2017 10 IJburg College 2 - AmsterdamThe IJburg College 2 by Atelier PRO is a school, or rather: several schools in one building. The building is clad in a beautiful perforated gold anodized aluminium. The inside has a big vide that houses an immense staircase that zigzags its way up. It connects the general use areas and the different school areas, but it is also wide and open enough to function as meeting place in its own right. The school is in the heart of IJburg, which is a part of Amsterdam that is newly developed. Because of all the activity around it, I went quite early this year, when there was still a lot of ice on the ground, because we feared that a new building would be too close to the facade of the school once it was up to have a really clear view of the front of the school. Later that turned out not to be the case, but it was a good call anyway, because of the warm wintersun that really made the colors pop. Later this year, when the interior was completely finished, we went back with people from the architectural firm Atelier PRO to do some interior shots. As it was already in use for several months, we had to clean up here and there, which was to be expected, but the images turned out very nice. With its immense staircase, the school has a very theatrical feel to it, which makes photographing it a joy.
2017 01 Moscow in JanuaryIn January I was quite lucky to be able to visit Moscow for an interior shoot for a big international sports firm. I went with my DAPh-colleague Imre Csany who was going to assist me. With the two of us, we managed to take all the equipment as carry on. So no worries about the gear, which was nice, as we had to start next day and our three day schedule was tight. As Imre is Hungarian, he had to learn Russian in school as a child. Not something he really liked, I think, but it was quite helpful once we boarded the Aeroflot aircraft. After three days with him, I managed to order two different kinds of tea in Russian and I understood how much I had to pay. Спасибо. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to share the images of the shoot until publicized by our client. But we spent as much time walking around town when the days work ended as we could, to enjoy and shoot some of the wonderful architecture in Moscow. Imre had visited Moscow before, so he could show me around. Thanks Imre for the help and a great time. Moscow in January is icy cold but beautiful and it has a lot to offer to anybody interested in architecture. From grand palaces and churches to incredible Soviet architecture and modern high-rise that would fit right in in any international business or financial district.
2016 04 Nederland FotografeertThe NRC, de Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, which is neither new nor in Rotterdam anymore, is one of the most respected newspapers in the Netherlands. Together with Canon and Kamera Express, the biggest photostore in the Netherlands, they organized a photocontest. Every month they had a different theme and for every theme they made a short film with an experienced photographer. For 'Architecture' they asked, well, you guessed it by now, yours truly. We shot the movie on a sunny day, but it was cold as well, so I was struggling a bit when we did the voice overs at the end of the day, outside and in the shade. Nevertheless, thanks to the outstanding work by Eric Van Vuuren, who did the camerawork and editing, it turned out really nice. Watch the whole movie on Youtube:
2015 04 25 DAPh exhibition: 'WATER'WATER is the latest DAPh (Dutch Architectural Photographers) exhibition, and it was first shown at Architect@Work in Kortrijk, Belgium. This new body of work features a lot of images that were made explicitly for this exhibition. The serie consists of 12 works from all over the world. From a swimming pool in Tenerife to the harbour of Malmö, from watervilla in Middelburg, Netherlands, to a 7 star hotel in Dubai.
The theme, Water, is remarkable, because it is not really regarded as a building material. It is, however, a rich source of inspiration for architects and designers. From flowing curves to the sails of a ship, elements of water are to be found everywhere. Building on or next to water also requires a lot of extra attention to the construction and usage and creating space for public or private use on the water, also poses a lot of different challenges in comparison to building on land. All these aspects can be found in this new exhibition.
My contribution to the exhibition were two images: a renovated 30's swimming pool in my hometown Rotterdam, for which architects had to travel all the way to Eastern Europe to find a manufacturer for the special tiles that had been originally used, and the Burj Dubai, a self proclaimed 7 star hotel that is the tallest in the world. It is built on it's own island just outside the coast of Dubai and has the shape of sail.
