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One of us #68 - Fred_S

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    Posted: 03 February 2021 at 21:28
One of Us #68: Fred_S



Dyxum member Fred_S writes...



Dear fellow Dyxummers,
Like for most others who preceded me here in this special gallery, it was a big surprise and honour when Mikey2000 invited me through a PM to write a contribution for the One of Us thread.
Although I really like this forum a lot and, as an active member, it feels like being part of a family already, I wasn’t expecting this honourable request. When Mike sent me the PM, I only joined less than two and half year since I subscribed in January 2017. Looking at the many longstanding members here, I still feel like a junior (although my forum status says I am a senior member). Also, I believe there are much better photographers than me who deserve a place in this gallery as well. Nevertheless I am really happy to have been granted the official “One of Us” status of this well respected forum.
As I said before, I really like enjoy the forum. My photography got a real boost after my subscription. There is so much knowledge and inspiration that I have used, and still do. Dyxum almost has become part of my daily life. I like to check the latest posts and do some commenting in the evenings after work. When I checked my profile for this write up, I saw that I had passed the 5k mark of posts. Well, that can justify my nomination for the OuU gallery to a certain extent I guess ;-)
However, this article should be about me and my photography, so enough for the introduction, time to move on with my story.
My first moves into photography were with an old camera from my mother, an Agfa 120 roll film box that I used shooting just one film during a summer holiday when I was around 10 years old. Not the greatest results, but I liked taking pictures immediately. My first own camera was one of those pocketsize Agfamatic cameras, using 110film cassettes. I happily used that a lot for many years. Mainly I was just shooting cityscapes in my hometown Den Helder, and later during my holidays in France with my cousin who is also one of my best friends.
Like many of us, I certainly got some inspiration for photography as a hobby from my father who had much better equipment than those Agfa cameras I had used so far. Looking backwards now, it was a shame he did not use his cameras a lot for family pictures (I caught up for that with my own kids LOL). The love for Minolta came from him. He was an “early adopter” and loyal to the Minolta brand. Unfortunately, he passed away much too early at the age of 56. It is a strange feeling to reach that age myself next year. I still own his Minolta 7000 and 1.7/50mm (with the invoices and all) that he handed over to me in his last days.
I often wonder how he would have loved the digital era and how he would have coped with the current speed of developments and new camera releases.
My first picture here is a copy of a shot from my father in action. The shot was taken by a local photographer, who owned a camera store as well and was our main supplier.

PIC 1 My father in action


When I was a bit older and had some income from various jobs that I did during my high school period I bought my first SLR camera. It was a Minolta XG1. I was quite active with photography at that time, together with a friend from school, who even had his own dark room. We did a lot of B&W work. Not much worth publishing here to be honest, but here is an example (another copy though) of one I took during a school trip to Berlin.

PIC 2 Berlin school trip
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It is a trip I will always remember. The Berlin wall was still there. It was impressive to see a totally different world as a young guy in the eastern part. I remember well I had some scary moments when some soldiers entered the bus to check the passports when we passed the border of East Germany. I had my camera on a strap around my neck, but photography was strictly forbidden near the border between West and East Germany. I also remember that we visited a big store in East Berlin, again with my Minolta around my neck. You couldn’t buy the Minolta brand there. They only sold Praktica, which was considered the low end of the market at home, but here they were sold as a luxury item at about 8 to 10 times the price you would pay at home.
Towards the end of my study period, we tried to develop colour pics as well, but that never became a real success due to the lack of experience.
However, here is one that I am still proud of. It was shot in Greece during the first holiday with my girlfriend that I met in the first year of my study. She is now my wife and mother of our three grown up daughters.

