THE INTERVIEW

June 12, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Just 5 days after coming back from our roadtrip trough the Balkan and having some shots published on FLICKR I received an e-mail from URBEX Magazine saying:

 

Hello TAF68,

I am the founder of Urbex Magazine and we would like to feature some of your photos in this summers issue. Specifically your photos featuring the The Train Depot. Amazing work! Seriously, we love this series so much and we think our readers will love it too!

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact me.

We can give as little or as much information to our readers that you are comfortable with.

We would require 5-10 high resolution photos and a story or description to go with them. We can go over the details if you are interested.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

web@urbexmagazine.com
urbexmagazine.com

 
 

I was very exited and it felt like an honor having my photos published in this great Magazine. So I started selecting the photos and filling out the form involved. One of them was the interview form which I published below. In the end the interview was never published in the magazine. Instead the photos where published in the URBEX Photobook 2012.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

 

First I like the opportunity to thank URBEX Magazine for selecting my photos for this fantastic magazine.

I also would like to thank “www.focus-fotografie.nl” and  “hitman.47” for introducing me into URBEX  photography and teaching me the HDR skills. Never thought it would give me so much satisfaction and excitement!


My name is Theo and by the time the magazine is printed I’m 44 year’s old, starting to get grey hair but still young at heart. On flickr I go by the screen name TAF68 which are actually my initials and year of birth. I was born in the middle of Holland, raised in the North and now live in a small town in the Middle of Holland. I work in the IT for more then 15 years now.


Photography has been my passion since I was 15 years old. Started with black/white photography and since 2004 all digital although I still have my analogue camera and still intend to use it some time.


Started URBEX photography in February 2012. Before that decay had always fascinated me. My first URBEX trip was with “www.focus-fotografie.nl’ and “hitman.47” to Belgium. Had a great time (and a lot to learn). My second trip was to Belgium as well. “Urban-explora.com” jointed us on this one. Again a great time and good company. My last trip was in May of this year. It was actually a holiday together with my wife. We rented this great painted campervan and drove through the Balkan almost 10.000 km. A fascinating trip and a lot of material. I like to thank my wife for her patience while I was shooting in some great locations and she was waiting (and waiting) in the van. “The Dome” we did together. It was a spooky place when we arrived completely covered in the mist.

 

  1. List 3 photographers you admire – past and/or present.

 

That’s a tough one, there is so much talent out there!

 

If I have to pick 3

 

  • Mя.Møпstɛr
  • Andre Govia
  • Monolithe Urbex

 

But I can easily list a dozen more whose work I admire

 

  1. If your not urbexing what are you doing?

      

In my spare time (I wish I had  more) I do a lot of post prossessing on my ever growing stack of photos. I also like to watch a good movie, go out with friends, do RC helicopter/plane flying with my good friend Dave (he also has a 4x4 which is good fun) but my most favorite thing is travelling and making photographs while doing it.

 

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to shoot, and why?

 

I don’t really have one favorite thing to shoot. The subjects have to be exciting, beautiful, weird, amazing but most of all they must inspire me

 

  1. List the most dangerous experience you have had when doing photography.

 

That must have been in 1997 when I was travelling in Iran. I was photographing some beautiful mountains in the late evening light from within the streets of Teheran not knowing that I was standing next to a prison. Suddenly I heard some people yelling at me. I ignored them and started to walk. Now the yelling became louder and as I walked further I heard the clicking noises of loading rifles. Well I can tell you that made me stop (and scared). Luckily nothing happened and I could keep my film/camera after a some talking and smiling. Later that day I heard that two other tourist where locked up for a day because they took some photo’s near a police station.

 

  1. Something that few people know about you.

 

I’m into Urban Exploration Photography

 

  1. What is the craziest job you ever had?

 

Working at a banana plantation in Australia. We were traveling for more than 6 months and starting to see the bottom of our wallets. We run into a farmer who offered us a job. The three of us had to cut down all of the old banana trees with this big machete in the bloody heat of North Australia amongst spiders and snakes It was a dirty job but fun though and the money lasted for another 8 weeks.

