enter into competitions, I guess they’re meant for others as well, otherwise you wouldn’t have put them online. At this point, I take photos neither purely for myself nor purely for others. It’s a bit of both, I suppose.

What do you think makes a memorable photograph?

As you can see in my photos, I really like the blue hour, which is the time of day where two worlds meet: when natural light slowly fades away and artificial light slowly takes hold. I think this works particularly well for cityscapes, but also for street photography. The combination of different kinds of light make photos taken during the blue hour aesthetically very appealing. Photography, after all, is all about light and when you have two kinds if it, your creative options expand. Throw in some depth of field, an interesting subject, and you have all the ingredients for a great shot.

So aesthetics elements make a memorable photograph, but the memories you develop when taking photos are important too. For example, I remember I was shooting cityscapes of Sydney on the roof of a parking lot. A security guard came, he asked me what I was doing and told me I wasn’t allowed to be there. I explained him what I was doing and showed him the pictures I just took. He must have liked those pictures because the next thing he did was to help me to get on top of an elevator-shaft so that I had a better view on Sydney’s skyline. Such experiences make certain photos more memorable than others.

IMG_7644 Richard Heersmink

How important is an awesome website for your business?

I don’t have a business, so in that sense a website is not important for me. But I still think it’s important to disseminate my photo’s to a wider audience and for that reason a website is vital. For example, because the folks at Dodho found my website, they asked me for both a feature on my Street Photography and this interview. So a website is an essential marketing tool for any photographer, professional or otherwise.

How has social media played a role in your photography?

Social media has played a tremendously important role in my photography. The photographers are follow on Flickr and 500px are great sources of inspiration and the feedback I get on those sites is quite helpful. For instance, the amount of likes I get on photos is interesting and sometimes surprising. Occasionally, a photo I personally find really impressive, gets very few likes, while a photo I find aesthetically less appealing gets many likes. This helped me to understand the preferences of other photographers. It also show how subjective photography is. This sounds terribly cliché, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a photographer I can see beauty in technique, rather than just composition. A particular photo may not be beautiful in a postcard-kind-of-way, but may have a brilliant use of depth of field or an interesting foreground/background contrast.

IMG_3827 Richard Heersmink

What are some tips you would give to yourself if you started photography all over again?

I wish I bought a DSLR earlier. For anyone who is reading this and is thinking about buying a DSLR or some other serious camera: do it. And if you cannot afford a new one, try to buy a second hand one. You cannot start soon enough with photography.

What is one question nobody has ever asked you that you wish they asked you?

Would you be interested in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art? [Official Website]

IMG_2149 Richard Heersmink

 Richard Heersmink IMG_1811 Richard Heersmink  Richard Heersmink

IMG_1021

 Richard Heersmink

More Stories

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.
Salt Making by Ly Hoang Long

Salt Making by Ly Hoang Long

This type of salt production was a low-cost technology that was known and used in shallow coastal regions throughout Southeast Asia.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

Conceptual photography; Dissection by Kaushik Dolui

The physical presence of blood and flesh is felt in nature as well as material substances also. If the skin cover is eliminated from all living beings, what we see? Blood and flesh is visible in the innermost part of every living body.
The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

The specter of life by Marcin Mirosławski

It is a metaphorical and allegorical journey through my self, but at the same time it is a universal story through metaphors and symbols, everyone can try to find themselves in these photos.
Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

Polaroid; Crisis of Experience by J. K. Lavin

This body of work originates from a series of Polaroid SX70 self-portraits made during a daily practice from 1979 to late 1987. Crisis of Experience is the result of an eight-year project exploring themes of self-reflection and female identity using the mechanics of seriality.