PIC 3 The spouse in her younger days


After my study I moved out of my hometown to live with my spouse, and photography moved a bit to the background. Mostly I shot pictures only during holidays, but we were steadfastly printing lots of pictures and creating a large photo album per holiday.
When the kids came and grew up, lots of family pictures were taken at home and during holidays as well. The moments and memories were more important than the quality of the pictures.
My kids grew up all very active in sports (judo and trampoline jumping) . That took a lot of my time and put some additional requirements to my equipment. So, over time I gradually upgraded my equipment and moved to digital. In many cases through nice second hand opportunities, with help from the database and reviews here. For my camera’s I have always been loyal to Minolta (XG1, X700, 7000) Konica Minolta (DIMAGE 5 an 7D) and now Sony (A-mount A700, A99 and A99ii).
Now the girls are all grown up and more independent and I ‘retired’ from the board membership of the local sports club after 17 years. That left me some more time for myself, although I have always enjoyed spending the time with the kids. Especially the international judo career of my oldest daughter took us to many places all over the world, I probably would never have been to otherwise (e.g. Cape Town, Bratislava, Sarajevo, Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Wroclaw (from where we also visited Auschwitz/Birkenau) .
I decided to spend my new spare time on photography. The first step was taking a course of nine evenings with a well-known regional photographer, who had been a teacher on the Dutch Photo Academy as well.
Actually, my first inclusion in a POTW exhibition was a picture I took as part of that course.
And recently after some further PP, this one even made it as winner of the DPC #283 “That one which is different”.

PIC 5 First weekly exhibition, Yellow Tulip


Short after the photo course I joined Dyxum, which really boosted my effort in photography, and I like to believe, my skills. It brought me lots of inspiration and I learned (and spent LOL) a lot since I joined. My first go here was to complete the alphabetic A-Z thread. After that I just joined and posted what I felt like.
After all this talking, it’s time to put on some more pictures, which mainly will represent my journey here on Dyxum. I don’t have a specific specialism but like to shoot many different things. As a “young member” most pics might be fresh in your memories.

This was my very first picture posted on Dyxum

PIC 6 First Dyxum post, Fountain top


Apart from the challenges, the feedback and comments have been rewarding and a source of energy for me. The next picture was the first time somebody (Joziau to be more precise) called my work ‘a piece of photographic art’. That meant a lot to me and was a big encouragement.

PIC 7 First piece of ‘photographic art': cyclist on a windy day


Besides the encouraging feedback, the challenges and DPC’s have been a great inspiration to actively and consciously use the camera. My family and holiday pics were mostly ‘point and shoot’ if I am honest (with some eye for composition).
It was a real great honour to win the DPC Impressive Machinery as a fairly new member. Another boost to move on and try to get better. Still wearing the badge proudly on my camera bag.

PIC 8 First DPC win ‘Impressive machinery’


Although a number on weekly exhibition inclusions followed after the yellow tulip, it took a while to get my first real POTW.

PIC 9 First POTW, comma butterfly


Apparently gear matters, it was shortly after my acquisition of the A99ii, and my second POTW was with the same combo ;-))

PIC 10 2nd POTW, Bee


Another great part of the Dyxum membership is the ability to attend the Dyxum meetings. I have had the pleasure of attending a number of them, where I met many nice people, all with (at least) the same enthusiasm for photography.
My first DM was in Middelburg, only three months after I joined.

Pic 11 First DM, Middelburg 2017


In the mean time I had some more DM’s of which two in Haarlem.
But is wasn’t limited to regional meetings. I was fortunate to join the Gothenburg DM, with Manfred and Stina as great hosts. Still lots of good memories!

PIC 12 DM Gothenburg 2018


Being part of this Dyxum family also offers other opportunities. I even had a very enjoyable mini DM with Shay (rovhazman) in Tel Aviv during one of my judo trips.

PIC 13 Mini DM Tel Aviv

But an important start point for my photography is that you don’t need to go far from home to shoot nice pictures. For me it is a challenge to look for photo opportunities wherever I am. I took many in and around the house. Or just around the corner. I notice however, that often I end up with (semi) macro shots close to home.

PIC 14 In house macro, Cactus
[
The cactus shot was one of my first and few ‘staged’ shot with some extra lights. Usually I just shoot what I see.

PIC 15 Back yard Macro, Hoover fly


Another photo option around the house for me lies in sunset views from the attic room.

PIC 16 Sun set


On the other hand, it pays off to take your camera with you and always be prepared to capture the moment, although I must confess that is not always the case, but here I was:

PIC 17 Morning shower


PIC 18 Foggy morning


With my membership I also learned a lot about the use of manual lenses on digital cameras. My first experience with a manual focus lens was with a Helios, I appeared to have in a small collection of old cameras. It was a gift from my uncle. And hey, somebody showed here that you could do funny things with that!

PIC 19 Helios adapted (revered front element)


Then I was infected by the Meyer virus. Guess who are to blame for that? LOL
I love the bubbles it can create!

