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Biography

It's my call here to tell you something about myself, who I am and how I was formed to a photographer by the years. I grew up less than five kilometers from Gilze-Rijen Air Base in the Netherlands. Therefore it is not hard to say how my interest in military aviation was born. The first time I was confronted with this airbase was in 1989 when my father went with me to the airbase watching planes at the Langenbergseweg near the runway. I was nearly eight years old and I was immediately impressed by all the fighters which were based at this airfield. Ever since I'm a photographer, I'm a big fan of Russian-made aircraft. I am also someone who likes to travel to the former Warsaw Pact countries and the former Soviet republics. My favorite fighter of all times is the MiG-29. This was also the first Soviet fighter which I got in front of my lens in the past. In the recent years, I am completely fascinated in photographing helicopters. This is partly due to the influence of the largest helicopter base in the Netherlands, namely Gilze-Rijen. I found out that, with the right settings on your camera, you can capture these machines much more spectacular on the photo than aircraft. However, this sport is much harder than shooting airplanes due to the long exposure times and sometimes almost impossible locations where the helicopters land. Taking photos of helicopters is much more difficult, but the results after the job are satisfying. Therefore this kinds of photography is one of my favorite sports.

When I am along the runway there is only one thing important for me and that is to create the most spectacular photo as possible. Therefore I try constantly to shoot a photo which other people don’t shoot. In this way I try to generate a unique picture of the type of aircraft or helicopter which appears in front of my lens. I often look at an artistic way to the object which I want to photograph. Therefore during airshows I don’t create pictures of the static display. I only take action photos of military aircraft and helicopters. I think this is the best thing to do, because I believe that the beauty of a plane can be seen the best in a dynamic environment. To achieve this, I do not follow the large crowds, but I am more often alone on the road in order to get the most out of it. I always go for quality over quantity. I am an all-round military aviation photographer who loves variety. To achieve these goals, I travel to all kinds of different places in Europe with much pleasure. It is intended that all my work is presented in a personal way at my website www.runway28.nl. I perform this kind of work with a lot of fun and it gives me a great satisfaction when I shoot a fantastic series of action shots during a trip. There are still many new locations on my wish list which I want to visit in the future. The list is growing every year and is a never ending story. It is a challange to find new locations every year to see new aircraft and helicopters in a new environment.

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In my early days since 1988, I wrote down the tail numbers of planes only, but that changed in 1997. I got my first camera (compact camera) with which I have captured the Dutch Air Force days at Gilze-Rijen for the first time. No special photos, but they have an important emotional value for me. From 1998, photography began to take more serious forms for me. I bought my first SLR camera; it was a Pentax Mz50 body with a Sigma 100-300mm zoom lens. Since I have that camera in my possession, I'm completely into photography. Later in 2000, this set was extended with a Sigma 170-500mm zoom lens. In 2006, I bought my first digital body, namely the Pentax istDL. The choice of this body was an economic choice, because it fits on my older lenses from Sigma. A year later, I still felt the need to go for better quality material. I bought a Canon EOS30D and a Canon EF100-400L zoom lens. Some years later the EOS30D was replaced by an EOS50D. From the end of 2012 I started to invest in high-end equipment. After a long consideration I have made the choice to switch to Nikon instead of Canon. After the airshow season I switched to the Nikon D600 and the Nikkor 200-400VRII f4 zoom lens. This was the lens which I wanted to possess already for many years, because it is flexible and lens quality is very good. At the beginning of 2013 I bought a second D600 body and a Nikkor 70-200VRII f2.8 lens. Besides this, I have a Manfrotto Tripod which I often use for slow movers with rotor blades or propellers. I am at this moment well equipped with excellent material.




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