What does Squiver mean and who designed your website?
Squiver is not a real word. Only a few people use it as an alternative for ‘to photograph’. Used in a sentence you would get something like: ‘Marsel tried to squiver a wild unicorn, but he left the lens cap on’. I designed our website myself.
What non-photographic gear do you never leave behind?
My MacBook Pro. When I’m traveling I use it as primary storage for my images, to edit and select shots, for email, and to watch movies.
How do you prepare for an expedition?
I spend about as much time on research and planning as that the actual trip will take. I wouldn’t want to travel around the globe to shoot a certain species, only to find out that it’s hibernating. Most of my research simply starts on the internet.
How much equipment do you take on a photo expedition?
As little as possible. Nature photography usually involves a great deal of hiking in uneven terrain, and lugging around a heavy camera bag will seriously limit your possibilities. Depending on my subject and travel limitations, I usually carry two camera bodies, wide-angle and zoom lenses, a flash, and a tripod.
What is the closest call you’ve ever had photographing wildlife?
In Nepal we were walking through the high grass, searching for rhinos. We suddenly heard heavy breathing only a few feet away from us: a rhino. Due to its poor eyesight, it tends to charge aimlessly and unpredictably, so we ran to the nearest tree and waited until it had retreated into the high grass again.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After two years of studying Dutch Language & Literature at the University, I switched to the Academy of Arts and graduated with a BA in Art Direction and Graphic design.
When did you start taking pictures?
I’ve always been fascinated by photography, but the whole darkroom thing at the academy scared me off. I didn’t start taking pictures until after I graduated.
What was your first camera?
My first camera was a pink-lilac colored Haking point & shoot camera with yellow buttons. My first SLR was a Nikon F-401. I have been shooting Nikon ever since.
What kind of equipment do you use most frequently?
I currently use three Nikon DSLR cameras: the D4s, D4 and D810.
What are your favorite subjects for wildlife photography?
For wildlife photography I prefer large mammals. The larger the subject, the shorter the lenses that I can use, the more habitat I can include. My ideal wildlife image is actually a landscape image with an animal in it. For landscape photography I prefer graphic locations with powerful shapes and clean lines.
How would you describe your photographic style?
In my work I try to simplify, to get rid of the extraneous; simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I can go to great lengths to isolate my subject and use only the key elements that are essential to the story: no more, no less. I also like to use powerful shapes with clear outlines. The results are often very clean and graphic.
Do you use any filters?
Most filters can easily be emulated in Photoshop with much more control. The only filters I still use are neutral density filters to lengthen exposures, and a polarizer to reduce glare and control reflections.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
The same things that I do for a living: traveling, enjoying nature, and taking pictures. I also like to listen to metal, and eat Ben&Jerry’s, Nutella and M&M’s. Not necessarily all at the same time.
How much post-processing do you do?
Every digital image needs some kind of post-processing. But it is more than just a necessary evil, it is also a creative tool. For me, post-processing is what spices are for a chef. You have to start with the best ingredients and cook them to perfection – by adding the right spices you can turn a good dish into a great dish.