Marieke ten Wolde's blog

Documentary photography, and other things interesting enough to bother you with

In the car with M

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Last week I bought Rafal Milachs book: ‘In the car with R’. Yesterday it arrived and yesterday night I had a first peek. I really like the book and I really like the pictures. Which is not a surprise, I liked all Rafal Milachs books so far. This morning I read the book, and that was a surprise. Quite often I do not really like the texts in photo books: often too dry, too boring or too deep and arty, but this rang a bell.

The writer Huldar Breidfjörd travels with the photographer the ring road around Island and has included 29 notes on photography in the book. At the start the writer feels that: ‘traveling with a photographer is a bit like shopping with a girlfriend that wants to look at all the clothes and try everything on – a never-ending drag’. Then he starts wondering where the creative process is in this ‘hunting for images’, like I have asked myself so often.

Huldar Breidfjörd is Icelandic, and Rafal, the photographer, apparently keeps on asking questions to the ‘local’. Questions that might sound simple but are not always easy to answer. I have seen the same desperation that speaks from his text in the faces of my travel companions. Even when I tried to ask the easy things, I felt like a child forever asking ‘why’. In the end he sighs, after answering 300 to 400 questions: ‘traveling around the country with a photographer is not like travelling with your girlfriend. It is like becoming a parent’. That made me smile.

The book also answered a question I have been struggling with for a while. I can travel and photograph with my partner as he likes shopping more than I do, and ‘hunts for images’ almost more fanatically than I do. However, now with the kids it has become impossible. I finally realise why that is: I am quite happy to be a child, finding out about the big strange world, I also enjoy (most of the time) to be a parent explaining about that same big strange world, but both at the same time…

No, my brain simply does not cope with being a parent and a child at the same time.


You can buy the book here:

(The only back-draw of the book is that my son keeps on stealing the red rubber bands…. on the other hand, they went through an extensive stress-test and they are good quality!)


Written by Marieke ten Wolde

March 30, 2012 at 10:08

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