I was having trouble keeping my eyes open

I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Perhaps it was the hayfever. Maybe it was because I didn’t sleep too well last night. Nevertheless, my day was filled with many appointments, which felt like hurdles to overcome at the time of my rising in the morning. All I wanted was to sit on my balcony, enjoying the sun.

Little did I know that didn’t happen. Not today.

After I finished work at 1 PM (technically 10 minutes earlier as I couldn’t sit inside any longer), my first appointment was around 3 PM to meet for drinks downtown. A simple ordeal, in theory, but my apparent exhaustion made it seem like a big deal in my head.

I was a fool for thinking that.

The outdoor air, the sunshine, the vibrancy of inner city life, some good company, it brought me back to life. After that wrapped up, I did some grocery shopping and received a text message:

Are you up for drinks after I finish work?

It was now 7:15 PM. How could I now say no?

So I drove over to Van Zanten to meet up again and sat down in the scorching hot afternoon sun. Ready to celebrate this Dutch summer as long as it lasts. Which was until I received another message:

I’m heading to that one bench right outside the city to celebrate this Dutch summer while it lasts, are you coming with?”

This man read my mind, of course I’m in! We quickly ordered a large bowl of nachos and cheese to down before getting up. This would eventually serve as my dinner. Not the dinner I preferred but the one I could last a few more hours on.

That lonely bench, removed from the city, proved itself to be the ultimate closer of a very fine day. A day I did not have in mind when I got up. A day that could only happen because I allowed it to happen. And now it’s over. I’m munching on some olives I had in the fridge while I’m typing this. It’s time for bed.

Or maybe… just one episode of New Girl on the beamer in the bedroom? That also counts as bed right? Sure it does.

The sun! Finally!

The sun! Finally!

As a true Dutchman I wasted no time firing up the ol’ barbecue. After a beautiful afternoon of basking in the much-too-late-in-the-year-first-showing-itself sunlight, I’m now patiently waiting for the coals to heat up to the perfect roasting temperature. I know it’s a Monday but a glass of thirst-quenching (an probably later thirst-inducing) white whine could not be missed. Charlotte whipped up a gorgeous couscous salad. Tonight we feast!

Everyday is a treasure.
Everyday is a treasure.
Everyday is a treasure.

Remember that.

The goal is to go far, not fast

Another ride today. Another quick one. And it’s a good thing I do these! The moment I drove off my chain fell off one of the tiny sprockets on the derailleur. Can you believe that? It never happened to me before.

I was a little confused what happened at first but noticed the culprit soon enough. I guess the combination of sprockets I chose caused it to fail. This probably means there’s too much room inside there but I didn’t have any issues further in the ride. Let’s treat is like an incident for now. The benefit of building up your own bike from scratch is that I now know pretty well how everything should function. Nevertheless, mechanics will do as they please so you have to keep a watchful eye.

Nevertheless, the ride was smooth again and I was feel good. I left the house in just a T-shirt, which felt like a mistake at first but I warmed up after 10 minutes on the bike. I did a little short of 15K in a little over 40 minutes this time. That’s perfectly fine to me. Eventually the goal is to go far, not fast.

I drove off in the wrong direction. On purpose.

I just had to do it, I couldn’t help myself. After a full day of staring at the first day of beautiful weather outside, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t enjoy it a little bit as well. So the moment I set foot outside the door, I drove off. In the wrong direction.

Without a clear plan or destination, I rode by newly restored bicycle through the sunny Dutch landscapes. A landscape I had seen many times before the past few years and grew familiar with. That didn’t appear to be enough for me though because as I was nearing the final crossroad, I paused. I looked right and saw the route I’ve taken many times before. I looked left and wasn’t quite sure where that route would lead me. A quick peek at my maps application taught me that going left had the potential of extending my trip a little.

My legs weren’t even warmed up yet and my head wasn’t even cleared from the day in the office so it’s no secret which option I chose. I snapped a quick photo over my shoulder and set off again.

The ride was smooth, the weather was soft, my endorphins were raging. Finally I’m out there again!

