Top 10 Belgian Photographers on 1X You need to know

One exposure or 1x.com is a photo community for the best photographers in the world selected by professional curators. In our quest to discover the most inspiring, creative and artistic photographers worldwide we got the support of some of its curators to make a splendid selection with the professionals  that you need to know, born in Belgium this time.   

More specifically in this editorial we will cover Ben Goossens, Jef Van den Houte, Piet Flour, Delphine Devos, Fernand Hick, Gilbert Claes, Luc Vangindertael, Harry Verschelden, Marc Apers and Yvette Depaepe. A special thank you goes to Yvette, whom besides an amazing photographer, she is a great coordinator and helped immensely in making this selection come to reality.


BEN GOOSSENS

Ben Goossens a sensational creator who reveals very little about himself, but lets his pictures express his uncanny imagination. His daring, surreal approach made him a Master in creatively edited photography.

His biggest challenge is to blend detailed photography with advanced techniques to make his images surprising with a strong idea behind and in a powerful composition.

Ben is often considered as the Magritte / Dali in the photographic world. His work has been show-cased worldwide in books, magazines, on websites and awarded in most photo-contests over the past 40 years.

Ben Goossens - Through the frame...

Ben Goossens - Through the frame...

Ben Goossens - I think, I'm a dreamer...

Ben Goossens - I think, I'm a dreamer...

1x portfolio Ben Goossens  https://1x.com/member/bengoossens


JEF VAN DEN HOUTE

I'm a near Antwerp based photographer. Besides a professional background in the graphics arts industry, photography has been my passion for more than 30 years now.

Calatrava lines at the blue hour by Jef Van den Houte.jpg

Although I do appreciate a diversity of photographic styles and motifs, my own photography goes mostly in the directions of architecture and more abstract shapes.

But my aim in architectural photography is not to make just documentary images.

I want so show how I see the building, to create a kind of personal expression of the lines and the shapes, combined with the play of light on it.

It can be a just a point of view, a detail of it, a combination of different elements, a processing.

That's why I turn them often in black and white, since it reduces even more the architecture to a pure composition of light and tones.

Sharing his feelings about the second picture, the artist mention that it has been taken in the Liège Guillemins station. The station was designed by Spanish architect  Santiago Calatrava, and the shot was taken at the 'blue hour'.

 

1x portfolio Jef Van den Houte  https://1x.com/member/jefvdh
 


PIET FLOUR

Through my images, I like to express my personal vision on the world and on what happens around us.  I prefer not to immure myself into a theme or style and try to stay open for all kind of approaches. I don’t put a style on my photos, I just let them speak to me and process them in a way that reveals their deepest content.

Studio photography is no my cup of taste because it tends to create unnatural or played emotions. I prefer to shoot outside and register life just as unexpected as it goes without interfering in a real-life moment filled with emotions.
Besides the search for images close by, I do enjoy discovering the far-away world, meeting  new cultural influences and be amazed by how different people live their life. When travelling I also love to capture wildlife moments and let the magic of new landscapes fill my heart.

Piet Flour - A summer's tale

Piet Flour - A summer's tale

While shooting on the beach I saw interesting light and shadows on the beach cabins. I took some shots focussing on the combination of the young model in contrast with the graphical component of the cabins. As the light was rather challenging I used fill-in flash . For this shot a sudden wind came to help me in getting this special moment.

Piet Flour - As time goes on

Piet Flour - As time goes on

This image is all about grief and loss, about remembering and caring for the beloved ones who passed away.

1x portfolio Piet Flour  https://1x.com/member/pietflour  


Delphine Devos

My father is a painter.  As a child, I watched him with great admiration.  Growing up, I also  tried to paint, I wanted to be an artist like him but I didn't have the skills to create wonderful paintings like he did. I was sad and disappointed and thought I didn't have any artistic sense. When I bought my first small camera I changed my mind: “If I can’t paint I can try to make beautiful pictures”.

Whether in painting or photography, the idea of still life art was born.  I wanted to express that particular mood and atmosphere fitting the theme.

Life and death intrigue and fascinate me. One as well as the other can be beautiful or sad. It is a paradox.
Giving life to inanimate objects is the elegance of despair.

My vision is very poetic and paradoxical at the same time.  It is all about about the unexpected reality encouraging meditation.  That fits perfectly well with my personality and inspires me the most.
My photos reflect what I am, what I feel.

