A City in the Spotlight

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You’re a graphic designer, with a love of lines. This really comes through in your work, and it seems that you find these lovely patterns, and give off a sense of order and calm, even within chaotic cities. What is your process like when shooting?

I studied Graphic design and worked in that domain for many years; my Love for Lines, shapes, form, layouts and patterns was born! When I go out on my photo-cycles I am on the lookout for ‘graphical shots’ to express that love.

I often find that in architecture, I see a big connection between architecture and graphic design; it’s about constructing things, putting things together. But patterns and beautiful shapes are everywhere, not only in architecture.
I love the power of repetition, shadow play or (water) reflections or even when I am shopping I notice cool patterns..

I shoot a lot of pictures and select the best ones for editing at home. I try to make a picture as graphic as can be; straightening and cropping can help a lot to find that balance I am looking for and I really love the work in the square IG format.

You’ve found lovely patterns in things like buildings, streets, water, but also within clothing, flowers, and luggage (and there are quite a few photos that I can’t make out!) What have been some of your favorite places that have caught your eye?

I get the biggest kick out of the ’simplest looking shots’.

The shots I pass by when cycling, noticing it.. thinking ‘no, not good enough’, to suddenly stop and turn and go back realizing the power of it.

Like the red hose on the green football-field, or the beam of light on concrete under a bridge. Minimalistic…but very powerful I think.

You instagram a lot. How has instagram changed your life?

Instagram has totally changed my life for the good! Unfortunately I lost my jobs because of illness and although all is kind of under control now I have a hard time finding a new job. Age and crisis have a big influence these days…
Time by my side I discovered Instagram and it totally renewed my passion for photography, got me involved in several photography projects, and gave me a new purpose in life..! I consider myself a freelance photographer now… 😉

You’re one of the founding members of SeeMyCity, an international initiative that uses photography and social media to show and market different cities. How did SeeMyCity start and how did you get involved?

Marianne Hope came up with the idea of SeeMyCity and asked me to join from the start. Simply said its all about putting a city in the spotlight, using social media for city marketing.

After a lot of meetings and brainstorming we did a pilot project in a town nearby called “Almere”. That project got lots of publicity and the ball started to roll.

Marianne is from Norway and used her origin to contact tourist organizations in Norway and with the help of VisitOslo, SeeMyOslo became our first international sponsored project; Leuven – SeeMyLeuven and Doha – SeeMyDoha followed.
Please look at our new website for all info about our projects and goals.

I feel very privileged to be part of such an amazing group of talented instagrammers and of course love the traveling it caused.

What side of cities do you hope to show through SeeMyCity?

Our goal is show and market cities through unique and contemporary mobile photography and inspire the residents and visitors to see, appreciate and share their city by engaging, teaching and encouraging them through the use of photography and social media.

We arrange photo walks, workshops, mobile photo contests and even an exhibition in the end.

We try to show all sides of the city, not only the touristic highlights, but also especially the beauty of ‘common life’.

Dirk Bakker is a photographer from Amsterdam with a unique eye for patterns, textures, lines and shadow play.



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