Featured Stories

The 10 Commandments by Dina Goldstein

The 10 Commandments by Dina Goldstein

The narrative seeks to examine the socio-political makeup of America through its political icons - the presidential figures that mark the most notable and controversial chapters in American history.
I am South Africa by Carla Kogelman

I am South Africa by Carla Kogelman

Creativity and positive focus and energy are for her the base and the ingredients for growth. To develop, to grow, to have a richer live as a human being.
Fetish Ballad by MagLau

Fetish Ballad by MagLau

MagLau has just released his new book Fetish Ballad with German publisher Verlag Kettler. It is the result of a three years' road trip into the underground world of Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
An Aerial Wonderland by Graham Earnshaw

An Aerial Wonderland by Graham Earnshaw

Graham took a morning flight in a small Cessna over the coastline of the main township of Broome, in the hope of capturing some beautiful and unusual aerials over nearby Roebuck Bay and Willie Creek.
Baikal of wonders by Alina Desyatnichenko

Baikal of wonders by Alina Desyatnichenko

The land of Baikal region in Russia has always been sacred for the local indigenous peoples – buryats. And shamans who could talk to local gods were revered as a hereditary caste of the chosen.
180 beats per minute by Ivaylo Yorgov

180 beats per minute by Ivaylo Yorgov

180 beats per minute’ celebrates the determination of the millions of runners around the globe who push through sweat and tears to achieve their goals.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Irish Travellers by Bob Newman

Irish Travellers by Bob Newman

Irish Travellers refer to themselves as Pavees or Minkiers, having lived on the margins of society for many hundreds of years. They number about 40,000 in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Terri Gold ; Poetic infrared imagery

Terri Gold ; Poetic infrared imagery

Terri Gold is an award-winning photographer known for her poetic infrared imagery of people from the remote corners of the world. She is a storyteller who is happiest when she is in a world that is unknown to her.
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Petricor by Joaquin Bas Ros

Petricor by Joaquin Bas Ros

The 20 photographs that compose this portfolio are part of those included in Petricor, a photobook that aims to be a mirror of what is sadly beginning to be known as "Empty Spain".
The Nenets by Sara Bianchi

The Nenets by Sara Bianchi

The Nenets are an ethnic minority with fewer than 50.000 people dedicated to reindeer breeding. They live in Yamal peninsula, Siberia. Yamal in the language of the indigenous means "the end of the world"
Chris Clor ; Cinematic imagery

Chris Clor ; Cinematic imagery

Award-winning photographer and illustrator Chris Clor has spent his entire career as a visual communicator specializing in conceptual, portrait and product photography.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Ghosting : Things I Stole by Mano Svanidze

Ghosting : Things I Stole by Mano Svanidze

Ghosting is generally defined as breaking up with someone by ignoring this person, avoiding any kind of contact in real life. It means that someone suddenly disappears from another person’s life without any explanation
Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Examining life by over-thinking all the various life paths in front of you will always present a scary picture. In this journey over the last few years of your life, you might have been trying to figure out which path to go on.
Logbook by Yanina Boldyreva

Logbook by Yanina Boldyreva

This project shows space surrounding me as the post-apocalyptic world. It has people, architecture, and only separate ruins which jut out of a ground indicate the past developments.
All That Glitters by Gary Sheridan

All That Glitters by Gary Sheridan

The All That Glitters series aestheticizes the falling short of the commercialised fantasy. The pursuit of advertised perfection, lifestyles and possessions.
Monster by Frank Machalowski

Monster by Frank Machalowski

"When big masses walk into the same direction, everything is connected, you adapt yourself to it, everything becomes uniform." Most people that live or have lived in a big city before will probably know this phenomena Frank Machalowski describes so well in the quote above.
Saikat Mojumder : Innocence to ‘living in sin’

Saikat Mojumder : Innocence to ‘living in sin’

Siem Reap, Cambodia, is the place, where Angkor wat, the largest temple in the world situated. Mondo Bai is a poor village in this area. Around 800 families are living here under the poverty line.
Muse for Youth by Victoria Art

Muse for Youth by Victoria Art

The conceptual laboratory UBERlab took part in the project "Muse for Youth". This is a project whose aim is to draw the viewer's attention to the question of the life path that we choose.
Greece; Living Laboratory by Milos Bicanski

Greece; Living Laboratory by Milos Bicanski

In the minds of most of the world, the iconic image of Greece's collapse is one of angry, masked protestors clashing with police outside parliament. But anger is only one of the myriad of emotions Greeks are experiencing as they try to weather this crisis.
Self Portraits; Tortured Mind by Petri Damstén

Self Portraits; Tortured Mind by Petri Damstén

I started photographing seriously after I got retired and wanted to try something creative. I had tried darkroom with black and white prints ages ago, but mainly my photography was just snapshots before that.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.