A big part of our Rhine river cruise was the opportunity to visit a lot of wonderful places, including some in the country that I was born and raised in: the Netherlands. As the windmills of Kinderdijk were one of the options, my wife and I decided to do that tour…
As we arrived at Kinderdijk, the sky looked threatening, so luckily I had put the rain gear on my camera, as it started pouring while the sun was bright across parts of this scene. It made for a great dramatic shot that captures 5 of the 19 windmills.
Within minutes was dry again and some of the sky started clearing. This is windmill number 1 on the Nederwaard side; this windmill is of the type ‘Grondzeiler’, which translates literally to ‘Groundsailor’. The name makes sense, as the blades or sails come close to the ground when they turn.
Of course, one of the benefits of these weather conditions is that rainbows will appear and they were stunning!
And then the sun came out in its fullest glory! Even though the light was strong, I couldn’t resist capturing this shot. Let me know how many windmills you count in this shot!
Our guide for this tour was really knowledgeable and made the whole presentation very interesting; it helps that she was born and raised in Kinderdijk! During a break, we chatted in Dutch and she wasn’t surprised to find out that growing up in the Netherlands, I had never visited Kinderdijk; it’s not uncommon, as there are 1,200 historic windmills in the entire country, so you’re never very far from one. As matter of fact, in the house where we lived when I was just finishing elementary school and going to high school, I had British friends who lived in a windmill.
Tomorrow’s Kinderdijk post, I’ll chat about some of the details of these iconic symbols of Dutch culture, and we’ll talk about their operation.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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7 thoughts on “A Stop by Kinderdijk – pt. 1”
Simply -wonderful mosaic of the windmills! I have been there a couple years ago, thanks for reminding me my lovely memories ! bye. K
Thank you very much. They are enjoyable to visit. Be well!
Stunning photos! Visiting there is on my bucket list…hopefully in the spring in a few years, so we can add a tulip tour also. I’m guessing about 15 windmills in that last shot. Will you be giving us the correct answer? :o)
Thank you! Yes, it is well worth visiting Kinderdijk. I have to admit that I did enjoy the variable weather, as it felt like 3 seasons in one photo session.
The correct answer will come 😎
wonderful shots Frank. 11 windmills?
Diane, thank you! And your eyes are very good, as there are 11!
Hurrah!! Thanks Frank.