Books and photos, photos and books

The Rangefinderforum book finally came to life last March, and a fine book it has become. I'm really very proud of this book, and even prouder that the first two photos in the book are mine. :) The book is for sale at RFF Forum's shop at Lulu.com. Of course, I recommend this book. It is a marvelous book that saw the light of day through a rather special project among rather special people, the members of the wonderful Rangefinderforum.

Rangefinder Photography: 25 Photographers -- One Passion

Ten of my photos of Mongolia have also been published in the Mongolian literary and cultural magazine GUNU, of which I'm of course also very proud.

Gunu magazine - ISBN 99929-73-67-6

I enjoyed a bit of luck with this publication; my brother-in-law, Mend-Ooyo Gombojav, is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. He is an outstanding poet and works actively to promote Mongolian poetry, literature and other cultural expressions in Mongolia itself and abroad. The magazine is published in support of the 26th World Congress of Poets that will be held in Mongolia in 2006. Coincedently is 2006 also a commerative year: 800 years of Mongolian Empire and the 860th birthday of the man of the Millenium, Chinggis Khaan.

If you feel like coming to Mongolia in 2006, drop me a line and I'll see what I can arrange for you.

I'm busy creating a book or two of my own. The first book, which is nearing completion, contains photos of my family-in-law. The photos were taken during the Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian Buddhist New Year) celebrations last February. The two weeks I spent there were also the last weeks for Sumiya and Nomin in Mongolia. The only proper way I could think of to thank her family for the "wedding" and departure gifts they so generously lavished upon us, and all the good care and friendship they've shown me, is this book I'm putting together. It should be ready before coming summer.

A future book will contain my view on the lifes and times of the people living in the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar. These districts are the sprawling suburbs of Ulaanbaatar and are rapidly changing. The photos in this book are the first selection of an ongoing photo project to record the ger districts for posterity.

Both of these books will become available through RML's Bookshop at Lulu.com.


Yesterday was my birthday... 35 years old I became.

What can I say. I'm not sad, I'm not happy. Actually, I don't feel much about it.

My nephew, Timo, also celebrates his B-day on May 5, so we went over to my sister's in Lelystad. B-day parties are usually only a little fun, especially when the B-day boy is only 4 years old and couldn't care less whether his uncle is B-day'ing as well. :)

Nomin was enjoying herself, playing in the garden with the other children. But Sumiya and I went out for a walk to the Noordersluis as we had nothing to do but sit and drink. We took a nice, long walk together along the waterfront. Sumiya saw, for the first time, how a sluis works and was amazed by the thought that the Dutch really created Holland from water and mud, and that we were walking where less than 75 years ago fishermen were sailing there fishing boats.

One day I'll have to take her to the province of Zeeland, so she can see the stormvloedkering and other Deltaworks that were erected there in response to the disasterous flood of 1953. And I'll have to show here the history of the province of Flevoland and the birth of the IJsselmeer.

Check out www.deltawerken.com for more information on the Deltaworks of Holland, or go to dronten.flevoland.to/geschiedenis for a history of Flevoland and the IJsselmeer. The Golden Age, windmills and tulips are important subjects from our nation's long and eventful history but if you want to get to grips with what makes Holland in the 21st century, you'll have to find out about out struggle with the water over the past 100 years.

R-D1, and some other cameras.

I've ordered an R-D1!

Instead of paying 3000 euro here in amsterdam I'll be paying less than 2200 euro, which includes shipping from Hong Kong, two extra batteries and a health check of the camera before it gets send. Dr Joseph Yao has been regarded a most excellent dealer and I'm confident I'll get a camera to be proud of.

Payment to HK is a bit of a trouble, though. I have to transfer the money from bank to bank, which shouldn't be that much trouble considering that these payments go via SWIFT but my one bank takes 4(!) working days to print a transfer slip. So, I've transferred the money from one bank account to another and tonight I'll make the payment. But then it still takes 8(!) days for the money to arrive into Dr Yao's account.

I hope I'll receive the R-D1 before the family reunion in Belgium at the end of May....

April 30 is Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) in Holland. Amsterdam is overrun by visitors, who all come to see the free market that's set up in large parts of the city centre and Amsterdam Zuid. This was the first time Sumiya and Nomin were able to experience this festival and both enjoyed it very much. We bought a dozen or so books for Nomin, so she can practise reading Dutch. Then there was a giant (OK, 50cm tall) Eeyorethat just had to come home with us, and for 5 euro it was too good to leave behind. We got a few other bits and pieces but my nicest (for me, that is) was the Canonet 28 that I found for just 3 euro. The light seals are shot and the electronics are not working
but replacements for the seals are already under way from Jon Goodman, over on Rangefinderforum and the battery might be the cause of the electronics failure. I'll just have to find a new battery and follow some of the good advice I got on Rangefinderforum about the Canonet 28. Some day the camera will work again....

Finally another update...!

I've been pretty busy lately, so I didn't have much time to attend to the blog. But the things that kept me busy are worth every second and I'm not complaining. I've had plenty of photo opportunities in the past months, and quite some of the shots have been taken with the 300D. Yeah, I know I said it's a monster, and I still feel that way, but it's not a bad camera at all. It's just a bit big and the controls too fiddly for my taste.

In the meantime I've also come to like my M2, another change of mind. Before, I liked the camera's handling but couldn't get over the lack of a light meter. And handling a handheld light meter at -25 degrees Celsius isn't really my idea of a good time. So I took the camera to Mongolia but left it at home most of the time, prefering to take the Bessa R, the CL or the 300D.

What changed my mind is that I found out I already a Leica MC light meter lying about! It used to be my dad's, who had given it to me a while back because I needed a small light meter for my FEDs and Zorkis. I never used it much, and after I had given up using the Russians I forgot about the MC. Now that I've found it again and stuck it on the M2, I'm enjoying this camera more and more. And... the Japanesque Gold cover (bought from Aki-Asahi) draws some attention. It's "in" to be bling, it seems (what do I know about modern youth culture), and the M2 must be bling enough. :)

I've (semi-) permanently stuck the Jupiter 12 on the M2 and it's been working a treat! The wide 35mm view is a bit more than I'm used to with the wonderful Jupiter 8 for a "normal" lens. However, my experiences with the Voigtlander 25/4, which I don't use as my regular "normal" lens though I often use it on the CL for hip shots or in the confines of the Mongolian gers, have prepared me for a wide FoV and given me plenty of practise to use this wide FoV appropriately and effectively.