VOLUME 25 / WINTER 2021
The Royal Photographic Society Benelux Chapter Copyright The copyright of photographs and text in this eJournal belong to the author of the article of which they form part, unless otherwise indicated
VIEW FROM THE RPS BENELUX CHAPTER ORGANISER A BIG ISSUE We are sad to announce that this is the final issue of our eJournal in this format.This is the Twenty-Fifth Edition since 2015 – a huge milestone! The first issue had 14 pages growing to this one with 150 pages! Our membership has also grown from 35 in 2015 to around the 50 today. The objective of the eJournal has been a success! Editor Armando Jongejan FRPS has been involved since the beginning, with Dawn Black ARPS as proof-reader and we would like to give them both a very big THANK YOU for all the work which has been put into the making of a very successful eJournal. They say you should stop good things at a high point and this is certainly the case here. We don’t know how to maintain the high level of excellence so we will pause with this last issue. Please enjoy the interview by André Bergmans at the end of this issue (pages 144-150). In our AGM next year, we want to hear from our members on what they want. If a volunteer would like to step up and make a new eJournal, or what could be an alternative, all ideas are welcome! So please think about it and if you can do something for our Benelux Chapter. Further news: André Bergmans, Secretary and Didier Verriest ARPS, Joint Organiser BE, are both stepping down at the end of the year. We are grateful for all the time, energy and work they have put into being part of our team. Thank you!
Cover photo © Hendrik J. Hunter Bob’s fight
Editor & Designer eJournal Armando Jongejan Proof reading Dawn Black Webmaster André Meyer-Vitali Liability Disclaimer The author of an article is responsible and liable for all content, text and images provided by them. Neither the RPS Benelux Chapter nor the editor is responsible or liable for any content therein Photo Requirements 3000 pix long side and quality 8 no watermark or text in the photo and no borders around the photo
We continue with Jeroen Dorrestein LRPS as Treasurer, André Meyer-Vitali ARPS as our webmaster and yours truly, Carol Olerud FRPS as Organiser. If you are interested in joining in with our team, please email us. It would be fantastic if a person from Belgium, (or any other country), joins us. Every three weeks we still hold our Study Groups, we switch between Zoom sessions and physical meet ups at Het Palet in Rotterdam. The next one is a Zoom session on 7 th December where we invite everyone to attend! A physical meeting follows on 11th January 2022. More info under Events on the website at Benelux Chapter. During the Contemporary Genre Print Assessments on 27 th October, I am proud to say I achieved my Fellowship Distinction, it was a long journey but worth it. Especially, the Benelux Study Group helped me and so did the unofficial Fellowship Peer Support Group Zoom sessions. Richard Brayshaw FRPS gave me invaluable 1:1 advice as well. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone. Pages 124-131 have my Statement of Intent, presentation layout and a few photos. To see the full panel, go to my website.
Please enjoy this last very BIG ISSUE and thanks to all who have contributed over the last six years! Carol Olerud FRPS
12 IN THIS ISSUE - WINTER 2021
VIEW FROM THE RPS BENELUX CHAPTER ORGANISERS Carol Olerud FRPS
IN THIS ISSUE
PEAT Bo Scheeringa an interview by Armando Jongejan FRPS
22 ABBOT'S BLESSING AFTER 36 YEARS Armando Jongejan FRPS
32 OUR WEEKEND IN PELT Carol Olerud FRPS 42 A SUCCESSFUL F-PANEL Ken Holland FRPS 56 FRONTIERS: THE PERI-URBAN PROJECT Paul Schot ARPS 68 BOB’S FIGHT Hendrik J. Hunter an interview by Armando Jongejan FRPS 86 FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION André Bergmans 102 PHOTOGRAPHING IN TIMES OF CORONA Carol Olerud FRPS 124 A SUCCESSFUL F-PANEL Carol Olerud FRPS 132 THE BEAUTY OF MUNICH'S UNDERGROUND STATION’S ARCHITECTURE Chris Renk 144 AFTERWORD, AN INTERVIEW WITH ARMANDO JONGEJAN FRPS André Bergmans
The RPS Benelux Chapter INTERVIEW
Bo Scheeringa “The photo book PEAT tells the story of the importance and the beauty of Irish peatlands and the transience of ancient Irish turf cutting traditions.”
© Bo Scheeringa - Traces of turfcutting by machine
an interview with Bo Scheeringa by Armando Jongejan FRPS One of the great things about Social Media is
situations to photograph without timidity and
that you meet photographers that you normally
hesitation. Without this training I would never
don't meet in person. I met photographer Bo
have dared what I do now, it is now the most
Scheeringa on Facebook quite some time ago. I
normal thing for me to do, to approach people I
saw very good photo work of Ireland passing
want to photograph.
by. It sometimes reminded me of Jill Freedman’s work in the photo book 'A time that was’ from
The second important thing I learned is to
1987, which is exclusively black and white. Bo
photograph from a basic feeling, your own basic
Scheeringa’s work distinguishes itself from this
feeling, that way your own style and approach
having spent a year (June 2019 - June 2020)
will automatically show up in your photography.
working on her photo book 'Peat', published in
It is important to discover what that basic
October 2021 containing many colour images in
feeling is for you. For me this is melancholy and
addition to black and white.
desire. Feelings that everyone experiences from time to time, for me they are a common thread
Bo's book was partly realised by using
in my life but also a great source of inspiration!
crowdfunding on 'Voor de Kunst' site. Bo has collected no fewer than 155 donations, which
As a landscape photographer you have a
means that the photo book is now available
great passion for Groningen in the
through Komma publisher, Dutch bookstores
Netherlands and Ireland. How did that
and her own website. All the more reason to
I really love the landscape of the province of Groningen in the Netherlands. Because the
Bo, you studied at the Photo Academy in
landscape is so wide, you always see a lot of sky
Groningen, what did it bring you?
that is constantly changing and with it the light
About 15 years ago, the silent, spacious, ever-
on the landscape. When I visited Ireland for the
changing landscape of my direct surroundings
first time, I was immediately captivated by the
in the province of Groningen in the
beauty of the vast peatlands. Standing on a hill,
Netherlands, inspired me to photograph with
surrounded by green sloping mountains, I
more attention. This initially resulted in
looked down, watching shadows of the clouds
beautiful pictures for postcards, but more and
gliding across the landscape. Amidst this
more I felt the need for deepening my work. I
overwhelming space I was touched by the
studied at the Fotoacademie for three years,
mystical energy of this breath-taking scenery.
where I learned to look at photography at a different way.
There is a lot of 'space' in your landscape photos. You often show a lot of the
Of course I learned at the Photo Academy how
environment in your landscapes. For what
to apply the technique and how to work on a
project basis but two other things were most
This vastness and the space give me a feeling of
important to me. While working on the study
freedom and security. I believe that everything is
assignments I experienced that doors opened
connected, we are part of nature, and we are all
for me. People were almost always willing to
connected to everything by a loving universal
contribute to a photo. It was groundbreaking
energy. It makes me feel puny realising that the
for me, to approach interesting people or
river will still flow and the wind will still blow
Moreover, burning the peat again releases high
when I'm gone.
When I’m in that wide and spacious landscape,
Ireland's bogs have become a natural historical
it is very easy for me to feel that connection. I
monument of great international value. With the
find it very inspiring; I am always trying to
Irish ones, the last remaining raised bogs in
express this through my photos.
Europe are in danger of disappearing; elsewhere in Europe all of them have been
In your series of portraits it is different,
mined, including in the Netherlands.
why? I am looking for reflections of my own inner
Burning peat does not contribute to reducing
world, in my models and the landscapes I
CO2 emissions. How have you depicted this
photograph. In my landscape photography I
in your photographic work? How did the Irish
find it in the vastness and the space but to find
react to this part of your project?
these reflections in people I have to get close,
I don’t criticise or express an opinion. I just
literally and figuratively.
observe and notice there is also a downside to the turf cutting.