PIC 20 Trioplan 2.8/100mm bubbles


Pic 21 Trioplan 2.9/50mm bubbles



In the meantime, I have collected about 20 Meyers/Pentacons.
If I would post one shot of each lens in my rapidly growing lens collection, I would heavily exceed the guidelines I got from Mike to write this OuO contribution LOL. However here is another lovely vintage lens I have to include: the CZ Flektogon 2.8/35mm. I bought it after I saw some great examples (the challenge for me is to buy these lenses at “bargain” prices).

PIC 22 Flektogon fly


You may have noticed that I also have gone through a period with a relatively high share of BW pics. Architecture and/or street photography are other subjects that I like, which lend themselves well for B&W.

PIC 23 Warsaw


PIC 24 Paris


PIC 25 Dusseldorf


PIC 26 Jerusalem



The next is a combo of BW and macro. It was picked up for publication in the Dutch photo magazine ZOOM.NL, with the comment that macro can make even the simplest subjects interesting on a photo.

PIC 27 Zoom publication


At the other hand, I learned that it is well worth to plan a photo trip, if you have the time for it.

PIC 28 Palendorp Petten


In fact, a planned trip even resulted in the winning shot of the Best of 2018 DPC!

PIC 29 DPC Best of 2018: NTX fuel station


I am still very proud of that achievement, especially being amongst so many talented and experienced photographers here!

As last picture, I’ll show you my most viewed and one but most favoured one on Flickr. It was submitted as an entry for Flickr’s ‘ Best of 2019’ and reached the selection for the Macro Gallery.
PIC 30 Stamens


A point to note however, is that the competitions , recognitions and rewards are very nice, but there is a little flip side to that coin. It is easy to get trapped in a situation where you risk the loss of the real and spontaneous fun and joy in photography.
I noticed that I raised the bar for myself (which is good in itself), but also got hesitant to publish some of my older or spontaneous work, when I felt it did not meet my current standards. My ambition to grow and develop got close to a point where the hobby became almost a “must” to perform, if you know what I mean.
During some recent difficult times with serious health issues in the family, photography proved to be a real good way to get away from everything and clear my head behind the camera. That is what I would like to keep.
If Dyxum becomes a sort of competition or a “must” to perform, what would then be left for me? I won a few DPC’s, had a couple of very nice meetings, scored a number of POTW’s, won a ‘Best of’ DPC and now even got the real honour to become One of Us!
Fortunately I noticed this well in time, so I just want to have fun, improve my skills, be even more inspired, and hopefully inspire some others for many more years with the main and simple Dyxum adagio that I wish to all of you : Happy Shooting! (Despite the current Covid restrictions on meetings and travel.)
Many thanks for your patience if you made it to here!


Edited by pegelli - 04 February 2021 at 08:16
Want to know more about Fred_S? Just click!
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2021 at 21:48
Fred, congrats and well deserved. You've won more DPC's and POTW's than me (and a lot of other members) so it's high time you were able to present the full story as "one of us"

I can relate to the need to keep improving and learning but also that it should never come at the expense of just having fun of photographing and showing your work.

And I agree that Dyxum meetings is by far the best aspect of this forum, I've met a lot of very nice people that way and I can't wait until the COVID restrictions are behind us and we can set up the next meeting with a large group of our active Dutch and Belgian members (obviously international guests are always welcome)
You can see the April Foolishness 2021 exhibition here Another great show of the talent we have on Dyxum
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2021 at 23:29
Fred, welcome to OoU!
It's always interesting to read the photographic and life trajectories of these photographers and Dyxum members, and yours is no exception.
Beautifully illustrated with your highly commended artistic images, plus those from the archives of your father, your Berlin school excursion, and your young wife.
Your enthusiastic participation in everything Dyxum - the challenges, the contests, the exhibitions and comments and feedback is very much appreciated, and as you say, very much a part of your photographic growth and evolution.
Looking forward to seeing lots more from you, and perhaps some day to meet in person at a future Dyxum gathering...?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mambo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 00:36
Congrats Fred on the recognition. It is well deserved.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 00:41
It is well deserved recognition Fred.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 07:28
Good to see you in this company. congratulations
Well deserved.
It is a nice read and I enjoyed seeing the photos again I enjoyed before.

I hope to see you at the next meeting. Till then I'll follow you in your environment here
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 09:26
Wonderful to read but I enjoyed the wide range of images in your journey.