An added benefit from this quick ride was that I could more thoroughly test my bicycle before I take it out on longer rides. Which is just an excuse for saying that I need to test myself. I don’t even know where my bodily limits currently are and need to test the waters a little. I don’t want to be that guy who sets out for a long ride, only to have to take the train back home out of exhaustion.

Today was perfectly fine though. I got a better grasp of what a comfortable speed is for me and how much ground I can cover in what amount of time (12K in 30 minutes, ish). The only reason I broke a sweat is because I underestimated the afternoon warmth caused by the late-May sunshine. I guess that’s what you get when you have to stare at the beautiful weather from behind the glass all day.

As I’m typing this I’m enjoying the refreshment of a cold beer and feel the hunger creeping up on me. Time for dinner.

A quick ramble about a bunch of things

Yesterday was a pretty well thought out Monologue from my side. Accompanied by the third issue of Dialogue. It was a busy day. Today I feel like rambling a little and share some random thoughts. Here it goes.

I updated the fonts on the website (Lora and Open Sans). I sorta had to do that, as I want to keep a consistency between my online and my offline work. I plan on making the next few offline works through Blurb, which limits my options for the fonts I can use. Not all fonts work with their eBook conversions and I do want to make eBooks from my normal books as well. Which basically means it’s no longer offline work but I digress. I told you this would be a rambling right?

To elaborate a little more on my next offline work; I’m thinking about making something called Viewfinder magazine. I’m not sure if I talked about that before on here. Anyway, I’ve been shooting a bunch of random photos as I’m searching for interesting subject matter and I’ll probably keep doing that in the future. I decided to group those together under the name ‘Viewfinder’, which I think is pretty clever wordplay. Anyway (that’s twice now), I thought it’d be fun to make a small, very cheaply produced, magazine out of those photographs and give that away for free. You know, as a little marketing tool. Seems kinda fun, right?

Finally, I’m definitely making a book out of these Monologues. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that idea before on here. I mean, it’s the only writing I do that has some actual body to it when you add it all up. It’s all a bunch of nonsense sure, so if you’re reading this next year in the print version of the book: sorry, it probably doesn’t get any better! Being perfectly honest, I just want to make a book that has many pages. That way I can pretend to do many things and seem very important. But only when you judge that book by its cover. If you open it up and read the actual contents, you’ll find out soon this is all a bunch of rambling.

Talk to you tomorrow!

The point is to alienate as much people as possible

I feel kinda bad when people unfollow me online or tell me in real life they aren’t really into my stuff (though I prefer the second one). I know I shouldn’t care but sometimes I can’t help myself.

I work so hard on the things I put out and I truly believe in them. I do not think my work is the greatest (yet) but I do think my perspectives are at least worth checking out. Wether that’s written perspectives on a myriad of things (like this Monologue) or literal perspectives on the world that I capture with my camera (most people call this photography). I’m not entitled to anybody’s attention so when I don’t get it, that’s fine.

It’s when people actively decide they are no longer interested in what I do and leave me, it hurts a little. It’s a part of who I am to immediately question my actions and if I perhaps did something wrong to alienate that person. Perhaps it was something that I didn’t do that caused them to be bored. I will never know. These things are feeding my insecurity and might cause me to give up altogether.

I’m sending out the third issue of Dialogue tonight and I always feel so vulnerable when I do these things. I hear the voices in my head going: “Why do you ask for attention like this? Why should people read your emails? Why do you pretent like you matter to them? Your work is bland and corny, this is exactly how you lose interest from these people forever.”.

Despite those doubts and reservations, I choose to move forward with these things anyway. If I don’t allow myself to experiment and stumble, how can I grow? That’s why I know that even when my work isn’t the greatest, at least my efforts are definitely up there. Being honest throughout the process is scary, but at least I’m doing things that I enjoy. Things that I find important. Sharing a message that I believe is worth sharing.

Perhaps it’s actually the point to alienate people in that process. If I keep on pushing my capabilities, my vision and my output, it has to change. Hopefully for the better. This also means I can’t continue pleasing everybody that can be roughly regarded as my audience.1 I have to lose people along the way or otherwise my work probably isn’t sufficiently evolving.