About your report you made in Ireland. You
Peatland and turf cutting has always been
focused on the landscapes, the sheep and
important for the Irish and is part of their life
peat. The people who use it. What attracted
and culture, cutting and using turf is a deep-
you to this?
rooted tradition, an undeniable part of Irish
My first trip to Ireland was in the summer of
rural life, as is agriculture. In Ireland the
2013, I noticed that, traditionally, many Irish in
alternative for turf is oil, which is very expensive.
the countryside in the North West, are still
The thing is, in western Ireland people live next
cutting turf and use it as fuel. During one of my
door to the bogs and own them. Even with all
walks during that first stay in Ireland, I met a
kinds of machinery turf cutting still is hard
family loading sods of turf on a trailer. I asked if
labour, but it’s no way near the old manual way.
I could take a picture and they willingly stopped
You have to work for your fuel but otherwise it’s
to pose. This authentic, nostalgic image of this
free. So with no affordable alternatives available
family and the whole thing about peat
many people in Ireland will stick to their
extraction never let go of me after that, and this
centuries-old tradition as long as possible.
photo turned out to be the birth of my photo project PEAT. In June 2019, I left to go to Ireland
A lot of my pictures of the vast peatlands in
for a year, to live in a cottage near a secluded
North-West Ireland show a beautiful wide
bay in Ballycroy, County Mayo, amidst extensive
natural scenery, with sloping mountains
peatland and the mountains of Ballycroy
merging into a vast peat landscape and,
National Park to work on the project.
depending on the season, showing different
I started to delve into the subject and
shades of green or brown. However, taking a
discovered turf cutting has a downside also:
closer look, you see the traces of turf cutting:
peat is an ecosystem capable of absorbing and
the encrusted drained peat, the holes, the
storing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2).
trenches, the gullies and the walls. I
When peatland is exploited for peat extraction,
photographed the beauty of this mysterious
it no longer absorbs CO2; on the contrary, it
landscape but also the use of it, showing the
becomes an enormous emitter.
battered black peatland of a bog and the
distinctive scented white peat smoke that blows
You have also included appealing portraits in
through almost every Irish village or country
your book and in some interiors, it seems
that there is poverty. Is this true? How did you experience life in County Mayo and
The photo book PEAT tells the story of the
County Sligo in Ireland?
importance and the beauty of Irish peatlands
When we see a peat-fired stove we may
and the transience of ancient Irish turf cutting
associate it with poverty, this is not always
correct. In our eyes it is old fashioned but in rural Ireland it is still very common.
Some people in Ireland say a long-term scheme
I did however see several people living a simple
should become available whereby landowners
life, as a sheep farmer and maybe owning a few
receive compensation to care for their bogs and
cows too, and yes, it is true, there is less
if they have invested in turf cutting machines
prosperity in the countryside than in the urban
they should be granted to reclaim these costs
areas. This is caused by a lack of employment,
through a one-time subsidy from the EU, to
which is why many young people are leaving this
break new ground to make a living.
region, and the old stay behind. What I found striking compared to The Netherlands, is that
This subject is now more topical than ever,
residents in the countryside the age of about
given the recent IPCC report and the climate
50+ seem to be a generation behind in terms of
goals that have to be achieved and the need to
digital development. In The Netherlands most
stop using fossil fuels in the foreseeable future.
grandfathers and grandmothers have a smartphone, email address and a Facebook
In your book you alternated colour photos
account and do their banking online. In rural
with black and white images. Why do you
Ireland this is not the case. Sometimes time
sometimes choose colour and other times
seems to have stood still in these rural areas,
black and white?
this is in stark contrast to modern prosperous
Initially I wanted to use black and white photos
cities like Dublin and Cork.
only, to emphasise the authentic atmosphere of the whole process of the turf cutting and the
What is your next project and why did you
use of it. I was inspired in this by the book
made this choice?
about The Outer Hebrides of Scotland by Paul
Working on the project PEAT was very intense
for a couple of years. I do have a lot of new
However, this Irish landscape with all these
ideas but have decided to hold off on this for a
beautiful shades of green and brown also calls
while, so I can't and don't want to say anything
for colour photographs. That's why I chose a
about it yet.
combination of both. Broadly speaking, I am telling the story of the turf cutting through black and white images and frame this story with colour photos of the landscape where it all takes place.
© Bo Scheeringa - Pages 8-9 - Peatlands National Park © Bo Scheeringa - Page 10 - Easky bog
The photo book is for sale through the website of Bo Scheeringa. You can order it (signed). With Christmas just around the corner, this might be a nice addition to your collection!
Book specifications Photography and text Bookdesign Publisher Language Size Hardcover and pages Images Price
Bo Scheeringa Wout de Vringer uitgeverij Komma English (with Dutch QR code) 24x 30 cm 192 113 € 64,-
© Bo Scheeringa - Rural sheepfarmer
© Bo Scheeringa - Page 14 - Cutting by Slean © Bo Scheeringa - Page 15 - Turf stacks © Bo Scheeringa - Pages 16-17 - Sitting close to the turf fired range © Bo Scheeringa - Pages 18-19 - Turfsmoke in Bangor Erris (County Mayo) © Bo Scheeringa - Pages 20-21 - Getting the turf home
The RPS Benelux Chapter PHOTOBOOK
Abbot’s Blessing Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no invitees in the church during the Abbot’s blessing. The ceremony was broadcast live
© Armando Jongejan - “Only a few permanent employees of the abbey sat in the pews at a good distance from each other”
ABBOT'S BLESSING AFTER 36 YEARS by Armando Jongejan FRPS
When I visited the Sint Adelbert abbey in
A Book is published by the abbey
Egmond-Binnen, The Netherlands for the first
The abbey has published a book of this special
time in 1995, Brother Gerard Mathijsen was the
event in an edition of just 100 copies.
43rd Abbot of the Abbey of Egmond. During his
It is a book with 27 photos and 64 pages,
Abbacy, a lot has changed. A major renovation
size 30x30x1cm hard back.
of the abbey took place, the abbey shop and
Text in Dutch and English.
the candle factory building were expanded and
If you have questions about the book, contact
a conference room with a reception and
exhibition space was realised in the backyard to receive visitors. Brother Gerard, who has now passed the age of 80, did not want to make himself available for another term after having been Abbot for 36 years. With his resignation, an Abbot election was required to be held. 44th Abbot was chosen On Monday, June 22, 2020, Brother Thijs Ketelaars was chosen by the capitulants, the monks who are attached to the abbey by perpetual vows, as the 44th Abbot of the Abbey of Egmond. Subsequently, the Abbot’s blessing by Abbot President Maksymilian Robert Nawara took place on Wednesday 24th June 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no invitees in the church during the Abbot’s blessing. Only a few permanent employees of the abbey sat in the pews at a good distance from each other. It felt unreal to be able to make this photo shoot in an almost empty church, but it also made it special. The ceremony was broadcast live. On one of the choir stalls a laptop was placed, connected to a webcam. In this way, interested parties could still participate in this special service. It was strange to see the laptop on the choir stalls. You can also say that it was a contemporary solution.
© Armando Jongejan - Sint Adelbert abbey - church
© Armando Jongejan - left Abbot President Maksymilian Robert Nawara and right Brother Thijs Ketelaars, the new abbot
© Armando Jongejan - the Abbot’s blessing of Brother Thijs Ketelaars by Abbot President Maksymilian Robert Nawara
© Armando Jongejan - Abbot Thijs becomes the shepherd's staff
© Armando Jongejan - church
© Armando Jongejan - “It was strange to see the laptop on the choir stalls. You can also say that it was a contemporary solution”
The RPS Benelux Chapter PHOTO FESTIVAL
Photo Festival Pelt “We counted nine nationalities: American, Dutch, Belgian, Serbian, Scottish, Swedish, Australian, French and Portuguese – truly International indeed!”
