Local Photography: Rogier Alleblas

Local Photography: Rogier Alleblas

Jun 3, 2011 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
We are Tamar & Rutger, 25 and 28 years old! We love to integrate photography in every aspect of our lives. Every day we wake up with new and creative ideas to make this happen! Want to know more about us send an email to rutger@overdose.am or tamar@overdose.am!

Which local photographers does our beautiful city have to offer us? In this recurrent theme we want you to get to know the known and more unknown photographers of our city.

One Thursday afternoon, we arrived at Rogier Alleblas’ studio for an interview. We started our interview in the dark room where he presented his most recent work and we ended the afternoon posing as his models, standing on top of an extremely unstable table. In a real relaxed vibe Rogier shared his experience as an intern of Erwin Olaf, his thoughts about photography in general, his photographic inspiration, his experience in Berlin and of course his thoughts about Amsterdam.

Everything for the creation of art.

Recent work

Rogier’s latest work depicts an acrobat climbing and balancing on stacks of chairs and tables, these photographs symbolize a person’s journey into the sky. Chairs and tables are actually recurrent themes in Rogier’s work. In previous photography series he used to drop tables and chairs from a height to capture the free fall and moment of collision. In his words, with a big smile on his face: “Everything for the creation of art.”

As often as possible, Rogier uses himself as the model for his photos. He explains that for a certain emotion to come across in a photo, your posture is most important. He knows how to bring this emotion across and therefore prefers using himself as a model. In addition, Rogier wants his art to be timeless and not be tied to a certain period in time, and therefore almost always models in the nude. According to him, this often leads to comical scenes in his studio where he puts his camera on self-timer. Then he runs back naked and tries quickly to get into the right position for the photo, sometimes stumbling or tripping on attributes scattered around in the studio, then to be dazed by the flash of the studio lights around him and often to repeat this numerous times.

Most of Rogier’s work is shot with an analogue camera, preferably with his Hasselblad camera. He has created a method where he shoots the photos, prints them and then edits these photos by painting a scenery around the attribute or model with oil paint. The sceneries are often rough seas, storms or simple landscapes. These pieces of arts do have a certain trend, they all concern a realistic fear, e.g. our environment and the rising of the water level. The pictures often depict a person trying to defy gravity, escape the earth or just leave their familiar places in a hurry.


A few years ago, Rogier and his family moved to Berlin for a few years to be immersed in the creative and artistic environment of Berlin. According to him, the artistic community there is very different from here in Amsterdam, the artists don’t feel the urge to only exhibit their work in expensive galleries or museums but often organize exhibitions in their own living rooms or studios. The artists in Berlin are not solely focused on their careers but mostly on the pleasure and fun they have in creating their work. Rogier explained that this was the most important lesson he learned in Berlin: to have fun in what you do, something which the artistic community in Amsterdam still needs to learn.

Talented people can also be insecure.

Internship at Erwin Olaf

As a student, Rogier did an internship for Erwin Olaf, who is currently one of the world’s most famous photographers. One thing that has stuck to Rogier about his internship was that he had to wind the Hasselblad films with a very high speed into the camera. Erwin Olaf would shoot so many frames that it almost became a competition for Rogier to fill up the cassettes as quickly as possible and leave Erwin Olaf waiting as little as possible.

The most important thing Rogier learned during this experience was that even every greatness of our time, those people who seem to have superhuman talents, have their insecurities or are let down when something fails. Rogier learned from this that you have to continue to succeed, giving up is no option.

Photo shoot

The interview session had almost come to an end when Rogier still had a small surprise for us, we were allowed to be his models for the day. Together we climbed on top of an extremely unstable table to be photographed by Rogier. First, he took some Polaroid snapshots followed by a photo shoot with his Hasselblad camera. We are both used to be the ones behind the camera instead of in front of it, so this was a little uncomfortable for us… The results of this photo shoot are depicted in this post!

Want to see more of Rogier’s work? He is currently exhibiting his work at two locations, one exhibition in a gallery in Amsterdam and at the Naarden photo festival.

Exhibition Rogier Alleblas

Where: Galerie RudolfV Amsterdam
When: 28 mei tot en met 9 juli 2011.
Also: Photography Festival Naarden from May 21st – June 19th.
TIP: If you’re interested in taking photography courses, Rogier also gives creative photography courses at Crea. We both followed this course and are very enthusiastic about it!!

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