Photographer Onno Kok’s Creative Imagery

Photographer Onno Kok’s Creative Imagery

Kaloya Park, Kelowna, B.C.

Have you ever stood before a mountain at twilight, gazed at the stars on a clear and dark night or perhaps caught a glimpse of a peculiar little insect sunning itself on a leaf? What about trying to describe that gift of wonderment, when you experience these things, to someone else? It is impossible to recreate this feeling, bottle it and pass it on to another person. As with many people, I like to have a camera along just in case an opportunity of this kind presents itself. However, even with that I cannot recreate the actual experience. But if you are Onno Kok, you may come close.

Photographer Onno Kok

Photographer Onno Kok

Onno has had an interest in photography pretty much all his life but it wasn’t until 2014 when he became more serious about it. Due to an unfortunate injury, followed by back surgery which left him unable to work for 6 months, a door was opened to the luxury of time allowing him to explore his creativity and passion for photography. Onno lives in the Okanagan of British Columbia and, as with many places in Canada, the landscape can be magical at any given time. For Onno, sometimes it is about being in the right place at the right time but often it is also research and strategic planning that allows him to capture and create the shot he is looking for. He keeps an eye on weather reports and clear sky charts which are useful tools if you are interested in catching an image of the Andromeda Galaxy or Orion Nebula for instance.

Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula

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Skillful art in any form is born from an idea, which then requires some level of investigation and is superseded by problem solving and execution. Onno loves to challenge himself for fun but also to push his technical and creative skills. At the beginning of 2015 he was presented with an opportunity to do just that. He joined a 52 week photography challenge whereby each week he is given a word, a theme, an idea or even just a letter and then uses that as the basis to create an image that is representative. For example, in one of the weeks the letter Z was the subject and so Onno decided to turn himself into the character Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy . After about fifty different shots the final image was created using only two or three and the end result is a seamless image. If you ever met a sci-fi character with the initials ZB face to face and took a picture of him this is likely what you would end up with.

Zaphod Beeblebrox aka Onno Kok

Zaphod Beeblebrox aka Onno Kok

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I have heard it said by more than one person that using computer programs to enhance or alter a photo image is not being true to traditional photography. This is certainly one way of looking at it depending on what you are trying to accomplish. However, what if our cameras are unable to capture the true colour of what our eyes actually see? What if everything about the composition of a scene is the most breathtaking thing you have ever witnessed but there happens to be some man-made power lines polluting the potential image? Onno eloquently puts it this way; “I want my viewers to see it the way I would want it to be”. And so, with some computer tools and skills he makes his images slightly polished but not so much so that they become unbelievable. My guess is when we look at Onno’s photography of the night sky or a flower, stream or lake we can grab a bit of that feeling as if we were standing right there and witnessing it with our own eyes.

Kaloya Park, Kelowna, B.C.

Kaloya Park, Kelowna, B.C.

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Please join us a Onno Kok shares with us his passion for photography and the subjects that drive that passion. We appreciate your comments and please help us spread the word about Onno and his work through social media and email. Thank-you!