Rainbow flags in the Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam, november 2019.
‘Reguliersdwarsstraat has a fascinating history as the street has been influenced by the wealth, as well as the poverty of surrounding neighbourhoods and has become a place for a wide variety of both gay and straight people.’ (Source: reguliers.net – history, november 2019)
Since 2016, the western part of the Reguliersdwarsstraat, between Koningsplein and Vijzelstraat, is promoted under the name Secret Village.
For the third time in row I visited the Noorderlicht Photofestival. The link between the past and now, between poor and rich and between home and abroad was very much felt in the this year’s theme and location (the old Sugar factory in the city of Groningen). It was very worthwhile to visit as well as the exhibition as the (area of) the old sugar factory. As it was also last year the case, the this year’s theme and chosen location felt as very complementary. Picture above: View from inside the old sugar factory to the outside, towards the direction of the centre of the city of Groningen. Picture below: Exposition of Ilvy Njiokiktjien (b. 1984). Njiokiktjien is working on a project about birthdays in the Netherlands. For a year Njiokiktjien will act as the ambassador representing Dutch photography.
Cows in floodplain (Dutch: uiterwaard) of the river Maas (English: ‘Meuse’) near Gewande / Blauwe Sluis.
In 2016 shallow channel was dug in the floodplain along the Maas near Gewande / Blauwe Sluis. This was a joint project of Rijkswaterstaat, Waterschap Aa en Maas, provincie en gemeente Den Bosch, Natuurmonumenten en Werkplaats de Gruyter.
It has a dual function:
– The channel is a natural solution to be able process water from the river Maas to the lowlands when the river reaches a high water level. This is more expected for the future because of climate change. There already were secondary channels in the Maas before its canalization. They arose spontaneously in the wet floodplains if the river was flooded.
– The channel and natural river banks from the 2016 flood plain project ensure that plants, fish and other aquatic animals the naturally belong in the area can flourish again.
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.
May 2011. Happy with my first digital SLR: an occasion Nikon D80 SLR which I bought two months before.
Subject of this picture is a footboard of a huge American truck.
To my surprise, in October 2011 it was the winning photo in the Samsung Macro contest by Focus, a well-known Dutch photo magazine.
It also meant my start on Flickr, the site from which I get much inspiration from for this kind of pictures and learned al lot from others contributors.
Picture in Focus Magazine, October 2011:
American wind engine with eighteen blades, located on the northeast side of the village of Goingarijp (Friesland). It is the only remaining wind engine in the Netherlands that was manufactured by the firm Slager in Wolvega. The original location of the mill was the Rottige Meente nature reserve.
In 2007, residents of Goingrarijp ensured that the mill could be preserved and brought the mill to their village for that purpose.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the type of mill was often used in the Netherlands for pumping smaller polders, particularly in North Holland and Friesland.
App Cameramatic. One of the nicest apps for iPhone in history of iPhone and apps. Got it for my first iPhone, 3gs and it never went of. Unfortunately no longer available from iPhone 5s. This app and the app Instant 110 are the reason I still use a iPhone 4s for color and black and white photography.
Amsterdam Amstel Railway Station – March 2019
Picture taken at the rear side of the station. It seems to be always windy and cold at the station, inside and outside. The station opened in 1939.
The outside is worth a visit because of the apparently build buildings on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Some of them appear to be devoid of function and make curious to the background of decennia of economic history.
The inside is worth a visit to. The station hall has been decorated with several murals (1939) created by Dutch artist Peter Alma (1868-1969). The murals reflect the importance of technological advancement, in particular of the railroads.
Delay your train or metro trip or plan a special trip to the station and treat yourself to a hot chocolate, coffee or cold coca cola. It’s worth it. Even the windy conditions.
Amsterdam Amstel Railway Station, own picture from March 2015
Sometimes you sell one of your favorite cameras because you think there will be a new favorite or you simple have to choose between options because you cannot have 10 cameras in your house for all your photo circumstances. So, at one day, I sold my Nikon 995. A few months later of course, I regretted it. But I had chosen, so I couldn’t blame anyone.
Only this year, I bought it back. Well, another Nikon 995, but in very good shape and it feels like my first one.
I am still impressed how good the macro-option of the 3,34 mp camera from 2001 camera is. I still like the swivel body very much and also all the setting options. A classic one, this 995 and not to be sold anymore!
Picture by Nikon 995 and slightly edited with DxO software
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!
In the soccer season of 1997 – 1998 I visited a couple of time the trainings sessions of the first team of Feyenoord 1 in Rotterdam, one of the major soccer clubs in the Netherlands.
Main goal of my photo project was to follow these supporters, who came day in day out to the trainings field, at that time located near the ‘Kuip’, the impressive stadium from 1937 of Feyenoord. A historic place in many ways.
At those days plans were already there for movement of the trainings location of the first team to Varkenoord and a rebuild of the stadium.
Supporters of all ages there were, and support I got from them. Unfortunately I had to stop because of health hig ups and my movement to the northern part of the Netherlands. The few film rolls I shot until then were not all developed well enough. Not a good start… But and however unfinished, it delivered me good memories, nice contacts, and some small photo memories to me and them to a small piece of time in the great history of Feyenoord.
From 2009 the first team indeed moved for their trainings sessions to the sport complex Varkenoord near the Kuip. The discussion for a rebuild of the stadium or further refurbishment is hot at the moment.
In special and grateful remembrance of Rinus Rotgers, who I met a several times at that time. We wrote already for a short time at that time and round my movement to Friesland.
It means a lot to me that I discovered only now (29 August 2014) now this broadcast of Dutch ‘Man Bijt Hond’ from 2008 about this at that time 96 years old Feyenoord supporter. I saw this picture I made of him in the background of his home. At time of the broadcast, Rinus Rotgers was 96 of age. I saw he passed away at the day of his 99th anniversary in 2010.
