The Netherlands is the most beautiful country in the world. And yes, I am from the Netherlands. It's not often that people call their homeland the most beautiful in the world. For me, that was no different. I used to see pretty pictures of other beautiful countries around the world and was only seeing what my own country was lacking―beautiful mountains and high skyscrapers. There was nothing spectacular about the Netherlands. And I'm sure many local people will think the same as me back then. But once I got into photography many years ago, that started to change.
Even before getting into photography at a professional level, I began being a tourist in my own country. I started opening my eyes and seeing beauty. Because it's not about what you don't have, it's what you do have. And I discovered that my home country actually has a lot―Dutch nature is a lot more beautiful than I thought. And then there are the beautiful old cities. Not only Amsterdam, but we have dozens of medieval towns that are amazing to see and photograph. But we also have very modern architecture and futuristic cities like Rotterdam. We have beaches as far as the eye can see on the islands up north. We have the most beautiful forests one can imagine. We have, of course, the most amazing flowers (mostly tulips) in the world. And with the right weather and conditions, our foggy mornings are really like being in a fairytale!
As a professional landscape photographer, I have seen a lot of the world. And the more I traveled, the more I started to appreciate my home. Now, I'm always happy to be back and photograph here. I aim to capture the most amazing conditions that many locals rarely see: getting up occasionally at 5, 4, or even 3 AM to capture the morning fog is part of the "work." It's not really working, it's my passion. And the pictures are the reward.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, the Netherlands has a lot of rain also and often has grey, "depressing" weather. All of these photos were made with optimal weather conditions that don't happen too often. What I am trying to say with these series is that any country is beautiful, including YOUR homeland. You just need to look at it differently, and most importantly, find the right weather, light, and conditions to make the most of it.
New green leaves and a carpet of flowers decorate this forest in spring!
I love the old classic Dutch architectural style. This is a cheese factory in a touristic area called Zaanse Schans.
Autumn is my favorite season. All the trees get their different colors and it's just a feast for the eyes. In this photo, you see a swirling bike lane through the forest. You get this extreme perspective through photographing with a very long lens.
My country is known for its beautiful windmills. During foggy mornings they come alive.
These days in winter are rare. This is the countryside completely frozen on a very cold winter day in 2018. All the trees turned white. These 'heather' areas in the Netherlands are beautiful throughout the seasons, but especially in August.
We have many medieval towns. This is Amersfoort, which I find one of the most beautiful towns in the country. I am not at all biased because I was born there.
A famous windmill park Zaanse Schans. In this photo, the windmills are rising from the fog. The thick fog like this only happens rarely.
I managed to capture these 2 horses playing out in the fields during a spectacular sunrise this spring.
Only one period per year the sun rises right next to the line of windmills at the famous heritage Kinderdijk.
I also like to spend time at the coast photographing storms and waves. It's very dynamic.
Our famous tulips! Our growers export them to the whole world. I love the colors, and I love tulips! Did you know you can't grow the same flower in the same field for years in a row? That's why the location of the fields always slightly differs. In this particular year (2019), this field was lined up right with this windmill.
Reitdiephaven, in the north of the country, has a little modern harbor with very interesting colorful architecture.
In summer, Scottish highlanders sometimes roam the fields. They're calm, not dangerous, and beautiful to spectate.
On the waterside of Amsterdam with the setting moon on a calm morning.
The endless fields of tulips are a magical sight.
Once every few years everything freezes. Here's the coastline, which is normally just sea, completely frozen with ice structures and textures. This particular morning, it was about -15°C. Very cold, but beautiful to be out. This photo was taken in a little town called Marken. They have their own lighthouse.
Magic always happens n the Dutch countryside. A rainbow appeared here and I saw these cows standing in the field. I ran up to them from the other side of a little water stream and started waving at them to line them up under the rainbow. You can see them looking at me thinking, "What is this guy doing?"
The Canals of Amsterdam during sunset with spectacular clouds. We call these "Dutch Skies."
Sometimes it all comes together. On this particular morning in 2016, the sky had incredible clouds and colors, with a thin layer of fog on the ground, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a shepherd with her sheep walked into my frame. I took this photo, had a chat with her, and later sent her the photo.
Some of these classically styled houses in the countryside areas have their own little bridge!
And even when the leaves are gone, during foggy days, you get this mystical atmosphere in the forest.
There are our beautiful forests, that look amazing throughout all the seasons. I aim to photograph them in the morning with high humidity. You then get these beautiful rays peeking through the trees. It's like a fairytale.
A very misty morning in the countryside when the moon was setting shows how the area looks in August. Everything looks completely purple. A real fairytale.
Sometimes, when it's really dark, you can see the Milky Way. Granted, the Netherlands is one of the worst countries to see and photograph the Milky Way, but during dark nights with no moon and relatively low pollution, it's still possible. On this particular night, there was a meteor storm happening.
In April, even the capital, Amsterdam, has tulips everywhere through the city! It's called the Tulip Festival.
We have incredible beaches as far as the eye can see. Along with the coast you often find spectacular clouds and sunsets. We have islands up north that are incredible.
We aso have spectacular modern architecture. This is part of the skyline is Rotterdam which has one of the biggest harbors in the world.