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Ready for take-off

Posted 1 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

It`s the first of September. As it had been planned for the last couple of months, today is my first day at work. Or: at the café on the corner, because I do not have internet at home yet, and there is no official office so far.

So what am I going to do after one year of travelling around Europe? It`s one of the questions I got faced with almost as often as `which country did you like best? `..

I`m going to work as an investment consultant, scouting small companies with smart ideas . The purpose of the operation is to help them grow quicker by providing them with money. Not mine, because I haven`t got lots left.. It`s money saved up by investment funds - owned by people who want to invest money rather than save it. My job will consist of making sure that the investments yield (much) higher results than the interest rates on a regular savings account.

Of course, I also created a new website associated with this new activity: read more about it at

(© Frankfurt am Main - DE, July 2008)
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All individuals

Posted 3 September 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

Hello from Barcelona where the streets are full of people and the summer sun still shining. I notice that I should rename my blog to, which is too much hassle. Instead, I recommend you to subscribe to my postings by RSS, which will tell you about every time there is a new post. The service is still quite basic now, but I will expand it in the near future. Regardless, using RSS will probably save you some visits-in-vain, in case I miss out on some days and upload them all at once afterwards. If you need any help for installing this RSS or using it, just let me know (all contact info).

About today's photo: I think it nicely and strangely illustrates how people are all individuals, have their own reasons to be at a certain place at a certain time, their own view of what they refer to as reality and their own interpretation of what happens around them. That in itself is quite a fascinating phenomon, that I will get back to in upcoming posts.

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Friends with Barcelona

Posted 4 September 2008 - Barcelona (NL):

Up until now, I have never particularly liked Barcelona. I don`t like the colour of Mediterranean light, I don`t like the smell of bad water, I don`t like heat and I don`t like photos with dark, black shades. Which mostly represents what I have been associating Barcelona with until this trip.

However, it looks like I will be here much more often during the months to come. I might as well be friends with Barcelona and try a bit harder to see its many positive sides. I found three describable ones so far: 1) there`s lots of music in the streets, 2) there are many nice restaurants, 3) the streets are always crowded but in a sort of elegant way. Most streets are actually quite calm compared to the number of passers-by they accommodatum (see photo).

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Centre of attention

Posted 5 September 2008 - Barcelona (ES):

A taxi stand in Barcelona. Same story as a few days ago. Just wondering what the people in the photo are spending their attention on.

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Air vs. rails

Posted 6 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Frequent readers of this blog know that I often get upset about the poor promotion of international train travelling, the poor connections, poor information, and severe overpricing. A new initiative of the European Parliament will hopefully bring some relief: they are going to encourage airline companies to start offering train tickets on their websites.

Good news: no need to compare 25 options for both ways of travelling. Bad news: it`s not a sustainable company`s initiative, which probably means that the success rate will depend on the amount of subsidies Europe is willing to provide to support their ideals.

That being said, it`s actually surprising that airline companies have not discovered any potential in cross-promoting earlier. KLM-Air France, for example, participates in the Thalys high-speed train consortium but they so far haven`t done anything to make the two services complimentary in any way. Or cross-promote it or whatever. Even though there is a direct(!) high speed train connection between Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

For now, The Hague-Barcelona is still a bit too far for trains to make a good alternative, but almost the entire stretch will soon be upgraded to high-speed track soon. That will make a nice excuse to pay a visit Paris and Lyon on the way!

(© Barcelona - ES, September 2008)
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Grass fireworks

Posted 7 September 2008 - Den Bosch (NL):

Reporting from The Netherlands again.. Visited Leiden and Den Bosch this weekend. The Den Bosch meeting was the almost-annual meeting of a group of four former colleagues from the time I was working for a Taiwanese photo printer manufacturer. Fun to see them again and to reproduce another set of back-then stories.

Next week will be another NL-week, with Groningen and Utrecht on the agenda. The rest is regular stuff: Monday evening football.

Below photo is from Den Bosch. I haven`t decided yet how much I do or do not like it.

