Hans de Kort was born in 1963 in the Netherlands. At the age of 4 he had his first encounter with photography, witnessing the development of pictures in the dark room: the start of a lifetime fascination for ‘writing with light’. In 1986 he graduated from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
With more than 25 years experience in portrait, fashion, beauty and travel photography for commercial and editorial clients, his view on images is in constant evolution.
He makes ferrotypes, a 19th-century photographic technique. In a 16 x 20 inch view camera he exposes metal plates that have been prepared with light-sensitive collodion. The portraits of fellow photographers from his generation are unique pictures like a Polaroid. The nostalgic, craft technique and by the fact that the sitter should concentrate at least five seconds to sit still and watch, they seem to look at us it from another time and dimension.
How and when did you become interested in photography?
I grew up with photography, when I was 4 years old I was watching at my grandparents home how my uncle was developing photographs in the darkroom, a few years later I got my first camera for my birthday, it melted on the backseat of my parents car while driving to Austria for our summer holidays.
Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
I love the paintings of Rembrandt, wonderful use of light. Photography means writing with light.
What fascinates you in collodion wet plate photography?
The instant and imperfect way of making a photograph.
Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
B&W more about the essence of an image, colors distract.
Wow much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
I am doing a project of dutch photographers from my generation X with an analogue education that started 2 years ago, maybe one more year to go.
It means the all learned to develop their skills in the darkroom, they have another background and education then photographers that started shooting digital only.
What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I have a lot of other ideas, for instance a series with ballet dancers, nudes – all on ferrotypes. My aim is to make portraits for people they can hang on a wall at their home.