Interview with Jeroen den Uijl

– Please introduce yourself

My name is Jeroen den Uijl. I am a fine art photographer with a great interest in minimalistic landscape photography and portraiture photography. Photography has been my passion for many years. I started with photography in my teens. Mainly I did so to register my impressions of all the beautiful places and people in the world as I travelled a lot and spent a lot of time in the outdoors.

At that time I shot my photographs on film and like I wrote before, I used photography more as a means to document my travels than anything else.

When digital photography presented itself I stepped back from photography for a while. I had tried a digital camera but couldn’t get the same results as with my Nikon camera and film. It was only in 2006 that I bought my first digital SLR camera. From then on I picked up photography again. Later on I enrolled in a professional training for photography. It was here that I discovered that I enjoyed landscape photography above all other forms of photography, except perhaps portraiture photography. I also discovered that within photography there are two main choices to be made: do you use photography as a means of documenting the world or do you create a photograph as you envision it?

Funny enough and most unexpected I noticed in school that my work took on a more creative approach to photography than the documentary work I used to shoot before. Slowly I began to experiment with long exposure techniques and black and white photography.

My main focus in photography today is shooting landscapes in its’ most minimalistic form as possible to convey only the bare essentials of a landscape. Also once every so often I make portraiture photos, usually monochromatic.

– How did you get interested in photography?

My father and grandfather were keen amature photographers. I have early memories of my grandfathers’ dark room down in the basement of his house. I got my first camera when I was around ten years of age and in my grand fathers’ basement we developped my films. There I first got interested into photography, although I have to confess that my interests wandered quite a bit at that time and it wasn’t until I graduated from high school that I first bought my own SRL camera and started with photography again.

– Do you have an artistic/photographic background?

I have followed a professional training in photography, but after two of the three years in school I dropped out. Besides that I have no artistic background, but my father still paints a lot, as did my grandfather. My mother in law was a professional artist, she painted beautiful land- and seascapes. Some of my work has been inspired by her work, not always consciously, but sometimes when I look back at my work and hers, I see resemblances in our work.

In school I was inspired by photographers such as Michael Kenna, Michael Levin, David Burdeny, Wilco Dragt, Stephan Vanfleteren, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.

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– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?

That depends, but usually a lot. I almost always work in projects. They in themselves can last for more than one or two years and only then is a serie is complete. Of course I don’t work on a project continously.

With landscape photography sometimes you get lucky and get to a scene and find the right conditions, light and weather as you get there. But even then I have checked out a site on the internet, on several apps, and checked the weather forecast beforehand. More often than not I have to go back to a scene because conditions were just NOT right.

In portraiture photography I tend to use less time to prepare.

– Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?

I use a Nikon d810 and mostly a 24-70 mm 2.8 lens and use Lee filters a lot in order to create a more serene and minimalistic feel to my sea and waterscapes by using long exposure techniques.

I enjoy overcast days as the colours are more subtle and pastel like then. Also the contrast in the landscape is less when it’s a cloudy day.

When I develop my photographs I use Lightroom mostly and photoshop only for the final touch. I use dodge and burn techniques mostly, adjust for clarity and sharpness, and use masks and colour adjustments.

– What do you do in your life besides photography?

Besides photography I have a family with three children and try to spend as much time with them as possible. Also I like to go for a run or two and love cycling. I still love travelling and going outdoors a lot.

As photography is a job that does not pay all the bills I also work as a physiotherapist and a manual therapist. Helping people with healthcare issues is still a great job next to my photographic work.

– What future plans do you have?

I am currently working on a project on the North Sea. I expect that this project will keep me busy for the coming year. I have recently worked on a project in Morrocco of male portraits and would love to continue this maybe next year.

– What projects would you like to accomplish?

I want to start a project of interviewing and portraying people of different decades, from the early 40’s up till the generation of 2010. The project is of their idea of usefull advise for generations to come. This will be a project of photographs in black and white.


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