12 Feb 2024

#3 Artist Interview - Marc van der Stelt

MS Fotografie - Marc van der Stelt

In this third edition, we're going to another Rotterdam icon. Marc van der Stelt, owner of MS Photography and also known from, among other things, the Instagram pages @rotterdambyday & @rotterdambynight. Time to get to know him a little better.

In our blog series ''Get to know the artist'' we introduce
one of the artists on Picfee. 

In just 5 questions, you will learn more about the style, motivations
and experiences of the artist in question.



In this third edition, we're introducing another Rotterdam Icon. Meet Marc van der Stelt, owner of MS Photography and also owner of the Instagram pages @rotterdambyday and @rotterdambynight. It's time to get to know Marc better.



Rotterdam Skyline


1. Who are you, what do you do, and what gear do you prefer?

I'm Marc van der Stelt. I live in the vicinity of Rotterdam and can be found there almost every day. I've been doing photography for half of my life; it's been ingrained in me since I was a child. I started in the neighborhood (Rotterdam-Zuid), capturing a lot of harbor scenes and during my travels. Then it was cruise ships, followed by the cruise terminal, and that's how I got into Rotterdam. I often found myself there early in the morning, while it was still dark. And I haven't let go of this passion since, preferably even at night. In terms of subjects, I shoot a bit of everything, from fireworks shows to ships, and extreme night photography where you can't see a hand in front of you at first. But then achieving a cool result is really exciting to me. I consider myself a true night photographer. I used to prefer high perspectives, but now I find each level has its own unique characters. Every situation brings its own experience, and through my photography, I get to meet a lot of people. I always say, I rely on people for my work.

As for brands, I use Canon, and it might sound a bit cliché, but I see the rest as the chef's secret recipe. I choose Canon because I think it produces vibrant colors compared to other cameras, and the menu's user-friendliness is much better. Other camera brands could learn a thing or two from them.


2. Which photography style do you prefer?

I call it extreme night photography. The more complicated the conditions, the better. My interest ranges from shooting beautiful iconic buildings in different cities to capturing fireworks shows. Additionally, I have a deep love for Rotterdam. So, I update my photos daily on my Instagram channel.



3. Who is your major influence/inspiration in photography?

Ossip van Duivenbode, the internationally renowned architectural photographer. He's a contemporary of mine and in my opinion, one of the most talented night photographers, if not the most. Back when I first saw his shots, I found them so cool that I was drawn to the night because of them. Eventually, I started experimenting with night photography myself, and I found it so thrilling that I've continued to do it to this day.

Ossip's photo of the swan shot from the tip in 2014 is truly one of the coolest shots I've ever seen. We occasionally have contact, for example, during the "roof days," but despite the limited contact, he was one of the most important driving forces for me in the early stages of my photography career.


4. What is your favorite piece of your own work?

Oh, that's really tough given my extensive portfolio. I've had so many cool experiences in my photography career. But to give the readers an answer, it's my shot of the Central Station from last year. Due to COVID, it was a huge challenge to a) get permission to enter at the right time and b) to have enough time to take this shot. But I'm extremely satisfied with it, and I'm incredibly grateful to the people at Delftse Poort for their hospitality.



Rotterdam Central Station from the roof of Delftse Poort 


5. What tip/trick would you like to share with every other photographer?

Try sitting in the client's chair for a change. If you enjoy selling your images, it's important to put yourself in your client's shoes. Critically evaluate your work and seek feedback from potential clients. Always ask yourself the question: would I hang this on my own wall?

Additionally, here's a little trick for many photographers: The first thing you should do when leaving the camera store is insure your gear. Instead of buying a UV filter, just get insurance for nearly the same amount.


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