“Just before sunrise and sunset, the light is at its most beautiful. There is something magical about this short period of time. The cinematic feeling of industrial locations is what I capture. Their natural surroundings is where my eyes focus on.” - Jan Stel

    There is an increasing awareness that the global industry needs to be transformed into a natural non-destructive production process to preserve our beautiful earth for our future generations. Plans are made at political level and the proposed changes are being implemented on a slow but steady path. What is more is that when we humans embrace a common goal, we are strong and change for the better becomes profound.​​​​​​​

    Near the sea there is a large industrial area with a lot of activity. From the train bridge there is a good view of the grandeur of the location. In remote areas it sometimes feels like no man's land, especially at dusk and just before the area lighting is switched on. The production processes and machines can be heard from afar. The atmosphere expresses a cinematic feel like post-apocalyptic movies.
    Black coal mountains look mysterious and breathtaking at night. What looks like a volcanic mountain found on some island in the sea, is actually the play of full moonlight reflecting on the hard shimmery particles of black coal. And a layer of white spray is applied by workers as a dust inhibitor, this gives the scene a snowy appearance that is partly visible on these industry-created mountains.
    Sometimes a photo is not what it seems: a natural landscape which could be located in the Himalaya, or is it not? In fact it is a coal-mountain in the industrial area of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. And though the atmosphere in the photo gives the impression to be natural and peaceful, workmen are just a few feet away with giant processing machines to transport the coal for shipping world-wide. Here in this moment, it stands as a silent mountain captured in time.
    In the early morning light, we see a small portion of the monstrous machine that creates mountain after mountain of black coal in this industrial playground. No matter at what time people pass by, there is always activity in these storage areas. This machine is controlled by a single person, with the responsibility to operate in a safe manner. A fascinating but also unearthly view where no trees or bushes can be seen, although the raw materials are pure and natural itself.
    Around harbors are often many industrial activities, it is often difficult to photograph and isolate photographs for eye-catching compositions. This scene caught me by the present serenity. It took a while before the emissions took on a nice shape. Although I absolutely criticize pollution, I am also fascinated by the raw beauty in form, contrasts and composition with industrial landscapes. The thin line between what one experiences as unsightly and aesthetic.

    At the edge of industrial areas are high fences that are often surrounded by systematically planted trees and shrubs to keep out trespassers. In most cases the vegetation on the site is struggling with emissions from production. And local residents are also regularly concerned about the affects of production emissions. But nature will always find ways to adapt and survive from the self-centered behavior of humanity through the ages.
    Early in the morning when the sun rises in silence and the fog is slowly dissolving, the sounds of the steel industry is busy with its production. The natural landscape that surrounds these production sites often still has a natural unspoiled presence. Unlike the industry, nature has its own life process here. If you pay close attention and are quiet, you can watch pheasants, hares and birds of prey.
    In a century time, industrial and technological "progress" have extracted earthly resources to the root. For some time these raw materials are starting to become scarce, due to mass production and consumption, which also lead to pollution. Recycling is being done on an increasingly scale. A good thing for nature, people and the future of our children. But the very best way is to meet the needs of society on an ecological basis.
    On the outskirts of an industrial area, freewheelers are crossing with motorbikes and quad machines between the trees and dunes. The close group of fanatics have transformed this piece of no-man’s land into their site. Until late at night and when the weather is good, the freewheelers spread dust everywhere. Some of them are (former)workers at the blast furnaces. Meanwhile, industrial production continues in the distance.
    People are becoming increasingly aware of the reuse of manufactured materials. Almost all of these - naturally extracted - products are subject to wear and need to be replaced over time. There are many materials and products that have been successfully reused for decades. As humans, we can do so much more to prevent the Earth from exhausting. The rolled up artificial grass mats shown here almost form a naturally rolling landscape.
    As often happens, non-processable recycled products are collected together and piled to mountains. These almost natural-looking mountains have polluting substances and materials in them. Birds such as crows and seagulls roam among the remains and grown vegetation to find something eatable. After every load of waste it is always very busy in the sky. Hopefully suitable recycling solutions will be found for these storage materials. What could be a solution?
    - Editions available: 
      200h x 150w cm, 3 + 2 a.p. 
      160h x 120w cm, 6 + 2 a.p. 
      100h x 75w cm,   9 + 2 a.p.
    - Printing and finishing: Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta Paper 325 gram, framed in black with Dibond and Artglass.

    - PhaseOne IQ3 Trichromatic 100 mp
    - Schneider Kreuznach Lenzes: 50 / 80 / 100 / 150 mm

    For and more details and information about inquiries contact (Feiko Koster) at the Eduard Planting Gallery.
    Of course you can also contact me personal for any creative advice.
    Please mail to,

    Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat2 - 1016 KS Amsterdam
    Telephone: gallery: +31 (0)20 3206705 
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