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martijnvandernat

Interview with Martijn van der Nat

Interviews

04 December 2015

Posted by Anna Fraser

Hi Martijn! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I’m a Dutch landscape photographer, I'm 43, married, and father of three wonderful kids. Besides my work as a graphic designer, I spend my time taking and creating photographs. Sometimes commissioned, sometimes for a stock agency, but always for fun. My photographic themes are landscapes and architecture, but portraits take my interest as well. I try to have a minimal approach to create strong compositions. Less is more. My work can be characterised as graphic, colourful and dramatic.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

A I was out with a client taking photographs of freight trains and we snuck into a railway shunting yard at 5:00 in the morning, just so that we could get awesome images of freight trains at dawn. There must have been over 30 tracks of rail and we frantically ran across the rails back and forth from one train to the other just to get as much out of the amazing light. Suddenly a new train came rushing in over the tracks. There were so many rail switches and tracks that we could not tell which track the train would go down. Luckily it missed us by two tracks… Later that day my client and I realised that we could have gotten into serious trouble if we had been caught. And we did not even want to think about what could have happened if the train had taken a different track...

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

A I have a Nikon D90, my two go-to lenses are the ever-so-sharp Tokina 11-16 2.8, and the mister do-it-all Tamron 17-50 2.8. Most of the time I shoot from a tripod and with a remote control and mirror lockup just to get the maximum sharpness. I like to get it as good as I can in-camera. I use Formatt HiTech graduated filters to balance the sky. It's easy to make a good image great in post processing. It's not so easy to make a bad image better…

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AThink about what subject you would like to have, then imagine what light/conditions it would look best in. Search for the right location, wait for the light/conditions to be just right, and then all you have to do is show up there on time. If the results are not what you had hoped for then do it again and again and again. Learn from yourself till you get it right. But don’t give up.

My favourite pic is 'Summer Sunset'. It was the first time that I had really envisioned an image, searched for the right location, and actually got home with the image I had in ... Read more

My favourite pic is 'Summer Sunset'. It was the first time that I had really envisioned an image, searched for the right location, and actually got home with the image I had in mind. I just love the lines in the field, the sun, the flare of the lens, the details, the colours, and the fact that it does not look like it’s taken in the most densely populated region of a very densely populated country. Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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Blue hour in the polder, a fog is slowly clearing, 30 minutes till sunrise, -12*C… Cars pass by in a hurry over this little shortcut in the infrastructure and fail to see the be... Read more

Blue hour in the polder, a fog is slowly clearing, 30 minutes till sunrise, -12*C… Cars pass by in a hurry over this little shortcut in the infrastructure and fail to see the beauty that is happening outside… I had taken a similar shot to this without the snow in springtime. With the conditions being this different I thought 'why not try to do the same?' Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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Living in the Netherlands I have been hunting for THE tulip shot. I found this field on one of my little excursions. I just wanted a shot with floodlight over the tulip fields a... Read more

Living in the Netherlands I have been hunting for THE tulip shot. I found this field on one of my little excursions. I just wanted a shot with floodlight over the tulip fields and the sun out of the shot. So the direction of the field in regards to the setting sun was just right in this instance. I was standing about 10 meters from the farmer's house right in front of the window. The whole time I had the feeling that the farmer would tap me on the shoulder and kindly ask me to get off his property, but luckily that didn’t happen. Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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I have visited this location often but the conditions were never ‘special’. This time it was… pre-dawn, mist, windmills and frost. Typical Dutch with a twist.

I have visited this location often but the conditions were never ‘special’. This time it was… pre-dawn, mist, windmills and frost. Typical Dutch with a twist. Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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I was walking back to my car from a very cold early morning sunrise shoot and this is what I passed. I could not resist and had to get my stuff back out of my bag and take the s... Read more

I was walking back to my car from a very cold early morning sunrise shoot and this is what I passed. I could not resist and had to get my stuff back out of my bag and take the shot. Sometimes it is all about seeing and recognizing the right light. I was late for work that day by the way... Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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This was one of my earlier visits to the same location as my image 'Wilsveen in the Fog’. Because the shot I had in mind was not working, I thought to myself 'why not experiment... Read more

This was one of my earlier visits to the same location as my image 'Wilsveen in the Fog’. Because the shot I had in mind was not working, I thought to myself 'why not experiment a bit?'… This was the result. Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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I had been to this location before too, there is a nice castle just down the road and that was why I was there. Then the light through the trees attracted my attention and I wan... Read more

I had been to this location before too, there is a nice castle just down the road and that was why I was there. Then the light through the trees attracted my attention and I wandered off the path in search of a good composition. If you hide the sun partially behind something and stop the aperture down to somewhere between f16—32, it will make for a nice sunstar. Read less

Camera outline

Martijn van der Nat

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This one is typically Dutch: flat horizon, blue sky, and I just loved the play of the light and shadows on the lines in the field. It makes for a great graphic image. Combined w... Read more

This one is typically Dutch: flat horizon, blue sky, and I just loved the play of the light and shadows on the lines in the field. It makes for a great graphic image. Combined with an extreme wide angle lens, the lines and the perspective become even stronger. It reminds me of how I leaned how to draw in school. Everything disappears into the vantage point. Read less

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Martijn van der Nat

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I just love how curious the cows get when they see a strange man sitting in a ditch holding something in front of his face. They just come running to be the first to see what is... Read more

I just love how curious the cows get when they see a strange man sitting in a ditch holding something in front of his face. They just come running to be the first to see what is happening. I love the warm summer feeling I get from this image. I tried to get a nice sunstar over the back of the cow with the aperture at f16 but the cow wouldn’t stand still long enough. I have loads of images with enormous flare and underexposed ones. This one was alright. Read less

Camera outline

Martijn van der Nat

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