Since the World Super Powers decided that the Middle East should stay a battle ground for decades to come, a lot of people flee their own bombed out countries. Of course the Super Powers have no intention of hosting the many, many refugees, so instead they end up in Europe. Some have literally nothing, a plastic bag with some belongings. Others bring their own staff and expensive cars.
In the midst of the Amsterdam Red Light district is a street called Zeedijk and that is where you find most of the bars and restaurants. At the start of the Zeedijk there are two gay bars with colorful visitors, leather boys, transvestites and a lots of drag queens. Undoubtedly Amy Huiswijn (to be translated as Amy House Wine) is the Queen of the Zeedijk.
One of my early assignments was to photograph women who owned a Harley Davidson. Back then in 1979 I thought it was looking for a needle in a hay stack, but I actually found quite a few women riding Harleys. It was a fun series to do, because I like Harleys and I like women.
I am not much of a traveller these days but I used to wonder the globe as a photojournalist until I was so fed up with it all that I decided to go for a desk job. That became boring even sooner than I could have ever imagined. So once over I started my own company. Home based so that I would have all the comfort in the world while still getting to meet interesting people. I know where and when I really lost my interest in traveling for the magazine. It was in 1981 traveling from Los Angeles to La Paz in a blue Toyota with American license plates. At that time the feelings of Mexicans where quite hostile towards Americans. I expect very little has changed since then.
It was during his last European tour (1980) that I photographed Bill Haley, famous for his hit Rock Around the Clock. To me he was a legendary, almost mythical figure and I had not expected him to invite me into his dressing room to have a look at my photographs of Dutch rockers. That is partially why this photo is quite unique. There are not many photographs of Bil Haley with his glasses on.
There are two limited edition prints available on my main website:
Bill Haley – Close up + The photo posted here.
I like snow and the last few years it has not been snowing in The Netherlands. Instead we have rainy, windy winters with hardly any frost. This photograph was taken 5 or 6 years ago. I was so excited I must have shot hundreds of photographs before the snow melted away again after a few days.
I really like the small boats some Amsterdam inhabitants keep for entertainment. The canals can be very busy with larger sightseeing ships for tourists, so it takes a bit of courage too to take your partner or your friends out on a trip over the canals. I just love to photograph these small floating households and I have been doing so for many years so expect more of these pictures to come.
As a young photographer I preferred the safety of the studio above assignments in the field. The magazine I worked for wanted documentary photography, preferably scenes of desperate people in hopeless situations and I just did not have the stomach for that kind of photography. Forget about the ground rule that sex sells. Human misery sells even better when it comes to photojournalism. So I decided to do documentary photography in my studio. I invited groups of people over, photographed and interviewed them. The first major series I published was called Greasers in 1977. The series became a success and the editors seemed to like the idea of some studio photography in their magazine.
See more of this series: here.
I love ships, even the smaller boats in the Amsterdam canals used for entertainment. These two sailing ships were photographed on a Dutch lake that used to have an open sea connection and was called the Zuiderzee. (Southern Sea) The Zuiderzee was once used as a sailing route to Amsterdam and smaller Dutch ports for trading vessels. In 1927 the Dutch government started to connect two Dutch provinces with a highway on a dyke, closing off the Zuiderzee from open waters. It is now called the IJsselmeer by the Dutch speaking majority and Iselmar by the Dutch who speak both Dutch and the Frisian language.
While I try to make this blog presentable I hope you can find the time to check on my main photography site at: hansvanderkamp.com
What I need now for this blog is decent header typography and a logo. Minimal but less crappy than the one I made just now.
Kiyevskaya metro station Moscow © Hans van der Kamp