 

  1. If someone gave you $5000 to spend on photography what would you buy?

 

I would love to work with a Leica M Series digital camera. But the new Nikon D800E is also very temping. If Nikon made a 8-15mm lens like Canon did I would go for that right away.

 

  1. What program do you use to edit your photos?


My current workflow involves more than one program

It all starts with Geotagging (GeoSetter) and renaming my Raw images. Then I import them into Lightroom with as little modifications as possible (just the camera profile).  Make a selection of images I want to work on. Sharpen them a little within Lightroom, correct the distortion and vignetting and export my bracketed photos into PhotoMatrix. That’s where all the fun starts ;-). Export them back into Lightroom and edit them in Photoshop using mainly NikSoft filters. When I’m satisfied with the result I save them back into Lightroom for dust removal (the D3’s sensor is one big dust magnet ;-( and finally export them for publishing

 

  1. What are your favorite filters or effects?

 

Right now NikSoft Sharpener Pro, Dark Contrasts, Brilliance/Warmth and sometimes Tonal Contrast and Define depending on the picture. But I still have a long way to go in the process of learning to get the look and atmosphere I like for that particular shot.  For me that’s the fun of UE, exploring on location and afterward exploring the possibilities of PP and getting the final result I desire and matches the mood I experienced while on location.

 

  1. Besides your camera, what is a must-have at each session?

 

My trusty Gitzo Tripod a fun crew and loads of coffee ;-)

 

  1. What is your favorite movie of all time?

 

I have to choose between ”Into the Wild” and “Black Hawk Down”.  I choose the first one because it’s shot on location in Slab City and Salvation Mountain. Took some great shot there of this amazing and crazy place the year before the movie came out.

 

  1. What is your favorite TV series?

 

Either 24 or the X-Files. Both series stopped unfortunately.

 

  1. Which is your most-used lens?

 

The Nikon 14-24mm by far. Awesome lens! Only when it’s raining is a good as useless (without a box of cleaning tissues that is ;-)

 

  1. What inspires you on a regular basis?

 

The beautiful things I see with my eyes every day

 

  1. What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?

 

I think modest, easy going and adventurous, but I might be completely wrong

 

  1. List 3 things you wish you had done sooner in your life.

 

Urban Exploring, buy Apple Stocks early 2000 and retire ;-), HDR

 

  1. What is your greatest fear?

 

Loosing my sight and not be able to photograph anymore

 

  1. Could you share 3 of your favorite images?

 

Salton Sea:

Salton Sea

Not one of the best pictures I ever took, but it’s more about the memories I have when I took that picture. The Salton Sea is situated in South California. I found this place trough Google Earth as a National Geographic POI. I took the photo in September 2007. I think it was the hottest (50+ degrees Celsius) and most humid place I’ve ever been to. We were driving towards this point and you could smell the dead fish from miles away. When we arrived there where tens of thousands dead fish lying on the beach. Very sad and unreal. The whole beach was made up out of fish bones, so hundred of thousand fish must have  died there. To get this shot I had to walk through the rotting fish. The smell was terrible and the heat unbearable. Just unreal.

 

The Dome:

The Dome

 

Took this series on my third trip. The Dome is situated on a mountain in Bulgaria. When we arrived around 11 am the whole thing was covered in masive fog. The building is like 30 meters high and wide and normally can be seen from miles away. We had to walk and climb up for about 500 meters not seeing the thing at all. Just 20 meters away a shadow started to pop up. It gave the place a scary look. On the inside there is this beautiful ceiling and mosaic tiles. Took some pictures but they were as good as useless. Waited for another 4 hours and then the fog disappeared and the Dome showed her full beauty. Just unreal!

 

Petit Paris

Maison du Vin

I took it on my first UE trip and one of my first HDR projects

 

  1. Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise?

 

Haven’t tried Miracle Whip yet (not sure you can get it in Holland), so I go for the unknown

 

  1. Mac or PC?

 

A bit of both (hope there are not to many MAC die hard readers out there) I use MAC hardware for it’s screen quality and Windows software. Can’t get used to The Finder. Also for my work I have to use Windows. I think Windows 7 is the first mature OS from Microsoft.

 


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