Delphine Devos - Reflection of Life  

Delphine Devos - Reflection of Life
 

Reflection of life is a picture that tells a story, our history: a disturbing story, terrifying or not. Look in the mirror and accept what we are and what we will be.  This picture is not only a reflection of death but also the reflection of life. It is a symbolic and metaphorical image.  It is a visual representation of fate tinged poetry. It shows the imagination and poetic projection of the inevitable.

Delphine Devos - Ad vitam…

Delphine Devos - Ad vitam…

1x portfolio Delphine Devos  https://1x.com/member/delphine


FERNAND HICK

Everyone who browses through Fernand Hick's vast portfolio can’t help but to amazed by the sheer variety in his production. Still, it may be difficult to categorize it. Many photos could aspire to belong to the architectural genre as much as abstract, conceptual, nature or even portrait. It may seem like the uncompromising level of quality is the only common factor.

First of all, photography allows me to dream. May I hope that my pictures sometimes give rise to another dream…
— Fernand Hick

Fernand Hick was born in Belgium in the little town of Visé, close to the Dutch boarder.  His photography is the dominating hobby in his life and his photographic work is being displayed far and wide.

The impressive variation in his work might be explained by his photographic approach. Fernand Hick describes himself as an “atmosphere photographer”;

I am a very personal and original photographer, whose working-method aims at transferring the feelings I experience while I’m shooting to my images. I am above all an atmosphere photographer and I wish to share these emotions with those that look at my pictures.
— Fernand Hick

Fernand Hick’s work defies the traditional boundaries we often seek to put up in different kind of art forms. Perhaps we sometimes are over-analyzing and making things more complicated than they need to be. Maybe it would be good for all of us to sometimes create our own rules and follow Fernand Hick’s direction;

 

 

Fernand Hick - The adventurer  

Fernand Hick - The adventurer
 

I remember one day, I was making a bicycle trip with my wife and we come to a new bridge that I had already photographed. This time however we came from another way and I had the feeling "Here is something to make...". I had no camera, but I came back there later when the luminosity was the same and made the best capture of this bridge...”

Fernand Hick - Parasols closed  

Fernand Hick - Parasols closed
 

The photograph represents a personal vision of the artist of this already so strange Gehry building in Düsseldorf, Germany.

1x portfolio https://1x.com/member/fhick/photos/latest

Fernand Hick personal website: http://www.fhick.be


GILBERT CLAES

I was born in Diest, a small town located approximately 60km from Brussels and also from Antwerp. My interest in Photography started when I was about 18 years old.  However, my real interest back then was in making short films.

When I was about 30, I became President of an amateur film and photography club, and also switched over to photography, as making movies took too much time.

I did some studies at the Art Academy of Hasselt, in basic drawing, and studied a bit more in the 80’s.

There I discovered the beauty of pure minimalist compositions.

My attention then went to modern Art and architectural designs and especially to particular details in these buildings.

I became a big fan of 'suprematism' ... an abstract Art movement based on forms, such as circles, squares, lines and rectangles... .. it refers to an abstract art based upon 'the supremacy of pure artistic feeling'... rather than on visual depiction of objects...

Also the use of shiny and striking colors is very important to me…

So…I created a personal method of looking for a strong visual balance in color, lines, structures, shapes ...

Each photo is a carrier of my personal impression of the beauty of simple reality ... It’s a kind of ‘Minimalism in visual Art’

Gilbert Claes - Linear  

Gilbert Claes - Linear
 


Reading between the Lines’ is a project by two Belgian architects, Gijs and Van Vaerenbergh, presenting a 10 meters high Transparent Church made of 100 layers and 2000 columns of steel.  This is a detail inside the building of the small tower with one of the windows…I transformed the brown rusted color of the steel sheets into full black. The white lines are daylight …

Gilbert Claes - Alta Quadratum

Gilbert Claes - Alta Quadratum

It’s a detail of a black painted wall with white lines and a small mirror into the 'Bonnefanten museum', a museum of fine art in Maastricht, The Netherlands.The new building, one of the most prominent modern buildings of the city, was designed by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi.

I changed the white color of the window in transparent orange…

1x portfolio Gilbert Claes  https://1x.com/member/gilclaes
 


LUC VANGINDERTAEL

Luc Vangindertael is a self taught passionate photographer with a particular interest in architecture, abstract and art.  He is always in search of the beauty in the ordinary and in how people relate to this.

