stone setting work on a long dike

August 2016, between Lemmer and Urk

A 25 kilometers long dike to former island Urk
In august 2016 I cycled from Joure to Urk. This route passes a 25 kilometers long dike between Lemmer and the former Zuiderzee island Urk.
It is a unique dike because of its history, length and 25 kilometers uninterrupted long view from the dike to the IJsselmeer. No motorcyclist are allowed on the dike.
The dike was constructed in 1939 from the mainland Lemmer to the island Urk, just as the Afsluitdijk project was changing the salt water Zuiderzee surrounding Urk to the less saline IJsselmeer. A couple of years later, in 1942, the seabed areas surrounding Urk were reclaimed from the sea and became the Noordoostpolder.
The view from the dike is towards the IJsselmeer. But there are some ‘fly-overs’ in the dike, of which one can see the wideness of the Noordoostpolder.

History was felt
It was my first time passing this dike and I was impressed by its length, the views from the dike to the IJsselmeer, the rest, the rows of windmills in land and see, the many sheep and birds and the views over the reclaimed land on the backside of the dike. I felt history also.

History was even more felt, when came across a stone setting worker on my way up to Urk. He took my attention because of his ongoing and calm hand work in combination with these large basalt stones. It made me think of the construction of the Afsluitdijk in the thirties of the last century. I told him so.

One of 27 stone setting workers in the Netherlands left
During our combined lunch the nice man told me the construction and maintenance dike work nowadays is indeed the same as the work in those days. ‘I am one of them left of the 27 stone setting workers left in the Netherlands. I am glad too. It is work which cannot be done with machine work. We do get assistance from dike workers, but the real stone setting work has to be done by hand. People has tried with machines, but it did not work out. To be honest, I am glad with this, it means work to me, work I like. The work can be hard, but most important is gaining skills on it.
The man explained also he and his colleague work from Monday till Tuesday on this project. On Friday, they travel home to their families in the province Zeeland. On Monday they return to their host families in Lemmer.

Thanks to Harry Neels, Yrseke, also for sending me a couple of days later a copy of his course book from 1992 for education to stone setting worker.
The front of the book shows the picture of the sculpture called ‘steenzetter’ (stone setting worker), made by artist Ineke van Dijk for the Afsluitdijk and unveiled in 1982 by former queen Beatrix.
Nowadays, people can still be trained to become a stone setting worker.



‘de straat op’

In September 2014, I took part in the Masterclass Street Photography of the Amsterdam City Archives, which I was very excited with.

The masterclass was part of the exhibition ‘de straat op’ (best translated to ‘taking to the streets’?) of the Amsterdam City Archives and linked to phtographer Ed van der Elsken (1947-1970) and three current photographers from the Netherlands: Hans Eijkelboom, Theo Niekus and Reinier Gerritsen.

We were led by in the centre of Amsterdam in two groups and accompanied by photographers Theo Niekus en Reinier Gerritsen. My group was commissioned to create a series of five photographs in which the relationship between traffic users should be visible. For this assignment we got 1 1/2 hour shooting time and 1/2 hour for the selection of our pictures. No Photoshop, cropping, or whatever. As shot, with only slight adjustments with our camera settings.

It wasn’t easy, but a funny and very informative experience, especially by the help of the photo professionals, the other photographers and employees of the Amsterdam City Archives.

Our selected photos, were shown the week afterwards outside the City Archives on a big screen

More background:
– Stadsarchief Amsterdam – tentoonstellingen / presentaties – de straat op
Theo Niekus
Reinier Gerritsen

September 2014, together with participants and photographers (photo by Stadsarchief Amsterdam)




Scheveningen, August 2016

durven dolen

Scherper kijken betekent voor mij als fotograaf ook ‘durven dolen’: zwerven rond een onderwerp, voelen wat er gaande is en dan pas stil blijven staan en vastleggen. Tijdens Glow 2011 gaf United Visual Artist met het project ‘Volume’ hier voor mij een perfect voorbeeld van. Met dank aan Bijl PR voor de uitnodiging!

Tevens: Durven Dolen, met dank aan Photofacts.

Street / other: the Afsluitdijk

The Afsluitdijk. A 32km long dike connecting North-Holland and Friesland. Built in 1930 to close what is now the IJsselmeer from being flooded by the North Sea. The dike was built as part of a plan to reclaim land in the IJsselmeer; this land became the province of Flevoland.
(Source: Wikipedia)

The past ten years I travelled several times between Den Helder (North Holland) and my home town (in Friesland) and passed with my car the Afsluitdijk.
But I think paused on it only a few times in all those years.

So, my new Ricoh GR iii occasion camera was a good reason to do that at the end of June 2013. I decided to capture my impressions on all the motorway stops on it with the setting ‘cross processing’ on my Ricoh. Normally I do not like preset settings on cameras that much. But I think the presets – adjustments can be made manually – on this Ricoh are different. It was fun to work with it.

In the gallery it is. Passing the Afsluitdijk during my ride from West to East, from North Holland to Friesland. It was nice to find myself unexpectedly (at least earlier that morning) between a mix of travellers from the Netherlands and abroad, motorist, cyclist and even walkers at the stops nearby the motorway. Unexpectedly maybe more was my visit at camping club ‘Het Wad’ at the former work island Breezanddijk. The campsite, not open for regular travellers, is situated right nearby the motorway, a car stop, a work area and the side branch of the IJssel Lake. Surprised by the location of the campsite and the state of their homes, I got in touch with some occupants of the homes who told me about the camping club. Thanks for that. Depending on the weather people live there in the weekends and throughout the week from April until October. As one of the occupants told me: ‘we need less’.

I have decided not to edit the pictures in the gallery. It is as it was.
Thanks to my Ricoh, the Afsluitdijk, the water, and the occupants of camping club ‘Het Wad’.

More background (in Dutch):
Andere Tijden, May 2007 (history, consequences and results – broadcast and article);
screenprint2 Andere Tijden
Trouw, May 2007 (about Het Wad).

gallery update follows



Other: Noorderlicht 2012


Visit in september 2012 to the Noorderlicht International Photofestival. This years theme was ‘Terra Cognita’. Main location was Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen.
With a good friend a took bart to a bustour along six old small Frysian churches which served as exhibiton space. Each exhibition was worth a visit.
The top picture shows the own tribute from visitors to the exhibition in the field near small church of Haskerdijken for a project from Tineke Fischer. I met among others ‘Girl with Trowel’ and her mum (the two persons in the front), which was a great pleasure.
I was most impressed by the work of Heidi de Gier, with the exposition ‘ A Falling Horizon’ in the small church of Rottevalle. The church and this work are on the below picture.

Landscape: Bloksloot

Bloksloot (Frisian: Bloksleat), a small nature area / polder scape between Joure and Sneek in the Netherlands.