Little Black Lies in Calgary – a Tar Sands Talk by Jeff Gailus

I little black lieshave teamed up with Canadian author Jeff Gailus for his Tar Sands talk, Little Black Lies, tomorrow night in Calgary, Canada. During Jeff’s talk my photographs from the Tar Sands will be playing in the background.

If you are in Calgary tomorrow, join Jeff Gailus as he explores the intersection of two of the most salient features of the early twenty-first century: the explosion of tar sands development and the ubiquity of hogwash. The two, he posits, are companions of sorts, each engaged in a symbiotic dance that allows them both to thrive—to the detriment of our moral and social well being.

Jeff is the author of the Grizzly Manifesto and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. I am very happy to join forces with him as he exposes the ridiculous ‘ethical oil’ argument put forward by the government. Join him tomorrow at the Calgary Chapter of The Council of Canadians, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Doors open at 7, Unitarian Church – 1703 1st St. N.W.



Up Up and Away – Nepal

Tommorrow I leave for Nepal.

Nepali/Dutch artist Shiva Rimal and I are off to work on our collaborative art project Climate Oxide. It is a documentation of climate change impacts around the world using photography, steel and rust. We will visit various climate adaptation projects, trek in the Himalayas and take part in the Moving Planet action in Kathmandu on September 24.

About the Project

Robert van Waarden and Shiva Rimal create items of visual art using the mediums of photography, steel, and rust. Their current project, Climate Oxide, uses this art form to symbolize how climate change is impacting our world. Reflecting on their heritage, Nepali and Canadian born artists with Dutch nationality, they will personalize the climate issue to the viewer by visualizing the impacts on their individual environments.

The combination of this aesthetic art form and story is unique and is interesting for a wide audience. Publications and galleries/outlets are invited to contact the artists for more information and to explore opportunities to display the resulting body of work.

Stay tuned for more. I will return in the first week of October.

Force – Jaap van der Beek

My newest photography project, Force, is a focus on the human side of wind energy. It demonstrates that wind energy it is not an aspect of the future but a lived reality right now for people and communities all over the world. This is the second in a series of posts (read the first here) to introduce these wind energy heroes. Partially supported by the GWEC, contact me if you wish to publish or support this project.


Force Wind Energy - Jaap van der Beek“Als ik alleen met aardappelen en uien bezig zou zijn, dan hoefde ik voor de rest niet zo veel mensen te spreken.” Jaap van der Beek (If I only grew potatoes and onions, then I wouldn’t speak with so many other people.)

Jaap van der Beek is a businessman, a farmer and a pilot in Middenmeer, the Netherlands. Like many farmers in North Holland, he harvests tulips, potatoes, onions, and wind energy. For over 15 years he has been involved with harvesting the power from the wind and his 850kw turbine powers hundreds of homes.

He speaks passionately about the impact that wind energy has had on his life. Perhaps first and foremost, above the financial gain, is the sense of community gained from involvement with wind energy. Owning a wind turbine has connected him with the other solitary wind turbine owners in North Holland and with the industry as a whole. He is a member of the implementation commission with the Netherlands Wind Energy Association and member of the WindUnie co-operative. He works tirelessly to promote and grow the wind energy sector in the Netherlands.

Currently Mr. van der Beek is working on a building a new turbine. “I am a business man, therefore I want to move on, I want to go bigger, better. To stand still is to go back,” he says. However, due to new planning regulations, van der Beek’s proposed 3.5MW turbine must be placed at another location in the polder in line with other turbines. He is currently working with other windmill and land owners in North Holland to secure a location for this collection of wind mills. He has been busy for 5 years on this project, an inordinate amount of time considering it takes about 2 months to actually install a windmill. All across Europe it seems the long planning and permit process is hindering the quick implementation of clean renewable energy.

For now, as the project continues development, van der Beek will work with the seasons, the tulips will grow and he will continue to implement wind energy solutions on his farm and in his life.

Force – Roman Juriga

My newest photography project, Force, is a focus on the human side of wind energy. It demonstrates that wind energy it is not an aspect of the future but a lived reality right now for people and communities all over the world. This is the first in a series of posts to introduce these wind energy heroes. Partially supported by the GWEC, contact me if you wish to publish or support this project.


Mr. Juriga looks on the icon of Saint Elias. The wind turbine was named after Saint Elias, a prophet because Mr. Juriga believes that wind energy is prophetic in our need for a clean energy world.

“Everything was given to us by god to survive, that includes the energy and the capacity to create energy,” Roman Juriga.

Mr. Roman Juriga is the director of the Pravoslavná akademie Vilémov in the Czech Republic. The Orthodox akademie educates kids and adults about clean energy. Through installations of solar, wind, and hydro, they help visitors understand the benefits and possibilities of the renewable energy system. In a time when most NGO’s are suffering, the akademie is supported by the revenue from the energy created.

