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Journal

Gratitude

Dear friends and watchers,

Once again I am very deeply moved by the heartiness of all your reactions, so full of encouragement and empathy. They have once again been a wonderful sign of solidarity and support. I realize only too well that I am very privileged to be able to relate to so many warm-hearted and caring friends all over the world.

So let me start by expressing my huge gratitude towards all of you. You will certainly be disappointed that I did not thank each and every one of you personnally. But let me stress that I attach great importance to each of your reactions. Many, many, many thanks for all of them.

Yesterday we saw another urologist at the University Medical Centre of Leiden. He confirmed the high probability of the malignity of both tumors. So indeed they will have to b…

New tumors

Dear friends and watchers,

Alas a new chapter has been added to my health struggle of the past period. Indeed a new big health challenge lies in front of me. This time it is cancer.

So after the heart treatment of last autumn and the operation in May at Kiel of the benign tumor in my spinal column, I am in for more hospital care. This time it is the kidneys. I knew since May that there were tumors there, but at first they were diagnosed as being benign too. So we could push them to the back of our minds, concentrate on the back operation and the recovery afterwards. Fortunately here everything went very well indeed. And the heart is ok too, to my great relief.

But now a new control of the kidneys by CT at the University Medical Centre of Leiden has led to the tough diagnosis of renal cel…

Going to Aberdeen

Hi friends,

No bubbling in the days to come, I am afraid. My wife and I shall be away for nearly a week, going to see our second son and his partner at Aberdeen. I had told you about their search for a home in September. Soon afterwards they were so lucky as to find a farm house some miles out of Aberdeen. And now we are going to visit them and see the new place. November may not be the best of times up there in Scotland, but we had our son born that month, and now we are in for it.

We are really excited about going. Aberdeen will be the main aim of this trip, but on Friday we shall first fly to Edinburgh and spend a memory day there, remembering those wonderful days in August 1969 when we got engaged there. Well, I could tell you a long story about that wonderful summer which had started…

Lightthinker is getting popular

Dear friends here on my first RB-gallery,
A few week ago I announced the start of my new lightthinker gallery here on RB. Its purpose is not just to show high-quality photography – this jchanders-gallery still is good enough for that -, but to combine the pictures with inspiring quotations, i.e. lightthoughts.
Many of you have immediately put it on their watchlist, others have come around for a look. But there are quite a few of you who seem not to have noticed the connection. Please forgive me for a little bit of self-promotion: Lightthinker would be delighted to find you among his regular watchers too.
After all Lightthinker is really getting popular already. His 33 pictures have already been viewed more than 2000 times, there have been quite a few features and there have been ever so many…

My new Redbubble gallery: Lightthinker

This morning I opened a new gallery on Redbubble under the name of “Lightthinker”. It is meant to be a continuation of my “lightthinker”-gallery on deviantArt which I stopped in January 2008 when I opened this gallery here.

In the meantime I have missed the opportunity very much though to combine inspiring quotes, i.e. “lightthoughts” with beautiful pictures. Now I hope to continue it here.

As I write in the profile of my new gallery: Beautiful light and good thoughts form a tremendous mixture of inspiration and hope. They can lift us out of the dark clouds and seemingly impenetrable mist that ever so often again darken our paths, they can lift us up to new hights and open up new vistas. They can give encouragement and trust. After all so many courageous people have kept going on under th…

In-camera sharpening Nikon D80

After my “non-photographic” journal of this morning back to photography. Please allow me to put a very technical question to you about the working of the in-camera sharpening process of my Nikon D80.
When I control my pictures with Irfin View, I get the notice about sharpening: “image sharpening high”, although I myself had put the image sharpening tool of the camera to “low” (-2), the lowest position that is possible. The camera does not seem to allow to turn all sharpening off. The pictures were actually taken in RAW, but then turned to JPEG (Irfan View cannot open them otherwise).
Indeed I would like to try working without the sharpening, but do not seem to be able to do so. And when I put it to „low“, I still get “high”. This really is a riddle for me. If anybody could give me a hint ho…

A house in Aberdeen/Scotland

The content of this journal is quite a bit out of my normal ways, turning our minds from the Netherlands to Aberdeen in Scotland. But we have a Dutch saying here: you never know how a cow catches a hare! Rather improbable, I know, but he who does not shoot, never hits the mark (another Dutch saying). And there are quite a few of you on my watchlist who live in Scotland as I always have had a special liking for Scotland myself.
And here the request: Our younger son and his Spanish girl-friend are moving from Bilbao to Aberdeen these days as she has found a new job in the field of environment research there. And now they are desparately trying to find a house. Of course they try out all local means, but just a little extra chance is never to underestimated, is it not?
So if you have a dear au…

Making a slow restart

First the good news. It is four weeks now after the operation at the hospital at Kiel/Germany, and my back is doing very well. No pain killers needed any more. That is an enormous step ahead. The right leg feels still just a little bit numb at times, but the physiotherapist is optimistic about it, and indeed I do feel some improvement already. Walking for half an hour or even a little bit longer fortunately goes very well again. As to cycling I still have been very cautious, but hope to widen my range in the coming week(s) again.
So I have not been out on a photoshooting trip yet. There is an extra reason for that. Once again I have to go through a trough of depression as I have to do regularly about six or seven times a year, each lasting about four to eight weeks. Generally there a just …

