Today, we like to put Senior Critic in the spotlights.
Theo excels in architectural and abstract photography. He has and excellent eye for strong compositions. He loves to play with lines and shapes. His creative mind results in outstanding photographs. Read more about the man behind his images.
Can you briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I am 78 year and was born In Rotterdam. I lived in the neighbourhood of the Feyenoord stadium, that made me a fan forever. I follow them now only on TV. I did a study Werktuigbouwkunde and after that there was the compulsory military service of 21 months, where I had as a sergeant my first responsibility for people. After this period I worked as an engineer in the heavy machinery, industrial centrifuges diameter 2 m. for the starch industry and later on washing machines with 180 kg washes. After twelve years in this job TNO (Toegepast wetenschappelijk onderzoek) asked me as group head for a design group. There the range was from very small till large products but they wanted my construction experience. That was in a time that design was for many factories of secondary importance. We started with one design adviser for our group. Soon after that, TU-Delft (Technical University in Delft) started an IO-course (Industrieel Ontwerpen/Industrial Design).
I started my group with 3 men and ended up with 7. My group and our department became engineers for design, construction and strength calculations even with "infinity calculations". Later we qualified for ISO 9001 and I also had the function of Quality coordinator.
I have been married for more than 52 years and have two daughters, two fantastic sons in law and four grandchildren. We have a very close-knit family and I am very happy with it. My oldest grandson is 22 and since he is born we go every year in autumn for a week on a family vacation.
My hobbies are of course photography; I like football on TV, for 35 years we walked in the mountains, mostly in Austria. We chose mountain villages about 1200-1300 m and walked then till about 3000m. And in my youth I did handball and swimming.
How has your history and life experience affected your photography.
It has affected it in two totally different ways.
My first period of photography I will call " the analogue registration photography". In my youth I had an Agfa Clack box and after my study I bought a Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SLR camera but also a Werra camera for my slides. Why registration? Because I made images of my children, holiday-landscapes and macro and so on. I learned the technique, had a dark room and made B&W images, slides, 8 mm film and video.
My second period is the digital period. My first camera was a Canon G1 with Photo Elements 00. I learned to use this all but there were many more possibilities than in the analogue period. In this time composition and special projects had my attention. Mostly landscape, macro, animals etc.
What are the most important experiences that has influence your art.
I will not call my photos art but when I placed my photos on internet for the magazine Zoom, I saw nice architecture images. That was the reason I concentrated on this part of photography. In my work I had more than 25 years attention for shapes and colours.
Why are you so drawn by architecture and abstract photography
Like I said before, I saw these images and was sold. And of course architecture consists of buildings and these are closely related to what I did in my job with products or machinery. The designers made several studies and models of a project and then we had discussion about shapes and colours. And sometimes we had a discussion about very small details. But at last you had a product to be proud of. That is what I find now in this kind of photography for myself.
What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection.
For me the technical perfection is the most important. For architecture I am always looking for new projects. I look for information about buildings and I go to Google street view to see the location.
And for abstract you have to use your eyes very well, every well-chosen detail can give you a published photo. I have a nice example. My last project was in Delft: the new building Applied Science. For my feeling I made several nice architecture images but nothing was published. But there was also a parking lot and there I saw a bicycle of tubes. I made an image and placed the bicycle in another background and this “byproduct” was published.
What gear do you use.
I started my digital photography with the Canon G1. But at this moment I have the Canon 50D with the lenses Canon 18-55mm , Canon 18-200 mm and the Sigma 10-20 mm and the full frame Canon 6D with the lenses Canon macro 50 mm/2.5 , Sigma 28-70 mm/2.8, Canon 24-105/4 mm, Sigma 12-24 mm, Canon 70-300 mm , Speedlite 580EX II, expo disc, div Filters, rings, Tripod, one leg pod, gorilla pod. I have a Dell 2410 (digital) monitor and a Syncmaster BF 949 monitor9 which I both calibrate monthly with Spider.
What software do you use.
I started with the 0 version of Photo Elements, used the versions 4, 6, 8 and now I have on my computer Photo Elements 9 and 14 but also Photoshop CS 5 and Lightroom 5.7 and the last two I use normally.
Can you tell us about your workflow.
I have two built-in hard-discs for my photos. There I have made several catalogs. In the catalogs I have my projects with 30 images each. I download my RAW images with Lightroom. In LR I go first to LENSCORRECTIONS. Then I go to STANDAARD and use automatic first, from there I make my corrections. Sometimes I use the other possibilities in LR. If I am ready in LR I go to Photoshop and there I finish. And there I will use the Nik-collection if necessary. I have an automatic back-up on my computer with an external hard-disc, but I have also a separate hard-disc for images and if I have edited my last photo-session the first thing I do is to transfer them to that disc.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in architecture and abstract photography and how do you get started.