(© Den Bosch - NL, September 2008)
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Mobile office

Posted 9 September 2008 - Utrecht (NL):

Not having an office (yet) is not as bas as it seems. It actually gives quite some freedom! Last week in Barcelona, most of my `work locations` were actually hotel lobbies, and in The Hague it`s still the café around the corner. But it can just as well be Utrecht (photo). Or anywhere that has internet and mobile phone reception. I`ll enjoy it as long as it lasts!

(© Utrecht - NL, September 2008)
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Posted 13 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

People who know me are familiar with my unorthodox ways of thinking, most particularly: the way I associate things with other things and how many of those associations I make without any necessity to do so. Thinking ahead about distantly related and most of all hypothetical situations, all of which sometimes make me forget that there`s also such thing as `now` which requires attention.

This introduction serves to introduce below photo. When I took it, I thought of a the time I met a German girl with an e-mail nick name Buchensuchen, which translates into searching (for) books. Below photo made me think of dropping her a line after I last spoke to her maybe 4 years ago. In Poland that was, as she was a classmate of my friend Bas.

So, what`s new? I apologise for not posting more updatums over the last couple of days are plentisome. Working full-time again somehow makes a lot of new ideas explode. That in itself is a positive thing, but it does cause me to have a hard time concentrating on photography. But now it`s weekend so the focus is back on writing and photo stuff. Working on that `as we speak` and I`ll try to be sufficiently productive to have some posting material for all of next week. Fingers crossed...

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Life thru a lens

Posted 14 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Lomography is a suitable example of how inferior product design can create a huge wave of succes. Lomography that intentionally uses poor-quality cameras. None of that was the intention of the original manufacturers of the Lomo brand, but cult groups embraced the concept of taking photos without having to care about anything. I am not really good at taking photos like that, but when I shot the image below (not digitally edited), it made me think of the whole Lomography-madness.

Lomography has millions of fans across the globe. Read more about it on Wikipedia or on the website of the Lomographic Society International.

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Portrait of Keetje

Posted 15 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Open day in the theatre nextdoor. That building used to be an indoor swimming pool. Actually, the one in which I passed my first swimming diploma on 4 October 1987. Passing swimming diplomas is quite a common thing for Dutch children to do: either through school or on the initiative of the parents. We never know when the dikes will break :)

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Walking into people

Posted 16 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

The good thing about being a photographer and having a blog is that I can usually refresh my memory without too much hassle. Since I am not taking many new photos these days, I have to resort to old stuff. I realise that I did lots of crazy yet very small projects. Photographing Dutchies in May 2007, taking one photo for each full hour of the day, or this one: walking through downtown Amsterdam with my camera and taking photos of everybody who got in sight. Interesting and surprising reactions that gives. I should do it once again, but on a slighly sunnier day so that it won't come out as blurred as this one.

(© Amsterdam - NL)
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Posted 17 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

I am not aware of the existence of the word `metathinking`, but if it didn`t exist before, it definitely does as of now. I spend quite a lot of time on it, thinking about how thinking works, which I will from now on call metathinking because otherwise I wouldn`t have had to invent that word.

So here`s the thing I`m wondering about. Oftentimes when I sleep, I dream of talking to people. Unknowns, friends, just anyone who pops up. Nothing strange so far. At a second thought: how can I talk to somebody while I am the one making the other person say something? It`s like playing chess against oneself. You can`t win, you can`t loose. I`m puzzled about how I can dream of talking to somebody while I actually make up the whole dialog.

Worst thing of all: the things people tell me in my dream oftentimes surprise me. Which is even weirder, given the fact that I made them up. Anybody who can shed a light on this?

(© The Hague - NL, February 2003)
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Opel Corsa back seat

Posted 18 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Once upon a time, I had a car. Already back then, I kept saying how outdatumd the car concept is, because I really think it is. I now don`t have a car anymore and I`m perfectly fine, even for getting places.

Browsing through old photos, I came across this photo of my grandfather on lying the back seat(s) of my car. My grandmother was sitting in front and there was no place for him to sit. Don`t know why I`m telling all this but the photo still makes me smile.

