Portrait of Katrin Pietsch: photo restorer of the Ed van der Elsken archive
For two years, the Rotterdam UitAgenda gave me portraits of people who contribute to the art and culture scene of Rotterdam behind the scenes or outside the spotlight. For me as a portrait photographer a very nice assignment for a very cool magazine.
Katrin Pietsch has been working on the restoration of 45,000 photos in recent years. The archive of photographer Ed van der Elsken was almost completely moldy. He kept his archive in a damp dyke house. Katrin came up with a method whereby she did not have to restore the photos individually. By working with a sheet, about 20 photos could be restored at the same time.
On the day of the photo shoot, she was busy restoring slide sixteen thousand. Not even half of all photos. While she is showing the process, she suddenly picks up a sheet to look through it, and there he is, the image. Exciting in composition, narrative by action. As a portrait photographer, I think this is what a good narrative portrait photo should have.