2015 03 24 Thiele Glas names 'Onderwijspark Ezinge' as Project of the MonthIn november 2014 I came into contact with the people from Thiele Glas at Architect@Work in Berlin. Their stand featured a big image from a villa wih lots of glass and in a snowy Dutch landscape. Thiele Glas is a specialist in extraordinary glass, and in the Netherlands they reallize projects together with their partner Si-X. The driving force behing Si-X is Wout Hoogendoorn, and Thiele Glas was kind enough to bring me into contact with him. This led to an assignment for the photography of the new 'Onderwijspark Ezinge', a cluster of schools with two facades covered in gorgeous glass panels. They are shiny, sparkling, colourful and semi transparent, which adds to a feeling of depth. But the images they had so far, were kind of dull. I took up the challenge, waited for the right weather and made a new series of images for Si-X and Thiele Glas. Because of the elevated position of the panels, I even used my high altitude tripod for some of the images. Both Si-X and Thiele Glas were very satisfied with the images, and they even made it to 'Project of the Month' on the site of Thiele Glas:
2015 01 12 'The story in the picture' - A portfolio in Architectuur.NLI'm very honoured with a 6 page portfolio in the latest issue of Architectuur.NL, a leading architectural magazine in the Netherlands. It's called 'Het verhaal in de foto', the story in the picture. Because a good architectural image is more then proper camera technique and the rule of thirds. It is like a portrait of a person. It should do more then just show you the outside. It should tell you something about the character of the building. About all the ideas that have gone into creating it. There is no coincidence in a builing. People have thought about every line and every detail. A good image should communicate all that. But that's not where it ends. As a photographer, I add my own visual language as an extra layer. And people who live nearby, walk past it or work or live inside a building have there own stories they can add. A good image is so much more then just an image.
Read the whole story here (in Dutch):
2014 11 27 Meeting new people at Architect At Work BerlinAt present, DAPh -Dutch Architectural Photographers - has two exhibitions traveling the globe as a part of the Architect at Work fairs. In Berlin, 'Clay' was exhibitied at the fair in Berlin Station in the old Kreuzberg area. In this wonderful venue, our work was shown in large 1,50m prints, on banners and on several screens. Together with my two of my DAPh collegues, architectural photographers Henny Raaijmakers and Thea van den Heuvel, we represented DAPh at Architect at Work Berlin. Our work was very well received, and we managed to meet a lot of people who are interested in working with us. On a side note, it was also good to catch up on some ideas with our neighbours at the fair from architectural website Archello.
2014 10 01 Almost done with De StoepSpijkenisse is a town that grew really fast in the last 30 years. But it is also a town that never managed to generate a lot of interest. It gave you the feeling that you lived there because you had nowhere else to go. I know, I was born there. With the new city centre, and its brand new, spectacular theatre De Stoep, designed by UNStudio, it almost makes you want to live there. It's gorgeous. It's sexy. It makes a place like Spijkenisse a better place to live. And that's just because of it's stunning good looks. On the inside, it's just as great, with al its curving, swooping lines that embrace you and welcome you to it's warm, purple seats. It's such a beautiful theatre that I enjoyed driving to Spijkenisse everytime I went to shoot it. But now I'm almost done. I supplied UNStudio and VORM Bouw with images, and the project will make it's way in the media. Still, there is one more thing to do. To photograph it just before and during a perfomance. To show how the audience is using and enjoying the building. Almost done. But not quite..
2014 06 20 Theatre De Stoep #1Cleaning up the stage #1
How to impress a client with a project that is not finished yet? That’s always a difficult task. When we think of architectural photography most of us think of beautiful villa’s, spectacular theatres of impressive office spaces in wonderful light at dawn or dusk, with warm artificial light coming out of the windows. A dusty construction site littered with paint cans and extension cords is not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, that was just what had to deal with when I entered ‘De Stoep’, a new theatre in Spijkenisse, designed by UNStudio, that I had to photograph for construction company VORM Bouw. They needed the pictures of the interior urgently for a fair. Naturally, they were aware that the project was not finished. But how to live up to their expectations? When I entered the theatre, it was everything I expected it to be: dusty, busy and filled with workers, tools and materials. And I knew that was not what the client was expecting. What to do? Asking people to stop working was not an option, and I didn’t have a budget for assistents to keep men and machines out of pictures.
