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Judith Linders

Column, review, essay

  • Writer's pictureJudith Linders

How my photography adventure began...

Long walks with my father.

That's how photography started for me. Not that I had a camera with me on those walks. I didn't have that. But I did have the most important thing for a photographer with me: my eyes. See, look, use your eyes. A photographer doesn't do anything else and a good photographer can't do anything else.


We walked through the Brabant countryside.

Sometimes over the Maasdijk, sometimes through forests or between fields. And I saw so many beautiful things. Not at first, because I wasn't used to really looking. But gradually I noticed more and more beautiful things. How neon green the grass is in the spring. The contrast of the sun falling on trees with a dark rainy sky behind it. The dramatic Dutch cloudy skies, which inspired painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael in the 17th century. I enjoyed that more and more.


And I also saw how fleeting that beauty is.

Nothing is as changeable as light and as elusive as clouds. Spring is always too short. This made me want to capture those moments. To be able to save them. About 20 years ago I bought my first camera. An analogue Canon, with which I photographed the nature around Nijmegen. I thoroughly enjoyed it and then I sometimes thought, “Should I take a photography course?” But I was busy with my career. So busy that photography increasingly faded into the background and at one point I sold my camera. It was done. I thought.


Until 2016.

That was a difficult year for me. I got stuck in my work and didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. Worried a lot and worried about the future. And then, just like that, there was the thought: “I want to start taking photographs again!” Going back into nature, seeing beauty, feeling freedom. On a whim I bought a camera. My first Sony. There I was. And I felt so how intimidated by all the buttons and options. The camera was in the closet for the first few months. But eventually I started taking pictures. First on automatic mode. Nice and easy, then I didn't have to worry about all the technical possibilities. Gradually I started using more of those options and slowly the camera felt more and more familiar.


The great love of my life had begun.

Because I felt so happy when I stood with my boots in the mud somewhere in a nature reserve. Camera on the tripod. Look, compose, look again, adjust composition. And then take a photo. I experienced what psychologists call flow: being completely absorbed in what you are doing. And I calmed down. Felt more and more connected to my surroundings and saw more and more beauty. Even on drizzly, gray days I went out. To often come home with photos that weren't great. But sometimes, sometimes there were photos that I liked! What a great feeling that was.


The first photo I liked

I wanted more of that. Of being outside, of that connection, of those moments when I was proud of a photo.

I had found my great love.

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