Archive for February, 2014

This task is all about identity. “Who am I?”…

Jasper-002

Just after birth

I’m Jasper Rimmelzwaan, at the time of writing 33 years old and the father of two step-daughters (18 and 24) and one daughter (5). I was born in The Hague in The Netherlands in January, 1981. My father started at the bottom of the ladder  of the oil company FINA, before becoming the head of their engineering department in The Netherlands. FINA later merged with Total. My mother did administrative work for a company before becoming a full-time housewife. Now, my father’s retired and my mother’s doing the administrative work for a bailiff’s office and plans to retire next year. I also have an older brother, who is a partner at an accountancy firm in The Netherlands.

Jasper-004

Jasper chilling in his onesie

Jasper-003

Celebrating ‘Queens Day’ in Holland

Because of my father’s job, especially, we have had a very comfortable life when it comes to the financial side of things. This enabled us to take nice breaks and holidays. When my dad was about 50 or so, he decided to buy a motorcycle. Over the years, he and myself have been on many bike holidays. In Europe and the United States. To be honest, I was rather lucky that both my mother and brother weren’t keen on bikes… otherwise I wouldn’t have seen so much of the world.

Jasper-001

Brushing the path at the caravan

In 2003 I met the woman who is now my wife, on the internet. She was from England in the UK, which was a bit of a problem. However, after travelling back and forth for a year and some huge phone bills, I decided to make the move to England. So in 2004 all my belongings were loaded into a lorry and driven to England by my dad. In 2007 we got married and in 2008 we had a little baby girl together. We’re still married.

I’ve been a big football supporter for many, many years. Both in The Netherlands, with ADO Den Haag and in England, with Manchester City FC. Football has always been a passion. I’ve always owned season tickets and once I support a club it means everything to me.

Dressed as a Smurf for school 'Carnival'

Dressed as a Smurf for school ‘Carnival’

At the Grand Canyon

At the Grand Canyon

From the age of 21, I’ve had trouble with herniated and slipped discs in my back. That’s why, in 2004, just before I made the move to England, I had my first back surgery. Everything was alright for about a year, after which I started to develop back problems again. It took years to get the medical help required, but in 2009 I was finally operated on for the same problem once more. These surgeries have now left me disabled, because the scar tissue has surrounded the nerves that go into my leg and causes severe nerve pains in my leg. It leaves me unable to walk properly on a regular basis.

Winning at Poker

Winning at Poker

In 2012, I decided to take up a photography course at The Manchester College. I completed this course in 2013 with a distinction. This lead to me enrolling onto the course you’re reading about here, which is the foundation degree (FdA) in Contemporary Photography.

So to sum up as to who I am… I am the son of middle/upper class parents, a father and husband, an immigrant, a football supporter, a disabled person and a student photographer. All these things have played a big part in shaping my life.

The self portrait I took for this task is one that pretty much has everything that’s made me who I am today…

Who I am...

Who I am…

It shows my walking stick, for my disability. It shows my football shirt, symbolising both my passion for football as well as my nationality. It shows the English countryside, which stands for my emigration. And it shows me, the child my parents had… and they raised me into who I am today.

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The idea of this task was to set up your own scene and ‘construct’ the photograph. I decided to do something with the theme of ‘child abduction’, as this is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common in todays society.

I set up my tripod at the side of my car, slightly further back and asked my youngest daughter to be my model. I used a reasonably shallow depth of field, with the focus on the lollypop, to softly blur my daughter’s face. I then converted the image in black and white to see what that looked like.

Personally, I have a preference for certain things from both images. I think the black and white adds a bit of drama, whereas  the colour image feels more ‘real’ to me. The colour of the lollypop draws your eye in, just as it would draw a child in. Overall, although the image works either way, I prefer the black and white. Simply because I feel it isn’t a subject that should be mellowed down by pretty colours. It needs drama. The black and white does that for me.

Sweets-B&W-(Web)

Sweets-Colour-(Web)

For this task, we had to find a local news story and take photographs to go with it. In my case, I decided to take the story about the opening of the new tram lines in my area. This was quite a big thing here, as the local trains stopped running about 3 years ago and we have had to rely on buses only, which didn’t link the area very well. The following article comes from the Oldham Chronicle online:

Tramtastic!

Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine 
Date online: 27 January 2014

Metrolink finally enters town centre

TRAMS are now up and running through Oldham town centre, marking the end of years of disruption and the start of a bright future for the town. 

Excited passengers from Oldham and beyond braved wind, rain and sleet to board the Metrolink tram shortly after 5am to be part of the historic first journey. 

The opening of the new line includes four new stops in the town, Oldham Mumps, Oldham Central, Oldham King Street and Westwood, as trams zip along the roads towards Manchester or Rochdale. 

Several eager transport enthusiasts bought tickets and braved the cold pre-dawn start to be part of the momentous occasion, boarding the tram at various stations along the way. 

The tram followed the new route through each of the four new stops, including Westwood, Oldham King Street and Oldham Central, before arriving at Oldham Mumps just before 5.35am. 

It was a welcome end to the years of disruption, engineering work and line closures that the town has struggled through as the new service was installed along Union Street, through King Street and down the hill towards Westwood. 

One of the first passengers on the new line was Peter Crichton, a transport enthusiast from Grotton. 

He said: “I’ve always been interested in transport, probably because I grew up around buses and trains as my dad was a bus conductor. Every now and again I don the old anorak and take a ride on local transport.” 

Oldhamers weren’t the only ones ready and waiting for the opening of the new line. Paul Steane (56), from Altrincham also got up several hours early to take a ride before heading to work in Preston. 

“I try to get on the first trams when I can,” he said. “It’s exciting to be on board the first tram to go along a new line in Oldham and take some photographs along the way. It is a way to be part of history.”

After completing its trip through the town centre, the tram continued to Rochdale, arriving at 6am, before returning to Oldham Mumps at 6.18am to take the first set of commuters to Manchester. 

Metrolink driver Chris Allen (50) had the pleasure of driving the historic first tram on the new line and said it was a “very exciting experience”. 

Mr Allen, from Hazel Grove, Stockport, said: “I really enjoyed driving the tram along the new line. 

“Everything has gone to plan and it has been a very exciting experience for me, one that no-one else will have.” 

Transport for Greater Manchester project manager Alan Cayton, who was also on board, said: “It is great to see so many people using the tram even at this time in the morning and that everything has gone to plan.” 

The town centre line, which stretches from East Didsbury, through Manchester and Oldham to Rochdale, is the latest addition to Metrolink’s network, bringing it to 48 miles and 76 stations. 

Journeys from Rochdale Manchester Victoria take around 45 minutes, while journeys from Oldham Mumps will take 30 minutes. 

A return off-peak adult ticket from Oldham Mumps to Victoria will cost £3.60 or £5.40 at peak times. 

Off-peak return tickets from Oldham Mumps to Rochdale cost £2.90 or £3.70 at peak times. 

The new Oldham Mumps stop also benefits from links to bus services and a free park and ride site for Metrolink passengers. 

Councillor Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Today is a historic and exciting day in Oldham’s history – and one that points to a much brighter future. 

“We knew the biggest infrastructure project in our borough’s history would inevitably cause disruption, especially for businesses and motorists, and I want to thank people for the patience they’ve shown during the construction period. 

“Looking ahead, our wide-ranging regeneration plans for Oldham town centre – like the work currently underway to turn the Old Town Hall into a multi-screen cinema – are all designed to capitalise on the arrival of the tram and the fantastic new opportunities it offers to residents, investors, businesses and visitors. 

“Metrolink has been the catalyst for all these plans and we are totally focused on delivering schemes like this that will transform what is on offer in Oldham town centre.”

My first image is an overview of Oldham Central station, mentioned in the article, in both colour and black & white.

Oldham Central Station BW Oldham Central Station Colour

My second image is that of the front of the actual tram, arriving at the station.

Oldham Central Tram Colour Oldham Central Tram BW

Sources:

Oldham Chronicle Online (http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/84344/tramtastic) accessed at 04.02.2014