GFX50s

AUGUST 15, 2018 AT 5:11 PM (Nollevaux, BELGIUM)

BY BERT STEPHANI

The 15th of August is a bank holiday in Belgium and as tradition requires, the week of the 15th is a family holiday with my parents, my sister's family and us. The 15th is also Noa's birthday. 11 year olds still wake up pretty early, so I wake up even earlier to make breakfast. When I look out of the window, my sister is making a selfie with an escaped sheep. Noa takes a royal birthday bath while my girlfriend and I hold court for the traditional help desk event in which my mother and sister furiously bomb us with all kinds of weird computer issues. Birthday portraits are not a tradition yet, but I'm trying to make it a tradition to take a portrait of everyone who celebrates a birthday in my presence. I don't have time to structure or reread my post because I'm under great pressure to light the barbecue. See you next week for a more structured post. 

August 8, 2018 at 11.54 AM (Zaventem, Belgium)

BY BERT STEPHANI

We have been keeping the curtains shut for weeks to keep at least some of the heat out. But to not much avail, Belgian houses are not built for long stretches of 30C plus days. In the morning it's 28.5 degrees in the living room, which is the coolest part of the house. A tarp brings some illusion of shade but the only way to cool down is take a shower and in the process I get a nose bleed from the temperature contrast. 

In the mean time, Noa woke up and after a breakfast of cereal and YouTube, she helps me make some healthy snacks. Exercising in this weather is suicide so I try to take extra care of eating healthy. Slicing and drying fruit feels like a workout in itself. 

Noa and Maya are getting bored sitting at home with a dad that's trying to get some work done and therefor is of no use to them. Every summer, I deal with this. I feel guilty that I can't do fun things with them all the time and I feel guilty that I'm behind on work. Like every year, I'm trying to come up with a solution but can't find it. So I drive them to my parents where they'll have something to do. 

The weather forecast is promising us thunderstorms and rain. And indeed by 8 AM the clouds roll in and a few drops of cool rain start to fall. Three minutes later they have evaporated again and the only way to cool down is ice cream and another shower.

It's too hot to sleep so I watch the weather app and see one thunderstorm after the other skirt past my town. But then it finally happens. The wind is slamming doors and rain starts coming down hard for ten minutes. With the bedroom window wide open, a gentle breeze caressing our bodies to sleep at 4 AM. 

I'm so tired that I never hear Griet leave for work and I wake up at 9:30. I make some more healthy snacks (Mexican Honey Chicken Jerky) and come to the conclusion that nothing has changed. 

On Being

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Words and Photography by Jonas Rask

This essay isn’t easy for me. Loss and sorrow never is. 

I deal with life and death in the healthcare system every day, but that’s in a professional setting. That’s when I’m prepared and at guard. I put on the semi-permeable emotional shield, that protects my inner fragility. These things hurt. Every goddamn time. Even for a doctor like myself, who is confronted with it on a daily basis, they hurt like hell. Some more than others, but they do hurt! 

Steve Shipman's passing after a longtime fight with cancer is obviously something that touches us here at KAGE. I didn’t know Steve personally. I loved his photography, I read his blog, but I never reached out on a personal level. But in the context of things, that doesn’t really matter, 'cause the loss is a great one. He was an inspirator par excellence, and he touched many people through his art, including myself. 

We talked about the theme of this issue and the title that came up was “On Being Here - For Steve” - I gave some good thought into what I wanted to do photographically for this issue, and I decided on a portrait series shot in 6x6 on analogue medium format just like Steve did with his portraiture. Unfortunately the 7 portraits I had done got lost during a bad development session yesterday. So the portraits went down the drain...  

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Having to rethink the entire thing with less than 24 hours until deadline, is one of those situations that you really don’t want to find yourself in. Nonetheless that is what happened. 

I took the liberty to do a complete shift in expression. Instead of me portraying strangers with no emotional affiliation to my life, or Steve's for that matter, I decided on sharing some shots of the one thing that I know mattered most to him:

Family.

I cannot speak on behalf of Steve, but I can speak for me when I say that family is everything. They bring me all the emotions that I can experience as a human being. The entire spectrum. 

When the feeling of loss and sadness takes a toll on my mind, the feelings of hope, innocence and happiness always prevail when I see my kids at play and look into the eyes of my wife. 

This is what “being here” is all about for me. Being here, for Steve, everyday enjoying life with those around me that matters the most. 
Here’s to you and your loved ones Steve.

Scism

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Photography by Jonas Rask

I know the pieces fit ‘cause I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering. Fundamental differing
Pure intention juxtaposed will set two lovers souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then has burned a hole between us so
We cannot seem to reach an end crippling our communication

I know the pieces fit ‘cause I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame, it doesn’t mean I don’t desire to
Point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication

The poetry that comes from the squaring off between
And the circling is worth it
Finding beauty in the dissonance
— Maynard James Keenan

Masked importance

Photography and Text by Jonas Rask 

In 2012, the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride was conceptualised in Australia by Mark Hawwa. Inspired by a single image of Mad Men's fictional character Don Draper and his classic styled motorcycle, the event sought to gather riders for a good cause, and rid themselves of the stereotype male motorcycle rider image. 

Since then it has grown into a global phenomenon that raise a lot of money for- and awareness of mens health. 
Since 2016 rather than mainly focusing on the fight against prostate cancer, DGR has turned to support what I think is even more important to mens health - Suicide prevention through Men's Mental Health awareness. I have lost count of how many times I have sat in my consultation and looked into the eye of a torn man, his world in ruin, ready to take that ultimate choice - and end it all. 

Of course the DGR is basically a charade. A dress-up party. But the fact of the matter is, that there are men around the globe that simply do not honour their health. They tuck their emotions and their symptoms away behind facades. I know this. I see this every day at my clinic. So for people to open their eyes and look at mens health issues through and event such as this, is much more important than funds. 

Men don't admit to sickness. Men would rather turn the other cheek and make sure that symptoms are tucked away and kept well beyond reach for their loved ones as well as healthcare professionals. But when sickness strikes - and it will! - The patients-delay in male patients is often severe, and gravely alters the possible positive prognostic outcome. So we need to alert men, in every way possible, that they must honour symptoms of disease and seek medical help before its too late. This is why awareness in any form is more important than the fundraising itself.

So, on September 24th, 2017 they rode for men's health across the globe. They rode for a good cause. They rode for their fellow gentleman. 

Shot on GFX50s with the GF110mm f/2 and the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM through the newly released Techart autofocus adapter.