April 20, 2014

New Greetings from Holland

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 9:21 am


In 2009 four organisations decided it was time to reboot Dutch travel postcards, the ones containing cheese, windmills, cows, cheese, wooden shoes, cheese, cheese, tulips and cheese, amongst others. Have I mentioned cheese?

They asked the public to come up with new iconic images of the Netherlands and some 8,000 people responded by sending in photos, often reproducing, referencing or riffing off the same old icons. The resulting postcards were displayed in a travelling exhibition called Nieuwe Groeten Uit… and writer-photographer Hans Aarsman and writer Anna Woltz collected a selection of the cards in an almost-postcard-sized book of the same name.

Hans Aarsman told his publisher Nieuw Amsterdam in the video interview shown here: “You see a lot of family photography. For instance, there is picture of a father and son peeing off a boat together, taken from the back—you just know the mother took that photo. [...] You [to Woltz, ed.] wrote about how people photographed their pets, believing the result to be iconic images of the Netherlands. And the funny thing is sometimes that is true.”

The Nieuwe Groeten Uit… exhibit was organised by the short-lived Nationaal Historisch Museum and by FOAM, ANP Historisch Archief and BankGiro Loterij.

(Source photo: Flickr / Nationaal Historisch Museum)

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April 13, 2014

Photo mag New Dawn features young photographers

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 10:37 am

newdawn-branko-collinAs I swung by the (relatively) new PhotoQ photo book store on Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam last week, the owner handed me a free tabloid paper called New Dawn.

New Dawn focuses exclusively on photography and puts photos and their makers front and centre. It contains announcements of exhibitions, portfolios (often of young photographers), interviews and reviews of photo books. It appears once every two months and is distributed via a large number of venues such as art schools, museums, coffee houses.

If you’re not in the Netherlands you can still follow the New Dawn blog which contains much of the same content (albeit not in tabloid format). You could also contact the publishers and ask them about a paid subscription.

To me magazines about photography are much more interesting than the unfortunately far more common magazines about photo equipment, so I definitely hope New Dawn keeps it up.

The current issue contains photos by Sharieta Berghuis (cover), Sarah Mei Herman (below), Koos Breukel, Iris van Gelder, Paul van Vugt and others.


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March 10, 2014

Giant Red Saunders photo made into picnic bags

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:22 am


As part of the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, the local centre of the arts (UCK) commissioned British photographer Red Saunders to create a large piece depicting the signing of the treaty.

The 200 square metre photo was displayed in front of the city hall, but when it had to come down there was no place large enough to continue to exhibit it. The photo banner was given or sold to Jongkruit, a company whose sole business seems to be to turn festival banners into bags. According to Oranje Flamingo, you can buy one of these for a picnic at the festival on Liberation Day later this year. (It would appear that only some buyers will get a Red Saunders bag.)

The Treaty of Utrecht ended the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 in which a great number of major European powers were involved.

(Photo: Metro Imaging / Red Saunders)

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February 2, 2014

Rob Hornstra documents the poor side of Sochi, Russia

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 3:49 pm


In less than a week your TV set will start displaying the Winter Olympics on most channels and what you will see of the host town (Sochi, Russia) will very likely be a sanitized version.

If you want to see another side of Sochi, you could visit the photo exhibit The Sochi Project by Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra whose photos are provided a with context by Arnold van Bruggen’s texts. The exhibit currently runs in Antwerp, Belgium; Chicago, USA; and Salzburg, Austria. There are also books, websites, posters and so on. In fact, if I can utter a small point of criticism about Hornstra’s and Van Bruggen’s Russian projects, it would be that it is never quite clear what you’ve seen already and what fits where.

Last week I went to the Golden Years photo expo in Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, by the same two artists in which you also get to see photos of The Sochi Project. What struck me the most were the photos of people who proudly posed in their medal-bedecked, Soviet-era uniforms. It wasn’t clear whether they did so out of longing for the old days or because the uniforms were their good clothes or because of reasons I did not fathom, but it seemed a statement regardless. (Shown here is Mikhail Yefremovich Zetunyan, age 88 who lives in a village where 75% of the population was driven out by what I presume were Abkhazian freedom fighters.)

Van Bruggen writes about the impoverished side of Russia: “Here, in the neighbourhoods abandoned by the police, is where the other half live. They are the dark side of the success stories that filled the newspapers after Putin came to power. Maserati dealers in the centre of Moscow do not prove a country’s wealth; look, rather, at its provincial suburbs.”

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January 5, 2014

Colourized X-ray still lifes by Arie van ‘t Riet

Filed under: Art,Photography,Technology by Branko Collin @ 9:38 am

tulips-arie-van-t-rietArie van ‘t Riet is a medical physicist who became an artist by accident.

My Modern Met writes:

One day, his colleague asked him to take an X-ray of one of his art paintings. It was a thin object and van’t Riet had never done something like this before, but as he said, “it worked.” This got him thinking about what other kinds of thin objects he could X-ray and flowers came to mind. He started with a bouquet of tulips. The analog image, or the silver bromide X-ray film, resembled a black and white negative. It was digitized, inverted, and then selectively colorized in Photoshop. “And then some people told me that’s art,” he humorously states, “and I became an artist.”

