Peter Kool is belgian photographer who belongs to UP Photographers Association. Born in Netherlands in 1953 then he moved to Belgium in 1973 and get a job as an operator at steel mill. In 1980 Peter began studying photography at the Academy of Sint-Niklaas attending it in the evenings and on weekends. After graduating in 1985 he began methodically walk around the streets of different countries around the world in search of «‎encounters» with the event by being at the right time in the right place.

Specially for GRADE we asked him to choose 5 shoots with such «‎encounters» meanwhile discussing with him the current approach to the case.
You said that your shots are «‎just encounters in the streets».
How can you describe «‎the right one» encounter?
Tell us, what things are important to you in these encounters?
When I walk the streets I think the seeing is more important than the happenings. When something happens in front of me, it's easier to make a picture; but there are not happening things all the time, it is more rare really.
The ability of seeing is very close related to my state of mind; therefore at some days making photos works more smoothly; more inspiration.
I think it's a chemical thing of the brain.
So also these seeing things are encounters; whenever I can make a photo it's a right encounter; I don't make photos at random.
Do you have some rituals that are necessary for creativity?
Before I go out shooting I check the batteries, clean the lens and deletete old photos from the camera. To make sure I don't forget anything I put everyting on the table, including some spare SD cards and a thermos of coffee I made, put it all in a small backpack and before I go my wife gives me a forehead-cross for luck.
As for the right time and place. How many times can you wait for the shot? And how many spots can you check before shooting?
I'm an impatient person really; can't stay at the same place for very long.
I'm constantly on the move, except maybe at some events like a pride or other kind of manifestations.
What things you focused on now?
During the Corona lockdown here in Belgium I made these long intensive walks in my neighbourhood as an alternative for going to the gym. So doing I developed a severe tendonitus and I'm stuck at home for some time now with not much improvement.
So now I'm focused to get better as soon as possible, because I'm missing my photowalks, I yearn for making some new photos.
This photo was taken In Torremolinos, Spain 2012. I took this picture in front of a mirror glass window of a game and gambling place. I managed to hide the guy with the cap on the right behind the guy in the middle, so you get this weird outcome. They were having a rather aggressive discussion, so I was glad they didn't hear my camera go off.
I took this picture in Benidorm, Spain 2014. I noticed this dog like crumbling of the wall and I didn't have to wait long for this dog to pass; he held his tail up neatly.
It was a blistering hot day in Benidorm, Spain 2015. Nobody in the street except for a sweaty photographer. Someone parked his little Smart in the shadow. Smart thing to do in that heat.
I took this picture during the Antwerp Pride, Belgium 2017.
It's an event that I look forward to every year; not this year however because of corona, I hate this little creature.
This photo was taken in a park in Benalmadena, Spain 2020. For some reason they have put a sculpture of a zebra there.
A girl's mother wanted to make a picture of her daughter with the zebra, but had some trouble setting up her phone. But children cannot stand still for long; the girl got impatient and started to make some movements, including this one.
Instagram: @kool_peter

Grade Moscow
18 Aug, 2020