OUR WEEKEND IN PELT AT THE INTERNATIONAL PHOTO FESTIVAL “LENS OP DE MENS” by Carol Olerud FRPS
On Saturday and Sunday 18 - 19 September 2021, a group of us from the RPS Benelux Chapter spent one or two days in Pelt. We also had a group of ‘guests’ which was great! Some of us stayed overnight in various locations or just drove up and down for the day(s). Arranging this weekend was a bit of a challenge with so many changes due to COVID-19 and trying to get speakers even at the last minute we had to accept that Janet Haines ARPS could
Janet had won the Bronze Award
not come over from the UK for this reason. Going back into a quarantine just was not feasible for her. We were really looking forward to a reunion. Janet had won the Bronze Award for Amateurs, so Jeroen Dorrestein LRPS collected it on her behalf. We had Pieter van Leeuwen from the Netherlands give a Documentary/Street photography workshop on the Saturday. It was so much fun! We were challenged to go outside
The President of the Pelt Festival Carine Van Gerven joined our meetings too
of our comfort zone and be a nonphotographer. Eleven of us spent a few hours in the streets of Pelt working on this concept. (Published in the previous eJournal) We then had about 30 mins to select our five or six best photos out of camera (no editing) for discussion. Under pressure! But this led to success. The results were great! Humour and surprises. All participants enjoyed themselves. We had excellent weather so the mood was very good. The day ended with a lovely dinner and we counted nine nationalities: American, Dutch, Belgian, Serbian, Scottish, Swedish, Australian, French and Portuguese – truly International indeed!
© pages 33 - 35 photos by Carol Olerud FRPS
Start photography workshop with Pieter van Leeuwen Ended with a lovely dinner
© Carol Olerud FRPS
Day 2 began with the awards ceremony
After lunch we gave our presentations to a small
presentation. The Mayor of Pelt, Frank Smeets,
group of people. Jeroen Dorrestein LRPS began
was in attendance as well as a few jury
with explaining what we do in the Benelux
members and the Photo Festival Committee
Chapter, our Study Groups and workshops etc.
were there. All winners and honourable
We followed this with a presentation I gave on
mentions of both Professional and Amateur
Distinctions which Janet had provided for us –
levels were awarded certificates and a large
many examples of fantastic successful Panels at
print of their photo.
all levels. We then, at the last minute got a
There was a prize for best young photographer
speaker, Zvezdan Mancic from Belgrade, Serbia
and best creative photographer and best
to talk about contemporary photojournalism in
Corona Photo too (www.fotofestivaloverpelt.be)
We saw many examples of terrific photos. Zvezdan is also the President and instigator of Vizualizator a Photo Festival in Belgrade. “Serbia has a lot of Pulitzer Prize and WordPress winners. The International Photo Festival Vizualizator is well known in the Balkans. The organisation as well as the photo festival play an active role in the world of documentary photography.”
From left to right: President Carine Van Gerven, Carol Olerud FRPS, Mayor Frank Smeets and Jeroen Dorrestein LRPS
Zvezdan could have talked for longer, but we also had Armando Jongejan FRPS lined up to give his presentation on ‘Monk’s Life’. An impressive look inside the Sint-Adelbert Abbey in Egmond-Binnen (NL) where Armando has had many years access. He’s accepted there with his camera, which gives him the fantastic opportunity to document life inside the Abbey. Black and White classical style photos of a brilliant quality. Armando has made several books of life inside the Abbey.
Jeroen Dorrestein LRPS began with explaining what we do in the Benelux Chapter
After the very interesting presentations, we closed the weekend here with tired but satisfied faces. ‘Thank yous’ were given all around and people soon scattered and went back home. Enjoy a few of the photos with impressions of the weekend and some results of the workshop. The International Photo Festival in Pelt is a twoyearly event, so let’s start thinking about 2023!
Zvezdan Mancic from Serbia Armando Jongejan FRPS from the Netherlands
WORKSHOP PIETER VAN LEEUWEN - RESULTS by Carol Olerud FRPS
How do you see the world around you?
About changing your perspective
What you see is not objective, your neighbour
Looking for relevant pictures
sees other things.
You are in ‘workshop’ mode
Fill in the dots, using anything but a photographer!
From top to bottom © Bart Tielens – I am a Refugee from Syria © Carol Olerud FRPS – I am a City Planner – Looking for Green © Jan Janssen – I am My Mother with Bad Eyesight © Joaquim Capitao – I Cannot Ride a Bicycle
From top to bottom © John Roeleven – I am Homeless © Marcel Borgstijn – I am a Time Traveller © Nina Noordzij – I am New in Town – A Tourist © Rudi Theunis – I am a Rubbish Collector © Ton van der Laan LRPS – I am a Dog
WORKSHOP PIETER VAN LEEUWEN - RESULTS by Katherine Maguire ARPS - I am in a Wheelchair After a year and half of Covid-19 and
me to become dizzy and I needed to use a cane
meetings via Zoom, it was great to meet
as a support.
everyone in person again. Pieter van Leeuwen set us the task during the Pelt workshop, to
My pictures focused on the view from the
forget what we like to photograph as
wheelchair, things that may hindered the user
photographers and create a different persona
and difficult surfaces. At the end of the
that does not applied to you.
workshop, we had to pick our best five images, this was hard to do just using the screen on the
Then walking around Pelt taking photos
back of your camera. So not all the images
through the eyes of your chosen persona. For
chosen on the day have survived the final cut.
me, the pictures were taken as if I was going
Overall, the workshop was very enjoyable and
around Pelt as wheelchair user.
well worth it.
So, I took pictures by bending down in order to shoot them from about waist height, which is something that I find difficult to do, as it causes
© pages 38 - 39 photos by Katherine Maguire ARPS
WORKSHOP PIETER VAN LEEUWEN - RESULTS by Sue Goldberg LRPS - I Feel Threatened
Pieter van Leeuwen, in his Benelux Chapter Pelt
I chose a theme of fear – a person constantly
weekend workshop, pushed us out of our usual
interpreting their environment as threatening.
photographer’s perspective by having us
On what turned out to be a cheerful, sunny day
imagine we were someone or something else.
in Pelt, this was a stretch for me in the short
With that assumed transformation, we were to
time we had, but it did help me notice details
walk around Pelt and photograph what that
and potential images I would otherwise have
new identity would notice or find important.
© pages 40 - 41 photos by Sue Goldberg LRPS
The RPS Benelux Chapter DISTINCTIONS
A successful F-panel “Stress energy travels inwards, and needs to come out”. J.H. Psychotherapist
© Ken Holland FRPS
STATEMENT OF INTENT - FRPS CONTEMPORARY - 27TH OCTOBER 2021 by Ken Holland FRPS
“Stress energy travels inwards,
Counselling had attempted to uncover my
and needs to come out”.
stress, like opening the layers of an onion, but I found it difficult to verbalise my feelings. While
exploring Hannahs I realised that the images I was making were revealing those layers. Each successive, deeper, layer - corridors, rooms,
Making these images has helped me to
offices, games, artefacts and personal
positively re-evaluate the trauma of ending my
belongings - seemed to mirror my emotions.
teaching career due to stress. My final day,
My panel arrangement represents that “onion”.
walking through the building where I had loved
From the outer edges to the centre my troubles
working, was overwhelmingly sad. Memories of
become more profound.
the silence, loneliness, and emptiness still remain.
