Be my guest – Peter Bolman- John Stuij Photography

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Be my guest – Peter Bolman

05 Mar 2011 Be my guest | Comments

On this place I will try to give you a little insight on some of the photographers that I admire and let them tell you a bit about their background and how they became involved in photography. In this edition we learn about the beautiful landscapes from self-taught amateur photographer Peter Bolman.

Name: Peter Bolman
Country: the Netherlands


How and why did you start photography?
My interest for photography began about 30 years ago when I was a teenager. In the early eighties I watched a television course on the Dutch TV and the next day I ordered the material which was necessary to follow the course. Included in the course-material were a plastic 35mm camera but also some nice books from which I’ve learned the basics in photography.

The plastic 35mm was not really up for the job but a friend of mine gave me an old Russian-made camera, a “Revueflex”, a metal 35mm SLR-camera with a detachable 35mm lens. The shutter worked with “curtains”. With that camera I became really interested in photography and all its possabilities. In a short time my photo-suitcase was filled with a 28mm wide-angle lens, a 200mm telelens and many other accesoiries.

My first camera I really bought myself was a Practica BC1, a semi-automatic SLR. I still own both cameras and used them all the way up to the digital age. I’ve never owned a professional 35mm film SLR like a Canon or Nikon.

As soon as the first digital cameras appeared on the market my interest was intensified as I was really enthousiastic about the fact that it was now possible to see results immediately on the computer instead of having to wait for the results when they came back from the developer.

My first digital camera was a KODAK DC4800. In that early age the prices of digital cameras were incredibly high. The KODAK DC4800 was of course a camera with limited possibilities and I was very happy when Canon announced the coming of it’s first affordable digital SLR, the 300D.

The Canon 300D brought me to a higher level as a landscape photographer.

Did you had an education in photography?
I never had a formal traning in photography. Neither did I join a photoclub. All the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years came from just reading books, magazines
surfing the internet and putting into practice what I’ve learned. Especially photo-magazines with photoshop tutorials were very helpful.

Are you professionally involved in photography?
-If so, since when?
-If not, what is your profession and how do you combine it with photography?

I am not a professional photographer and I never intended to be one. For me photography is a hobby. A hobby which I take very seriously though.

What kind of equipment do you use?
Equipment en accesoiries are of course very important for a serious landscape photographer. I carry in my bag the Canon 5D mark II en my favourite lens, the Canon 17-40mm L lens.
Additional to that lens I use the Canon 24-105mm IS lens, a Canon 70-200 2.8 L lens and occasionaly I use the Sigma 12-24mm lens.
My mostly used accesoiries are a tripod, a remote release with timer function, a polariser filter and the LEE filter system, including ND and ND-grad filters.
Another camera I use sometimes is a Canon 5D, which I’ve converted into an infrared camera. The world of infrared photography is totally different than normal photography.
The infrared feature give’s some amazing results and I always am amazed in how a scene can look in infrared. For infrared photography I also use my rule to get the best composition

What makes your work differs from others?
I don’t think my work is any different or distinctive to other landscape photographers. I do take a lot of time to find the best composition and I think most of my pictures are pleasing to the eye, both composition and after-editing. Because I find composition so important, I seldom make series of the same subject because in my opinion that one shot is the “only” shot.

Who are your favorite photographers?
I find many inspiration in the work of Patrick DiFruscia and Adam Burton, both members of the TimeCatcher team. I think my after-editing is a mix of the edting these two photographers show. Another photographer I want to mention is David Noton. A photographer with an amazing patience to wait and wait for the best lighting conditions. I watched his DVD “Chasing the light” many times…

What are your favorite photo locations?
My work in the oil industry made it for me possible to travel frequently to Scotland. I fell in love with that country almost on the first time I visited it. I am not a world traveller because of my fear of flying, so I have to make do with locations I can reach by car or boat. Scotland is an amazingly beautiful country with stunning, breathtaking locations.

In Holland it is not hard for me to find nice locations, because I live in the north. A favourite place where I return very often is the area around the Waddensea and the Lauwersmeer.

Nowadays I spent 70% of the year in Spain, on the Mediterranean sea front. It is still a challenge for me to find the right fotolocations in that area where I live.

In what way do you edit your pictures?
Absolutely…yes….and I think every serious photographer does. Because I shoot in the RAW-format, basicly a digital negative, I can determine how the end-product will be. I don’t want a pre-fabricated set-up in the camera to decide how my photo or end product will look like…no way…

I do my basic adjustments in Adobe’s Lightroom. My favourite tools in Lightroom are the exposure and whitebalance settings. With these tools I get already a product which I am very happy with. From Lightroom I transfer a 16-bit TIFF file to Photoshop where I most of the time create a levels- or curves-adjustment layer and tweak it some more.
I save my files as a 16-bit TIFF, a PSD and a full JPG. And offcourse a file for the website, saved for web.

What is the most important when practising nature and landscape photography?
Just one word…patience…

You can’t give directions to nature or the landscape. What you see is what you get. But that is the fun of it. I love being outdoors and be surprised or let down by what nature presents that day. I can never be an enthousiastic studio photographer where you can dictate everything.

Are your pictures being published and did you join a stock agency?
As any other photographer it is always nice that your work gets recognized. Thats why you have a website and publish on the internet so that people can see your work and either like it or dislike it. Thats the beauty of internet.

The cherry on the cake is of course when occasionally a photo gets published or wins a photocontest. Some of my work has been published in national but also international magazines. I am not attached to any community for stock photography.

For more information about Peter Bolman check his website

All pictures in this article appear courtesy of Peter Bolman.
They are copyrighted and cannot be used without his permission.


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