In my eyes things can go either two ways: I keep all the members of my initial audience and remain stagnant in my work, I’m plateauing, or I push through and lose a few people along the way, only to gain more eyes for work that’s growing to be more interesting and meaningful everyday.

Which one it will be we will find out in the coming years.

  1. I don’t really have an audience audience but there are some people aware of what I do and even an audience of two counts, in my opinion. ↩︎

An office

An office. A proud tenant of one I am now! I’m sharing it with other people, sure. But that’s one of the features. An environment that breathes inspiration and creativity. A place to share ideas and get work done. A place to hang out.

This evening marked the initiation of a new era. Keys were exchanged. New doors were opened. Dimensions have been measured. All that remains to be done is filling these barren spaces with personality. Very soon. But tonight, I sleep a happy man.

The last day of a vacation

The last day of a vacation, what do you spend it on? What can you use it for? Pick out new pillows for the couch? Edit all the photos you’ve taken during the week? Update the photography archive you’re maintaining? Go for a quick ride on your new bike? Run a few errands so you won’t have to bother anymore when other duties are calling again? Write a wall of text structured in questions? All the above?

Battle of the Fuji files

Answering the question I posed two days ago: is a Fujifilm JPEG image good enough to fulfill my needs?

Yes, it just might be.

I shot a bunch of photos in different conditions the past two days in RAW+JPEG Fine.1 I then imported them into Lightroom treating the JPEGs as separate photos next to the RAWs.2

Editing the RAW to my liking first and then comparing it to my SOOC JPEG, the JPEG might benefit from some light editing to create that pop you want in a photo. After that quick edit though, I might even prefer the look of the JPEG. After that I tried editing a JPEG first and applying the edits to the RAW. Even that worked fine. Guess what, I still preferred the look of the edited JPEG.

What is happening? Have I been doing it wrong all this time?

To support my point, here is the same shot three times. JPEG with basic edits, a JPEG with basic edits + exposure adjustments and a RAW with editing to my liking. Which basically is the same editing as the JPEG with basic edits + exposure adjustments. Oh, and they’re not in that order. Or maybe they are. Will you be able to tell which is which?

  1. You can do both at the same time, creating two separate files each time you press the shutter. ↩︎

  2. It’s a setting you can turn on, it won’t do that automatically. ↩︎

Here I go again, Fujifilm JPEGs

Here I go again. Trying the JPEG thing, again. Will it be be good enough for me? Will it satisfy my needs? Is the benefit of not having to edit my images worth the trade-off of having no control afterwards? Am I good enough at photography yet…?

The day revolved around a citytrip to Rotterdam and I know by now that I never produce my greatest work on these trips. That’s fine because not everything revolves around photography but that also means I don’t want to sit down to edit these photos for hours afterwards. So, Fujifilm JPEGS; will they fulfill my needs?

To answer that question I need to ask myself: what are my needs? For these kind of trips, it’s not making photoprint-worthy shots. It’s not building out a long-term project. It’s not standing on the same corner for half an hour to wait for the shot to happen. It’s simply to document the day. The moment as we lived it.

That also means that a JPEG might just do a good enough job. It also allows me to mis a shot every now and then. There’s no pressure. It should be fine.

An already noticeable big benefit is that I can export a quick flick straight from the camera to my phone on the train ride home. Perhaps that alone makes it already worth it. One day, some day, I’ll be good enough with this camera, have a good enough eye, to shoot en perfect frame in-camera. Until then, this shot below is the best I can do.

I caught the rain today

I caught the rain today, in multiple ways. The first, and arguably less significant, was on my head. As me and Charlotte were walking to our lunch reservations. We brought umbrellas though, so it was rather blissful. I love the rain when we’re safe from it.

The second way I caught the rain today was with my camera. Thats not much of a surprise at this point, isn’t it? It was pouring down significantly enough for me to remind myself to grab another installment of ‘Do You Register?’.1 I had to rush down to the storage room on the ground floor to grab my tripod but I managed to catch the tail end of the torrential downpour.

