Wednesday, December 19, 2012

golden grace, brown disgrace

Meet Livy -rarely has a dog been more graceful


livvy majestic 2

and totally ridiculous

livvy shakes it all 5

livvy shakes it all 3

rarely has a dog made more beautiful daughters

golden gate

who haven't yet figured out the trick of making puppies themselves

humping the wrong end

and top that of by both totally defecating all over the scenery

livvy and her defecating daughters

Friday, December 14, 2012

frost -still water, just harder. And smaller.

One interesting part of travel is jet lag. It's not just about time difference -i'd say that's only a small part of it. In William Gibson's novel Pattern Recognition it is described as the time it takes the soul to come back to the body; we travel faster than our souls can on airplanes, and it takes a while for them to reconnect. You sit still for a long time and when you get up again, you're in a different world. It takes time to adjust, time for the soul to travel the same distance the body just has done.

After Vertical Blue, i went from a blue water white beach warm world filled with friends and passion to a grey and cold London filled with hard work. The transition took a week of grump. The two things that helped were my girl, and water. Water, as an element, is endlessly fascinating in all its forms, and even though i was away from its blue deep form, i was surrounded by its frosty form. It beckoned me to go out exploring again, even if i'd been working outside all day and had become quite frosted myself.

It was near the end of the day, and though i was surrounded by monuments

monumental tree and frosted grass 2

graveyard ivy tree v2

my attention was drawn down

frosted grass

from monuments to moments, almost literally frozen in time

frosted branch

leaves frosted

frosted seeds

and i saw the cohesion, the link between blue water and frost

frosted web at dusk

which is when my soul returned to me, i reckon

frosted roses

It reminds me of something my father wrote about the element of water: "That water is an element means that man could attribute an endless amount of meanings to it, but only based on the fact, that the water itself is the centre, and not subjected to an ‘egotrip’. It’s not man that makes water, it’s water that makes man and invites him to contemplation. Drifting on water, listening to the waves or with his eyes following the stream he is confronted with something that in force and duration surpasses his own existence and on which he depends."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Suunto Vertical Blue

Some pictures of this year's Suunto Vertical Blue, where i was the commentator together with the lovely and formidable Francesca Koe. Luckily for me, main photographer Igor Liberti not only very kindly let me share the territory, he also introduced me to this wonderful tune:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

an old friend

Shook hands with an old friend last week

daan basketball

I played when i was a kid, so much so that i ended up injuring myself. Kept playing with the injury, got worse, in the end it required surgery and i had to give it up. Broke my heart, as well as my knees.

But i never got over the feel and sound of a 'nothing but net', when you shoot and the ball goes in perfectly, not even hitting the ring, making the net go 'swoosh'. It is the sound of truth, that is.

I've made visits to my old friend in the past, always taking care not to get too excited, not to expect too much, keep in mind that, though our friendship is only just mature, my knees are pensioners. I always forgot and ended up limping. Last week, it seemed i was finally mature enough to be a pensioner -i walked away, rather than limped. I came back a few days later, shot a few, missed a lot, got some, got 2  swooshes in a row, and it made my day. Swoosh, and walk away. I'd love to dunk again but i'm too old for that shit.

Of course, Leonard Cohen said it better: "I ache in the places where i used to play." Love, even rusty, tends to be worth the pain, though.

PS i love this version of the song:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

jumping through bubble rings

As Patron Saint of Bubble Rings® i have to jump through many hoops -which i do with pleasure

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gary Floatus on Viewbug

I've entered this picture of Gary the Rockstar doing a floatus on Viewbug

gary floatus

It can win me one of them interesting light field camera thingies, for which they don't have underwater housing yet but could be fun anyway. So if you have a moment, please do click below and 'like' the hell out of the pic:

Depth Photo Contest

Sunday, October 28, 2012

St Daan of the Bubble Rings

I might be slightly obsessed with bubble rings

bubble and blower

-but can you blame me? They're awesome; they make grey days bright

bubble on a grey day

they're very comfortable to sit on

sitting on a bubble ring

they help you with framing

in the ring

they give you something to aim for

through the ring

and they're excellent hula hoops

george through ring 3

so since there's a vacancy -i checked- i'm declaring myself patron saint of bubble rings

patron saint of bubbles

blessed be those who blow rings:

see also

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cornelis Verhoeven, violence as inspiration

56 years ago today, my dad defended his thesis Symbology of the foot and got his doctorate. He always celebrated this day, more so than his birthday, so i try to honor this day by putting up a translation on his blog. This year i picked a passage from a book i've been trying to translate, 'Against violence', which is a magnificent brain breaker of an essay on a very worthy topic.

