On 27 November 2000, I registered the domain natureview.nl. At that time, it was not allowed for private persons to own a .nl-domain, but a company started a new service where they registered domains and leased them to private persons. I did already have a website for a while, but the domain name “www.forturecity.com/greenfield/ecolodge/12/” wasn’t the most charming one (even though I do still remember the name). Besides the ugly URL, it was also filled with ads, as it was a free service. So, when I got the opportunity to buy my own domain and have an ad-free website, I jumped on it. The next question was which domain to register. Several suggestions were made, most of them rejected. I remember several names including ‘polar’ or ‘arctic’ were made, but I rejected those as I didn’t plan on making it a Polar website (little did I know what the future had in store for me…). Eventually, a friend of mine suggested ‘Natureview’, which did fit nicely to what I had in mind. So, exactly 20 years ago this day, it was the official start of the Natureview website!
In the beginning the website consisted of three parts: the Spitsbergen pages, a hiking part and a photography part. In the first, I gave information for visitors to Spitsbergen (something like my colleague Rolf Stange now does much better on his page). The second was a collection of trip reports of long distance hikes I had done in Europe. The last part, the photography pages, is the only part that is still up today, though it doesn’t look anything like what it did back then anymore.
In the beginning I wrote all html-scripts myself, but after some years, I wanted more as I could do manually, so I switched to an html-editor. Later I left html completely and moved on to WordPress, which gives me less flexibility (at least, I can’t write this myself), but there are many templates to choose from, which still allows me to have a great looking website (at least, that’s what I think myself). In the first years the pictures on the site were scanned slides (and often heavily compressed so of horrible quality). This changed in 2005, when I bought my first dSLR, which definitely improved the quality of the photos on the website.
In 2008 I wanted to have the option to show my recent work more easily. The galleries on the photography website show my best pictures, which doesn’t change a lot. So I needed to find a different solution for my recent pictures, which lead to the start of my blog (which is what you are reading now). This also gives me the opportunity to tell the stories behind the pictures or give information (like with the Arctic Species and the Antarctic Birds series). So somehow, the Spitsbergen part of the website also made a comeback. In the meantime, I’ve also registered natureview.photography and natureview.blog and do we get visitors from all over the globe. But I’ll always keep natureview.nl, as that’s how it all started.
Over the years many thousands of people came to visit my pages, reading the hiking trip reports, searching for information about the high Arctic of just enjoy the pictures of these wild places. This post is dedicated to them. If nobody would come and have a look, I would have stopped posting things many years ago already. So, a massive Thank you to all of you! Thanks for dropping by and for all the comments and reactions you leave behind.
Let’s see where this ends! Enjoy!