(© The Hague - NL, May 2007)
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Lost in metathoughts

Posted 19 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

I was planning to use this photo for the article about `metathinking` but was metathinking so hard that I got messed up.

The photo shows a girl I don`t know talking to another girl I do know and who should now be living in Leeds but I haven`t spoken to here since the moment she should have moved out of Brussels, if that moment has already passed at all. What to metathink of that?

(© Sighisoara - RO, August 2002)
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Lazy posting habits

Posted 20 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Over the past few weeks, I have tried to defend my lazy posting habits by saying that I have been busy doing other stuff. I confirm that rumour. So what have I been working on? Uhm, lots of stuff. Researching the internet for valuable business ideas, meeting some people here and there, having two Argentinians over, writing articles that I will hopefully soon appear online so I can post links towards them and prove that I didn`t spend all my time hanging around at home, at friends` places or in cafés.

Another thing I now finally sorted out is how to create that freaking photo exhibition that will hopefully take place in Luxembourg before the end of the year. Below photo shows the basic set-up. Today, I bought a small tablet thing with a pen, so that I can write on the image and make it final. The basic idea remains: I want to assemble one exhibition that can travel all around Europe without me having to do anything. Will soon know how that ambition does or does not get fulfilled..

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Twin sisters

Posted 21 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Here`s a portrait of two twin sisters who work in the bar where I currently spend most of my working time. Amazing how similar they look.

Which reminds me of how annoyed I can sometimes get about the existence of Photoshop. Once upon a time, if some amazing photograph had been taken, people would wonder about how the photographed event could ever have happened. Nowadays, people presume that just about everything is fake, tricked or at least edited. That`s quite a pity. There`s still plenty of people, phenomena and things out there that are sufficiently amazing by themselves.

But ironically, I wouldn`t have been able to convert this photo into sepia tones without using any photo editing software.

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Lots happening

Posted 27 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Visitors to DailyPhoto may wonder whether I am still taking photos. I am. Actually, one of the reasons for not posting anything is because I spent all my spare time doing photo projects in commission. And that`s not all. My concepts for a photo exhibition and an range of articles have been approved, so there`s lots of work to be done. From conception to realisation...

Below photo is a fragment of one of last week`s photos, featuring my good old Olympus OM1 camera. I will soon post the end result of this photo session and tell where you may soon be able to find it in print.

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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Decisive moments

Posted 28 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Taking photos encompasses an entire set of reflections, considerations and choices. If I take a couple of (portrait) photos in a row, I usually instantly know which one of them is the right one. In much the same way, I link many photos to people of whom I am sure that they will like the photograph. In this case, that`s Jean, who likes trees growing into and through each other. The photos quite old though, I stumbled upon it when searching through an external hard drive with archive photos.

(© Honolulu - US, January 2006)
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About photography

Posted 29 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

I just spent a very nice and active weekend with lots of stuff going on. Yesterday, I went to the Breda Photo festival with Sanne. On the way to the first open studio, we came across these friendly people who were excited to give us a short impression of their opinion on the festival, tell us about their own artistic activities and the Lomo cameras they used in the process.

Me personally, I liked Martin Parr`s series about decadent tourists, but I especially enjoyed watching Stephan van Fleteren`s series `Flandrien` about cycling contests in Belgium. Great photography, just like all other stuff on Van Fleteren`s website!

(© Breda - NL, September 2008)
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Screenshots, shapes and letters

Posted 30 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

I already described last week as quite hectic for the many photos I took. Here`s another sample: a couple of thumbnails I uploaded to a website so the customer could easily download it by saving the complete page. This screen shot already gives a nice representation of what last Friday evening was like. For information: it`s an open day at a printing studio.

As a nice coincidence, I re-met one of the speakers of the evening just two days later at the Breda Photo Festival. The person in question, David Quay, is a font designer, originally from the UK but he has been living in NL for the last couple of years. We might meet up again in the future to discuss the fun of shapes and letters.

(© The Hague - NL, September 2008)
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