Surprisingly, Hannah’s sad departure helped to
heal my trauma. Using photography to convey A few years later, I enjoyed working at Hannahs
my anxieties through visual metaphors has
- a charity for disadvantaged young people. It
encouraged me to work mindfully, valuing every
was positive and full of high spirits: but the
moment, and to use silence and time positively.
buildings were closed and sold. I felt compelled
I now appreciate that the process of
to photograph it soon after. I worked
photographing, and later releasing inner stress
respectfully, often in semi-darkness, as if in
while editing and creating intimate prints, can
mourning. Hannah (and her iconic ducks) had
be more therapeutic than using words.
left home: the tap was turned off and her spirit gone.
Fellowship presentation plan - during the assessment, the name and membership number are not visible (anonymized)
© Ken Holland FRPS
WHEN HANNAH LEFT HOME article and photos by Ken Holland FRPS
Hannah’s was a charity set up to provide help
approaching Tessa Mills FRPS and Armando
for young people with special needs. A short
Jongejan FRPS - two members of the
drive from my home, I loved to visit and
Contemporary assessment panel - for initial
volunteer there. I ran photography courses, I
advice on whether it was worth applying, I was
helped to document the way of life, and I
surprised by, and extremely grateful for, their
enjoyed art, music, drama, good food and fun.
kind words of encouragement. As a result I had the confidence to go ahead with the panel.
When it closed and the building was sold without much warning I was distraught, almost
After many months of more photographing,
bereft, and felt drawn to photograph what was
selecting from over 400 images, making test
left behind before the old building was emptied.
prints, arranging and re-arranging the layout,
I started immediately after closure, and
my panel began to take shape. What had started
returned on many occasions. I was trespassing,
as a very personal and intimate project was
and had to work thoughtfully, quietly and
becoming a body of work which I hoped would
unnoticed by security staff. Photography was
meet the criteria for a Fellowship, and be
not easy in semi-darkness, and without a tripod.
subject to the close scrutiny of virtual strangers.
A mirrorless camera, with very effective shake-
Would they understand my explanation, would
reduction, helped immensely.
they appreciate the layout, will my most intimate thoughts be conveyed through images
As I worked, the photographs I was making
clearly enough for them to understand my
began to remind me of the days shortly before I
thinking, will my statement of intent work well
ended my teaching career a few years earlier,
with the images, and, most of all, is the work
due to stress. After a while, each individual
distinctive? All of these doubts ran through my
image appeared to echo the thoughts which I
had at that time. I then decided to continue the project, with a view to making prints. Gradually,
Finally I booked two Zoom 1:1 advisory sessions
the individual images became visual metaphors
with Richard Brayshaw FRPS, a panel member.
for my thoughts, and I began to see more with
The first meeting was very positive. I was
advised to change a couple of images, to revise the layout slightly and to clarify one point in my
I have led many photography courses, and soon
statement. I made those changes, and at the
I began to wonder if I could use this project for
second session was told that, apart from re-
a course on using photography as therapy. I
writing one phrase in my statement, I should go
realised that making the images, and printing
ahead and make the prints and mount them,
them was far more useful for my stress than
and send in my application. The 1:1 sessions
the stress-counselling sessions had been.
were extremely helpful, and I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of applying for a
I have been an Associate of the RPS for thirty
distinction to take advantage of them. The only
years, and a member of the Contemporary
slight issue is, of course, that print quality
Group since its early days, and had often
cannot be assessed on screen, and I was made
wondered whether to apply for a Fellowship.
aware of this.
I wasn’t sure whether this project was a suitable one for a Contemporary submission. After
I used to enjoy teaching darkroom printing, and in these digital times, I am still a very particular and careful printer. It took three months of painstaking work, involving many test prints, before I was happy with the quality, but in the process of making each print I felt my stress being released. Much earlier I had decided to make quite small prints to emphasise the intimacy of my work, I printed them on a paper that emulates a darkroom print, and mounted them in large pure white mounts, again to emphasise the intimacy and to encourage viewers to look closely. When I felt I could do no more in terms of quality and presentation I knew I had finished the panel and it was ready for submission. The whole project took over two years. Has it helped me? Yes, in many ways. My photography has moved to another level: I now look at potential images in a much more considered and mindful way; I have slowed down much of my image making; I now ask myself: why am I making this photograph? I also have a more considered and quiet approach to working on a project. The most important aspect is that, for me, photography has been much more effective at helping my stress than counselling was.
© Ken Holland FRPS
© Ken Holland FRPS
© Ken Holland FRPS
© Ken Holland FRPS
© Ken Holland FRPS Pages 54 - 55 | © Ken Holland FRPS
The RPS Benelux Chapter RPS PROJECT
Frontiers: Peri-Urban Although you may not know the term, you will probably be familiar with the peri-urban interface or landscape
© Paul Schot ARPS
FRONTIERS: THE PERI-URBAN PROJECT Paul Schot ARPS
I was not familiar with the term 'peri-urban
summer months. Many of the RPS regions and
interface' – are you? And yet, when I read the
groups are collaborating on a project that
invitation from Stewart Wall MA ARPS,
considers the peri-urban landscape. The East
coordinating this photo project, it immediately
Midlands and Central led project was a sub-
captivated my imagination.
project of this RPS effort. The project wanted to 'showcase the photography of members of the
THE PERI-URBAN INTERFACE
Royal Photographic Society'. It aimed to 'look at
Although you may not know the term, you will
the concept of the Peri-Urban Interface'. The
probably be familiar with the peri-urban
project was designed 'to give all participants
interface or landscape. You may remember – as
freedom to create work without boundaries or
I do from my Dutch perspective – that when you
were younger you took trips outside of the city or vice versa going into the city when you were
All in all three dozen photographers, all
living in a rural area. Remember what it looked
members of the Royal Photographic Society,
like? You would see unbroken pastures, vistas
from all over the UK and Europe, contributed
that stretched to the horizon or across
their work to the project. The project was
meadowed and forested hills. Those views are
coordinated by Stewart Wall MA ARPS, who
now harder to find. Built-up areas, such as new
brilliantly performed his role as facilitator of the
housing estates, offices or huge modern
project, helping to bring all the differing ideas
windmills creep into the areas surrounding the
and contributions to fruition. His introductory
cities, gradually taking them over, sometimes
online presentation and the online meetings he
purposefully leaving green oases in between
organised, as well as the Facebook page he
buildings, sometimes isolated forerunners of
created provided excellent tools to get to grips
more urbanisation to come in otherwise
with the project and keep up the momentum.
pastoral surroundings. Instead of looking out on green fields with cows and rows of water
filled ditches when driving along the motorway,
Looking at the photographs that were shared on
I can now only see rows of utilitarian buildings,
the Facebook page of the project I believe the
small industries, car dealers and giant
goals that were set are achieved. The
warehouses. The infrastructure for these areas
participants produced attractive photographs,
slices up the landscape with the required roads,
showing many different approaches and a wide
bicycle paths, rail connections and asphalt
range of ideas on the essence of the peri-urban
parking areas. Of course the meadows are still
interface. Although many were critical of
there, but they are hidden from the eye by the
developments, some stressed the current
urban build-up. This patchwork, this interlacing
positive aspects of this frontier area. Carol
area of urban elements and the rural
Olerud FRPS, the chair of the RPS Benelux
environment, at best just mixing but often
Chapter, shows the use of the Nedereindseplas
clashing, is the peri-urban interface.
