Highland cattle at the Westerschelde river

Highland cattle

The Westerschelde river is very close to our house, in fact it is at the end of the small rural road along which we live. There is a kind of inlet next to the river which is a paradise for birds, sheep and since a few years there is a herd of Highland cattle that is grazing there. The Highland is a Scottish breed of rustic cattle. It originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands. We walk along the Westerschelde almost every morning with our dogs and we love to see and greet our Scottish friends. They are always there, summer and winter. The hair on Highland cattle gives protection during cold winters. This spring many calves have been born. During this difficult Corona time it is a joy to see the cattle and in particular how the cows take care of their calves. Although we are a bit sad that we cannot travel abroad this year, we are happy that we live in Zeeland and still can enjoy nature so close to our house.

In 2016 there was a small cattle with a lighter hair colour. One day they were regretfully gone and did not come back.


Cities of the Hanseatic League


The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.

Hanse, later spelled as Hansa, was the Old High German word for a convoy, and this word was applied to bands of merchants traveling between the Hanseatic cities — whether by land or by sea.

Merchant circles established the league to protect the guilds’ economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes which the merchants used. The Hanseatic cities had their own legal system and operated their own armies for mutual protection and aid. Despite this, the organization was not a state, nor could it be called a confederation of city-states; only a very small number of the cities within the league enjoyed autonomy and liberties comparable to those of a free imperial city.

In the Netherlands we have quite many cities that were member of the Hanseatic League. The cities are beautiful most of them small. We have started to visit the cities in the Netherlands and capture the atmosphere and architecture of these cities. In 2019 we visited Deventer, Kampen and Hattum. We intend to visit more in 2020.

Here below a selection of our photos of Deventer. More photos can be found on SmugMug (please click here).


Through this post we would like to share with you links to photographers and photo sites that do inspire us and hopefully will also inspire you in your photographic journey. Please feel free to send us a link of a photographer that inspires you a lot.  Please click on the name of the photographer or name of the website and then you will be automatically linked.


Carol Allen-Storey.(new) Carol Allen-Storey is an award-winning photojournalist specialising in chronicling complex humanitarian and social issues. Her imagery illuminating people’s dignity and quest for survival reflects the unique trust and respect she engenders with her subjects. She writes on her website: “My images are intimate, about issues and citizens I deeply care about. I believe photographs may not be capable of doing the moral work for us, but they can trigger the process of social consciousness.” I arrived at her website through a newsletter of the British Journal of Photography where I saw her name in the judging panel of Female in Focus 2020. She is a great caring social photographer.

Maria Joao Arcanjo. Maria Joao is from Lisbon, Portugal. I do not know much more about her, but I have seen work of her on different websites and I admire her work. She is writing on one of the websites: “I share moments and emotions: I use photos for that”. She is just great in people photography, both in B&W and colour. Please visit as well these two websites where you will find her photo’s: https://500px.com/m-j-arcanjo and http://www.fineart-portugal.com/author/112

Alessandro Bergamini was born in Finale Emilia in Italy, in 1986. He started photography with an old reflex camera of his father and from there his artistic and spiritual journey began. I saw his photos on Instagram and when I visited his website I discovered the fantastic photos of his travels to India, Birma, Ethiopia, China. In his photos Alessandro is able to express the maximum of atmosphere  of his journeys, with a great respect for the people he is photographing. His colour work is real top. His work was also published in National Geographic and Digital Camera.

Eljee Bergwerff  an experienced, innovative and passionate photographer and videographer. His images stand out by their distinctive colours, style and lightning. He highly enjoys finding the perfect solution for each of his clients, using the best of up-to-date technologies. Attention and quality define his work and relations. He is spiritually motivated to show the uniqueness of all creation.

Ebru Ceylan was born in Ankara, Turkey, 1976. She started photography in 1992 in Ankara and she had solo exhibitions in Turkey and Europe and participated in group exhibitions and won man awards. She participated in several films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan as actress, scriptwriter and art director. She is going on making films and photographs.

Vlad Dumitrescu.  He writes on his website: I have been in love with my country for all my life. All the trips that I made during my childhood helped me feel this way. I did not miss any opportunity to discover new places or to revisit some that were already dear to me. I have met people, I have entered a little in their lives and I have listened to their stories. I discovered photography many years ago. Through my camera, I managed to bring home a bit of what I experienced on my trips and share with others what I saw and felt. In time, I have been slowly drawn into the life of Romanian village. I like, first of all, its people and the traditions that, fortunately, are still preserved in some places… I like to think that my pictures will be able to keep some of its charm, the charm of the Romanian village.

