While being on a quick break I had some time to catch up on a few movies, the new Scorcese film The Wolf Of Wall St which I loved, the pace, editing and above all the cinematography, it is just a feast for the eyes. Laughed out loud a few times and felt it really reminded me in some parts of Goodfellas. Then I saw Captain Phillips and that could have been as good were it not for the terrible last 30 minutes of the Navy getting involved and Hollywood trying to jazz up the rescue mission and its ‘America all the way’ attitude, the film got wankered by this.

Sherlock has finished and to me it proved to be a self indulgent affair for the director and its crew only for the third episode to be of some quality, and yes Moriarty we did miss you, come back as all is forgiven!  The Fifth Estate  with Benedict Cumberbatch could have been a lot better as well, the whole thing is just too shallow, compare this to say The Social Network and then you realise it takes a great director to take a rather dull subject to turn into a a great film of great heights, a missed opportunity indeed.

Her with Joaquin Phoenix, directed by Spike Jonze proved to be an original and unique film which makes you think about where we are heading to tech wise in the future, I liked it quite a lot. Jamesy Boy was just mwah. And finally Lone Survivor a Mark Wahlberg Seals mission flick, some of it based on true happenings, a blokes film indeed, still very watchable but again there’s that America all the way jingo……. And finally Last Vegas to which my girlfriend commented on ‘I could have written that script’ and indeed, this should have been written by a degenerate drug fiend and you would have had a killer film, now it’s pensioners all the way, another missed opportunity. Lastly Mob City which production-wise was terrible and you have no care for the characters at all, a letdown especially when you get the guy, Frank Darabont,  who did Shawshank Redemption do this.


Paper vs Digital

Since dropping my Facebook account I have replaced it with reading a load of books, I suggest you all do the same :-)

I realised that whenever I had a spare moment I ended up grabbing my iPhone and browse through the timeline and concluded that the large majority of my so called ‘friends’ had nothing interesting to say, how many food/cat/dog pictures does one need to plaster on there? In a nutshell I got really bored with it and deleted my account in May 2013, not one regret since.

Instead I started to read books while sitting down on the loo or while travelling on the London Underground or flying abroad, and this is something I have started to enjoy a lot. Before I used to read books while going on holiday and that was that. I can not imagine myself reading an entire book of a screen, be it an iPad or Kindle or PC screen for that matter, it is too intense for my eyes and I find paper just more relaxing.

The books I have read concern mostly the JFK and RFK assassinations, and that is not because I am such a conspiracy buff (then again anyone claiming Oswald did it alone should actually pay attention to the surplus of evidence around!), but because there is so much info available, be it in media or written word and it is a fascinating subject. To me the question here is actually who wasn’t involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK and cover up the act.

There is a lot of disinformation spread through various authors in books and websites above all and it takes quite some time to sift through all that to form an adequate picture of the whole happenings, and even now after reading close to twenty books on this subject there are probably more questions than answers, one can only speculate and that is something I am not keeping myself busy with,  to me it is fun to read about.

In between all that, while I was away in Holland I just read Enter Night by Mick Wall, the book on Metallica. Especially the first half is excellent and really nails down the vibe of the first ten years and chronicles all the happenings very well, I can attest to it as I was partially there myself.

Been scanning more stuff in, but that will appear here at a later date. I am getting ready to leave for Malta, the missus and I are on a week’s break. Hopefully plenty of pix when we come back.




This is why film blows digital, anytime!

Kodak EN film from 1986 shot in 2004, I cross processed it and the images of Frangocastello in Crete are lovely.

I shot digital alongside this, and how stale and polished it looks and how much post production it would need to match these and I regret not shooting more film, the character, the nuance etc etc.

Love them. Too bad not many clients are into film any more.

All pix copyright: Bartolomy, all rights reserved.

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Ice Age

After I left military service (444 IBC) in August 1988 I stayed at my parents’ house for a few months where I managed to get on their nerves and was more or less told to get my act together (read: get a job and move out :) ) so I started to become an apprentice at Harry van der Brugghen’s studio Ima’gine in the south of Holland in Den-Bosch, where I became his assistant later on.

Harry was an advertising photographer who taught me pretty much everything from late Oct 1988 to Aug 1990. No job was ever the same, and if it did we (Petra Banning the other assistant and I) would bitch to him about how mundane the work had become.