as a recreational area and a peaceful place to walk around. The Nedereindseplas, between the
cities of IJsselstein and Nieuwegein in the
The 'RPS East Midlands & Central Region Led
Province of Utrecht, began as a sand mine in
Frontiers Peri-Urban Interface Project' took
1932 for the building of the A2 Highway and
place over the August and September 2021
later also for the development of the City of
Nieuwegein in the 1970s. In the past it had been
The photographs of Armando Jongejan FRPS,
an illegal dumping ground for chemicals,
editor of this e-Journal, were taken in ski areas
hospital refuse, including radioactive materials,
in Austria, where he photographed the facilities
barrels and human rubbish, but today it is
that in winter are busy with winter sports
transformed into an area where you feel nature
enthusiasts. But now in summer an eerie quiet
is close by.
has descended on the installations. I cannot help wondering what their future holds. Will
Apart from Carol, three other photographers of
they forever remain as silent signposts of better
the Benelux Chapter contributed to the project.
days, now that man-induced climate change
André Bergmans made a photographic
may ban the snow from these mountains
documentary showing the current threats to
the traditional Dutch windmills, a treasured element of the national heritage. Although
Stewart Wall MA ARPS, the much to be
1,000 of the 10,000 in use in 1850 are still
complimented coordinator of the project, is now
standing, many of them cannot be used
putting together a photo book of all the
properly because they are hindered by the
contributions. I am looking forward to receiving
my copy of it.
Paul Schot ARPS portrayed the Amersfoort Foodcourt. Well outside the city, separated from the suburbs by the dominant A28 motorway, it shows the advancing consumerist urbanisation in a, until recently, rural area.
CAROL OLERUD FRPS The Nedereindseplas
This peri-urban area was once a sand mine, then a dump and now is a recreational area centred by a large double-lake. Swimming is forbidden as the water is toxic. A fake ski-piste and a bicycle racetrack have been built around the periphery. Today people enjoy the nature here obliviously.
© Carol Olerud FRPS
© Carol Olerud FRPS
Windmills in the Dutch landscape
The quality of the direct environment of a windmill (the windmill biotope) is always under threat of urbanization. In my photo documentary I describe Dutch windmills that often used to be in the open landscape but now are in an environment affected by ongoing urbanization.
© André Bergmans
© André Bergmans
PAUL SCHOT ARPS Amersfoort Foodcourt
Amersfoort Foodcourt, named for the city. In fact well outside it, separated from the suburbs by the dominant motorway A28, in a till recently rural area. The grass immediately near the buildings is manicured, with remnants of the peri-urban environment still visible. Lorries pass en route to the co-located warehouses.
© Paul Schot ARPS
© Paul Schot ARPS
ARMANDO JONGEJAN FRPS Großarl - Austria
The ski areas in Austria are well known by winter sports enthusiasts. During the summer months some lifts and cable cars are open for hikers and bikers. The unused facilities between the villages in the valley and the top lift stations makes a surreal impression.
© Armando Jongejan FRPS
© Armando Jongejan FRPS
The RPS Benelux Chapter INTERVIEW
Bob’s Fight “Photographing him over a longer period of time, made me see who he really is”
© HJ Hunter
Hendrik J. Hunter an interview by Armando Jongejan As we all know, it’s easy to contact
Bob spends most of his time repairing the walls
photographers, because we meet them for
and roof of his house instead of pursuing his
example on Facebook and other Social Media
passion for painting and reading. He is ironing
platforms. That is how I met Hendrik J. Hunter.
his clothes and cleaning the floor but
I saw several of his projects on Facebook and
unfortunately the results are poor. Ever since I
visited his website.
met him he has had no water running out of the tap, but recently it was fixed.
Hendrik is based in Maastricht, in the south of The Netherlands. He studied photography at
Bob is a sympathetic, art-loving and intelligent
Forum Beeldtaal and the Fotoacademy. His
person, always willing to share his deep
autonomous projects were published in British,
scientific knowledge of the natural, physical
Belgian and Dutch newspapers: The Guardian,
world with me.
De Standaard, De Morgen, De Volkskrant, Trouw, De Limburger, and magazines like
Bob was married and has four children. They
Dodho, Focus and Pf. He is a storyteller, studied
never visit him in his house but he was invited
literature and had a professional career in
for a baby party at his daughter’s house (P73).
journalism and commercial writing before he became a documentary photographer.
Underneath his fight for better living conditions, lies his wish to be accepted and respected like
We spoke about his recent projects including
other citizens, instead of being ignored as a
flooding in Wallonia in Belgium, and the impact
social outcast. I want to see how it is going for
of Brexit on young adults in the United
him. He is getting older. Does he stay in his own
Kingdom. One of his first, long-running series is
home, or is he moving to another place? And
about Bob, battling with his decaying home.
what would it be like for him? I want to keep
Parts from this series were recently exhibited at
following these developments.”
photo festivals in Aachen and Hamburg. If you want to know more about the series of Hendrik: “I met Bob in 2014, somewhere on the
Bob, or about Hendrik J. Hunter, just visit
streets in my hometown. I asked him if I could
the website, or contact Hendrik by email.
photograph him. He said “you don’t know me, so you are not able to make a photo of me.” That was an answer I was not expecting. He accepted my invitation to get to know each other better. Over a few beers in a cafe he told me his life story. Since then I regularly visit him in his dilapidated house with my camera.
Pages 70-71 and 74-75 | © HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter Pages 80-81 | © HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
© HJ Hunter
The RPS Benelux Chapter HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Farm Security Administration The resettlement process had to be documented from beginning to end, starting with documenting the life of struggling families to the new and happy life in the new towns
© Russell Lee - LC-USF33- 011551-M3
A PICTORIAL RECORD OF AMERICAN LIFE IN THE 1930s (PART 2) by André Bergmans In the previous issue of the Benelux Chapter
RUSSELL LEE IN LA FORGE
eJournal (Volume 24 / Autumn 2021) I described
The photos in this panel are all from Lot 1192,
the overall mission of the Farm Security
taken by Russell Lee. The documentary is about
Administration (FSA) and showed some images
former sharecroppers, just before moving from
in the genre of applied photography to support
their shacks to their new homes. The captions in
the New Deal policy. In this article I show three
my selection mention: Southeast Missouri
projects that are related to the challenge of
Farms, La Forge project, Missouri. The La Forge
resettlement of deprived families.
Project in Missouri was started by the FSA and developed a whole community, including
The FSA actually started as the Resettlement
homes, schools, community centres, and a
Administration (RA), which was established in
store. It resettled one hundred families, 60
May 1935 to relocate struggling families to
white and 40 black, on six thousand acres.
planned communities. From the start there was
Russell Lee is described as a photographer with
a need to justify the work of the agency and
a feel for the classes and cultures in America. In
hence Rexford Tugwell created the Historic
my personal selection he has photographed
Section and hired Roy Stryker to lead this
both a black and a white American share
photographic unit. The resettlement process
cropper family under similar circumstances. We
had to be documented from beginning to end,
see poor but proud people, respectfully
starting with documenting the life of struggling
photographed, trying to make a living and
families to the new and happy life in the new
working towards a better life. The ladies working
in the field are almost pictured as heroines which is enhanced by the low camera position.
SUMMARY Out of the 170,000 FSA images that are kept in the Library of Congress only a few became iconic. Even the famous work of Walker Evans (‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, 1941) was not initiated by the FSA but by Fortune magazine. Walker Evans took leave to work on this project, which in the end become a personal project. But I hope that I have demonstrated in the two articles on the work of the FSA that studying
those images that did not become famous or iconic is very rewarding and useful.
