Lex Mansoer’s father was involved with an equestrian club Deli rij vereeniging near Polonia Airport, Medan, Sumatra.
When I was ten years old I played a lot in that area and I thought horses were absolutely beautiful. All I dreamed of day and night was making photographs of them.
Now, fifty years later, I have yet to make a serious photo, or any other picture for that matter, of a horse. But, hey, you look around you and there is such a lot to see. It’s like being a child in a sweet shop.
This is the first picture I ever took from a river near Majang in Deli, Sumatra.
My grandfather, ACW ten Broek, and my Grandmother reading Focus. This photo is from many years before WW2. Focus is a well known Photo magazine in The Netherlands and is still published I believe.
He was an avid photographer in his time and left a lot of photographs of Harderwijk. Unfortunately practically all those photos were lost during a few occasions, as well as almost all that I produced while a member of a photo club in Harderwijk in the early sixties. That’s what moving around does.
Incidentally, notice the Japanese woodcut print – copy perhaps – hanging on the wall?
This photo was made by my Grandfather of the old harbour of Harderwijk. The flour windmill De Hoop is not there any more.
From the Agfa clack which I got in 1956 I progressed through a bellows Zeiss Ikon nettar to a Zeiss Ikon ikoflex and then to a Leica M3. My favourite lens was undoubtedly the 135 mm Summicron. After a mishap, down to earth to a Nikon nikkormat and now I have joined the digital age with a Nikon D70. Different but absolutely good fun.
I still believe that nothing beats a good black and white photo but then… now you just desaturate, adjust brightness and contrast, add grain e voila. Not like playing with thermometers, FP4, Promicrol, all sorts of great papers and fighting dust all along the way.