Anyway, having shot bands from mid-1982 to late 1987 and putting a stop to it because of time restraints of the military service, but also because how common the whole metal scene had become, a load of fanzines/magazines had become the competition plus the fact that I had ventured into advertising photography I remember that in 1989 I only shot two shows, one being the Dynamo Festival with Savatage and Armored Saint, and Ice Age.

Ice Age consisted of 4 foxy chicks and hailed from Sweden. Pia Nyström mailed me their demo tape as she thought I was still active with my fanzine Headbanger and would do a review, I was impressed by the Swedish female thrashers and I visited them at the Elckerlyc in Luttenberg (a venue in a  highly religious community that had Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Vandenberg and Nasty Savage play there, oh the irony….. This was on Feb 17th 1989 and I only know the date as that is what is written on the contact sheets. Grunge was about to kill off quite a few types of metal, especially the hairspray bands got a right kicking, and Thrash Metal had run its course after 5/6 years as well.

I ended up shooting during and after the soundcheck and also at their show, I don’t think the pix ever got picked up by the foreign mags I used to write and shoot for. The other thing that I also remember was Pia writing to me after the show that the band in that particular line up of Sabrina Kihlstrand – Vocals/Guitar, Pia Nyström – Lead guitar, Vicky Larsson – Bass and Tina Strömberg – Drums had ceased to exist. Looking at these images I see some improvement compared to the shots I used to do before I started working at Harry’s. For starters I shot more material than I used to. Scanning them in for the very first time and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. I post two as I save the good stuff for the book of course.

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Blackfoot in Amsterdam 1982

Since I have been spending some time scanning some of my archive in I came across these two shots of Blackfoot, Rickey Medlocke, Charlie Hargrett, Jackson Spires and Greg T. Walker who opened up for Iron Maiden and Scorpions. Funny thing is that these two shots are actually the first two shots I ever took at a rock concert. I also realise them being the opening act it was easier to get relatively close to the stage, something I could not do when Iron Maiden kicked off.

I will post more stuff over the coming few weeks.

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Film scans

The last few days I have had my scanner on and threw a few negs in  and low and behold we have a few shots to show :) Obviously these are the rejects / outtakes, call it what you want it, and the good stuff stays ‘secret’ until the book will be published, but at least it will give everyone some idea of what is to be expected.

Here are two shots of Kiss live at Donington (1996) from the best photo pit I ever worked in, check the videos on YouTube and you will see for yourself. These I took with my Olympys Mju a small compact camera which I only took a few shots with as I did (back then) all my work on a Pentax 67. I will try and regularly post some scans.


Been listening to the new Hell album Curse & Chapter, a worthy follow up to Human Remains, great sounding NWOBHM. I would like to see them again on tour next year, it seems I missed them when they played London with Carcass in Nov.

Of all the stuff I have watched lately only one thing really jumped out and that was Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gylenhaal, strong film.

Going to Holland after X-Mas and I hope to go on a quick holiday in January to break this wintry spell.

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Last week went to Holland to see my mom and hang around for a few days, I was looking forward to it as I felt the need for a break from London.

Besides chatting and hanging about I got up one morning early to see if I could shoot some interesting shots of the sunrise since the weather over there was bliss, not a cloud in the sky for the entire period I was there.

I got lucky and managed to take some atmospheric scenery pictures of Vriezenveen.

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Scanning my metal archive

So I finally decided to start scanning my metal archive (I think Gerd-Jan Vleugels’ passing made me get my finger out I suppose), the large majority being from 1982-1987.

Quite an undertaking, I am looking at having to scan in about 1,500-2,000 images from which I will have to edit it down to about 10/20% of that for the forth coming metal book, I doubt this will be out before X-Mas more like summer 2014. So far I scanned in Saxon from 1985, Metallica in 1984, Black Lace in 1985, Venom 1984 and Alaska (Bernie Marsden’s band). Thank goodness I never made a career out of this because I would probably hung myself in the shed, the amount to scan now in at higher resolutions is daunting as it is already.

Going through the folders I see there’s some stuff missing, like Metallica at Aardschok (some wicked b&w shots, I do have a handfull of color ones), Slayer in 1985, Twisted Sister in 1984, Manowar 1984, Anvil from 1983, Judas Priest from 1984, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Dio 1983 and 1984 and some more, I feel gutted considering how much is gone, and I have no idea where it is, unless Stefan Schipper has been holding back on me :) I managed to retrieve Armored Saint and Savatage shots from the Dynamo Open Air show from his studio in Vriezenveen a couple of years ago.