Vlad is photographing people and rural life, in the way how I would like to photograph. I have great respect of his craftsmanship. I strongly recommend to visit his website!

Nikos Economopoulos was born in the Peloponnese, Greece. He studied law in Parma, Italy, and worked as a journalist. In 1988 he started photographing in Greece and Turkey, and eventually abandoned journalism in order to dedicate himself to photography. He joined Magnum in 1990. His work is a great inspiration for me. I can not make a selection for you. I love all his work.

Jack Lowe. (new)

A man with a mission. I am impressed by the this photographer and his project. He writes in his blog: -quote- At the start of 2015, I’m at a crux in my life. First conceived in 2012, my major photographic mission — The Lifeboat Station Project — is now underway.In creating The Lifeboat Station Project, I’m bringing together my love of photography, the sea and the RNLI to produce an unprecedented body of work. The project mission: Using an early Victorian process — known as Wet Plate Collodion — I’m crafting unique photographs on glass at all 237 RNLI Lifeboat Stations in the British Isles. -unquote- You have to visit the project’s website!



Raffaele Monepaone was born on May 5, 1980 in Vibo Valentia, Italy. We first saw Raffaele’s work in an article in the Black & White Photo Magazine about centennials in Calabria and then visited his web site. The project Life he worked on is awesome. Raffaele is a very talented photographer.

Jean-Baptiste Pellerin just recently “discovered” Jean-Baptiste through the newsletter of British Journal of Photography. There was a link to an article about the backtothestreet project and it opened with the heading “I want to make you look at the wonderful people all around you”. And that is what Jean-Baptiste is capturing in his photos. Street photography “pur sang”. Highly recommended!

Raghu RaiRaghu Rai was born in the small village of Jhhang, now part of Pakistan. He took up photography in 1965, and the following year joined The Statesman newspaper as its chief photographer. Impressed by an exhibit of his work in Paris in 1971, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to join Magnum Photos in 1977. Rai left The Statesman in 1976 to work as picture editor for Sunday, a weekly news magazine published in Calcutta. He left in 1980 and worked as Picture Editor/Visualizer/Photographer for India Today, India’s leading news magazine, during its formative years. From 1982 to 1991, he worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes, many of which became the talking point of the magazine. In the last 18 years, Rai has specialised in extensive coverage of India. He has produced more than 18 books, including Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, TajMahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa. For Greenpeace, he has completed an in-depth documentary project on the chemical disaster at Bhopal in 1984, and on its ongoing effects on the lives of gas victims. I saw a documentary on television of him and his daughter. I was very impressed by his photography, in particular the photos of Mother Teresa.

Omar Z Robles. NYC based photographer. Born and raised in Puerto Rico. His interest in story telling began with one man: Marcel Marceau. The legendary mime actor taught him how to interpret the world through subtle but riveting movements. Those movements that he acquired as a student in Paris, he employs today in his photo series of ballet dancers. In New York City, he transformed the aesthetic of his street photography by substituting the New Yorker with the New York dancer. Robles directed the dancers to tell stories with their bodies as he had learned from Marceau. The results were an army of miniature stories as told by the gentle flow of the dancers’ bodies. For me Omar is unique and his photos are a piece of art. There are also some films on his website and I recommend you to watch these!

Hamid Sardar . In the LFI magazine I read an article about Hamid’s book: Dark Heavens. I ordered the book and yesterday it was delivered at our house. The book is a master piece. It contains photos of the shamans and hunters of Mongolia. Hamid Sardar (born 1966) is an explorer, photographer and award winning filmmaker based in Paris, France. Most recently he has dedicated his time to exploring Mongolia and bringing awareness to the plight of its various nomadic traditions through his award winning photography and film.

Chris Terry. Chris Terry is a London based Photographer shooting celebrities, portraits, food and travel for advertising, magazines and books.I got to know about Chris Terry through an article by Tim Clinch in Black+White Photography. What Tim said in his article is very true: You are left with a sense that here is a photographer who cares about stuff.