From the internetcafé again

Hi dear friends ,
I am very glad to be able to write to you personnally again, even if it is again a message directed to all of you here on Redbubble and on deviantART.
Once again ever so many, many, many thanks for all your prayers, good wishes and congratulations. They were ever so uplifting!!!!
I am so glad to be out of the hospital since Tuesday again. We just went there for the final consultation with the surgeon. He was very content, and indeed everything went very well indeed. It is such a wonderful experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now we shall stay here at Kiel for another 10 day for a quiet reconvalescence period. On 6th June I hope to be in Hilversum again and post the first of the pictures which I have taken here before going to hospital. And perhaps also some of those which I hope to tak…

After the operation

Jürgen has asked me to give you the following message:

He is once again most grateful for all your good wishes. The operation was successful, and indeed the tumor is benign. With great relief, he is sending you his best wishes and regards.

Matthijs

It will happen this Friday

Hi Friends,
You are such a wonderful crowd! I must admit that I read all your good wishes and your prayers with the tears pouring from my eyes. They must have thought me here to be a very strange guy in this internet cafe, crying when reading his posts. But my house was built near the river as we tend to say in our family, and I find your words ever so heartmoving.
All your reactions will surely help to carry me through the coming weeks! It is ever so uplifting and heartwarming to think of all of you around the world caring so much for me and my health. Our Redbubble community – and of course also the deviantart one where the reactions have been just as wonderful – is a really great, great, great crowd!!!
So I want to thank you all ever so very much. Words just cannot express how…

To the hospital again

Dear friends,
I have very bad news today. Once again I shall have to be operated upon. This week here at Kiel a tumor has been discovered in my spinal column. It fortunately seem to be benign, but it is potentially very dangerous, causing a paraplegia at a certain moment. At the moment I just have very heavy backpains and some numbness and pain in my right leg.
Whether the operation will be done here at Kiel – where it could be done already on 17th May – or in Holland, is now in the hands of my Dutch health insurance. They seem to think at the moment that I can still walk and so return home. But there I would have to wait for weeks or months for an operation, I fear. And here at Kiel University Hospital there is a very good team of neurosurgians who can act fast. But they are po…

Featured artist and going north

Due to many other commitments of this moment I have to keep this journal very short. But it should not be left unmentionend with ever so many thanks that I have been chosen as the featured artist of this week in the group “Retired and happy”. It is a wonderful boost to my work, and I am ever so grateful for it.

There actually have been 50 or so featured shots in the months since December. I have just been unable to write the featured shot journals which I used to write last year. But this certainly does not mean that I am not very, very grateful for so much support. I have tried to write my thanks individually to each group, but unfortunately could not show you al the pictures again here.

Today I shall be going north to Kiel in Germany for 5 to 7 days. So there will be no bubbling for the…

Two years on Redbubble (22nd January 2010)

When I started bubbling in the second half of January 2008 I was full of expectations about the new gallery. Have these expectations been fulfilled in these two years? Yes and no!

Let me begin with the “no”. It concerns the character of Redbubble as a selling place. To my great joy I did sell 15 of my pictures in various form in these two years. Nothing wrong with that. But somehow I had expected more. These expectations have proved to be rather vain, I am afraid. Somehow or other my stuff is not attractive enough for more buyers. It makes me wonder whether I can do something about that. Change my conditions, ie. lower my prices? Or look for another market-place? I fear I cannot take and present different pictures. And I am not going to ortonize them or sexying them up in another such way…

My 55 gallery (11th January 2010)

In my nearly two years on Redbubble I submitted more than 500 pictures. Are these not far too many, certainly for a really good gallery? So why not cut it down, throw out most of these pictures and just keep the top shots? Some time ago someone wrote that a high quality gallery should not contain more than 50 pictures.
This surely is not an unreasonable idea, I find. After all, who would go to an exhibition with innumerable pictures? On the other hand I somehow still like them, and I know that many of you like them too.
What can be done about it? Starting a new gallery with just the top shots? No, I do not like the idea of a first- and second-class gallery. That would mean the end of the latter within short, I fear.
So I decided on creating a subgallery here, my “55 gallery” of t…

A new sale and many features

The new year has started most delightfully here on RB for me. I can announce a new sale! My picture of the Erasmus-Bridge in Rotterdam was sold as a framed print. Ever so many thanks to the unknown buyer! I am most grateful to him or her. I would love to know who he or she is, not only to be able to express my thanks personnally, but also to imagine where the picture has gone. After all it is such a stimulating idea to know that my picture was appreciated so much so very far away. Or is it quite nearby?
Here is the picture once again:

Since I last presented an overview of my pictures that had been featured, quite a few more have been featured. Even if I did not show them here individually, I was certainly just as grateful each time as before. When I have more time and energy, I hope to be …