mahabis photography // half light by jurgen beullens
"I used to only photograph in the early morning. I like the calm and peacefulness of the waking hours. There are usually few people around and there isn't a constant annoying chatter in the air."
This series of images entitled 'Half Light' represent fine artist Jurgen Beullens' unmistakable photographic style: desaturated, serene, and often with a focus on the horizon.
The long exposure times used help to create a sense of calm and simplicity. There is no fuss, no excess, just focus.
"Morning light is often soft and diffused. It can reduce a cluttered background to graduated layers of two-dimensional tone."
This effect is amplified by taking the photos at dawn, as he comments. Rather than taking the photos in the full light of day when the sun is overhead, Jurgen often opts to photography in the waking hours, to avoid overexposure and harsh light.
"A facet of my work is about trying to simplify and slow down this fast-paced, chaotic mess we live in. I still like the dawn more than any other time of the day or night"
We love the elements of simplification and calm that Beuellens channels throughout his photography. His photos are stripped back to the bare minimals: a foreground, a focal point, and a washed background.
Rarely featuring people or animated subjects, Beullens' focal points are instead long standing structures, jutting from the sea. From oyster beds to breakwaters, jetties and piers, Buellens comments that his photos are designed to invite the viewer to walk a road, 'to wander in a dream world', where 'there is no right way, and there is no final destination'.
The focus on the sea has a lot to do with Beullens' commentary on the pace of the 21st century. Rather than shooting bustling urban environments, his photography centres on space, time and peace. For his collection, 'of the side', he asks the viewer to 'feel the silence', and we completely understand where he's coming from
"Together we run through life. [...] give me the sea to escape this hellish rhythm: a sea of time, lots of space, a sea of tranquility. With the selection of the photos I want to set out to sea. Away from the crowds."
Why not also check out our previous post on solargraphy? Take a look at how Al Brydon captures the pace of time using traditional pin hole photography with just a tin can and a sheet of paper...