Many more amazing colourized X-rays can be found at the My Modern Met article linked above and at Van ‘t Riet’s own website.

(Link: Boing Boing)

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January 2, 2014

Documenting migration in the Americas for 40 weeks

Filed under: Film,Online,Photography by Orangemaster @ 12:35 pm

Photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen has won many prizes for his work and is well known for his project Diamond Matters, about the diamond industry. This time, over the course of a year, Lohuizen investigated the roots of migration in the Americas, a time-old phenomenon that is increasingly portrayed as a new threat to the Western world.

Via PanAm engages the audience through a variety of platforms, using both traditional and new media. The stories made on the road are edited into weekly radio broadcasts, biweekly newspaper columns and regular magazine publications. The Via PanAm website and iApp not only provide contextual background info, but also directly connect readers and viewers with the journey’s progress. Day by day, the Americas and their people reveal themselves to the photographer and his followers as photo-stories, video and audio are uploaded on a regular basis.

Via Panam – Kadir Van Lohuizen from Paradox on Vimeo.



December 16, 2013

Marleen Sleeuwits’ photographs redefine office spaces

Filed under: Architecture,Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:57 pm

interior-27-marleen-sleeuwitsAs I was leafing through last year’s talent issue of FOAM magazine, I must have been a little too literal minded because when I saw photos by Marleen Sleeuwits titled Interiors, I originally thought she had found interesting looking office spaces that she’d ‘merely’ photographed.

Then I looked a little closer at Interior #27 (shown here) and realised the brown lines were actually box-sealing tape. It turns out she builds these interiors herself and then photographs them.

Sleeuwits told FOAM Magazine about what initially attracted her to interiors as a photographic subject: “I began work [on a series about airports] after watching a documentary about a businessman who travelled the world for his job. [...] One day he woke up in his hotel and had totally forgotten where he was. Looking out of the window didn’t give him any clues. He had to check his diary to find out. [Airports and suburban spaces] almost seem designed to disorientate.”

And on her website: “They are spaces that lack a connection with the outside world, so it is unclear what their function is, where they are and what time of day they were photographed. [...] Here lies a paradox: the spaces that catch my attention are in some sense non-spaces. Lacking a clear function or any reference to the outside world, they are in the end nothing but spaces.”

Sleeuwits’ agent, the Liefhertje en de Grote Witte Reus gallery in The Hague, will be showing off her work at the Art Rotterdam art fair during the weekend of 6 – 9 February 2014.

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November 24, 2013

Artists photograph grandparents the way grandchildren draw them

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 1:20 pm

Two artists from Eindhoven, photographer Nick Bookelaar and designer Yoni Lefévre, teamed up to create Grey Power, a photo series in which grandparents act out scenes thought up by their grandchildren.

The children made drawings of their grandparents going about their daily activities. Props and outfits from the drawings were then transplanted to real life and used for a photographic portrait of the grandparents. Lefévre explains that modern society considers old people to be sidelined, but “children do not regard their grandparents as grey and withered, but as active human beings who add colour to their lives”.

A Petapixel commenter pointed out that Korean photographer Yendoo Jung had a similar project called Wonderland five years ago, although Jung’s intention seems to be almost the opposite of that of the two Dutch artists. Instead of viewing reality from a different perspective his aim seems to be to recreate fantasy worlds.

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November 4, 2013

Erwin Olaf’s euro coin criticized for cheap typography

Filed under: Photography by Branko Collin @ 2:35 pm

Erwin Olaf is a kick-ass photographer, but does that make him a good coin designer? The Netherlands do have to uphold a reputation in this respect.

When Willem-Alexander became king of the Netherlands the need arose to design new coins. The job was given to Mr Olaf this time around. He seems to have done a respectable job, except for the lettering. Fonts In Use says: “It’s highly questionable whether such a bold wide retro-futuristic letterstyle in mixed case is suited for the medium and the topic—and whether it had to be a font (as distinguished from custom lettering) in the first place.”

The alleged lettering.

Mr Olaf used a free font he found on the web called Days, which is according to a commenter over at Fonts In Use “a display typeface meant for use in large sizes.”

The choice for an off-the-shelf type is also remarkable when contrasted with the fact that the country “today has more type designers per capita than any other country in the world, a remarkable fact considering that there is now not one surviving Dutch type foundry”, typographer Gerard Unger is quoted as saying on Typotheque.

See also:

(Illustrations: Fonts In Use)

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October 31, 2013

Pimp up your camera with Kapsones lens hoods

Filed under: Design,Photography by Orangemaster @ 3:21 pm

Kapsones, the Dutch word for ‘putting on airs’, is a colourful line of custom lens hoods — a bit like covers for your smartphone — recently launched in design-friendly Eindhoven.

“There are four styles to choose from: Baroque (an old fashioned look), Knitted (self explanatory), Stealth (sharp and angled), and Street (looks like a cobblestone road). Each design comes in several colours that you can choose from when ordering.”

Since it is a start-up, the lineup of compatible lenses isn’t very extensive yet: Canon 28-80, 28-90, 18-55 mm IS, and 18-35 mm IS II. The price starts at 20 euro.

Check out their promotional video:

Kapsones from Van Alles Wat Ontwerp on Vimeo.

(Link and image:

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