Last week I went to the exhibition Metropolis, by Martin Roemers and was able to talk to him for a little while. I had already seen his work before on Lensculture and was immediately struck by the subject matter and Roemers’ way of portraying city life in a metropolis. Through the use of slow shutter speed and shooting from an elevated angle, the viewer gets to see movement, but is able to focus on the individual that is present in the street, trying to make a living, sell something, wait or living there.
In cities like this, the crowdedness can be so overwhelming that is difficult to see the individual and notice life that takes place. I really like how Roemers is able to focus on that, to show the street as a theater in which every person plays a role. When looking at the images, I don’t feel overwhelmed by the business, although it is obviously there. The blurry parts trigger my imagination to which the sharper elements give hints. It brings the city alive on a personal level. It forces me to become engaged and not be put off by the overwhelming number of people, noise, smell and threat that otherwise might have been conveyed in the image.
I had a chance to talk to Martin personally after the exhibition. I asked him about his practice and what really stuck was when he told me the importance of focusing on what you really want to photograph. I struggle with being distracted and constantly asking myself whether I should do more family photography, or invest time in getting commercial clients. Roemers is able to live of his individual work completely, which I find very inspiring. I know there are only a few able to do this, but still, it is good to think about which direction I want to go, so that I also can be better aware of the distractions on my way.
Martinroemers.com. (2017). Martin Roemers Photographer. [online] Available at: http://www.martinroemers.com/work.php?serie_dir=01Metropolis:%20ASIA [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].