Another thing I have noticed is how easy it is shooting digital at concerts, back then I was a teenager and I could afford one, perhaps two rolls of film and the processing/printing, now you just whack out 150 frames and it is only time invested, hence clients thinking it costs bugger all, yeah right!!!

I shall post some outtakes here and there, time allowing. I will also work on some text, as there are plenty of anecdotes that deserve a mention.

Going to Holland in about two weeks time, looking forward to that.

Die! Die! Die! in Brighton and London

It’s that time of the year again, Die! Die! Die! are playing Europe this summer and of course a soiree in the U.K. was included. I joined them last week at their Brighton and London dates, this is  their third trip to the EU now in about 9 months time and this tour is quite long (three months) and they are hitting almost every European country.

They have already been on the road for six weeks when I catch up with them in Brighton. Lord Wilson is in a good mood and even lets me shoot them on the beach in front of both piers in Brighton, thing is it is raining, very fine misty rain, the one where you do not realise you are getting a right soaking. My lens is getting wet and I have to wipe the glass every few frames, focusing becomes a problem, still I manage to nab a few nice ones.

The show itself is very good, of the 30 odd shows I have seen them play they still have to play a bad one. London the next day at The Shacklewell Arms (I  do not care how trendy the gaff is DDD do not belong here) is an even better show but I do not shoot a lot of pix, as there are only 2 lights on stage and they are only beaming red.

I was supposed to jump in the van with them and go up north to Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow but a funeral prevented me from joining them. The band are still on the continent until the end of Sept. from which they are going straight to Japan to continue their tour of Harmony. The new album has been recorded and should be out next year.

Here is a spread from Damaged Goods Mag with my pix from the November 2012 and March 2013 shows.

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Gert-Jan Vleugels R.I.P.

Gert Jan Vleugels
Gert Jan Vleugels

It has come to my attention that Gerd-Jan Vleugels has passed away at the age of 44 due to thyroid cancer on Aug. 2nd. I am shocked that he is not around anymore, aged 44 years is way too soon to depart from this planet.

I first met him in the mid-80’s when he was running his own mag Metal Empire while I was running Headbanger, we were competitors in a way but we always got along great, we tended to run into each other at shows or press junkets (if that’s what you can call them) in Amsterdam and so forth and always exchanged ideas and pleasantries

I remember when Gert Jan and I met up in the summer of 1986 and combined our efforts  going to Middelburg in the province of  Zeeland in The Netherlands  to cover Joshua (Joshua Perahia’s band) who had released the album Surrender the year prior. Ken Tamplin was the second guitar player in that line-up. They were also demoing Intense Defense in Germany at Dierks Studios. I will try and dig some shots out in due course.

Headbanger was getting more difficult to run in 1987 (I was in the military) and we talked about merging both mags and give Aardschok a tickle of their own fancy but there was a third party involved who was not up for this idea, so it did not happen.

The other story that has sprung to my mind was at Aardschokdag in 1987 (I think) which I covered for BURRN! Magazine from Japan, when Megadeth were headlining along with Flotsam & Jetsam and Testament, Dave Mustaine was using heavily in those days and the EMI press liaison had a lot of difficulty trying to get Dave to do a press conference (he would not do singular interviews), so we all sat there and 4/5 questions in Dave Mustaine was in anything but a cooperative mood. At the same time I realised I had left my camera bag inside the adjoining room so I excused myself and looked out for my camera bag, by the time I had located it Gert Jan was there as well, and told me what a dick Dave Mustaine was for being so uncooperative and refused to answer certain questions, so I did not return to the press conference and we hit the bar instead.

Later that night during Megadeth’s show Dave Mustaine was taking a cheap shot against the press during his show, probably because of  that particular press conference. He seemed to have forgotten that 95% of the people there were part of the  heavy metal press that had supported him and his band since starting Megadeth.

Gert Jan and I lost track of each other in the 90’s as I had moved to Italy only for me to find him again 6/7 years ago.

Gert Jan Vleugels was an excellent writer who had a lot of knowledge especially when it came to melodic hard rock bands and he joined Aardschok in 1988 as a writer covering them. In 2006 he left Aardschok Magazine to begin a new chapter in the dance scene and wrote for various magazines in The Netherlands.

The good ones always seem to die young and the world has become more boring without you m8, R.I.P.!!!


