Counting sheep

Counting sheep
Counting sheep

Whenever you can’t sleep. Count sheep.

How many of us have learned from our parents to fall asleep simply by counting sheep. But usually the sheep or I became distracted soon enough and either the sheep or my thoughts started to run away.  Drawing lessons from my nightly attempts to find sheep, I tried not to disturb them, or my thoughts when trying to photograph them. I did not count them however. Because that was the reason they were not gone instantly  😉

Landscapes of the fading mind

Flooded memory
Flooded memory

Sometimes I wonder about what will remain of all that we see and know when our mind starts fading away. The real moment we witnessed will never come back and the memory of it will start changing from the moment it was formed. It will fade over time. Only a few details will stand out and the rest will blur into a fading image of what we think to be true. Or is it the details we will remember, while losing the big picture?

Nobody knows where the mind will lead us and where we will lose our way in the landscapes of our mind. One can only hope to be able to see the beauty in what remains.

This is a photograph taken of a flooded landscape in winter, dreamt over by my memory.

Beach surrealism

The light at the beach is always special. But shortly before the rain it turns the beach into a surrealistic place.

These photographs were taken at the Sand engine. New dunes are created by placing a body of sand in front of the Dutch coast a little south of The Hague.  Dark clouds were coming in, but over distant Rotterdam harbour still hung a curtain of yellowish light.

Beach minimal

Beach minimal

If these series proves one thing, it is that you shouldn’t hurry home at the slightest threat of rain. You’re most probably missing out on wet clothes as well as miracles of light.

View on distant Rotterdam harbour before the rain
View on distant Rotterdam harbour before the rain
Sand engine
Sand engine

Family outing

 

Day at the beach - Texel
Day at the beach – Texel

It was still cold and probably one of the last quiet days on Texel island before the beaches will be taken over by tourists again. I love the beaches empty with people only as markers for their vastness.

Behind the gasoline station

Behind the gasoline station-I
Behind the gasoline station-I

I often see beautiful pictures taken in the most amazing and exotic places. It seems travelling the world is almost obligatory to take beautiful photographs these days. I can’t deny a little pang of envy every now and then. Luckily beautiful places and pictures can be found close to home as well. This series was taken just behind a nearby gasoline station on a foggy morning. Nothing far away, nothing special, but fog tends to lend a beautiful mysterious mood to places one normally wouldn’t even notice as remotely beautiful.

Behind the gasoline station II
Behind the gasoline station II
Behind the gasoline station III
Behind the gasoline station III

Searching for the quiet

Winter fields- Texel
Winter fields-Texel

The more my mind is filled with thoughts and information and things to be done, the more there is a longing for the calm and quiet.  Looking at my pictures it reflects in my photography. The open land and wide expanses seem to calm the senses. There is room for imagination and daydreaming like dreaming oneself away, far away, from everyday life.  Giving in to the wish for simple quietude for a moment, a holiday from the mind.

This picture was taken on Texel island, which is beautifully empty and quiet outside the touristic season, which seems to stretch out itself over almost the entire year unfortunately.

 

Ascension day

winter's toll
winter’s toll

These last days of frost and chilling wind so far in the season made it very hard for small birds to survive. Our little friend robin did not live to see spring finally arrive. Yesterday he was slow to get out of the way. Today hubby found him like this. Here’s a tribute to the ascension of our little friend. His constant chatter gone with his last breath, his curiosity taken into a next realm.

His last song I will sing for him.

yesterday's robin
yesterday’s robin

Inside or out

Eagle in Rotterdam zoo

The net

These pictures were taken at Rotterdam Zoo. I’ve not been to a zoo for many many years. So much has changed. Animals have much more breathing space, but inevitably there is the necessity of a barrier between them and the visitors. Barriers divide the world in two sides. You are at one side of the barrier or the other. Generally it is considered best to be outside. It means freedom. But inside could also mean protection, like a net over a pond prevents the fish from being eaten by a hungry heron. Nothing is as simple as it seems and everything seems to have at least two sides to it. 

The same goes for photographing animals in captivity. As soon as I think of it as wrong, there’s another barrier between me and the animal. I search for the animal himself to speak to me, captivity only being the situation he is in.

Eagle in Rotterdam zoo
Eagle in Rotterdam zoo

 

Light and dark

It was only when I got interested in photography I realized how much darkness and light need each other to be perceived. Take one of them away and we would have difficulty to see. The more contrast there is between them, the stronger we experience them. That very much reminds me of life itself. I relish the light and joyful moments in life, but the moments of challenge and darkness make the experience of light so much more intense.

One pinprick of light in the dark can guide us like a star, but one dark speck in the light would hardly be noticed. Which makes me think darkness and light are both a necessary part of life, but light is the stronger one.