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Piet Haaksma: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 

Piet Haaksma's portfolio is impressive and full of dreamlike landscapes and beautiful nature images.  His pictures always show how beautiful nature can be. 
Piet likes to apply
Vincent Munier's favourite motto: "I don't photograph what I see, I photograph what I feel".
His work shows emptiness and peace, which is his own photographic style that developed over the years.  Enjoy this trip into his 'silent' world and read more about the artist behind the images.

'To the light..........'

Dear Piet, briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I am 68 years old. Together with my wife, I live in the small city of Sneek in the north of The Netherlands. We have two daughters.
For more than 25 years we had our own bakery shop in Sneek. Now we are both enjoying our pension, so I have much more time for my hobby: photography.
Photography is my hobby since I was 20 years old. However, due to the hustle and bustle of having our own bakery, there was not enough time for it. Approximately 10 years ago, I picked up where I left off, however now with digital instead of analogue photography and Lightroom instead of the dark room.

'Seep time during sunset …......'

Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I started out with nature photography; this is still one of my favourites. However, joining a local photo club, I also got interested in all different kinds of photography.

'Oil in water'

What first attracted you to photography?
At first, I developed my own pictures, made with my first occasion analogue camera, in the dark room. To develop these pictures, I also bought second hand dark room equipment.
During the development of my pictures, it was always very exciting not knowing how the end result of the pictures would be.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
My pictures are telling the story of how beautiful nature can be. I love being alone with the nature surrounding me. I like to observe the beauty of nature and I try to take the right pictures, so I can enjoy these moments again when I am home, by viewing the pictures I made.
It always takes some time to get the pictures as I printed them in my mind. Therefore, this kind of work / hobby is the opposite of the hard-working life in the bakery.
My most important motto is: By taking pictures, at that moment, you are always there yourself. So, the most important picture is planted in your memory with all the information you need! "Admiration" and "wonder" are maybe the best words to describe this.

'I like you a lot...........'

You have your very own style and your work is very diversified.  Can you explain why this is?
Many reactions on my pictures are describing emptiness and peace, apparently this has become my photographic style, without thinking about it myself. It's the photographic development every photographer experiences.
The technics I use in nature photography, like the composition, can also be used in all other kinds of photography.

'Golden sunrise …....'

What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
These subjects are a unity for me. The one is an addition to the other and I always try to achieve technical perfection, which of course does not always work, it is usually a compromise.

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
I always find it beautiful to be in nature, with the camera added, I am even more forced to see whether there is still a nice photo in it.

'drowned forest ...............'

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
We have many great locations for photography in the Netherlands. Therefore, I am not very selective in planning my photo opportunities. However, some of the locations are very familiar to me and therefore, I know what type of images I still want to make there. E.g. typical light conditions, time of year, misty conditions… I am very keen on the weather forecast to be able to go there during the optimal conditions.


'Sunny start to the day …....'

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Body: Nikon D810

Standard lens Nikon 28-300 mm
Wide angle lens Nikon 16-35 mm
Macro lens Sigma 150 mm
Fish Eye lens Samyang 8 mm
Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2

I also use a filter set and a carbon tripod.

What software do you use to process your images?

Luminar 4
Nik Collection
Aurora HDR


'Landscape of sand'

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
All my photos are made in RAW format.
Lightroom is my standard program for storage and editing, for all other editing I use Photoshop in combination with the plug-ins Nik Collection, Luminar 4 and Aurora HD.
Each photo needs a different treatment, depending on the end result I am looking for.

'The latest autumn colors …...........'

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
I have always been inspired by looking at photo work from other photographers on sites such as, but I can also imagine that you will not do so in order to develop your own style.
Allow yourself the time at a location and you will see that you will only see the “photos” after a while, so don't be too satisfied with a photo taken, look at it critically and try to get more images from other points of view at the location.


'Hepatica nobilis flower'

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
My first introduction to photo workshops and travelling was with Geurt Besselink, a leading nature photographer from the Netherlands, and I am still part of a photo group led by Geurt. It is an important learning experience for me on how to look at composition in nature.

Also the work of Vincent MunierMarsel van Oosten, Peter Svoboda, Vincent Munier, Milan Malovrh, Nel Talen, Thierry Dufour and Lars van de Goor are inspiring to me, knowing that I have not mentioned many more.

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I was once given a lecture by Vincent Munier. His photographic style is minimalistic and has a great preference for cold areas. He prefers to work in snow and in mist conditions. It is impressive to see under what extreme conditions he is taking his photographs, usually alone and often at extremely low temperatures.

 A nice motto that I like to share:
"I don't photograph what I see, I photograph what I feel" - Vincent Munier.

'misty morning in the forest ….'

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?


'the blue forest …....'

This is a picture of the Haller forest in Belgium in which one morning all elements came together. To be there on that moment in these circumstances is like being in a different world.
The Haller forest is known for the growth of the blue / purple forest hyacinths in the spring.
When this comes together with the sprouting of the young green leaves of the beech trees and you are also lucky that mist is formed in the forest, then everything falls in place.
There were many photographers present that morning, but it was completely silent, probably because everyone realized this was a unique moment.

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
Years ago, I discovered and found a holy grail for all kinds of photos.
Beautiful photos and the idea of publishing there myself, was out of my reach.
I was really overjoyed when published a picture of me for the first time and it is still an honour for me every time a photo is published. is a beautiful photo platform.
The same feeling happened to me when Yvette asked me for an interview.

'do not disturb...........Damselfy'


'lovely couple.......'






Dear Piet, Very impressive and beautiful gallery. Ny compliments
Thanks Arnon.
Thanks Arnon.
Mooi Piet, echt om trots op te zijn!
Dank je wel Emile.
Dag Piet, Prachtige portfolio van fotografische plekjes van (vooral) Nederlandse bodem. Ik blijf je volgen en er van leren!!!
Dank voor je reactie. gr. Piet
Prachtige fotografie en mooi artikel!Proficiat,Piet.
Dank je Jimmy, ben er vereerd mee. gr.
Great article, with perfect photos!
Thank you Szabo.
Piet wat een mooi portfolio laat je hier zien. Gefeliciteerd, helemaal terecht Fotograaf van de week! Gr. Nel
Dan je wel Nel.
Piet's work is of rare beauty, his images are splendid. A big thank you Piet for having mentioned me in your favorite photographers is an honor for me. Thank you Yvette for this magnificent interview !!!
merci Thierry ;-)
Thank you Thierry, your macro photos are top class and inspiring for me and other photographers ....
Proficiat met het mooie interview ,Piet. Gr,Sas
Dank je wel Saskia,
Piet, gefeliteerd dat je "photographer of the week" bent! Leuk interview. En een prachtig portfolio heb je zonder twijfel. Gr. Frans
Dank je wel Frans en hopelijk tot ziens. gr. Piet
Congratulations, Piet! Thanks for your fine collaboration... Beautiful work! Cheers, Yvette
Dank je wel Yvette, bijzonder eervol.!