What you see reflects a little bit of my background, explains the Dutch-born Leen Thijsse referring to his portfolio, bursting with dreamy enviroments and ultra rich Portraits that seem to pay homage to their subjects. I have lived in a country with big beautiful changing sky’s,and enviroments that influenced the work of the Dutch Painters. Indeed, Thijsse’s images seem to bear all the influences of this country’s masters.
His moody and mysterious portrayal of landscape plays a huge role in his oeuvre, as in an award winning campaign for homestore.com, which conveys a fairy-tale feel to bizarre abodes across the USA from Wisconstin to Hawai and New Mexico. There’s also his extensive work for Mercedes, Audi, Chevy Blazer and Nissan which imparts a painterly Quality to cars in lush, atmospheric settings. Thijsse also worked for ATT, Fedex, USA olympic team, Nike, Caterpillar, Cisko Systems, IBM, Pall Mall, KLM, Renault, Toyota, VW, Honda Motors, Art Unlimited.
Even in his Portraits, distinctive surroundings seem to play as crucial a role as the human subjects such was the case in one particularly challenging assignment for Nike Golf, in which Thijsse had one hour to shoot 20 photos of superstar Tiger woods.
For this photographer, timing wasn’t the problem. More daunting was the setting, in which Thijsse was limited to a vast and monotonous golf course-not exactly the stuff of choice considering all the gorgeous scene’s he’d shot in the past. Nevertheless the ever resourceful-shooter managed to create some striking black and white Photographs, including one in which Tiger Woods stands against a threatening sky waving his golf club like a sword made more visually interesting by a fisheye lens and another portrait of the athlete against a glassy black water backdrop, striking in its powerful solitude.
It’s more about what i’m going to leave out to make room for what’s important to the shot.
As for technique, Thijsse has years of experience in digital postproduction in film and print, evident in his portraits for the Portraits for Winter Olympics in Utah that bizarrely shows athletes performing their feats in unlikely outdoor settings. Yet if i had it my way i would limit his use of such tools.
When digital manipulation first came out, i worked with it a lot and tested it to the bone but soon i started to move away from it, because it was almost no real picture anymore.
The nicest kick in photography was when you take a picture and you know you made something great and you can’t wait to go to the lab to get it out.
Trying to create a picture may work for some but i try to make my images as pure as possible.
Leen thijsse works for the fortune 500 over the whole world and visited all continents except Antartica, for film, photography digital and analog.