"In all its subtle and complicated morphology violence lies like a dark stain in our existence, collectively, individually and especially in the obscure transition areas between them. And it wouldn’t be violence, wouldn’t be ascendency, if that stain was merely put there by us and could be removed at our discretion. That’s why it is good to contemplate one’s powerlessness before speaking too strongly about violence."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

dog surfing

i knew dogs could swim

doggy paddle

uw doggy paddle

even with a ball in their mouth

bertie and ball

bertie and ball 3

i never knew they could surf, though

bertie on wave

bertie in surf

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Estrella Navarro Holm sets Mexican freediving record

During the AIDA team world champioships in Villefranche-sur-Mer, freediver and model Estrella Navarro Holm set a new Mexican record Constant Weight with a dive to 58 meters.

I was there to shoot footage for a documentary about extreme sports -Attention, a life in extremes- that'll come out next year, but they were not going to use this shot, so i figured i'd put it on youtube; it's a beautiful dive.

if youtube is being a bit of an asshole, here's the vimeo version:

Estrella Navarro Holm sets Mexican freediving record from Daan Verhoeven on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

underwater dance off

In between takes on the underwater realm we messed about a bit, as you might have noticed from a previous post. One of the cast, the ridiculously fit Patrick Bauristhene, is a professional dancer, so we did a bit of monkeying in front of our underwater cameramen. Turns out that the crew had done the same damn thing, so now we have a bit of a dance-off, a battle of sorts, on our hands.

THE GREAT UNDERWATER DANCE OFF. from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

Good thing Pat was there, i look more like boiling spaghetti than like a dancer. Sam does a mean body pump, too

sam pumps it

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chepstow man and the UK freedive team

Right after becoming an international movie star -or extra on an indie series of shorts, depending on whether you want to be realistic about it- i was happy to be back behind the camera, this time to photograph the British Freediving Team as they warmed up for the World Championship in Nice by freezing their butts off in the beautiful but arctic blue green of Chepstow

the blue green of chepstow

where the upside down man oversees his domain

the statue and the light

to have the lovely view of George going down

georgina down

and Liv Liv coming up

liv flies up

i figure he must have a good job, hanging under that platform, seeing all kinds of freedivers doing all kinds of things

becky at angles

underwater play IV

in all kinds of light

georgina and rays

rays and platform

plus he gets lots of love

getting cheeky with the statue

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Underwater Realm and my ass

A while back i was asked if i'd be interested to audition for a movie. Not because i'm an actor -that's a skill i admire but don't have- but because i'm a freediver. See, the movie, or series of shorts, actually, were to be set underwater, and they needed people who could look natural underwater, since the stories were about the Atlantean race. Now normally you point a camera at me and i run in the opposite direction or kick you in the crotch, but the premise of this movie was something i was interested in, and i saw some of the fantastic work that the DP, Eve Hazelton, had done, and i figured it could be a fun experience. So i auditioned for the first time in my life.

I was nervous, but then they asked me to basically play at the bottom of the pool, which is what i call thursday evening (and friday evening and wednesday evening when i'm lucky), so i did and had fun and then went home again. Forgot all about it until i got a mail saying i'd been selected to be one of the Atlanteans

in costume

There'd be one or two days of filming. First it was gonna be in june, but then they got kicked out of the studio by James Bond (shit for them but quite cool from my perspective) and then by Les Miserables (lot less cool), so then it became july, and then end of august. It went from one or two days to four or five. Filming of the piece i was in would start the day after i got home from working in Egypt, so all i did was get home late that night, re-pack, and leave for the west of England the next day. When i got to set things were already very much running, as they had been shooting the previous piece there as well

set drag

We quickly found out that spending 16 hours a day in a chlorinated environment is not fun for the eyes, and we must have gone through about 12 gallons of saline solution per actor. Here's Amanda showing how a solution can be a problem

the saline solution problem

The crew worked even harder than the cast, so the solution there was to shower them in chocolate

sara and the chocolate shower

but after five days of very hard work and very little sleep, even with this lovely bunch of people tensions began to rise

showdown with kat

angus and kate right hook

so i decided to bring out the magic tension breaker -my ass. First i faced-bummed some of the cast

ass and pat

ass and sam

then the crew

ass and jen

ass and kate

which the crew reciprocated

danny ass and angus and me

and then i decided we should top it off with putting stuff up our noses

with amanda and beads

booger and make up

which perked up everyone

sam upside down

except maybe Bryan, who prefers boobs instead of ass and boogers

bryan prefers girls

In the end, we got the job done beautifully and got lots of publicity in doing it:

Underwater Realm on BBC News from Realm Pictures on Vimeo.

Swimming pool to seabed from ITV Westcountry on Vimeo.

so that Eve could finally go for a nice relaxing swim as well

eve swims

All in all, it was a beautiful experience, and as soon as my eyes have recovered, i'll stop crying about it. It got my thinking, though

flexy me

about the relationship between work and play. If they hire (wait, no pay), ehm, recruit a doofus like me for a project like this, they might be onto something: you need some ass to break the tension, some play to keep it working. I can't act for shit, but i trusted the director, and he let me fart about a bit. It was excellent fun, and i found a use for my boney ass.

i cant believe were not getting paid for this