Every time I go to one of the polar area’s I feel very privileged to be able to see and experience such area’s. From the first moment I set foot on Spitsbergen I’ve fallen in love with these area’s. Now, many years later, I still get excited by every sighting of a Polar Bear, Walrus or Ivory Gull. But I also enjoy the landscape (or better: icescape), the glaciers, even the smell of a bird colony. Above all I enjoy the silence and desolateness, being away from the hectic life we’ve got used to (or not). No cell phone coverage, news always comes one week late, only few e-mails. Life over there is just about wildlife, weather, scenery and good pictures. But unfortunately these area’s change. Over the years I have seen this change with my own eyes. Glaciers withdraw at an alarming speed, sea ice extent in summer is much less as it used to be. For the polar ecosystem ice is very important, comparable to the soil of a forest. If the soil is gone, the forest will be gone too. That forest is one of my other passions. Not really the small pieces we have in the Netherlands, but the vast area’s just south of the Arctic. True wilderness areas, like the Arctic itself. Most of the time I spent abroad that isn’t spent in the Arctic, I go to Scandinavia. In these places I find peace and quietness and I love to wander around hoping to find a glimpse of a Moose or even a Brown Bear.
Not many people have the privilege to visit area’s like this. Over the years I gained quite some knowledge and experiences, first as a scientist later as a guide. Now I feel its my duty to share my passion for these area’s with other people. Through my stories, lectures and pictures I hope to create more awareness for these distant but rapid changing area’s. I hope this website can help a little in that goal.
All pictures on this website are protected by copyright. It is not allowed to use any of them without prior notice of me. If you want to use any of the pictures in a commercial way, the stock agency Buiten-Beeld sells my pictures, an overview of all my pictures can be found here. If you would like to get more information about making a trip yourself to Spitsbergen, have a look at my Spitsbergen pages. For more recent stories and examples of my work, have a look at my blog.
At home I work as a biology teacher at a secondary school in Groningen and do I give workshops nature photography. If you have any questions about my work or anything else, feel free to contact me.