A well deserved inclusion for sure and lot for me to take away and learn from you
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 10:54
Congratulations Fred. Well deserved!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RichardT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 13:13
Well done Fred, very well earned - all that hard work has paid off, I very much admire your focus (!) and hope one day to emulate it, so not only a great photographer but an inspiration as well !!
Very many thanks
Richard
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 19:12
Thanks all so much! It's a real great honour and pleasure to be part of this encouraging and inspiring family, and even with an official label now as well It would be great to meet with you, the first time or again!
Keep up the good work all!

Edited by Fred_S - 05 February 2021 at 20:02
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 19:21
Thank you for telling us your story, Fred!
We are lucky that you are One of Us!

It is not only the great photos you share with us, it is also your nice and positive personality, which is always fun. And I was lucky to meet you in person (and there is an evidence for that in your story! ).

I understand your pressure from the very high standards that you set, but always remember that with all the "competitions" and "challenges", there is no real competition here - the only point is to enjoy and share. Duxum is for inspiration and for good photography, but it is also some kind of family, so it is great to post photos that are not the best, but just for the family album...

And one more thing - maybe you are "young" by the time since you joined, but if we look at your posts count, your contribution is greater that the contribution of many "older" members (you just surpassed me in the posts count ).

So thank you for your great contribution!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AsD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2021 at 20:59
Congratulations Fred, its always interesting to read and see other people's 'journeys'. You're both prolific and proficient, always a pleasure to view your work. Long may it continue.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2021 at 08:20
congrats, Fred, so well deserved! I clearly remember you making an entrance, it would have been hard to miss! (and now we can't miss you!).
TY for a wonderful read!

impressive you dared to try your luck at colour film as well, known to be very difficult to process and pricey too!
and amazing you actually have seen an East-German 'camera' store! (recall seeing Meyer or CZJ? ;)). managed to take any Eastern Berlin pics as well? (would love to see them when you did!). that -iconic- sign looks impressive!
(never seen US soldiers guarding a border -nor Berlin for that matter-, but clearly remember the (photography) strictly forbidden part! in our case a demo of the DDR navy in honour of the 700th birthday of Stralsund. Honni -as our German friends called him- was present too. prior to the show, we'd seen a helicopter above our ship at least 30 times, inside a man flat on his belly holding a huge pair of binoculars, obv. checking us out -as I could show you? ;) -. but able to take pics in town, at least that's what we did. so much fear among the people we met and so many commissars. surreal!).

it's easy to point out the people that inspired you most, but a joy to watch you putting that into practice and to see you really take flight and skyrocketing!
in that respect, I was rather gobsmacked when you mentioned the flip side and the bar.
(and say TY! -TG you're still 'normal'! -. because here it happened to be the other way round. so serious about photography, but just posting for the sheer fun of it. also justifying a certain sloppiness that way, while in the habit of just registrating my surroundings by snapping around a few times, while on my way to subjects I really was passionate about. and to 'justify' lesser pics or posting anyway! fact of the matter is that you inspired me, made me kick my butt, to get more serious about every aspect, every subject that comes along. and that it's still a great idea to really make an effort every now and then. TY for that! ).
it may feel like top sports at times, but would like to remind you that what is good, good for YOU, feels good? so please share the fun? and bring it on.
hope you will continue to follow your passion, follow the light and will never cease to surprise and amaze us!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2021 at 20:04
Originally posted by rovhazman rovhazman wrote:

Thank you for telling us your story, Fred!
We are lucky that you are One of Us!

It is not only the great photos you share with us, it is also your nice and positive personality, which is always fun. And I was lucky to meet you in person (and there is an evidence for that in your story! ).

I understand your pressure from the very high standards that you set, but always remember that with all the "competitions" and "challenges", there is no real competition here - the only point is to enjoy and share. Duxum is for inspiration and for good photography, but it is also some kind of family, so it is great to post photos that are not the best, but just for the family album...

And one more thing - maybe you are "young" by the time since you joined, but if we look at your posts count, your contribution is greater that the contribution of many "older" members (you just surpassed me in the posts count ).

So thank you for your great contribution!


I have good memories of our mini DM Shay!
Some wise words about the family album!
Yeah my number of posts shocked me too , but it's just fun!

But also, in Dutch we say "Alles wat je aandacht geeft, groeit".
(Kind of, you should water plants and treat them well if you want them to grow)
I noticed that during my board membership of the sportclub as well. Things don't flourish by themselves, you have to put some energy in it. I am happy to put some energy in this great forum!


Edited by Fred_S - 05 February 2021 at 21:01
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