© Russell Lee - LC-USF33- 011554-M4
From top to bottom © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031144-D © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031155-D
From top to bottom © Russell Lee - LC-USF33- 011529-M1 © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031142-D © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031143-D
© Russell Lee - LC-USF33- 011421-M5 © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031151-D © Russell Lee - LC-USF34- 031161-D
ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN IN CORBIN HOLLOW
The captions of the photos describe a less
For his first assignment in 1935, Arthur
picturesque quality of life. Apart from
Rothstein was sent to Corbin Hollow in the
mentioning that these people are about to be
Appalachian Mountains to photograph people
resettled, the captions, as context, describe
that needed to be resettled. Resettlement had
them as: poor, without work and income,
to happen because of the establishment of the
primitive and backward and having many
Sheshandoa National Park. In an interview with
children but not much livestock. It is unlikely
Richard Doud (New York City, May 24, 1964),
that this information was provided by the
Rothstein describes that he was in a cabin on
people in the photo (as Arthur Rothstein did not
top of a mountain trying to get to know the
know them well) nor is it likely that they had
inhabitants of Corbin Hollow and taking some
given permission to add these captions to the
pictures using the unobtrusive camera
images. For example the caption: Virgie Corbin,
technique. Before he went out, he had
Blue Ridge Mountain Girl. This girl who is about
discussions with Roy Stryker about what to
sixteen has the mentality of a child of seven. She
photograph. In the interview Rothstein
has never advanced beyond the second grade.
mentions the value of these photos as these
This project in the Sheshandoa National Park
people would lose the ‘picturesque quality’ of
was heavily challenged in a documentary by
life in the mountains. My selection of images is
Time but defended by James Deutsch in the
taken from Lot 1419.
Journal of American History, June 2012.
Page 92 | © Arthur Rothstein - Children of Charlie Nicholson who is being resettled on new land Page 93 | © Arthur Rothstein - Mrs. Dodson and one of her nine children
From top to bottom © Arthur Rothstein - Road to Corbin Hollow from Skyline Drive © Arthur Rothstein - Detail of cabin construction
From top to bottom - all photos - © Arthur Rothstein One of the Corbin boys Mrs. Eddie Nicholson, who goes to the nearby resort to beg Back porch of a Blue Ridge Mountain home
Man from Nicholson Hollow with one of the few horses Virgie Corbin, Blue Ridge Mountain Girl Two of the Nicholson children and their only cow
PICTURING THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE
site and also President Roosevelt has an official
Greenbelt is a city in Prince George's County,
inspection trip. In 1937 we already see
Maryland, United States, and a suburb of the
completed houses, bus stop, schools, a post
city of Washington D.C. It is the first and the
office, theatre and stores. The next year, 1938,
largest of the three experimental (and
shows the beginning of family life in the new
controversial) New Deal Greenbelt Towns.
community. While Arthur Rothstein is photographing the school; Marion Post Wolcott
The Greenbelt project had to be promoted as
is apparently brought in to photography family
part of the New Deal program. This is where the
life in a way that would fit into any women’s
photographers came in to document the
magazine. The project is finished in 1939 when
project from the early beginning and create
Marion Post Wolcott covers the swimming pool
photos that could be widely published in the
and the medical centre while Arthur Rothstein
media. The results are clustered in the
again had his focus on the school.
collection of the Library of Congress under the label: Lot 1361. If you study this lot of photos,
If we look at the photos that have been
you can observe the progress of the project.
produced, we recognise that this has one
In 1935 Carl Mydans takes images of transient
purpose only; to promote the Greenbelt New
workers clearing land while Arthur Rothstein is
Deal project and the ideal American way of life
selected to cover the visit of some important
in a brand-new model community. It did not
officials. In 1936 winter delayed the project.
really matter who would make the pictures as
Resettlement officers are visiting the building
the assignment and the objective were clear.
© Carl Mydans - Construction at Greenbelt, Maryland
© Carl Mydans - Surveyor at Greenbelt, Maryland, working in a model community planned by the Surburban Division of the United States Resettlement Administration
From top to bottom © Carl Mydans - Resettlement truck at Greenbelt, Maryland © Carl Mydans - Workmen unloading tile pipe, Greenbelt, Maryland
Page 99 | © Carl Mydans - Workmen unloading tile pipe Page 100-101 | © Carl Mydans - Construction at Greenbelt
The RPS Benelux Chapter 2021 THEME
COVID-19 These photos and SOI’s could be the start of a bigger project and what about making a panel for a possible Associate Distinction?
PHOTOGRAPHING IN TIMES OF CORONA
by Carol Olerud FRPS
Carol wrote for this Theme in one of our
ALL MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS WERE
newsletters “It could not be avoided after such a
INVITED TO PARTICIPATE
long time in Lock-Down during 2020 and 2021,
During our Study Group Zoom Sessions every
so it seemed appropriate to consider using this
three weeks, we saw many faces from
as our yearly theme. Many of us where very
everywhere including non-RPS Members. With
isolated, not taking photos, so to encourage a
the RPS strategy in mind, it seemed correct to
positivity, why not see how we could interpret
include everyone for this theme.
what was happening into a photographic view?” Our June Study Group session was about So, starting with a Statement of Intent, the
‘Photographing in Times of Corona’ and we
below ideas were put:
looked at the first results. Very impressive!
• What you have seen on your walks • The feeling you have • Subjects you normally don't photograph, like flower macros or insects found in your back garden or landscapes, cityscapes etc. • Inside your home • Observations or documentary style photos
about Covid-19 in your town or city LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN FREE The aim of this Theme is to also write your Statement of Intent (SOI), this is just as important as your photos, if not the most important. Keep it short and simple. No more
than 50 words at this stage, just a few sentences.
© Carol Olerud FRPS
The following pages are the results and we are happy to see a large number of you have sent in your work. These photos and SOI’s could be the start of a bigger project and what about making a panel for a possible Associate Distinction?
CAROL OLERUD FRPS
Ten to Ten Curfew in my neighbourhood Going outside just before curfew in the darkness
Photographing like this was out of my comfort
to capture light in homes. Are people sitting
zone, risking being caught and capturing my
there? Do they see me? A bit of voyeurism for
Ten to Ten
My bubble and community Just like everyone, lockdown dramatically
Despite all the restrictions my community found
affected my family, friends and local community.
new ways of connecting, meeting, working, and
We were isolated, keeping our distance from
celebrating. Slowly the restrictions are being
lifted and life is returning to a new normal.
Wear a F mask
MAGDA KORTHALS #COVID-19
The fear of the virus Covid-19 dominated the
For me, these three items tell the whole story.
world. My head was almost bursting with images
1. social distance
that I wanted to photograph. Everyone made
2. medical service under stress
images of people but I used the pears as a
3. redemption by the vaccine
symbol of the world's population.
ANDRÉ BERGMANS Columbarium
During the coronavirus pandemic I visited
“We bury love; Forgetfulness grows over it like grass:
columbaria and made small series about objects
That is a thing to weep for, not the dead.”
that were left behind after the urns had been removed. Inspired by a text suggested by Hector Epelbaum ARPS.
JAN ROS ARPS Alblasserwaard
I adhered to the rules of the 1,5 meter society
With my compact camera Fujifilm X100F always
during the Corona lock-down and bought an
in my bicycle bag, I have recorded my wonders of
electric bicycle. Cycling through my own living
my own residential area.
environment, I rediscovered the Alblasserwaard.
TREVOR SIMPSON A journeyman
I am a journeyman photographer, mostly wandering around cities - making images when ever and where ever I can - if something catches my eye then I photograph it! Empty streets just make things a little more difficult!
KATHERINE MAGUIRE ARPS Limited photography
During the first lockdown March 2020, my photography was limited to what I could see from my balcony. Cancelled hospital appointments, diagnosis uncertainties, and not knowing how covid-19 would affect my illness, meant I would go outside purely for exercise only. Contact with people was kept to a minimum.
FRANS BUITENDIJK Breathing
Corona was a unique experience for everyone.
