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The desire to create a nice picture, that's what it is all about.
For my 6th birthday I got my first camera: an Agfa Click pocket camera.
Later I could borrow my father's (rangefinder) camera and sometimes I was even able to borrow someone's SLR when I was going to yet another airshow.
When I had saved enough money I bought my first SLR: a Minolta XG-1 with a telezoom.
I took photography classes and learned to work in the dark room.
My first "assignments" where for my high school.
A couple of years later, I replaced the Minolta by a Nikon F4S. I did a lot of portraits, concerts and theatre performances, a couple of weddings and some airshows with that camera.
At the Fotovakschool I also learned to work with medium and large format cameras.
My interest in digital image enhancement and manipulation started pretty early.
I bought CarelDraw and learned to work with the image editor that came with it.
In 1995 I bought Photoshop 3.
At the time, I had to send out my negatives to a lab that could digitize them. And when I was done, they would create negatives again from my files so I could print them at the photo lab I was working in.
In high school I also got interested in another way of creating beautiful images with light: I started learning to light school plays and performances.
I later even got a job as light tech at some great musicals like Les Misèrables, Chicago and Saturday Night Fever. After that I have been a resident stage manager for the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht for some years.
After some experiments with digital compact cameras, I finally switched to digital SLRs in 2007.
By reading, both in books and online, I taught myself a lot of the techniques I use in my recent work.