Takis Tloupas, 1920 – 2003. When we lived in Greece we bought the book ” Greece through the lens of Takis Tloupas”. With his scooter he traveled all over Greece photographing the most beautiful corners, from Pineios river and Lake Karla, to Skopelos and Crete. Milestone in his career is the award in 1994, from by the Ministry of Culture, where together with other 50 personalities of Literature and Arts, he was honored for his contribution to cultural life. We are really touched by his photos of Greece. The valuable material of Takis Tloupas is archived and is available to anyone interested in his photography Studio that has now Tloupas daughter Vania, who as a photographer continues the tradition in the art of photography. Through Vania we bought two photos of Takis Touplas, which have a prominent place in our house in Zeeland.

Stephan Vanfleteren. (updated) Kortrijk, 1969) studied photography at Sint-Lukas Brussels (1988-1992). He worked as a freelance photographer for the newspaper De Morgen from 1993 to 2009, but continued to be involved in his own projects. Last year I visited the exhibition “Surf Tribe” in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. He explains in this  project a culture in which a deep respect for the ocean dominates. No action photos on azure blue waves in this photo series, but serene black-and-wight portraits in Vanfleteren’s pure and haunting style. In February 2020 I visited the exhibition Present in the FOMU (photo-museum) in Antwerp. Present is the renowned Belgian photographer Stephan Vanfleteren’s first major retrospective. The general public knows him best for his evocative black-and-white portraits but in recent decades he has produced a wide range of journalistic, documentary and artistic work. I also bought the book Present. Stephan Vanfleteren is ranking very high on my list of favourite photographers. The exhibition and the book are just top!

Vanessa Winship (born 1960) is a British photographer, who works on long term projects of portrait, landscape, reportage and documentary photography. I very much like her book Sweet Nothings: The Schoolgirls from the Borderlands of Eastern Anatolia (2007), which I gave once as a present to Yvonne and her friend. The photos in this book I can look at, over and over again.

Story “The Westergren family”

Art in Denmark – The Westergren Family

On our latest journey in Denmark we suddenly came across a group of sculptures on a hill. It was raining, but the sculptures intrigued us, and I started to make some photos. An elderly man, standing next to the sculptures, invited us to come on the hill and see the sculptures more closely. The man did not speak English, but we understood that his father, Edwin Westergren, made the sculptures and some paintings and that this man was his son, Erik Westergren. Erik was a very friendly man and he tried to tell us that his father was a great artist and that he was repairing and finishing his fathers work and that Erik himself was also a painter and musician. Erik invited us to a small museum that he made of his father’s and his own work and showed us around. He was very proud. I very much liked the sculptures, but also the paintings and other artefacts, in particular the colours. I asked him if I was ok to make photos and I believe that he very much liked that we were so interested. From the brochures we bought and later from the internet we found out more about the family Westergren, although what is available in English is very limited.

Edwin Westergren(1921-1992) was a sculptor, painter, poet and philosopher, who lived and worked and ran an arts centre in a former dairy in a Danish village called Østby (“East Village”). He was born in Sweden, and according to local lore he arrived in Denmark as a lost-property foundling in a suitcase. After his death, his concrete sculptures, many of them unfinished, some of them very large, were left to the finishing touches of Mother Nature. The largest group, allegedly called “Will to Life”, is still standing on its hilltop: a wild, heroic landmark, gradually merging with the landscape. One son, Erik, also goes around to kindergartens with his soulmate (his words), spreading the joy of native American music to children. On Erics website (please click) you will find photos and also a movie where Erik is playing with his friends for the children. We found it great to meet a person like Eric and learn about his family’s history and see the artistic work of the family. We have made a short photo series in the Westergren museum and here below please find some photo’s. The full series can be seen on SmugMug (please click).





Portraits in black & white

Young at heart

In Flanders Fields

A new long term project, that  I want to work on and actually just started is the Great War. This war, as all other wars, was a real disaster. So many people lost their lives. It was a dirty catastrophic war. Just some figures to get an understanding of the magnitude of how terrible it all was: 64 million soldiers took up their weapons, 10 million died. The four years resulted in 40 million people that were wounded and injured.

I live not too far away from the battlefields of this war, in Belgium. I made a first day trip in February 2019 around Ieper. I want to go back more often in order to to have a better understanding of what happened and pay a tribute to the people that lost their precious lives.

Poem of John Mc Crea: “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce head amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt down, saw sunset glow

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie in

in Flanders Fields