Portfolio Critique: Niels Meuleman

Updated on July 23, 2017 in Critique
18 on June 12, 2017

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the invitation, I am happy to take up the glove. I am looking forward to all of your critique 😉

Greetings, Niels Meuleman

  • Who am I?

Niels Meuleman, 47 (just), male, Dutch and –  together with Miebeth – happily living in Amsterdam.

Having had several different careers (all with different success), I am currently working as a part-time schoolbusdriver (so be on the lookout for a white van passing you by when you saunter around the Amsterdam canals with your Leica’s and Billingham’s Hadley Pro 😉). This job not only brings me satisfaction and pleasure, it also gives me the opportunity to explore photography more, since it is only recently I am trying to take this thing further than my usual vacation snapshots.

So, I am relative new to this, but on the other hand, next to being a people’s person I am also an observer and observing is something I’ve done all my life. The only difference is that nowadays I try to capture the things I see in a frame.

  • What do I love about photography?

First of all, I like being on the streets, interact with people, being in the moment, open-minded, not knowing what’s going to happen… So that is really half the fun. The other part is trying to put situations in a frame in a way that has never done before, in the most appealing way possible. And that is not an easy thing to do, I discovered. But the drive to do better, raising my own standards is one of the aspects of photography that makes it so attractive for me.

  • My photography goals are:

I am still learning, still discovering things, trying to find my own style. Asking myself questions like: What’s is my ‘point of view?’ What kind of projects do I want to explore?

Ultimately, I guess, I want to make pictures that not only my friends and relatives appreciate, but that are admired by people I don’t know.

The following images I don’t consider my best, but they give a good impression of my work. More can be viewed at: https://nielsmeuleman.nl

Photo 1

This is one of the first pictures I made (of course I have taken pictures before that, but one of the first I took with a different attitude I mean, trying to be a photographer). The photo is made in Xi’an, China, in the summer of 2014. We were admiring the scenery from the roof of an unfinished shopping mall when  all of a sudden, a new shift of cleaners arrived. I had a nice view from above when I discovered that at the decisive moment the battery of my camera (a Canon Pixma at that time) was dead. Talking about wanting to be a photographer…. Lucky for me my girlfriend’s smartphone did the job. I am fairly pleased with the result, but the fact that I wasn’t in charge, but mere luck led to the result, kind of frustrates me. How do anticipate on such events, when you have to act in split of a second, camera settings wise?

Photo 2

This one is even older, shot in India, sitting in a Tuk-Tuk. I personally like the layers, the shadows, the driver’s face in the mirror. I only wish I had a reflection of him in the other mirror as well.

Photo 3

I like this picture I made in NYC, I like the light, but there’s not very much happening else. Perhaps I should have come closer? Not easy with a Ricoh GR without the risk of disturbing the moment.

Photo 4

This one I made in Iran. A silhouette passed by and I pressed a button. I am pleased with the result, but it’s not very satisfactory, because of the little effort it took.

Photo 5

I have much more affinity with pictures like this one, which I made in The Hague last year. Maybe the people in it are not the most colorful, but I happen to like crowded frames, with different layers and different elements falling into place. So in that respect I think I succeeded.

 
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1 on June 12, 2017

I like the first three photos. They gave me that excitement that makes me wanna go out and shoot. The first photo would be better if there’s another person filling that gap, but that would be too perfect isn’t it? I like the contrast of the fourth photo, and the jam-packed feeling that your fifth photo emanates, but not as much as your first three photos; they seemed pale in comparison (the fourth and fifth photo, red).

Keep up the good work!

on June 12, 2017

Thanks for your feedback @Kenethaceketan! I agree with your comment that the last 2 pics seem a bit pale in comparison. Finding the right settings for color is something I still struggle with, sometimes.

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0 on June 12, 2017

I like best your first photo. Honestly, I think it is the gap that makes this photo! I like the muted blue color. But it is the geometry(the pavers and the line of the men) that makes this a very good photo…and then the surprise of the break in the line.  Excellent.

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0 on June 13, 2017

Thanks for your feedback @Mbfitzmahan, and I think you’re right. The gap adds something to the photo.

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3 on June 13, 2017

Hi Niels, nice photos. Just few notes..

For me it’s strange in a portfolio to see so different ways of “filters” or “styles” in the photos. So in the future i would try to take a direction in your style. But it’s a personal choice, maybe it’s your intention to have all this different styles, differente ways of capture a moment..

I like the 01 02 04 pictures. But.. maybe if you had pointed slightly down the point of view you would have gotten a better image composition. For me there is too much black at the top.

thanks for sharing!

on June 13, 2017

“But.. maybe if you had pointed slightly down the point of view you would have gotten a better image composition. For me there is too much black at the top”

i was speaking about the photo 02

on June 14, 2017

Thanks for your feedback Lorenzo. It’s very to the point. As I mentioned in my Photography goals, I am very much in the process of finding my own style, either theme-wise or visually. At the moment, I agree, my portfolio (and you’ve only seen 5 pictures – on my website you will see an even greater variety of styles and themes) lacks consistency.

on June 14, 2017

thanks to you niels! have a nice day!

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2 on June 14, 2017

Your first photo is minimal and I like it.
I like the Photo 2 because of the reflection.
I like the Photo 3 because I really like the expression of the man, the light is really good and I feel a connection with him.
I like the layers of your fifth photo but it seems too chaotic for me.

on June 15, 2017

Thanks, Nicolai! I have more of these minimalistic photos, see example below.

 

on June 16, 2017

Very good. I like minimalistic photographs, in fact when I started taking photos I used to shot textures, geometrical patterns and focus on few essential elements.

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0 on June 14, 2017

What I like best about the last image is that the only figures that seem to pay attention to you are the ones in the ad.  It’s interesting/creepy.

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0 on June 15, 2017

Thank you, Max. I am glad you noticed that the only ones making contact are the figures in the ad. That’s what I like also. But I agree with Nicolai that the picture is (too) chaotic.

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0 on July 7, 2017

Photo 1
Composition almost makes it. You miss the rule of thirds placement on the line of men just enough to be annoying.
The key to breaking compositional rules is “intentionality.” If the viewer is not entirely sure you meant it you fail.
Put another way if you are gonna do it REALLY DO It.
Photo 2
Terrific photograph. Interesing layering and multiple images. I like the fact that there’s a people in the background.
Photo 3
Boring photography. No interesting light, no moment, poor composition, color looks washed out.
Photo 4
Another strong photo. Very fine composition, moody. Excellent.
Photo 5
Interesting layering. Its a very complex picture. The problem with complex pictures is that they need to be seen in a sufficient size for the viewer to be able to “read” them.
Kinda creepy shot but I like it.

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0 on July 13, 2017

Neils, The 1st , second and last are my favorites. Love the color and break in the line of the 1st. The 2nd is really interesting with the multiple images and i like the complexity of the last one 🙂

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0 on July 22, 2017

Hi Niels!
1 & 4 photos are really dope, keep it up my friend!

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0 on July 23, 2017

#2 and #4 are the two I liked the most. #2 caused me to pause and wonder what’s going on in the photo. –Andrew

 

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0 on July 23, 2017

Really like your sense of composition. I’m a fan of minimalism *and* the depth one can build up in a frame from a busy scene, so your pics are a treat for me. I can tell you take tons of photos and pick the best moments from them to share. Nice colors too!

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