Life at a farm in the 1960s

After my grandfather had died, my grandmother from my mother’s side remarried a retired farmer who had a farm in Wapenveld, Holland, see here for the location. The family name was “Warning,” and the farm was worked by the youngest son. The farm building, Hulsbergen, is interesting as it contains remains of a medieval friars’ abbey, the “klooster” to which the local names refer.

Adjacent to the farm is still a forest and a stream, this forest was the main reason for my father to visit the farm as my father was photographing birds and wildlife at the time and the area was quiet like an early bird sanctuary and full of rare species of birds.

Sometime in the early 1960s, my father took a series of photos of life at the farm that I recovered and scanned. I love these photos: the photos of today, are the quaint and vintage photos of tomorrow. With about forty milk cows, at the time this was a decent sized farm and I do wonder what happened to the farm in later years when farms became fewer but larger. As you can see on Google Maps via the link above, the farm is still there and is still in the same family.


Watching the video diaries of Ben Horne always gives me a dose of ‘fernweh,’ the longing for far away places. I do like Ben’s photos, his landscapes on large format Velvia 50 are gorgeous, but his video diaries give even more: The insight in how the photos are taken, slowly, maybe one exposure in a few days, is illuminating. It resonates with my own experience when I went back to film, slowing down really improves the results. But the most important quality of the video diaries is the feeling that you’re there in these beautiful locations.

I would love to visit these locations myself and see what I can make of them on my Pentax 67II. Which makes me think of other places that I would like to photograph. I would like to visit Iceland again, everybody has been visiting Iceland but that wouldn’t stop me.  Only by visiting the same location many times will you be able to capture it at its best and unexpected. The reason for the urge to go again is that I have learned so much since 2006 and would make so much more of the place now.
As a new place, relatively close by yet very isolated, I would love to visit the Faroe Islands. It is gaining popularity and feels still a bit of an adventure.

The more remote locations that I’m dreaming of include Torres del Paine national park in the south of Chile or a city break in Havana, Cuba. These will be trips of a lifetime. But I guess that for the moment I need to satisfy myself with my biennial trips to Japan, still so much to see and uncover there even after all these years!