My earliest memory of Amsterdam was a shopping trip with my mother. We lived only 30 kilometers from Amsterdam but everything I saw there was completely new. For the first time in my life I saw a black man. I also spotted a man from India with a turban on his head. It was like entering a different universe. I was reminded of that first visit when I saw this couple coming from a bus. […]
I am not the patient kind of photographer, but standing on a bridge in the midst of the Amsterdam Red Light District always delivers a photo opportunity that makes it worth my while. Apparently these people are celebrating something. They probably planned this days or weeks in advance, they rented or borrowed a boat, loaded it up with beverages and guess what happened? The sun was shining after days of rain. Imagine their surprise.
Since the World Super Powers decided that the Middle East should stay a battle ground for decades to come, a lot of people flee their own bombed out countries. Of course the Super Powers have no intention of hosting the many, many refugees, so instead they end up in Europe. Some have literally nothing, a plastic bag with some belongings. Others bring their own staff and expensive cars.
In the midst of the Amsterdam Red Light district is a street called Zeedijk and that is where you find most of the bars and restaurants. At the start of the Zeedijk there are two gay bars with colorful visitors, leather boys, transvestites and a lots of drag queens. Undoubtedly Amy Huiswijn (to be translated as Amy House Wine) is the Queen of the Zeedijk.
This photograph was taken about 40 meters from where I took the previous one of a desperate looking man. I turned around and I looked at the Chinese brothers and sisters of the Falun Gong [ Wiki ] with a completely different attitude towards rain. Most of us here in rainy Amsterdam look at rain as something unpleasant or disruptive. The Chinese just stand there – hands in the air – as though infinite blessings […]
I have said it before, I just love to photograph in the rain. Life is not easy but people do not like to show their hardships when they are out for a walk. Unless… it rains. Then suddenly people feel no hesitation to express their true feelings about their day ahead, life in general etc. They slowly become who they really are. This doesn’t mean that all people show their discomforts in the rain. Some […]
Everywhere I look I see photographers and models. They do not think of themselves that way, they are ‘just’ documenting their lives. Some of the greatest photographers however were also just documenting their lives. And some of the greatest models ever did not need to put up a show. I like that world of imagery and self-reflection. What I do not like is that some of us cannot read an E-mail longer than fifteen words […]
I love where I live. It is in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. It used to be very unsafe here, but today the junkies and dealers have traded places with thousands of tourists. I am not saying it will stay this way forever, because we can see some deterioration going on here and there, but the city council is right on it, so we expect to see some slow improvements in the coming […]
On one hand I long for spring and on the other I like winters, snow and rain. We do not get much snow in The Netherlands lately but that is very well compensated with extra rain. Rain is ideal for street photography and so is fog. As a studio photographer I think of clouds as the softboxes I really miss when the summer sun is creating too much contrast, but at times that can be […]
I did not even notice that it was starting to rain. Once I start looking for scenes I want to photograph I get a natural high. I do not even remember if I turned around to look over my shoulder to see what was so interesting in the eyes of this couple. The natural high forces me to move on and on to look for new opportunities. It sounds a bit neurotic and stressful but […]
I do not own a lot of cameras like most photographers, but I have three. The most important one is the camera I work with in the studio. Strangely enough that camera, the Nikon 810, is just a work horse for me, I have no special affinity with it except for the fact that it delivers great images. If I treat myself to an afternoon of stressless street photography, I like to pick up the […]
One of my early assignments was to photograph women who owned a Harley Davidson. Back then in 1979 I thought it was looking for a needle in a hay stack, but I actually found quite a few women riding Harleys. It was a fun series to do, because I like Harleys and I like women.
I am not much of a traveller these days but I used to wonder the globe as a photojournalist until I was so fed up with it all that I decided to go for a desk job. That became boring even sooner than I could have ever imagined. So once over I started my own company. Home based so that I would have all the comfort in the world while still getting to meet interesting […]
Like many people who live in Amsterdam I long for sun at times, because it can be very rainy and windy at times. Mostly however the sun hides behind a thick deck of clouds. And that is exactly what makes me forget to long for sunnier days. The clouds act like the soft boxes in my studio. They create an almost shadowless light that makes it easier to do street photography. The picture above was […]