He started in the analog era, abandoned to follow his music passion and rediscovered photography in 2014.

The digital era opened a new world, one in which the image can be shaped from start to end result.

Luc Vangindertael - Swing up

Luc Vangindertael - Swing up

This photo was made in the Museum of Modern Art (MUDAM) in Luxemburg. The free standing staircase from the basement to the ground floor struck me by the elegance of the curve and the top workmanship of the concrete.

Luc Vangindertael - In the chapel of nothingness

Luc Vangindertael - In the chapel of nothingness

This is a magical place. The chapel is a design by artist Thierry de Cordier in the garden of the psychiatric centre St Norbert in Duffel (Belgium). The chapel is an empty rectangular box, open to the elements. Enter in this space and you will feel stillness, reduction and denial till nothing's left: nothingness.

1x portfolio Luc Vangindertael https://1x.com/member/lagrange

Personal Website Luc Vangindertael https://lagrange.1x.com


HARRY VERSCHELDEN

Harry was born in a small village near Antwerp, later on moved to the city. About ten years ago he returned to the countryside and can see the sunrise over the skyline of Antwerp and the river.

Harry Verschelden - The Offering

Harry Verschelden - The Offering

The photographer mentions that in his collection there are many “abstract architecture" photos in his collection however the following two of his favourites express more of his personal emotion……it’s up to the spectator to find out what is hidden inside.

Although the buildings of the city are static objects, the view is never the same…light is changing constantly and depending on my mood, my perception is changing too……and the river keeps on flowing. A constant movement, arranging and rearranging is also my philosophy of photography. Harry Verschelden

“The Offering” is absolutely my favourite one; this was the first real abstract that was published on the 1x front page and gave me more satisfaction than all the others published before. It’s a reflective self portrait with a lot of symbolism: if you receive something, always give a little part to someone else….in that way, receiving will become a greater pleasure that it already was.

Harry Verschelden - Invictus

Harry Verschelden - Invictus

My second favourite is “Invictus” inspired by the poem of William Ernest Henley. Full of drama and emotion but with the message of never giving up.

1x portfolio Harry Verschelden https://1x.com/member/shantiguru


MARC APERS

I am a self-taught Belgian photographer born in 1958.  I am always looking for typical black & white subjects with an emphasis on shapes and structures, light and dark, sun and shadow. Making portraits of people in their natural habitat is the subject matter that most interests me. That’s why my portfolio mainly consists of b/w portraits. In fact I am always searching to capture the soul, the background and the life experiences of everyone i portray. I crossed several countries in Africa because the people over there are my greatest source of inspiration.

Marc Apers - Support

Marc Apers - Support

This man told me his entire life story before I had the ability to make a picture of him, something I will never forget.

Marc Apers - The performer

Marc Apers - The performer

This shot was taken after I had been teaching English to a bunch of kids.  At a certain moment one of them started dancing in front of me while the others were rather shy and staid in the background. I can guarantee you, it was incredible fun!

1x portfolio Marc Apers https://1x.com/member/marcske


Yvette Depaepe

I'm a child of the Belgian coast and the Flemish Polders.  It is reflected in much of my photography, whether it is about the sea, the long straight polder canals or the weather beaten trees bent by the Southwesterly winds.

The landscape in which I was born and raised, and where I still live today, is grand. It lets the eye travel to a far horizon which in turn invites to look further and seek new ones at home and abroad. In search of new horizons I have traveled to Australia, Nepal, Canada and the United States.  Traveling not only means new horizons. It also means experiencing deeper emotions. I capture these emotions in my images, which give them much more meaning than just being a recording of a landscape, a tree, a waterfall, the sea.

My photography is purely emotional. I want to give my photos a soul, I want to capture the emotions I felt when I took the photo and show them in the processed image. Every photo is a reflection of my soul.

Yvette Depaepe - On the Road with the Thunder Gods

Yvette Depaepe - On the Road with the Thunder Gods

I had the opportunity to take this first lightning shot on the road to Las Vegas.  Since than, I love to chase lightnings.

Yvette Depaepe - Vanished to the infinite

Yvette Depaepe - Vanished to the infinite

I never succeeded to take a better shot of this place. It always is different according to the light, the weather, the season. This one was taken in the winter at noon. Also a special meaning to me because it was my very first image published on 1x.

1x portfolio Yvette Depaepe https://1x.com/member/photoma

Personal website Yvette Depaepe http://www.photoma.be/