Behind the camera: A sense of adventure, his dad’s stories about owning a Lyttleton burger bar in the 70s, and family he had never met brought Bastiaan (or Bas), from the Netherlands to Aotearoa seven years ago. Since then, Bas and his partner have been working hard establishing themselves as artists and designers. They love what they get out of it and feel that the last couple of years, during and after lockdown, helped them to let go of their other home and really be present in New Zealand.
Why photography: Photography was part of Bas’s first degree. His teacher was “a super cool dude” who taught him to see, not just to look. This was in the early years of digital photography and he didn’t jump on the bandwagon. He bought an expensive analogue Canon EOS 300 and kept shooting with it until two years ago, when he dropped it one time too many. He now uses an even older Canon. He takes his camera everywhere he goes, especially when travelling.
The snap: Fireworks are notoriously hard to capture, especially on a 50-year-old camera, using black and white film. This didn’t stop Bas trying his luck, and liking the resulting image. “The huge contrast, the reflection in the water and the stillness of the explosion are just really interesting to me.” This image and a shortage of colour film made him appreciate black and white photography more. He didn’t have the Capital Photographer of the Year contest in mind when making the image, but it fits the category nicely.
Judge’s thoughts: CPotY judge Shalee Fitzsimmons said, “You can just hear the noise of the fireworks in this picture. A dynamic moment captured on film that successfully highlights texture, tone, and light.”