2014 06 20 Theatre De Stoep #2Cleaning up the stage #2
Cleaning up the stage
It’s at times like these that I realize how helpful digital photography can be. I used to love medium and large format photography on film. But digital photography is such a life safer in situations like these. Of course, you can Photoshop for hours trying to clean up the images. But it’s far easier to just take a series of images and wait half a minute between each of them. In the meantime you can move boxes and appliances around to make sure that unwanted things are in different places in each image. If done right, it’s just a matter of using layer masks to turn all these images into a single picture free of people and other unwanted objects. Of course, it takes a bit of time, but it’s still faster then trying to get the place cleaned up, and it is a lot faster than trying to get rid of it all in Photoshop. And yes, you can still see that the theatre is a work in progress, but the way it looks in the final image, you can get a good feeling of what it will look like once it’s finished.
Click on the images for a larger view
2014 05 24 Dag van de BouwThe new indoor marketplace in Rotterdam wil open second half of 2014. It offers apartments and penthouses with a view, both to the city and to the spectacular interior. This building really invites people to come inside and have a look. Good for vendors who have to make a living selling their fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. But also good for the city, which already has its ample share of highrise buidings that let you get as far as the front door bell or security guard. These images were made during a public viewing: De dag van de bouw. All handheld, something that would have been impossible to do this well ten years ago. A big thank you to my new fullframe camera with EVF and build in levels. You can see more images in 'Markthal Rotterdam' in Series.
Achitect: Winy Maas, MVRDV
2014 04 25 Dubai - City of the futureDubai is a city that’s developing at such a fast pace, that I just couldn’t turn down an invitation to attend the award ceremony of HIPA, a photocontest with the highest price money in the world. As an architectural photographer, it’s a must-see city and of course, I wanted to see more than just other people’s photography.
Dubai is a city of excess, of abundance. A city with the highest building in the world, by far. With crazy islands in the shape of a palmtree and a map of the world. A city with the most luxurious hotel, the biggest apartmentbuilding, the largest mall, the biggest indoor skicentrum in the world. It almost seems as if in Dubai architecture is just used to break records. It’s a city of dazzling numbers. A city where David Fisher was going to build his Dynamic Tower, a tower with revolving floors. Not just one of them, but all of them. And all of these floors would drive turbines that would generate enough power for several towers. A city for which Ben van Berkel from UNStudio designed a beautiful MOMEMA in 2008, the Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art. It should have been finished in 2011.
The reality is that the crisis really left its mark in Dubai as well. The Dynamic Tower has not been realized, because they could not sell the apartments. At the Dubai Creek, the venue of the MOMEMA, it’s quiet and empty. Red and white ribbons and lots of sand mark the spot. With no collection and a lack of funding, the project came to a standstill. Still, there is enough to see for an architectural photograper. The Burj Khalifa, by Skidmore, Owings and Merril is wonderfully elegant amongst all the square boxes that dominate the skyline. And the Cayan Tower – also known as the Infinity Building – by the same architects is the highest twisted building in the world, with a 90 degree rotation. It is a really magnificent gatekeeper at the Dubai Marina. It’s a pity that OMA just finished second with a design for the business district – a square box as well, but one with a twist or two. The whole building could rotate to keep the smallest profile aimed at the sun. Ingenious. But if the MOMEMA ever gets realized, I will certainly go back to capture it.
2014 03 27 Dubai Festival of LightA recent trip to Dubai resulted in some very colourful images. We were plagued by sandstorms. The visibility dropped to less than a kilometer on a couple of days. You can see the effect in this shot from the Burj Khalifa as well. I had to return to the Netherlands as the Dubai Festival of Light was about to unfold. Fortunately, they were testing all the equipment the night before, so I managed to get some lovely shots. Come to think of it, the next night would have been worse, with all the people gathering to see the show. See them all in my new series: Dubai Lights
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