In 2021, we started to put the spotlight on our passionate ship spotters. Each month, we showcase a different photographer of FleetMon.com. In January 2023, you’ll meet a maritime enthusiast from the Netherlands, Pieter, (User name: pm_inpyn) who joined FleetMon in 2019.
What is your maritime background?
I am now 66 years old and living at Nieuwegein in the Netherlands, in an apartment along the river Lek. After high school, I wanted to go to sea as a mate, but because of wearing glasses that was not allowed in those years. Instead, I studied shipbuilding but found a job in the early days of computers. Later I switched to financial IT, worked for 39 years in IT, and I am retired now for 7 years. I remained interested in ships, and during the years, I collected many photos, postcards, slides, and models of ferries, cruise ships, and ro/ro-cargos. I was a member of the World Ship Society for 30 years and did write a few articles for their magazine Marine News. I also wrote a few articles for the German magazine Ferries and was part of the editorial team of the magazine Lekko of the International Tug Enthusiasts Society for nearly 20 years. In 2004 I joined that other ship-spotting website Shipspotting.com and was photo corrections editor for a few years. I joined Fleetmon in 2019.
When did you start to take photos of vessels?
As a school boy I had a small b/w camera with 4×4 cm negatives and did go the sea locks at Ymuiden for seeing the ships. Did print the photos myself, but it was not a very good quality. In my early twenties I did buy a good camera and often visited the Rotterdam area. For summer holidays I went on “photo safari” mostly to Scandinavia, but also to Greece, Italy, Malta and even Singapore. After retirement I mostly take pictures of the inland vessels around my home town or every thing that floats during my cruises.
What is your motivation for being a ship spotter?
I was always interested in ships. In the Netherlands there were monthly meetings of ship lovers, with boxes full of photos for exchanging or buying. The internet has ended that all: now with digital cameras and the internet it is very easy to share the photos with other ship spotters. After retirement I mostly take pictures of the inland vessels while I am cycling along the river Lek or the Amsterdam-Rhine-Canal. Not that I like them that much but just to keep busy and not to sit at home. Also making several cruises each year, on rivers and at sea. The camera is very busy on those cruises. I like showing the photos to other ship lovers and also looking to their photos.
Special Vessel Shot
My favourite photo is that of the cruise ship MARCO POLO, at Thorshavn on the Far-Oer islands. Did make a very nice cruise to Iceland on this old timer. I was very upset that during the corona/covid crisis the whole CMV fleet went to the scrapyard, as I liked their other two vessels MAGELLAN and COLUMBUS also very much.
How often are you on tour to shoot vessels?
Several times a week.
Which technical equipment do you use to capture vessel moments?
I was using for 30 years several Minolta cameras. Switched in 2006 to digital Minolta. Did buy in 2020 a digital Canon EOS 2000D with zoom 55-250. I very satisfied this the Canon, compared to the old Minolta’s.
Which vessel types do you like to take photos of the most and why?
My main interest are ferries, cruise ships and ro/ro-cargo’s. Maybe because of their appearance: nice ships to look at instead of a long bulkcarrier or tanker.
How many pictures of different vessels have you collected since you started?
I can not answer that question. I have over 5.000 slides, over 10.000 photo’s, over 5.000 postcards. Some ships only one view, others maybe ten or more during their existence, I have never counted them.
Where is your favorite ship spotting location so far?
My favourite location is Terneuzen along the Western Scheldt, with all the vessel from Ghent and Antwerp industrial areas. The sun is always in your back, so good lighting and good quality photo’s. Rozenburg along the New Waterway in the Rotterdam area is also a good location.
Which worldwide ship spotting location would you like to visit if you had the chance to?
Is there anything you would like to improve when it comes to uploading photos to FleetMon.com?
Searching is now possible on IMO and MMSI number, but searching on ENI (the registration number for inland vessels) would be nice as well. And maybe move the field “your comment” that is now under the MANAGE button in the members list of photos, to the upload screen. Because I would like to know more about the uploaded photos such as location and event.
(Thank you, Pieter, we have made a note of this!)