Following lessons meant sleeping a bit longer
Never before did we have to change our lives so
and on the street the mouth cap made
quickly and drastically. We found a solution for
breathing sometimes difficult.
not being able to hold each other.
SUE GOLDBERG LRPS Pre-dawn
To avoid the crowds at the height of the COVID
Perhaps in keeping with the mood of the times, my
pandemic, my day-time walks towards the park had to
paths became bleak, eerie or even surreal.
be shifted to pre-dawn.
Dozens of wild orchids During this pandemic, I became more aware of my immediate surroundings. My loved ones, my house, my garden. The dozens of wild orchids (protected from the mowing machine since last year) became a photographic subject. The bizarre shapes, colours and complexity gave me these photos, which I also used in a garden exhibition.
Pages 122-123 | 6/11, 7/11 and 2/11
The RPS Benelux Chapter DISTINCTIONS
A successful F-panel “Maybe I can help others by sharing my own pain and sadness and get that conversation going”
© Carol Olerud FRPS
STATEMENT OF INTENT - FRPS CONTEMPORARY - 27TH OCTOBER 2021 by Carol Olerud FRPS
18 DAYS – A TIME OF GREAT SADNESS Talking about death is still very much a taboo.
It was awful. Having these photos helps me deal
It’s emotional and if you haven’t been touched
with my grief and puts some perspective on it. It
by the loss of someone close to you, it’s quite
is now many years ago, gradually I have
accepted that he is no longer with us. It has
taken me some time to get this far, that I can My intention with this panel surrounding the 18
share this body of work. I really feel it is
days my father fought for his life in the
important, especially in the times we have been
Intensive Care unit at the hospital, is to try and
in. Many families could not visit their loved ones
break open a conversation. To remove the fear
and could not say their farewells. I can’t imagine
and get the idea out there that death is a part of
how hard that was!
life, the great circle of life.
Maybe I can help others by sharing my own pain Watching someone very dear to you struggle to
and sadness and get that conversation going.
live, get all the medical assistance available to
Death is peaceful in the end. A part of life. The
him and then realise he is losing the battle is
end of life.
extremely difficult. 299 words I brought my camera in at every visit. We were
limited to the amount of family members that were permitted to go in at a time, so we took it in turns. My sisters and I got very good at reading the instruments measuring his vital signs. There were many tubes with medicine and food being pushed into his body to help him.
Fellowship presentation plan - during the assessment, the name and membership number are not visible (anonymized)
© Carol Olerud FRPS
© Carol Olerud FRPS
© Carol Olerud FRPS
© Carol Olerud FRPS
The RPS Benelux Chapter EVENT
Chris Renk “In the course of the 1980s, the requirements for an attractive design of underground stations gradually increased. Bright, light-flooded rooms were to counteract the feeling of oppression underground”
© Chris Renk - Escalator, The Underground Station Sankt-Quirin-Platz, Munich
THE BEAUTY OF MUNICH'S UNDERGROUND STATION’S ARCHITECTURE Chris Renk, RPS Germany Chapter Organiser
Chris gave an inspiring Zoom Presentation earlier in 2021 which gave us the idea of planning and organising a weekend photography event. Date in mind will be May 2022. Please enjoy the following article and be inspired too! UNDERGROUND ARCHITECTURE Alongside the S-Bahn, the Munich U-Bahn is the most important means of public transport in the Bavarian capital of Munich. Since the opening of the first line on 19 October 1971, a network with 103.1 km of tracks and 96 stops has been created. When the first underground stations were put out to tender in the mid-1960s, the interest of many architects in participating in their construction was relatively low. Underground architecture, characterised by simplicity and functionality, was considered uninteresting and unprofitable. In the course of the 1980s, the requirements for an attractive design of underground stations gradually increased. Bright, light-flooded rooms were to counteract the feeling of oppression underground. With these requirements in mind, renowned architects then set about creating true architectural gems. But, unfortunately, most of these gems were not accessible to the population. Every day, around 1.9 million people use the Munich underground, whether for work, shopping or cultural activities.
© Chris Renk - The Underground Station Sankt-Quirin-Platz, Munich
On the way there, they are so engrossed in their
Eleven oversized lamps shine in red, yellow and
smartphones or a hurry that they fail to notice
blue and bathe the station in a warm and
the beauty of the architecture around them,
unusual light. Together with the rough walls, this
which is why RPS member Chris Renk set out to
station radiates an ambience that could be
capture this beauty and make it visible to
found in a similar way in New York.
others. From a glowing rainbow to a labyrinth of walls, Chris takes you on a ramble through
The Candidplatz underground station shines for
Munich's underground stations, where many
several reasons: Firstly, it is located directly in a
visual highlights await you.
curve, and secondly, it is painted from front to back in pretty much every colour available to a
The Westfriedhof underground station
impresses with its cool industrial chic. It is not for nothing that it is one of the most popular photo motifs in Munich's underground primarily because of its innovative lighting. The lighting concept was created by designer Ingo Maurer, who also designed the lighting at Münchner Freiheit station.
© Chris Renk - The Underground Station Westfriedhof, Munich
painter. Welcome to the rainbow country! No wonder, since the station, like the square above it, is named after the artist Peter Candid, who, among other things, helped design the Residenz. The colourful mix on the walls runs from north to south across the entire platform.
The ceiling is no slouch either: it was designed
The rear walls of the underground station are
in the shape of a "hat" for a large main water
covered with small metal pyramids that reflect
channel and also provides a particular accent.
the light in several directions. The result is a visual experience of a special kind.
The extension of the U2 to Messestadt Ost has given Munich a whole series of really great
In a district that for many years was, and in
underground stations. Probably the most eye-
some cases still is, a social hotspot, one might
catching is the Josephsburg station in Berg am
not expect a jewel of underground architecture.
Laim, which opened in 1999. It has walls painted a rich red, a chequerboard pattern on
However, the planners have succeeded in
the floor and colourful glass panels on the
creating a light-flooded building made of high-
quality materials that is not at all reminiscent of the dreariness of a large housing estate.
On the mezzanine floor of the Olympia-
The most outstanding part of the station,
Einkaufszentrum underground station you will
however, is the lenticular reflector construction
come across lots of sparkling stainless steel.
on the ceiling of the high platform hall.
© Chris Renk - The Underground Station Duelferstrasse, Munich Pages 138-139 | © Chris Renk - The Underground Station Candidplatz, Munich
Dülferstrasse, one of the most colourful
Besides the actual underground station, there
underground stations in Munich. In the south-
are of course plenty of other motifs to
eastern platform area, the platform hall has a
photograph. On the one hand, there are the
considerable height. In the lower area of the
light compositions in the various statues, which
rear track walls, there are rainbow coloured
are also true works of art on their own. As an
patterned glass panels here, in different widths.
example, I show a shot of the Gern
To be able to photograph the platform hall, I
underground station, where nine light pyramids
had to resort to a panorama shot. Even with a
provide the illumination. The photo shows the
14-24mm lens, I could not capture the
fluorescent tubes of one of the light pyramids,
composition in the picture.
taken directly below the lamp.
The St.-Quirin-Platz underground station is
On the other hand, there are many staircases
architecturally unique and equally unusual for
and other contractions that also lend
the Munich underground because it is open to
themselves as motifs. As an example, I show the
the side with a large "eye" and an elaborate
escalator at St.-Quirin-Platz, which with its
shell-shaped roof construction made of glass
diffuse light conditions looks like the connection
arches over it. The platform walls are made of
from hell to the sky.
bored piles left rough and untreated. Similar to the Wettersteinplatz, the platform ceilings are
There is of course so much more to photograph,
covered with reflective aluminium panels to
here you see a selected amount of work by
enable the generous spatial effect in these parts
Chris to whet your appetites.
of the platform as well. PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND IN MAY 2022 The platform is spanned by an imposing ceiling
We, the Benelux and the Germany Chapters are
construction made of white aluminium panels
wanting to organise a photography weekend
that absorb the light from the two light bands
event in May 2022. Chris is willing to show us
and reflect it back onto the platform. Like a
around and kindly offers his support. There are
bird's wing, it spans the entire length of the
weekend deals for train travel to Germany,
including accommodation. This is a perfect opportunity for us!
