The year is almost over and I’d like to start this post by wishing everyone and their families a Happy Christmas and a beautiful start of the new year.
For me, this year was about meeting people again. I really noticed that people started to travel again and wanted to go out and photograph! I was so happy to see many of you on photo tours and conferences this year, and it was so motivating to see everyone in such positive spirits. I remember telling some of you who I met this year how nice it was to see everyone with such positive attitudes on photography trips. So thanks again!
For me, one of the highlights of the year was visiting Oregon in the US. The Out of Chicago team was kind enough to invite me to teach at the Out of Oregon conference (not 1, but 2 conferences in a row) and I had the greatest time. It was been a while since I had visited the US and it was not only great to meet so many nice people attendants, but also so many great photographers that I never get to meet before. In between the conferences I went for a quick round trip to the Redwoods. What an incredible place! Even though short, that was some really epic stuff! Both the photography and the company :) can’t wait to come back!
Another highlight was my quick visit to the Icelandic volcano, totally unplanned that just so happened to erupt when I had only a 12 hour lay over from my way to Greenland to Amsterdam. I managed to quickly drive and walk up there and experience nature’s raw beauty. And even though it was quick, the rush of doing all that in a short amount of time somehow made it an even more intense experience.
And yeah, Greenland. Of course that’s always amazing to be there. Greenland is special. The huge icebergs, the whales, the shepherd dogs (and their cute puppies), the whole atmosphere is just unique. This year I spent there a long period of time. It was a strange year, with lots of rain and fog. Not the easiest conditions and rather challenging. But we made the best of it and I got some of my favourite shots just because of the harsh weather. When the rain and fog would lift, we would see the most beautiful scenery of icebergs peaking out of the fog. This is something unique that I had not seen much before, and some of these shots are my favourites from Greenland ever. Thank you to Iceland Photo Tours for sending me over to Greenland again, and I am looking forward to 2023.
Before Greenland I went to Kyrgyzstan, Camargue (France) and Tuscany where I had the greatest times guiding tours. And I managed to find some time to spend with Bermet, who I have to give a special thanks because she is always so supportive of what I do! Especially this year being away from home a lot. Oh yeah, we also moved house earlier this year! And finally making some progress on it :)
And of course the release of the new Sony A7RV, where Sony asked me to star in the offi launch campaign. Of course I was very honoured that Sony asked me. But what I found even more beautiful, is that I am already working with Sony for more than 8 years, and we’re still working together on big projects on such regular basis. Thank you Sony for all of the support over the years!
I also really enjoyed my time in the Netherlands this year. Even though I wasn’t around too much, at the times I was here I hit the most beautiful conditions. We actually had beautiful winter conditions, with freezing cold temperatures just last week and ice skating in the whole country. Along with beautiful frost that I didn’t see here for years. But earlier this year I also took some beautiful shots of frozen flowers. All in all, quite nice winter weather this year. We even had some snow in spring which caused for tulip photos with snow! Very unique and I had never seen that before.
Unfortunately we don’t have a white Christmas this year, but rather grey and rainy. The usual you could say. But it’s a perfect moment to look back on the year and take it slow and spend some time with friends and family.
These photos are a summary of this year and are some of my own favourites. Every photo comes with a short description.
The Redwoods, Oregon US - October
After trying for 2 days, we finally got the conditions and fog we were looking for. That morning the light pierced through the trees creating some really magic light. This was one of my most favourite shots. Simply taken from the path, but the light just did everything!
Greenland - July
After a foggy afternoon, the fog slowly lifted and the icebergs peaked out of the fog creating a magic atmosphere. One of my favourite shots from that trip, and it wasn’t even taken from our boat!
Iceland - August
I was lucky to catch the erupting volcano in Iceland this year on my stopover from Greenland. I had less than 12 hours. Landed at around 6PM, with the summer sunset being around 9:30PM. Rushed to get a car and managed to borrow a personal one from a car rental guy (all the other rentals were out of car). Drove to the volcano, hiked up for 1.5h and started shooting at 9PM. Was back at the hotel at 3 AM and had to be at the airport at 5. What an experience it was!
The Netherlands - December
An unexpected cold end of the year. No white Christmas but the week before we had temperatures as low as -14c at night. It caused our water to freeze and we were iceskating all over the country. But just when the ice was thick enough, the true Dutch winter started to show itself and the temperatures went up again. But I managed to be there one morning to photograph the ice skating people during this beautiful sunrise at Kinderdijk.
The Netherlands - April
Very cold April nights with temperatures at night going well below zero. The fruit growers then spray their crops and flowers to ‘protect’ them from the frost. The water then freezes around them and creates that protective layer. This is so they DON’T just freeze and die, so it’s actually a good things :)
Tuscany - April
Sometimes the most simple images can be the most rewarding. This is one of them. It turned out to be one of my favourite photos from this year. Just a daytime shot of a tree on a hill. But don’t get me wrong: I waited about an hour to capture this tree in different light and different clouds. And in the end, I got what I wanted.
The Netherlands - January
Storm Corrie hit the coast of our country with extremely strong wind gusts. I still remember driving here to IJmuiden and almost being hit by a traffic light that started to slowly fall down because of the wind gusts. It was dangerous on the road, and I was having a difficult time just to stand there near the sea. But this is one of the things I love about the nature: it’s raw power. And with a scenery that is normally so calm, it suddenly transforms it to a raging scene. Big waves hitting this tiny lighthouse to perfectly display its strength.
