Tag Archives: The Netherlands

Thoughts – August 4, 2017

Past Friday, July 28, Sweetheart and I went paddling in The Netherlands. On the Veerse Meer at Kanoa Outdoor Events. I had reserved a kayak the day before. Great place, friendly people and democratic prices. Except for the fact they did not ask if we wanted a life jacket. Okay, we did not ask either.
Getting in a kayak after turning over is very hard. I am sure I would have a serious problem. But then again I am a trained swimmer. I could stabilize the kayak and help Sweetheart in it.

Lake Veere is a huge lagoon in the province of Zeeland. In 1961 the Delta Works dam system partially cut it off from the North Sea. The Delta works were an answer to the 1953 flood killing 1836 in The Netherlands.

Sweetheart and I kayaked some 4 hours and had a great time. Obviously I took the GoPro and a suction holder with me. The suction stuff did not work as the plastic of the kayak was too rough. I had to use the camera handheld but that wasn’t a big deal.

The weather on the lake was rough, about 4 to 5 Beaufort,  so we choose calmer water. On the lake itself the waves were high and we don’t have enough experience yet.

With the GoPro Hero 4 Silver I shot everything in Protune, native white balance and flat color in order to get the most out of the footage. Also I choose the 2,7 K video setting at 24 fps.

We were hungry after the paddling so we stopped at Yerseke and enjoyed mussels in a small restaurant called De Schelde. I’ve been visiting this place a few times a year for the past 3 decades.

At the moment I am not sure yet what I will use a my video-editing program. I am trying both Final Cut Pro X and Premiere CC 2017.

What I find difficult is the color grading. Been watching quite some tutorials on Youtube.
I like this stage because it involves a lot of learning new stuff and experimenting.

Just a couple of weeks ago Sweetheart, her grandchild and foster kid Star, Sweethearts brother, wife and two kids visited a 3 kilometre barefoot path. I filmed the event and edited a 7 minute clip out of it. Added some royalty free music and voila.

I am pretty sure none of them expected such a beautiful result, not even me.

Sweetheart loves the fact I am now documenting our life on video. There is nothing wrong with photos but footage, voice, the surrounding sounds is a whole different experience.

I have many pictures of my mom who passed away in 2005. I would love to hear her voice, watch her speak, smile, enjoy life.

Photographs are stills by nature. We have to add our memories of that moment, that person, that whatever moment.

Over time that could be something very deceitful. My father passed away when I was 13. That was 45 years ago. I never missed somebody that bad as my father.

Anyway, today he is, in my mind’s eye, a god. Just an image. Just a fraction of a second. Yet I remember vaguely being hit, skin burning, crying. I vaguely remember the scent of the Pétrol Hahn he used.
I would sneak in the bathroom and shake the bottle with the green liquid and the oily substance floating on top of it.

I vaguely remember his cough, like something tickling his throat.  When that couching finally went away he could not eat much anymore. Cancer got him. He was 64.

I wish I could watch him walk, talk, smile. That would be so fucking soothing at times. Even today. Fuck, I really so miss him. I would have love presenting Sweetheart to him.
It would never have been possible. He married my mom when he was in his fifties. I’m 58.
Do the math.

Yeah, I wish I could see my father one more time. Hear him talk, watch him walk. Smile at me.
Hug me.
Hold me.




Thoughts – April 25, 2016

Change of plans.

These past two weeks I’ve been reminding Sweetheart occasionally about the deadline for our weekend. Deadline meaning the date I can’t cancel anymore.

Not because I don’t want to go on weekend with Sweetheart, au contraire. As an outsider I’ve noticed how Sweetheart’s eldest daughter was sliding downhill again. I’m not going to elaborate but Stella suffers from severe psychosis. She barely manages to live alone and her 3-year old, Star, a burden. Sweetheart is in fact a foster-parent for her own grand-child.

Yesterday evening Sweetheart told me over the phone Stella was thinking of going into admission because she couldn’t handle it anymore.

Sweetheart’s kids are more than willing to take care of Star so their mother can enjoy some time off but they are not experienced enough to handle Stella in crisis.

The obvious thing to do was to cancel our weekend which I did while on the phone with my Love.
After that I drove Little A. to boarding school and then, later that evening, Sweetheart phoned again. We talked some more about out “lost” weekend and then suddenly she said, “hell, I could have asked my sister to babysit”.

Not even an hour later Sweetheart phoned me again telling me her daughter was feeling 100% fine again.

This morning Sweetheart contacted her sister and she was more than happy to assist the home front so we could enjoy our weekend.

I choose a different destination, something more desolate, a little rougher when weather isn’t very good.

I’m taking Sweetheart to Zeeland, no, not New-Zeeland, but Zeeland in the Netherlands. We’ll be staying in a posh hotel not far from Zierikzee and Middelburg and near quite some interesting places to visit. It is about nature, below sea-level polders, cute little villages, a few interesting towns and desolate landscapes where I’m thinking long exposures if we/I have time.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 17.58.48

So what will be in my camera bag?

The Ricoh GR II of course. I am really enjoying this little yet powerful camera. Being limited to 28mm is quite a challenge.

As backup I’ll be taking an Olympus OM-1n for black and white and an Olympus OM-10 for color. A 50mm f1.4, a 28mm f3,5 a Vivitar 200mm f4 and some film. A light meter of course and a tripod.

I’m thinking though that the Ricoh will be my main camera. I’ll be using it in both native 28mm and then the cropped but not interpolated settings of 35mm and 47mm.

Driving & taking pictures = dangerous (2016) Ricoh GR II at f2.8 - ISO 100 and playing with Nik Analog Efex Pro 2
Driving & taking pictures = dangerous (2016)
Ricoh GR II at f2.8 – ISO 100 and playing with Nik Analog Efex Pro 2



I love this one very much. The gritty concrete on the foreground, the industry on the background. There is the sharp contrast between the clean energy produced by the wind mills and the nuclear power plant of Doel.

This is what I like to shoot. I have no idea how this is called. Is it urban landscape? Industrial landscape?

I feel very at home in this vast loneliness of industry and concrete.

I left the image open in Lightroom and went for a walk. Bought a book, Andy Warhols Roadtrip by Deborah Davis.

Back home I opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Looked at the photograph again. Felt there was something missing. It was to much about how it looked not how I felt when I took the shot.

I like a gritty look so I played around with some of the whistles and bells in Lightroom.  Then I came to a point where I wasn’t sure which version I liked the most. The second has more light in it, looks and feels grittier but I am afraid I overdid it. So I asked Little A. and Sweetheart for their opinion. Both liked the second version.

Yes I know, loved ones are not always the best judges and maybe Little A. and Sweetheart know me to well. I was happy they found the second version better though. It has punch, balls, grittiness and so much more.

HAL - second version (2016) Nikon F5 with Nikon 24-120 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X
HAL –  (2016)
Nikon F5 with Nikon 24-120 VR and loaded with Kodak Tri-X


Building – variation I

This strange looking building houses a control center for a small dam. It was an overcast and stormy summer afternoon. Shortly after making this and a few other images very strong winds came blowing in from the sea. An overwhelming experience.

Building - variation I Olympus OM-1n with Zuiko 28mm f3,5 and loaded with Ilford FP4+
Building – variation I (2015)
Olympus OM-1n with Zuiko 28mm f3,5 and loaded with Ilford FP4+