The first advice is a good knowledge about the use of your camera in general. For architecture, study examples of other photographers. Prepare your session carefully; look for the right light and shadows. Use the right lens and the right distance. Take many different images. And have also a good eye for the small and interesting details. And of course you work in RAW but try for the post processing to work with Lightroom especially for the lens correction tool. For abstract you can go nearly everywhere but search for industrial areas and with creative edit you can sometimes add details.
What are your favorite photographers ?
For architecture and abstract I will give no names because there are many good photographers and I don’t want to forget someone. Holland is a nice country but it is difficult to make excellent landscapes. For me there is one man who makes them and that is . I like his work.
Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and what is special to you.
I like the detail but for me it was important to get the right reflection from the surface and there I succeeded.
What made you decide to become senior critic and why are you so drawn in this job as volonteer.
The moment , Head Senior Critic asked me for this job I was surprised, why me? I had a good discussion with Alfred before I agreed. I had my doubt whether I would be good enough to do the job. Now that I did many comments with very nice reactions and without any problems, I think I can do the job. My motivation is that I like to help people to become better photographers and now I do the job for a few months, I can say that I am happy with the result. And it is nice to do because you see that people like the way we work. We have a good team to do the job together. Everyone has his own approach and knowledge. What you also see, is that many owners of images after a comment come to your site to see what you are doing and many of them become followers or make favourites.
In the beginning it was difficult to find the right approach.
You know nothing about the owner of an image; his/her approach, his knowledge, his post processing programs. In my work I was responsible for the output of my group, you must deliver a good product, on time and within a budget. That needs a good approach with your contributors with whom you do the projects. I stayed within my character: straight and honest if I had to correct something. That never gave problems: we had a good team. I started my commenting the same way.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1x as a home base for your work.
I am glad to present my images on a quality site like 1x and to be a helping member there. Of course I am often disappointed with an NP and especially if I made a trip to do a project and did a photo session of hours and nothing is published. And that happens often. But if you are a member of a club you have to accept the rules. You can of course react when you don’t agree with something but you shouldn’t get lost in endless and useless conversations.
Darlene Hewson CREW
Hi Theo.....I just saw this now! So sorry!! :) Great interview and a tremendous selection of your images! It was nice reading more about you! *Darlene*
Thank you Darlene, for your nice words
Mooie terechte aandacht voor je prachtige werk Theo!
Steve Balke PRO
Theo, congratulations on providing such an informative and interesting interview. It helps me to understand both your stunning photographs and your extremely helpful attitude in Photo Critique. Thank you for all of your very constructive advice!
Thank you Steve for your nice words.
Hello Theo, it was so nice to read more about you. I discovered your photographs recently and am very intrigued by them. I am anything but a football fan! but we share a great love for the mountains... Kind regards, Lyn
Thank you Lyn, I had my time in the mountains.
Hope you enjoyed yourselves, glad to see you back!
Steven T CREW
Theo, Excellent interview! It's great to know you better and to see more of your excellent photographs. Cheers!
Thank you Steven for your support.
Thank you so much for this interview! It was very inspirational for me and - I like your work even if it is quite different to my approach to photography. But the workflow is the same and in my opinion there is no good or bad work as long as you see a certain seriousness in the effort to achieve some interesting view. Best regards!
Thank you Philipp
Excellent to know more about your work Theo! My best compliments, you have such a lovely work :))
Thank you, Carla.
Kurt Weinmeister PRO
What an interesting and highly readable interview with an outstanding man behind. I was twice very surprised as I did not expect such a creative edit. I love this very much and my best wishes to Holland!
Thank you very much Kurt for your nice words.
Great interview, Theo! You can safely say that your work is art, of course! Not only technic (which is also perfect). Congratulations! Best regards.
Thank you very much José
Good evening Theo. You are a great artist! Super to see and read this interview (well done again Yvette). It's also great to be in the same 'team' as you are (even though you support Feyenoord ... ). Bes regards, Nick
Thank you very much Nick.
Evan Oz CREW
Marvelous collection of photos, Theo, and a delight to hear the story behind them. Best greetings! Evan
Thank you very much Evan.
Olavo Azevedo PRO
Fantastic work and inspiration . Congratulations Theo. Compliments
Thank you very much Olavo
Wayne Pearson PRO
Brilliant work and an incredible inspiration, thank you Theo.
