Interview with Ferry Verwijk


Winner of UPR Amsterdam 2016

As we count the days to both our very anticipated events, we take the time to look back at some of the previous editions and showcase our past winners. We hope that this inspires you to get out there in full competitive mode.

Our first guest interview is not only a recurrent participant but also twice a winner of our event. He won once in 2014 and again last year for our 2016 edition. He knows well the inside out of our event and we asked him to share a couple insights over it.


Theme 1 - Eye contact

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am 49 years old and live in a small town, 50 km above Amsterdam. I did move from Amsterdam 23 years ago, but still love to come back. It is a great city for photographs, so doing the UPR in my old Town is fun.

I have a great relationship with the love of my live, Melona. I have a son, he's 25 years old, and I am proud to say, that inspired by me he is studying photography at the school of art and is a great guy.

What is your relationship with photography and for how long have you been doing it?
Photography is part of my live for about 33 years now. I am just an amateur, but I love every aspect of photography. I do analog for about 90% of my work and have my own darkroom. I work in several film sizes and also do make wet plate photographs, the first form of photography.


Theme 4 - "Desire is the very essence of man" - Baruch Spinoza

How would you describe your photography style?
I guess my style is no-nonsense, sometimes dark and raw. I like to work with DOF and natural light. I really love B&W and most of my work is B&W.

I am no Photoshop artist. I do not process very much and even my digital work does breath an analog feel.

Who serves you as inspiration? What other photographer's work you admire?
I like to look at the work of others and find my inspiration in that. Not only in that but also in ideas that come up in my mind. My son is an inspiration for me because he does things that are new for me. Some photographers I admire that are inspirational are Anton Corbijn, Stephan Vanfleteren, Ed van der Elsken, Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Gear wise… what do you carry on your bag?
With the UPR I only use a Fuji X100, nothing more. Normally I carry in my bag what I need for a specific result. That can be the Fuji but most of the time it's an analog camera. One of my Minolta SLR's for 35mm work, a Plaubel Makina 67 for roll film, a Cambo 4x5 TC or a 4x5 pinhole camera. At home I use a 13x18 wooden camera for my wet plate collodion work.

Do you participate frequently in photo competitions? Do you think that helps you to keep a fresh eye on photography?
Not often, but the UPR is a concept I like, and it sure helps you to keep a fresh eye!!!


Theme 6 - Rule breaker

Was the UPR challenging enough? Did it serve to trigger you in any new way of doing photography?
It sure was, it is a tough day, physical but also emotional. It does match with how I already work, but it is a trigger to do things a new way. I like to have a theme to work with.

What would be your one advice to the next group of UPR participants?
Be fit, take care of yourself during the day. It is great fun, but also very intense. 3 photographs for each 6 themes is hard. You think 18 photos in 12 hours is easy....but it's not. Above all enjoy this great event.


You can check out the rest of his winning photos and visit his website on the links below.

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