The Netherlands - October
Sometimes the tiniest things can have the biggest beauty. I love to photograph the tiny mushrooms in autumn in the Netherlands. You’ll find them everywhere. Its a form of relaxation as well. You don’t need a beautiful sunset or sunrise. You can just photograph them in the middle of the day. I always use natural light and go with ‘the flow of the light’. Here the light was just peaking through the trees, just hitting this tiny mushroom. It looks like a spotlight. A few minutes later this mushroom was in the dark enough. But it was just enough to capture this beautiful moment.
Kyrgyzstan - June
This photo is not so much about the photo itself but more about the experience. I took this shot on my birthday and was with a small group of people (in my tour) on a super remote place in Kyrgyzstan, close to the border of China. No internet, just a small group of people and my friends of @visit karakol who came with us. Sleeping in a little tent in front of a beautiful landscape, having a good time with friends, with millions of stars above us. Couldn’t have wished for a better birthday!
France, Camargue - May
One of my favourite shots of the White horses of Camargue, mainly because of the dust and the perfect position of the tails of the horses pointing left and right (see it :) ?). Those horses are just incredible, and Camargue in France is one of the few places where you can see them in combination with their amazing guardians.
Amersfoort, the Netherlands - December
At the end of the year I managed to get some photos that I have been dreaming of for years. Amersfoort is my town of birth and the city I currently live in again (after having lived in Amsterdam for a few years). I had always dreamed of capturing it from the sky, above the clouds. I have this obsession for seeing cities above ‘the sea of clouds’. I didn’t think it was possible to do with Amersfoort because of its relatively low buildings, but in December this year I finally did it!
Tuscany, Italy - May
No matter how many times I go to Tuscany, I love it! The beautiful atmosphere, morning fog, super romantic villages, food, Italian people, Tuscany is always amazing! I spent a few weeks there this year and managed to capture this all time classic with poppies in front! I was so lucky with the conditions that morning AND the perfect poppy flowers. It just proves that even though a shot has been done so many times, we can still create something ‘new’.
Madeira - September
For the Launch of the new A7RV I was asked to star in the promotional video by Sony. I went with Madeira for a week with a video crew and we visited some of my favourite places. This is one of them. This was before sunrise, when the alpenglow casted it's light onto the peaks. For me, that’s always one of my favourite moments of the day.
Tuscany, Italy - May
I love to explore little romantic streets, especially when its raining! It’s usually quite empty then and the atmosphere is just so beautiful. This is one of the streets of San Quirico, a famous little town in Tuscany. That evening it rained a lot and the fog came in. It transformed this street into a fairytale!
The Netherlands - May
We don’t only have tulips in spring in the Netherlands. This year, we saw an insane amount of poppies. Especially along some highways, you could see hundreds of them. I found this little patch of poppies in front of a windmill and captured a windmill shot I had not done before: one with poppies. Super happy to capture a new and original windmill photo!
Greenland - July
This year I could finally visit Greenland again after COVID. Of course we saw many epic icebergs, and positioned our -now famous- red sail boats around them for the classic epic photos. With Iceland Photo Tours
Redwoods, Oregon US - October
Another shot from the Redwoods that is one of my favourites. The other photo has this classic beautiful light, but once I went a little bit lower into the forest where the ‘magic light’ was not hitting as much, I found the more darker scenes that I also love to capture. Here, the trees and the ferns were playing hide and seek with the little patches of light coming through the forest.
The Netherlands - November
This year I started a new ‘detail’ project called ‘Frozen Autumn’ of leaves transitioning from autumn colours with a frozen lining. I was really hypnotised by these colours ranging from yellow to red to dark brown. This combined with ice made for something so beautiful. It is like nature is constantly showing off. I just have to be there to see it, and photograph it.
The Netherlands - November
The end of Autumn with the last leaves on the trees is always a great time to photograph. Especially when you combine it with a foggy day. The fog separates all the trees, making it more easy to create minimalistic compositions. Here I found the last leaves on this tree, surrounded by trees that were already empty. It’s so simple, but I love it!
The Netherlands - March
I love capturing cityscapes and I always love to play with light, reflections and other elements of nature, like a full moon. In this shot I successfully planned this full moon setting (on the morning of the 18th of March) on top of this row of houses, reflecting in the water below. I love it when a plan comes to gather, and this one perfectly worked out.
Madeira - October
A simple, but one of my favorite shots from the Fanal forest in madeira. The fog was ‘just right’ here , and the trees still showed so much green. But at the same time, the atmosphere was magic. I can always walk here for hours. The atmosphere in this forest is something special.
The Netherlands - August
After long travels, I love to be back in the Netherlands and wind down. Just getting up early, photographing the morning fog with some windmills and cows. On this morning I was with my friend @Ronald verwijs . We were just having a relaxing time and this shot came out of it. One of my favorite windmill and Dutch shots of the year!
The Netherlands - December
Super frosty conditions and I woke up every morning that week to capture the winter conditions. We don’t get these conditions a lot in the Netherlands. Actually, the last time I photographed something like this here was years ago. So I was very happy to capture there ‘arctic’ conditions ad the end of the year!