Carl Zeiss Distagon 21 /2.8 retrofocus lens

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... about me ...

self portrait

(self portrait, March 2017, Olympus Pen-EE on Fomapan 100 @ 200 ISO in Ilfotec DD-X)

My name is Bert. I live in The Netherlands (EU) outside a small town in an area called the "Veluwe". It's a very large area with fields, woods, heather, small streams, wild deer and hogs, and flocks of sheep. Close to my home there are still some planes ruled by nature. There is also a small stream called "Hedgehog stream" that originates close by and is needed to transport the rain away. A beautiful area where I like wander around with my camera. 

I became active as a serious amateur photographer in 2001. I tended several courses and classes at the Photo Academy in Amsterdam (Fotogram) between 2001 and 2004. I do shoot with a digital camera (Nikon D850) and use Photoshop, but I prefer to shoot, develop and print the analogue way. I use several analogue cameras from 135 format to medium- and large format. I've also built several (wooden) pinhole cameras myself.

I bought my first camera second hand from a friend in high school when I was 16 years old. It was a Yashica FX-3 wit a 28, 50 and 135 mm lens. About three years later I was given a used Nikon EL-2 with two lenses by my aunt. I still have and use this camera. It was not before 16 years later, that I bought my third camera in 2002: a new Nikon D1x with a beautiful Nikkor 24-85 mm lens, soon to be followed by a new Bronica SQ-B kit (6x6 medium format) and a new Leica M7 with some used lenses. Many other cameras and lenses (new and used) followed after that. 

I like to practize the historical printing processes from before 1900 - like carbon, bromoil, salt, albumen, cyanotype and gum printing. I followed several courses since 2003 to master these old but beautiful techniques as a printer. I'm converting the attic of my garage into a darkroom and working space for these alt-photo techniques. My next project will be experimenting with Calotype paper negatives (as invented bi W.H. Fox Talbot).

(carbon print on aquarel paper, a self portrait @ 47 years old)

I have a slight preference for pinhole photography & cameras. I like panorama, landscape and documentary photography. But I'm also interested in all kinds of hybrid techniques, that can support my analogue photography. Especially when the original equipment or materials are no longer available.

I'm a member of the "National Group for Analogue and Hybrid Photography" (= Landelijke Groep Analoge en Hybride Fotografie). Its goal is to keep the alt-photo and wet dark room processes alive. This group is a workgroup of the National Photo Union (= Fotobond) in The Netherlands.

I'm a member of the "Analog Photography Users Group" (APUG) now renamed into the Photrio Forum. My user name on APUG is: TheToadMen.

I participate in the annual "Worldwide Pinhole Photgraphy Day" (WPPD). This is an annual worldwide event on the last Sunday in April every year. Anybody can join!

I'm a member of a good local foto club: Deventer Foto Kring and a member of the Dutch National Photo Union (= Fotobond).

My favorite camera at this moment? Probably my Nikon F6, my Mamiya C330f (a TLR camera) and my Widelux F7 (a panorama camera).

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Some of my other interests:

First of all my DAF YA-126 fire engine from 1958, that I inherited from my father in 2015. It was used by the Royal Dutch Airforce as a commando truck on the air base until 2000, when my father bought it from the military. He restored the truck completely himself.

My favorite song (in two versions) is Genesis - Carpet Crawlers, either with Peter Gabriel (1975) or with Phil Collins (1976) as lead singer. It's from the album: Genesis - The Lamb lies down on Broadway (live, 1974 - last album with Peter Gabriel).


My favorite book is the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. It's a wonderful series (of more than 3 books)!

And these are two of my favorite beers from a fine, local brewery called "Brouwerij 't IJ" in Amsterdam: "IJwit" on a very warm day - and their dark and stronger "IJbok" during winter.


"Have fun and catch that light beam!"
Bert from Holland

my blog:
my pinhole group on Linkedin:
Click here to send me an email

"... avoiding the common illusion that creative work depends on equipment alone ..." (Ansel Adams in his book "The Camera")

"... I enjoy vintage cameras as “users,” rather than imprisoning them in some display case"

"... It's the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight ...

"... but I just love the good natured mirth you provided ..." (a complement I enjoyed receiving)


(The lens scematics in my logo is a Carl Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8 retrofocus lens)

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