People in their natural environment I have met during my travels throughout the world.
Inspiring landscapes, nature and wildlife I have experienced while I have been exploring the world.
A market vendor at the market in the holy city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is such an incredible holy city. Three religions living so closely together. I have never experienced anything like this before.
China is a country of extremes. Especially nowadays. Countryside can’t be compared to the big cities. Dutch photographer Ruben Terlou made an excellent photographic documentary about China touching on some environmental, political, demographic and cultural challenges this county faces nowadays. It describes perfectly the duality that takes place in China. Perhaps it is this duality that makes China so attractive. Next to the skyscrapers and massive development, it is still pure, friendly and authentic. Together with other photographers I visited Guilin and Yangshuo in the province of Guangxi in the south of China. Famous for the Karst Hills and beautiful landscapes. Here I was fortunate to capture Cormorant Fishermen as well. I am very proud of this photograph that was selected as Photo of the Day on National Geographic.
‘‘On an autumn evening in Guilin, China, two fishermen and their trained cormorants rest on their rafts. Cormorant fishing is a Chinese tradition that goes back more than 1,000 years. The fishermen tie small snares around the cormorants' necks. The bird leaves its post, catches a fish in its beak but can't swallow it, and then returns to the boat, where the fisherman retrieves the catch.’’
I was a bit sceptical to visit India after hearing all those stories about people getting sick, the poverty and dirt. However, after reading the book Shantaram my mind changed. Shantaram describes life in India so intense and detailed that I wanted to experience all of it by myself. India is intense - at first it was difficult and a little overwhelming but after a while I fell in love with every aspect of this amazing country. These are a lot of moments that made me love India, moments that you can never truly experience by looking at photographs, reading an book or even watching a movie. It’s the little things that count, that create the journey and for that you have to go there to experience by yourself. It’s the little everyday things, everyday sights, sounds and smells that leave a lasting impression.
There are animals everywhere, holy cows, skittish goats, friendly dogs, mischievous monkeys, pigs and wild boars and even the odd elephant and camel all freely roam India’s crazy, chaotic and captivating streets.
The colours and glitters of the elegant saris are amazing. Everything in India is decorated, even the trucks, in a unique Indian joyful way.
Life is lived in the open, on the streets. It is uncensored but it’s real and it makes me feel so alive!
There is a surprise around every corner and every day is a new adventure. It’s raw, it’s pure, it’s real and chaotically beautiful.
India is so diverse, everywhere is different it feels like many countries all in one. Desert in the north, tropical forest in the south and so much more in between.
Everyone is friendly, kind and hospitable. You will never feel lonely in India and the people are one of the biggest reasons I love India.
God is everywhere! The colour, variety, stories, devotion and tolerance in India’s kaleidoscope of religions is intoxicating. There is a god in India for every inclination and a festival for every occasion.
Life is lived more fluidly here, it may seem chaotic at first but there is a great system in all the madness.
Varanasi is the most incredible place I have ever visited in my life. It is considered as one of the oldest cities in the world. Every evening there are traditional rituals on the promenade followed by singing, performances, fire and lights. Imagine you step back 2000 years in time. Public cremations take place 24/7 at the various ghats. Life and death is so close to each other like you have never experienced before.
I had the luck to be invited to a traditional function ceremony where an Indian boy got traditionally baptised in rural India including all traditional ceremonies that take place. It is an unforgettable and life changing experience. The women wearing the colourful sari’s come back to the village from this traditional ceremony just before celebrations start with thousands of people.
Colour portraits of people that crossed my path in my life and I had a special connection with.
The Volendam New Year's fire was a café fire in the Dutch town of Volendam in the 2000–2001 New Year's night. The fire began early on New Year's Day 2001 and caused the death of 14 young people. There were in all 241 people admitted to hospital, 200 of whom suffered serious burns.
I had the honour to photograph 4 amazing women, 16 years after the fire. This project is called ‘life force’ and represents the strength, positivism and persistence these 4 beautiful women stand for.
Black and white portraits of interesting people that crossed my path in my life and that inspired me to make a photo of them.