I’s that time to reflect again! And what a crazy year it was. I started 2020 with a bang going to Antarctica with Iceland Photo Tours. It was an incredible trip it was and looking back we were so lucky to experience this. During this trip I really got addicted to the penguins. They were so cute and funny, and so photogenic. I think I took home more than 10.000 photos of penguins.
After that, I went to Iceland with the Skylum Luminar Camp. It was awesome to have so much photographers come together and have a great time in Iceland. I always love to share my knowledge on photography and Iceland itself with other people and it was a joy to meet so many new friends. Little that I knew, it was going to be the last Phototour of the year.
Shorty after that the first signs of COVID appeared. Not knowing how serious it was I went on another very productive trip to Madeira joined by Daniel Kordan. A ‘holiday’ turned into shooting day and night shooting of the beautiful island. My goal was to photograph the Fanal forest with its famous trees, but I came home with much more than I expected. We also had incredible conditions: clear skies for the milky way, low clouds in between the mountains and just 1 day of fog and rain in the Fanal forest: enough to get the images I wanted.
Directly after that, COVID was getting serious and there were lockdowns everywhere. Luckily, we were still allowed to go outside in the Netherlands. Even though I already had a big portfolio of NL, I think I’ve never shot so many new images in my own country. The circumstances opened up new possibilities:
I was able to shoot the tulips in Amsterdam without any people
I was allowed as one of the only photographers in our famous tulip garden: The Keukenhof to make a photo series of the park without any people,
I shot the Amsterdam Canals perfectly reflecting the houses because of no boats on the canals,
Spent countless of sunrises at windmills with fog
Greatly upgraded my portfolio with new forest images in every season. Also explored many new forest locations.
Upgraded my portfolio with new foggy heather images.
Got into macro and got addicted to photographing mushrooms in autumn.
In summer, we -me and my girlfriend Bermet- were personally hit by the virus. Bermet’s mother based in Kyrgyzstan got sick, and a few weeks later passed away from COVID. She was always healthy but lost against the virus. It was the first wave that hit Kyrgyzstan and many people died because of limited healthcare and doctors not knowing how to treat the virus. It was a huge blow for us and the family. Bermet went to her family with a special flight (normal flights were not allowed) and stayed there a few months. I stayed home, in Amsterdam.
During that time I decided to finish my timelapse film ‘Amsterdam - My Home’ . I was shooting footage for it for more than 2.5 years and decided that staying at home during COVID was a good time to do the edit. I basically locked myself up inside for a few weeks and finished the project.
When travel in Europe was allowed again I went onto an assignment for Visit Austria to photograph the Steiermark Province, also known as the heart of Austria. I was happy to shoot internationally again and came home with some great pictures of the area. I really enjoyed this rather unknown part of Austria: a great combination of beautiful mountains and areas with hills and wine. Also got to spent some time in Switzerland before that with my friend Marco Grassi and made new friends with Swiss local Atilla and his friends that showed us some nice mountains. That was my last real trip and I definitely miss it.
After that I worked 24/7 on my full editing course that I released a couple of months ago. I always received many requests for something like this and I figured this was the time to finally do it. I was, and still am, overwhelmed by the success. So many people joined the course and I received so many nice responses. Thanks so much for that!
All in all 2020 was a crazy year. I am fortunate that I can get infinite energy out of photography. Good or bad times, being outside photographing makes me forget about everything else.
I hope to see some of you again in better times in 2021.
Please enjoy these photos that I all shot this year. Every photo has its own description.
Little penguin family in Antarctica. When I was there there were many baby penguins. They were just too cute.
We saw many humpback whales in Antarctica. We didn’t see sunlight often, but during these short times the sun peaked through the clouds and gave the landscape that orange glow, long with the completely silence: it was magical.
The famous Medieval gate in my town of birth: Amersfoort with a crazy sky. I suddenly found myself here at the right place, right time capturing an image I totally didn’t expect, but really loved.
Finally managed to capture some forest places in the country with the proper amount of fog. Some places were on my list for a long time but I never got the conditions I wanted.