The walls are covered with blue mosaic tiles
Please let us know if you are interested and
framed with longitudinal triangular stainless-
want to join in by emailing email@example.com.
steel bands. The bright red line band of the U2 has been impressively incorporated into the
More information to follow once we know
station design here and serves as a colour
preliminary numbers but we really hope
everyone is keen to attend.
In this station, this composition does not immediately reveal itself to you, because you do not notice this shape as an ordinary passer-by. I, for example, only became aware of the winglike shape after half an hour of searching for the best angle to shoot from.
© Chris Renk - The Underground Station Wettersteinplatz, Munich Pages 142-143 | © Chris Renk - The Underground Station Am Hart, Munich
The RPS Benelux Chapter INTERVIEW
Armando Jongejan “I discussed this with Janet Haines ARPS and Richard Sylvester LRPS, organisers of the Benelux Chapter at the time. The Chapter was revamped in those days and we felt the need to connect and involve our members.”
AFTERWORD, AN INTERVIEW WITH ARMANDO JONGEJAN FRPS by André Bergmans Sad but true… our editor of the Benelux
world-wide. Quite a few other chapters have
Chapter eJournal, Armando Jongejan FRPS, will
taken bits and pieces from our template and
‘retire’ after six years and 25 issues of the
way of working to shape their own journal. Also,
journal. The Chapter Committee was informed
it proved to become a platform for our own
in June about the fact that this year’s Winter
members to show their work and a nice and low
issue would be his last eJournal. This brings an
threshold way to introduce new members to the
end to a remarkable venture that did not get
group. In essence each new member gets an
unnoticed in the overall RPS community. For
invite to show their work.
that reason I interviewed Armando. With you another member of the ‘editorial The first question that comes to mind is a
board’ will retire; someone who probably has
short one. Why?
run out of red pencils by now…
We are referring to the year 2015, when the
You are referring to Dawn Black ARPS. When
Chapter had no Zoom meetings, just ‘physical’
living in the Netherlands she was a member of
meetings in Belgium, the Netherlands and
the Chapter but she moved back to Scotland.
Luxembourg. The eJournal did start for a reason
She had a pivotal role to correct the text and
and with certain objectives in mind for example
especially our ‘version’ of English. Most (Dutch)
to connect the members of the Chapter. I am
people think they speak English good enough
convinced that we reached the objectives that
but the reality is quite different. As the eJournal
we had at the time. Last but not least it is a time
had a wider community of readers with English
consuming, but rewarding, activity but takes
as a native language Dawn had to keep us on
away time that I could have invested in my own
track regarding the quality of the language that
photography. I do have some serious backlogs
was written. It helped that she knew the Chapter
and she does understand photography. Her role cannot be overestimated.
Taking about the objectives of the eJournal: what were these at the time?
The eJournal started with a modest 14 pages
I discussed this with Janet Haines ARPS and
and ended with over 70 pages in issue 24.
Richard Sylvester LRPS, organisers of the
This final issue has 150 pages! What
Benelux Chapter at the time. The Chapter was
revamped in those days and we felt the need to
To a great deal this was my own enthusiasm but
connect and involve our members. Also, one of
also the Chapter members discovered how to
the objectives was to inform our members
use the platform. There were also changes in
about the work of other photographers and
the policy of the layout as we adopted a more
each other’s work. In other words: share
modern look and feel with more space for text
knowledge, our work and get introduced to the
and images. We have to keep in mind that
work of other inspiring photographers.
modern readers require a short and crisp approach and images are more important for
Are you happy with the results?
this eJournal than text.
Yes, in all modesty, I am. Besides the previous
For that reason I made this volume with several
objectives it proved that the eJournal also
articles made by our Chapter members and with
became a showpiece to the wider RPS and the
a lot of their photographs. This is a special
outside world. We have about 1.500 readers
Taking about content… what was your
editing which is also very useful as I edited quite
a few books also for others. For example to
Keeping the original objectives in mind the
create the book on Rockin’ Rotterdam project.
eJournal is owned by the members of the Chapter. So, each issue contains articles on
What are you going to do with all the spare
activities of the Chapter, like Rockin’ Rotterdam,
time that becomes available all of a sudden?
and distinctions work of members of the
That is something that will solve itself
Chapter. More and more articles were
automatically. I do have a backlog in most of the
published on general topics in photography like
areas of photography I am interested in. To start
photographic history and photographic
off with the backlog in editing the holiday
techniques and collecting analogue cameras by
albums of the family. I take great pride in those
Eddie Maes LRPS. We managed to bring famous
and invest as much time in editing them as I do
names to start with Hellen van Meene HonFRPS
with my professional photographic albums.
in the Spring 2017 issue. This was followed by
Furthermore, I do have a lot of unpublished
many others: Willem Wernsen, Simon Roberts
work that I have to reinvestigate and publish. It
HonFRPS, Erwin Olaf, Martin Parr (Magnum),
is for example interesting to reinvestigate older
Stephan Vanfleteren, Bieke Depoorter and Carl
work and compare it with recent work. And it is
De Keyzer (both Magnum) just to mention a
time for sharing, something what I think is
few. So, we aimed at a mix of members work
important to do. Sharing experience with other
and work of the famous photographers that are
photographers is key to the mission of the RPS
as well. Last but not least I gradually have to ramp up to a period of my life when all time is
What is the core business of an editor?
mine, retirement. Quite a few years to go still so
Before I can answer that question, I have to
enough time to prepare.
make clear that I was not only the editor in the technical sense i.e., a person concerned with
Any advice to the Chapter Committee
the layout of a journal. My main activity was
regarding the future eJournal?
identifying, chasing and acquiring content. The
I do not have any advice here. An eJournal is not
ongoing question was: ‘What content is
a goal in itself but a tool that is the result of
interesting for our members?’ Especially in the
where the Chapter wants to go. In the
beginning it was a challenge to get the right
considerations at the time, we arrived at the
content at the right time. Later it became a bit
conclusion an eJournal might help us in
easier, hence the growth of the journal. I also
revamping the Chapter. The Chapter Committee
observed that an article like the one about the
needs to consider again: Where do we want to
night photography work of Patrick van Dijk, can
go? Who do we want to be? Does a journal fit in?
lead to a workshop which again leads to an
If so, in what format, frequency and with what
content? So strategic choices first; practical consequences second. Times have changed if
What was the big takeaway for you doing
we only look at the use of Zoom during the
this work as an editor?
pandemic. That will change the way we work as
The joy of doing this in the first place. I could
a Chapter as well and permanently. The Chapter
use and expand my network and acquire
Committee and the membership can consider
content. I had quite a learning curve in technical
these questions during the AGM in 2022.
AFTERWORD Thanks Armando to having this interview with you. Looking back and looking into the issues of the eJournal over time it proves that none of the content is really outdated and I advise our readers to consult and enjoy: https://rps.org/ chapters/benelux/journals/ May I finish with a personal word. We have been working a lot together to start with publishing Rockin’ Rotterdam ‘the book’. Also, when I started to be a regular contributor to the eJournal we had many conversations. Thanks for your co-operation and without a doubt we will meet in another capacity. On behalf of the Chapter: thank you very much; we owe you a lot.
© Armando Jongejan FRPS - Winter