Portfolio Naples February 2017 - Page 19

Witness.... is the word that comes to mind when you look at Harry de Zitter's photographs. Harry doesn't take pretty pictures, although his photographs are beautiful to look at. He's the kind of photographer that tells a story, but he is not a photojournalist. Harry does not take photographs from the perspective of the voyeur; merely recording an image in a detached way. He is really 'there'; he is engaged, He is immersed in the moment; he is a witness and we are drawn in. is kind of work takes a special talent. Harry's work is at once romantic, gritty, raw and is a beautiful view of life that most of us miss seeing. He takes the human condition and slices it microscopically thin and makes it transparent enough for us to project ourselves into it. He allows us to be there. Harry's client list is a veritable who's who of the inter- national corporate world but is the photography that he takes for his own pleasure that gets him most of his work. Whoever said “that for one who has passion and loves what they do they will never work a day in their life” was talking about Harry de Zitter. He is down to earth, no nonsense and takes no prisoners; and he can be the best friend you ever had. Harry never takes a photograph that he hasn't already seen, which is to say that he sees it in his mind's eye before he ever snaps the shutter. Many times Harry will break off from what he is doing right in the middle of a session and will shoot something that seems totally unrelated. is is not to say that he is not focused. Not at all. It just means that everything is in play; almost all the time. Harry is al- ways in the moment(but does not do yoga). Just give him an idea and then stand back. He likes a basic brief about what he has to do and wants huge elbow room. Harry de Zitter has worked almost everywhere on the planet. He has shot in the wildest and most remote parts of our world. Major photographic equipment companies con- sistently seek his advise and counsel about new products and improvements. ey ask him to test new lenses and cameras in extreme conditions. ey ask him to do this over and over because he always gives them more than they ask for. Harry de Zitter was born in Belgium, raised in South Africa, and has had major studios in New York and Lon- don. He speaks Flemish, English, Afrikaans and knows every curse word you can imagine on planet Earth. But de- spite this he somehow gets everyone to let him take their picture. People just open up to Harry. He puts on no aires. He will take a commisioned picture of Bill Gates one mo- ment and he will photograph the butcher behind the counter the next. Harry is a humanist of the first order. PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 17