I’ll edit it into a nice video sometime next week. I’m still trying to not touch my computer. So far I’m succeeding.

  1. I’m still not 100% satisfied with that name but I’m rolling with it until I come up with something better. ↩︎

Tiny glimpses into the present

Tiny glimpses into the present. Frozen in time, with all its imperfection. Beautiful in its ugliness because of its transience. A window into days long gone. Some day, but not this day.

Today it’s exactly what happens. Exactly how it looks. Exactly how I saw it, recorded it. A pictures needs no words, we all know that. It tells a story that’s only as long as you look at it. However long that may be. Look at it for a second and see a sentence. Look at it for an hour and a book slowely unfolds.

And looking I did. At these tiny fleeting moments.

A black and chrome monster


The first day of my week off, the final parts for my bike rebuilt are delivered. Perfect timing! I missed rolling around town on that butter smooth ride. It is time to pick that stuff back up ASAP. I wasted not another minute and got to building right away.

A solid five hours and countless YouTube tutorials later, I reemerged victorious. My bike arose from the winter sleep that didn’t seem to end. Once stripped to the tiniest parts (and I mean tiniest!), now fully assembled, improved in every aspect and ready to be the vessel of my adventures.

A beautiful black and chrome monster.1

  1. With a brown saddlebag but I’ll fix that eventually! ↩︎

The moment I stepped out the front door it started pouring down

The moment I stepped out the front door it started pouring down. I could’ve looked at the forecast but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. I want to go out and shoot some photos either right now or I won’t go at all.

I also needed to do some grocery shopping.

Taking photos usually means taking a walk as well and in this rain, it’s a good thing I did. Riding my bike would’ve meant hitting more drops and therefore more wet clothes. For now, all I needed to be careful with was my camera. The weather resistance will protects its internals but a wet lens still messes up your shots.

The walk to the grocery store in the apocalyptic rain was fine. The grocery store wasn’t too bad. The walk back was dry. Did anything else happen? Not really. But that’s fine. At least I went out to shoot some photos.

Life on the fifth floor

Life on the fifth floor. It detaches you from the hustle and bustle of the streets. You’re more in tune with the birds in the sky then pedestrians on the sidewalk. The sound of a playing child might travel to your elevation, though never at the level of disturbance. A detachment that will prove itself to be a blessing soon.

The wind. The sun. Both ever-prevalent. Its abundance more felt due to the lack of shelter. Most surrounding buildings are only visible by their roofs. The sensations of the elements are intense. The howling wind around the building. The relentless burning sun on the south-facing balcony. The good and the bad. Though the bad is also good, as the raw forces are a magic to behold.

Impeccable, is what the vista is. The panoramic view of a city you grew up in. A sense of presence must be felt, when looking at the city’s landmarks sticking out from the skyline. You’ll never get tired of looking out the window. Time passes below but here, everything moves a little more slow. A little more peaceful.

That’s life on the fifth floor.

What’s that there in the middle, a seed?

My ‘About the photo’ series has been somewhat long-winded so far but this one will be rather short in comparison. The reason for that is, I was kinda surprised when I received a push notification from my auto-publishing app. I totally forgot the post was scheduled to go out. I caught it a mere 9 minutes after it published and at that time, I could do two things:

  • Retract the post and pretend nothing happened.
  • Quickly write a story with my purest, most immediate, thoughts behind the photo.

I chose the second option.

Have you seen an ado? Not me:

What’s that there in the middle, a seed? A flower, a cabbage?? No, it’s something else. I know those things around it are flowers. Pretty ones as well. Cute little spots of color, just sprinkled over the world.

Some stretched out things as well. I’m not sure what those are. They sure have a very nice shade of pinkish red though. As a matter of fact, all the colors are such a gorgeous cohesive bundle of visual joy. It doesn’t even matter what that thing in the middle is.

Though, the more I’m looking at it, that’s definitely something that could’ve been a flower. Well, in any occasion, it’s a pleasing vignette of how pretty nature can be. What’s more to say, really.

Want a 🍪? Nothing to see here, please continue.