Thank you very much Wayne
Piet Haaksma PRO
Gefeliciteerd Theo met dit mooie inspirerende interview. Altijd boeiend en interessant om wat meer achtergrond info van iemand te weten. Wat ik gelukkig concludeer is dat leeftijd geen invloed heeft op prestatie en inzicht op onze tak van sport.! Erg verrassend te horen wat je van mijn fotografie vindt en dit dus volgt. Omdat ik ook architectuur fotografie heel mooi vind en dit dus graag zie voorbij komen blijf ik je volgen en zie vast meer beelden van je voorbijkomen. Veel succes.
Bedankt Piet en ik vind het echt knap wat ik elke keer weer voorbij zie komen. gr.Theo
Thank you Massimo
Igor Shrayer PRO
Congratulations, Theo! Your style is fantastic and unique! Well deserved spotlight!
Thank you very much Igor
Huib Limberg PRO
Well derserved in the spotlights of 1X Theo: your photographical works are splendid! Nice to read more about a fellow-photographer: just great! Enjoy this highlight Theo, so: have a great weekend my friend!
Thank you Huib for your nice words.
Always interesting to know something more about the background and the motivation of the person behind his work. Also a second chance to see the pictures I missed before I became a member of 1x. Congrats Theo and keep up the good work! Greetings, Harry
Thank you Harry
Thierry Dufour PRO
Superb interview and fantastic work, congrats Theo !!!
Thank you Thierry
Hi Theo, a fine interview and a marvellous selection from your portfolio. Het was mij een genoegen om een gelijkgestemde aan het woord te horen. Ik wens je nog veel mooie fotomomenten. Thanks Yvette for conducting this interview, great work as usual!
Thank you Luc for your support and nice words.
Wonderful work and interview Theo, good to get to know you a little bit better. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to your next images. Have a great weekend ahead and take care! kind regards, Edith :-)
Thank you very much Edith
Beautiful work and words. Theo, never thought you could be a Feyenoord fan. Great to read this next to the rest of your story. If you come to Bulgaria we will be the two Feyenoord fans here :))) OK, might be someone I do not know, still, a big thanks for your work and words. Congrats both you and Yvette. Ivo
Thank you for your nice words. And nice you like Feyenoord.
Greetje van Son PRO
It is very interesting to learn about the man behind the picture. Therefor I read whit pleasure this interview. I admire your pictures Theo, and hope to see a lot of them in the future. Thanks for sharing this with us and thans to Yvette for this publication.
Thank you Greetje.
Great great great!!!!!!!! Congratulation for your photo and for your mind!!!!!! BRAVO!
Thank very much Carlo.
Norman Gabitzsch CREW
Theo ... I find your work amazing and now it is wonderful to learn about the man behind the images. Thank you, Yvette for the in-depth interview.
Thank you Norman, was nice to do and to work with our team. And thank you for you kind words.
A very interesting interview, an amazing beautiful post , a delight to see and read. Thanks to Theo for sharing, thanks to Yvette for introducing Theo - the man, his story and his art.
Thank you Sara for your nice words.
Thanks Theo (and Yvette) for a fascinating glimpse into your background and approach to photography (and introduction to the work of Piet Haaksma). If you will permit a critique-like comment...Theo's and Piet's portfolios show, for me, a terrific ability to "see" and a penchant for precision!
Thank you Greg for your nice words.
I am a pleasure to read this interview Theo beautiful, beautiful molded articulated by Yvette.Uitstekend and put in writing. My honor you can call my friend picture. greeting Henk
Thank you Henk for your support.
Ralf Stelander FOUNDER
Hi Theo, your work is excellent! Cheers, Ralf
Thank you Ralf
Hello Theo, what an interesting interview. I see some parallels between us. I also started at the age of 12 with an Agfa Clack und I am also totally disappointed about NP pics that come out of my heart. Thanks to you for Information about your life and photography and also to Yvette. Warm regards Wolfgang
Thank you Hans-Wolfgang for your nice words, I appreciate. You read well, I am sometimes really disappointed, because simple abstracts has sometimes more attention the architecture. But look also to my last remark I accept the rules, otherwise I must stop.
Theo Congratulations ,very nice presentation, I only would have expected straight cables cables coming out of the red door...... :-) You are a very kind and polite person. You helped me in a way, that I still appreciate! Yr photowork is just top. Regards from a friend.......Jan
Thank you Jan for your nice words.
Yvette, I will thank you and your team for the nice presentation. kind regards Theo
Yvette Depaepe CREW
My pleasure, Theo!!! And congratulations with the well deserved feature, my friend!