In his youth Mr. Juriga was an outspoken anti-communist. He learned English from textbooks to prepare for his escape from communism. He grew up as an atheist according to state decree and was forced into the manual labour lifestyle, working in various factories. When he discovered the Orthodox religion he felt it matched his values and the way that he wanted to live so he joined the church. Mr. Juriga was invited by the church to go to University to study theology. He said, ‘I can’t, they know that I am an anti-communist, I can not go and study.’ The church said that they would protect him. Luckily, just as the authorities finally got wind of his studying, 1989 happened and communism in Czechoslovakia disintegrated.

Mr Juriga strongly believes that community involvement and small-scale energy production is essential to the development of a post carbon world. His vision to establish the akademie was realised through the support of the Orthodox  church.  The akademie has been insturmental in shining some light on the complicated world of clean energy development in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, and even more in Slovakia, the approval process for small energy production is swamped in bureaucratic procedure. Complicated submission procedures and tons of paper work protect the vested interests of fossil fuels, politicians and large companies. The headway that Mr. Juriga and his akademie have made in getting submissions approved have been an example and inspiration to others across the Czech Republic.

Mr. Juriga stands in the shadow of the Saint Elias wind turbine.

Mr. Juriga prays in the Orthodox church in Vilemov, Czech Republic.

Global Wind Day – Photographing an Offshore Wind Park

On June 15, Global Wind Day, I took the opportunity to attend the Netherlands Wind Energy Association organized events celebrating wind power in the Netherlands. Highlight: trip to the offshore wind park, Egmond aan Zee.

We left Ijmuiden early in the morning dwarfed by the behemoth steel factory, the Hoogovens (second image). I couldn’t have imagined a more contrasting image to what we were about to witness. A short sail offshore and we were greeted by the 36 turbines that make up the Egmond aan Zee park. The turbines have a combined capacity of 108 megawatt and power over 100,000 homes per year. Offshore wind will be a powerful player in the future energy market and I welcomed this opportunity to photograph it. I hope you enjoy the results.

Note: I am currently working on a new project about people living and working with wind energy internationally with support from the Global Wind Energy Council. If you wish to be a partner on this project, we are providing a rare and exciting opportunity for businesses to be involved with a demonstration through photographic fine art that clean energy solutions are viable right now. Send me an email for more information!


Global Wind Day – the Netherlands – Images by Robert vanWaarden

Photographs from Royal Gallery Opening

I have been pretty busy the last few weeks with family engagements and I haven’t had much time to post new things to the journal. But as things settle down, the time is found to move forward with things that I have been meaning to do for several weeks. This includes posting some of the images that a good friend of mine Leora Rosner captured at the opening of the Royal Gallery exhibit last month. Enjoy.

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

photos of Royal Gallery Amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

royal gallery exhibit in amsterdam

Credit: Leora Rosner

Slideshow of Amsterdam Royal Gallery Show

Several people have contacted me and expressed their disappointment that they were not able to catch the Royal Gallery exhibit here in Amsterdam. I said that I would post a gallery of the images that were displayed at the gallery. Although this really doesn’t show off the images in their full splendor, it gives you an idea of what was displayed during the month of April 2011.

If you are in Amsterdam, the show will be displayed until April 30th, go to Royal Gallery to check it out.


Amsterdam Royal Gallery Show – Images by Robert vanWaarden

World Press Photo 2011 – Before the Behind the Scenes

Every year the world’s most prestigious photography competition, the World Press Photo, gets going in Amsterdam. Hundreds of thousands of photographs are submitted by thousands of photographers from around the world. The best of the best! For two weeks a jury, consisting of some of the top individuals in the industry, deliberates and decides upon the winners.

But what happens before this, how does the World Press deal with this workflow? For the last three years I have helped ready thousands of images for the jury. It is a unique opportunity to see the best (and worst) photographs from the previous year.

For three weeks, a team of international ‘inschrijvers’ works tirelessly to ensure that the images are ready for the jury. The job isn’t easy. Shifts of 16 people scan through image after image to make sure there are no problems. They look for duplicate images, corrupted files, montages and perhaps the most important, the creation date.

Because most images (see rules for specifics) submitted to the contest need to be from the previous year, the creation date is very important. The system reads the metadata of the image and checks that against the photographers own input. We regularly see that they don’t match. At this point, the dedicated staff will email or contact the photographer for more information and to resolve the discrepancy. Hundreds of photographers received emails this year for this reason. Some are honest mistakes, some are intentional, and some have camera problems.

(Note to photographers: If you job is to record current or newsworthy events and you can’t set the date on your camera, I would like to know who you work for so that I can give them a call.)

As far as I know, this kind of dedication is unheard of in the photo competition world and is one of the reasons that the World Press is highly respected. It helps ensure that year after year, the World Press Photo competition helps decides the best photography of the year. Keep your eyes on the World Press site this Friday for the winners.

It’s Official – Amsterdam Photographer: We have moved

Robert van Waarden Photography has officially moved to Amsterdam. For the last 3 years, I have been based in Utrecht, a wonderful city to the south. However, it was time to make the move to the big little city.

I am very happy with the new location in Amsterdam. It brings me closer to  valued clients and comes with new office digs! I will continue to conduct my photographic endeavors from this new location and look forward to working with you in the years ahead.

Phone number and email remain the same.

Due to this move, internet connection is not yet stable so I apologize if I don’t respond right away.