You may have noticed: My classes now use the “Dutch Master Class” theme.
Well, I’m Dutch Canadian, so I suppose that is one reason. But more importantly. the Dutch Masters of the 17th century had certain commonalities. In particular, they combined the following properties:
- An amazing amount of technical knowledge.
- A great degree of creativity.
- A great emphasis on light.
- A love of realism.
- Clear picture storytelling (“narrative directness”).
- A love of portraiture.
- Great informal rapport with their subjects.
- Master Classes, held by experts for their apprentices.
- An inquisitive and exploratory nature. A number of Dutch Masters travelled to Italy to learn Light Theory.
- The Masters carefully painted some nudes—as much as the times allowed.
- They engaged in speculative art: they created art without a sale, in the hope it would sell later.
It turns out that these are exactly the things that makes photographers great. Hence the Dutch Master Class theme.
We can learn from history. Which is exactly what we need to do. The Dutch Masters would be delighted that their art, their learning, their creative insights are being used and taught today, almost 500 years later. In my classes, that is what I do: I continue the tradition of many centuries, and your creativity benefits from it.