As a photographer it’s good to find your own way and create your own style, but it’s also good to be inspired by other great photographers. They can give you new insights or you can use different parts from their style to use yourself.

This weekend was a weekend with a lot of inspiration. On Saturday I went to the PiXperience, a Dutch photography fair with lectures and seminars. As I had to help out organising the day, I wasn’t completely free to attend any lecture I wanted, but I could attend most. Normally PiXperiences are aimed at nature photographers, but this time travel photography was the leading theme. Even though I travel a lot, I don’t feel myself as a travel photographer. The aim of my travels is to be out in nature, and in my opinion, travel photography is also about meeting different cultures and cities…

Poollandschap in winter; Arctic landscape in winter
“And the earth was without form and void”

The most inspiring lectures were the ones by Bas Meelker on evening/night photography (mainly in cities) and architectural photography by Jeroen Roosen. Taking pictures of cities (in the evening) is something I don’t do that often, but I do like it. These seminars have motivated me to go out more often and check out different cityscapes in Groningen.

On Sunday I went to the Wildlife Film Festival in Rotterdam, where I attended a lecture by Jasper Doest: “And the Earth was without form and void”. Well, a lecture… more an experience… Where with normal photography lectures the photographer explains what is seen in the picture on the screen and then moves on to the next image (which is what I do as well), Jasper took a completely different approach. He sat down on a soap box, with some candles and spots and with a friend next to him playing the guitar. He switched on the sound of the sea surrounding the island Rottummeroog and from that moment he took us with him on the journey to one of the few true wilderness areas in the Netherlands. He told us how he had experienced his stays on the island, how he enjoyed the encounters with different birds and seals and how he realised he felt much happier when he could share his experiences with somebody. Meanwhile pictures supporting his experiences were shown on the screen and everybody in the audience was watching and listening breathless for nearly an hour. Somehow, he managed to create the right mood to have everybody feel the same, something I normally don’t have, when listening to a lecture.

For me two completely different days, but very inspiring to do similar things, or try new things.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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