Biography:

I was born in 1947 in Den Helder, The Netherlands, a place on the seaside.

Since my 14th I am busy with photography. My parents were enthousiast amateur photographers and when I was young, they stimulate me by let me help them in the darkroom. I started to photograph with my mothers Samoka. Some years later they gave me my own Practica and after that I bought two Nikon FE2. One for black & white and one for slides. I printed the black & white photographs in my own darkroom.
After highschool I visit the textile department of an artschool for four years. I often used my photographs as designs for my woven tapestry. Later, photography was the only artform within I expressed myself.

Because of my interest in nature and flowers I followed from 1986 - 1989 an education to become a gardener. It strengthened my interest and knowledge of flowers and trees. I can use this knowledge in photography.

In 1991 I got a job at university at the ICT department. There I got the first contact with digital photography and since that time the digital camera inspired me very much and gave me a lot of new artistic ideas. All the possibilities wich this camera gave me were wonderful. In 2003 I got the possibility to quit my job and since that time photography is a full-time job.

Twenty years ago I bought a house in Krabbendam, a very small village nearby the Dutch coast. Krabbendam is situated near an very old dike and is surrounded by bulbfields. So the coast and flowers (tulips) are for a great part my inspiration source.

When I started fifty years ago to photograph I found my inspiration in structures and nature. These subjects inspired me until this day. A new interest is to photograph the different aspects of movement.

One of the projects I am working on is the move of the sea. I named this series 'Waves'. Depending on the time of the day, the wind and the light, the sea is changing of colour. These photos are mostly abstract.
Most of the time I work at the end of the day when twilight is setting in. The images are taken with a long exposure time. Sometimes I use a greyfilter to extend the time I can work. To capture the right moment is quite difficult because you never know where the wave is coming. That is also the reason to work without a tripod. With a tripod you are not flexible enough.
Very often the results are disappointing because the light isn't very exciting. Here in Holland the air very often is dull grey coloured and that reflects in the water. Then the sea is dull too. But when the sun goes down and the light reflects in the clouds, the sea is glowing. These are the best moments to photograph.

The last two years I am turning to film-based photography, with an old Rolleicord 6x6 camera, inheritied from my father, a Leica M4-P, a Holga and a pinhole Zero.

Last year I am also fascinated by the alternative processes like cyanotypes, the Vandyke's process and gumprinting. I make the negatives digitally so I am using the best of two worlds: the modern digital photo and negative making and an old print technique.

sophia koopman