‘Oer-supporter Rinus Rotgers overleden’ : link to the Feyenoord website with a link to the broadcast.
Picture taken in June 2018 in the home of my parents in weeks in that were intense and moving for us all.
There were many flowers in the house, just like today.
I did not put these flowers down like this. This was how it was.
I placed the dining room chair in such a way that the light fell through the flowers but at the same time the black background was retained.
The flowers meant a lot to me, as if they where my mom and dad, supporting each other.
Picture taken with iPhone 4s and app Cameramatic by Mudaimemo, the same developer of the app Instant110.
Unfortunately both apps are not available anymore in the iTunes store and weren’t upgraded from iPhone 5. You are lucky if you picked up it at the time.
Glenfinnan lies about halfway between Fort William and Mallaig on the picturesque West Highland Railway. Along with a regular rail service by Abellio ScotRail, the line is used by the Jacobite steam train (more: Wikipedia).
The Jacobite steam train is famous because of it’s part in the Harry Potter movies (more: Wikipedia) We heard about it when we stayed in a bed and breakfast nearby Fort William. It was not the main reason to visit the valley and road to Mallaig, but it with this information in our head, it gave the cold and rainy trip on our motor bike to Mallaig an extra. It was special to see people in the same weather waiting on the green hills in this beautiful valley for the Jacobite steam train passing by, spotting the same locations as in the Harry Potter movies.
When we approached Mallaig, we saw the steam of the train heading Mallaig and in Mallaig we arrived – we did not planned – almost equal as the Jacobite train, which also was a special experience.
I do not know it taking pictures of people in great valleys of Scotland belongs to ‘street photography’, especially when pictures are taken on the back seat of a motor bike 😉 But it felt like street photography very much!
Nespresso store, Regent Street, London, october 2012.
With permission that time to shoot and to publish.
Movement of flywheel in the largest steam-driven pumping station in the world: the Woudagemaal in Lemmer, the Netherlands, on the 1st of February 2013. It is impressive to see it in use. It is also impressive that this pumping station is still part of the water management system in the province Friesland and needs to be activated 10-15 times a year to keep the groundwater level at a good level (not too high, to ‘keep dry feet’). When in use, the steam-driven pumping station pumps over four million litres of water per minute from the Frisian ‘boezem’ (drainage pool) into the IJsselmeer. The Woudagemaal is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Original post: 2 february 2013. Update with picture I made in the visitors centre that day: June 2015.
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
updated 7 October 2019
*Theo Niekus passed away on 5 October 2019. Very sad news.
September 2014, together with participants and photographers (photo by Stadsarchief Amsterdam)
Photo taken in Amsterdam, february 2014, Koningsplein. Bookstore ‘Polare Amsterdam former ‘Scheltema’. And before that ‘selexyz scheltema’ and Scheltema De Slegte.
From18 March 2014 onwards Scheltema again.
Original post: March 2013
The small village Doel (700 years old) in Belgium is threatened with complete demolition due to the future enlargement of the harbour of Antwerp.
The history of demolition goes back to the early sixties, when the first plans for enlargement were developed.
At the moment there are still 26 inhabitants (original inhabitants and renters) in the village who resist the demolition of their homes.
The situation has reached an impasse at the moment.
Walking through the village gives a sad feeling. To me it felt like a mixture of incomprehension, anger, sadness, melancholy, perseverance, history, memories, resistance, attempts at new life, anarchism, creativity, resignation, vandalism and glimpses of invisible inhabitants.
The sun is shining in the same in the streets as the sun shone for the sixties, extensions of the port of Antwerp were not in discussion and inhabitants lived together as in many other villages.
For their living inhabitants were possibly active at the port of Antwerp, the same port an ultimately headed monster turned out to be.
The typical checkerboard pattern of the village dates from the beginning of 16oo, when geometric farmlands for the first time were mapped. The pattern has not changed very much over the years. This fact makes (made) the village a rare example of regional urbanization and nowadays an extra unreal sight.
The strange feeling of walking through the village is further strengthened by the presence of the nuclear plant of Doel near the village.
Detail of feather of long-eared owl (Asio outs). I choose to make the picture ‘dusky’, as the long-eared owl starts to fly in dusk.
February 2014, Amsterdam, Leidseplein (Stadsschouwburg).
The moment I took this picture, I was trying out my iPhone settings with my Instant 110 app. Suddenly this girl appeared. I think I was hit by her mood and the fact she was walking around, alone, Only after I had made the picture, I discovered the classic’ (modern?) camera around her neck. Maybe something I unconscious already had listed before. Hope she had a good journey.
I met this guy and his rockband in the intercity between Amsterdam and Utrecht. I was impressed by the way the band took all there instruments and stuff by train: they were lugging themselves many large black boxes. The band – I don’t know the name – was on European tour.
The traces of an intensive existence were palpable and smelly in the coupé that was almost entirely filled with the band. At half past five in the afternoon, I suddenly was no more than a spectator in a-apart from the roady-riven in deep sleep, almost all of them black-clad rockers. A woman and four men.
I could not resist to take a picture with my iPhone and my favourite Instant 110 app and try to express a small bit of this all.
Pinhole photography (body cap with hole in it). Location: Bloksloot (between Joure and Sneek). Real colors, just slight or no moderation.
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.
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’.
gallery update follows
Travalgar Square, London, 2013.
Although I do not like to photograph street artists that much, I couldn’t stand this. Als because it seemed that only we and this man were there. Plus: this street artist disappeared as fast as he came, it took all about only 5 minutes.
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.