Today we're excited to share with you the work and words of @genraves! Her pictures are always dripping with beauty and her edits transform the mood and feel of every image giving them a certain emotional capacity for the viewer to connect with. Read more about her and her work below!
Hello! My name is Eugène Ravensbergen. I live in a very small town in Holland (Zeeland) with my husband, daughter (19) and son (17). My parents, brother and I moved here from the big city of Rotterdam when i was 5. I lived a couple of years in another town but always knew I would return to where I live now, surrounded by nature and farm animals. They say I am country girl with a city attitude.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
I was outgoing and just a bit rebellious. Not in the sense of that I was an annoying brat, more in the way of skipping classes to hang around in the city and smoke some pot. I got suspended a couple of times for skipping - actually I got suspended one time for being in America during school time. I did politely ask for a leave of absence. I was a party girl and that is totally the opposite of what I am now. I love being the “responsible” parent now.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Oh my… that is still such a long time ahead..... I hope I never really grow up. It sounds so definite. But if I have to choose it would be happy. Because then it doesn’t matter what you are when you grow up!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
Tomato rice or (vegan) Portuguese food in general. I always disliked the “Dutch kitchen”. When I was little, I only ate well when I was at my uncle's Portuguese restaurant. My cousin is a singer and always sang for the guests on the weekends. And every time we came there with the whole family, we sat there at a big round table. Talking ,laughing and listening to her and in front of us a hot plate of delicious Portuguese soul food.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
Well a cat definitely sounds cooler than a cow. But for some reason I'm always drawn to cows.
Maybe because I am a Taurus or maybe that’s just bullshit.
WHAT CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?
Adele and Ellen Degeneres. Adele, not so much for her singing, but more because she is just so down to earth and funny and swears a lot, like me. Ellen, because I want to give her a child and I think these two as parents would be hysterically funny.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN YOUR CITY?
Absolutely the quiet. I'm near a beach with nature, a lot of cows, horses and sheep walking around little nature reservations. I’m grateful every day for living there.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM INSTAGRAM?
People think that I am moody because of my pics but I rarely am. When I wiggle my nostrils the tip of my chin wiggles too. Very interesting, right?
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
From as far as I can remember I was interested in pictures and movies. I didn’t play with dolls that much but I could stare in the photo albums of my grandmother for hours. But It wasn’t until our school director decided to do a photography contest that I realized I could make those images myself. I sometimes did take pics with my parent's camera but those were staged family pics and I didn’t think much about it. It was the moment I really had to think, observe and feel when to make a picture. I have always been competitive so that contest really pushed me into it. The most beautiful part and what really made me fall in love, was that they made a real darkroom. It was like I was in a dream: the smell, the light, the excitement of waiting to see what the photo would look like. We had to choose two out of the negatives to develop. And one of those was put out on a big board. Students, parents and people out of the village could vote. I won and for some reason I cant remember why I stopped for so many years.
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?
A huge role. Like i said before, it made me get back at it again. At first I posted on Facebook only, but people in general on there are not very interested in photography. My daughter said numerous of times that Instagram was more a thing for me. Well, she was right. Posting yourself or seeing what others post, what they created, if it is good or bad, what you like or not, it never bores me. Creativity is unlimited. And meeting like-minded people definitely keeps me here.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE VIA YOUR WORK?
Maybe my love for nature and animals but also maybe, the less pleasant sides of life. I am not sure if I am trying to communicate to others. At first I think I am more so communicating with myself and venting my feelings through what I am making. If the end result is that I make people think about certain matters, then I am very happy. But if my so-called communication means that someone is thinking about becoming a vegan, I am over the moon!
HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
It’s so different every time, but I almost always end with Mextures - especially if I want to give the image a dark moody feeling. I take and edit pictures with my iPhone 7. I'll usually start editing with Aviary for corrections and focus. Sometimes it depends on if I combine Photos (with Enlight), but then I go to Mextures. If I want it dark and moody, my favorite textures are Grit and Grain, Emulsion, and Atmospheric. For the somewhat ‘lighter’ photos, I always start with Radiance. I never use my formulas again after I create them. I like to edit too much for that!
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PIECE OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
I just really love the textures of Mextures. You can use it for subtle changes or just really go for a total change of mood. It’s very unique in it’s textures i believe, but very recognizable too. It has textures and colors that no other app has. And I can use it for every kind of mood I want to create. Beautiful soft tones for flowers or landscape or deep, dark, textures for my moody edits. There is so much variety. Sometimes I use a whole lot of textures and sometimes one subtle one will just do. But for some reason I always want to finish my edits with a Mextures layer. The finishing touch.
WOULD YOU SHARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS?
I started with ‘daybreak’ to lighten the dark a bit up and to create some false sunlight behind the horse. Actually this whole formula was made to make the dark bw lighten up and to create a gloomy sunrise/sunset.
With this formula i wanted to create a subtle dusk mood.
and the ‘Radiance’ texture ‘Fore’ is a great texture to start with and is also one of my favorite ones.With ‘Poloroid’ you create the warm tones.I finished with Ominous to darken the lower level and lighten the upper half.
PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT MAKES THEM STAND OUT TO YOU?
I don't know why, but I always find these questions the hardest to answer because I never really know how to explain why things stand out to me. They just do...
This one is one of my new favorites. Why? I believe because of the few textures I had to use to still get a huge depth effect with the eye against the sky.
This second one because I could create a lot of depth with the light of the different textures and I wanted to give it a grunge/dreamy feeling. Mextures got the textures to do so. It worked out well in this picture just like I wanted it to.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
I think it comes from within. My need to get visions and feelings out of my head and make them viewable to others. It’s like my visual diary. And nature, animals, etc, are more than an inspiration - they are a part of my personality and my tool to create what I want. So the exact thing that inspires me is not explainable. It’s more of a need - that little flame of inspiration inside that is always burning.
IF YOU COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR ONE INSTAGRAM FEED WHOSE WOULD IT BE?
Tough question, but the first feed that comes to mind because of her uniqueness, wonderful edits and wildlife photography is @ja_graham. I just love her work.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?
It would be almost impossible to mention them all and I already regret forgetting people so I will focus on the people that inspired me from the beginning, when I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. In fairness, I still don’t. But back then I really, really didn't. These people helped and supported me, all in their own way, with or without knowing.
People like @ja_graham, @ismael_j.s, @ebenism, @bangkom_unplugged, @geokurgan, @mr.dr.tinka, @arellano.roy, @hazel_merleyc, @jayrival, @soul_pictures, @soulfulwanderings, @enbarrot, @bloody_scissors, @breathingmysoul, @infinitum_lux, @hulda.viktoria, and @jasonwrightcreative.
See more incredible art work from Eugène here!