Flowers from Summer 2012

Here are some flowers I have just scanned in from cross processed Ektachrome film (EPY to be exact), the pix were taken by me last year in the Spring and Summer, it took me more than 6 months to have this processed and another 6 to get them scanned in, how’s that for sticking to a deadline :)

The Lillies’ film got fogged due to light creeping in, however it is only partial, in the middle and not at the end of the film, the lab guys at Labyrinth  had never seen anything like this before. Oh well, it still good enough for me, so here goes:

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Tanya Auclair

Tanya Auclair, the first time I saw her play was as support for Stateless at the Jazz Cafe. Thought she’d make good copy for Ponytail Magazine as I really liked what she did musically.

The piece never got pubbed because the mag went belly up.

Some portraits shot during and after the interview.

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Toni & Guy

Here are some shots I did for the Toni & Guy look book, supposedly coming out in Sept.

Chanie Louise, Laura Andrea Kell, Lena Marie & Max, all at Profile Models.

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Since quitting Facebook I have started to read books more, I seem to have an appetite for the RFK and JFK assassinations, out of an investigative p.o.v., very interesting indeed.

Who Killed Bobby by Shane O’Sullivan (excellent book).

The Assassination of Robert Kennedy by William Turner & John Christian (the final chapters should be turned into a screenplay, would be a brilliant court room drama).

JFK and The Unspeakable (my fave JFK book, puts it all in perspective as to why).

Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill (if you want a glimpse of what the current war on terror entails then this is a must read)

Grof Geld by Roe Janssen (A Dutch book on financial scandals and speculators in Holland, us Dutch are quite ”good” at this)

And now I am starting to read London Underground by Stephen Smith.


Jamie Dornan

So I have been watching The Fall the other day,just about to finish the last ep., and it has Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame in there having the lead role.

Then there is Jamie Dornan the serial killer, and the name kept ringing a bell. But it was more his face, I don’t really forget a face (I hope to run some day into the f***ing burglar who passed me on the steps in my then flat in Finsbury Park).

It nags me when I can’t figure out which person or what the title is of a  certain film and so forth so I end up going through all the composite cards of all the  models I have photographed over the last two decades  and there he is and it all comes back to me.

I shot him while doing a job for Donovan Pascal’s designs for Pascalokada, which we took in Seven Sisters at Marina Avraam’s space above her studio. These were done in  2004. He ended up becoming a big model (doing campaigns for Calvin Klein, Aquascutum and Banana Republic).

Still nice pix, he has  a great look and good for him playing a baddie in major BBC drama, go get ’em ;)

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Paul Fusco

I don’t really write, or comment about other photographers.

In fashion i/e there are not many that I really admire, and the ones that I do have achieved granddad status :) or are not among us anymore. The ones that have been added on the so called BIG status these past two decades not one has ‘moved’ me as these old timers have. I have to confess I have not bought a fashion mag in more than a decade, but I do check them out and I catch myself to go through them faster and faster for the sheer vacuousness they display.

If you think of shooting with a large umbrella in front of a white backdrop is edgy and ground breaking, then think again, people like Albert Watson, Bill King, Bert Stern, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn did it decades before you and a lot better too, the fact that this way of displaying fashion images is still being used shows the real conservative side of the fashion industry, Juergen Teller changed his style from cross processing to a more simpler approach (and incorporating a ring flash) and it brought him a lot of success, to me his shots became a lot more uninteresting, that’s my personal opinion, like it or not.

These days any young photographer will spunk a set out for free just to get published in the one too many online/print magazines which hardly anyone is bothered to read in the first place, no need to delude yourself it is a fact. Part of the blame is also to the huge flood of digital images which has devalued this profession to scrap. The Chicago Sun Times just dropped all their 28 photographers, one of them being a Pulitzer price winner John H. White. The paper will ask their correspondents to come up with the photos and videos.

I could go on and rant like the next dissatisfied armchair critic, so I better stop.

Here is something to spend a few minutes of your quality time on, the RFK funeral train, Paul Fusco’s photographs which I personally find one of the most moving set of shots I have ever seen.  It makes a project like The Bench look pussy. The funny thing about that project I did is that I personally feel the least connected with it in an emotional way as I always thought ”anyone else can do this”, yet overall everyone likes it a lot, I have only received two negative feedback against hundreds of positive ones.

One day I hope to understand that  unemotionally involved pix of mine get more appreciation than the ones I bleed my heart and soul out for.



May update

I have deleted my Facebook profile and also the Bartolomy page, I just grew tired of the whole FB thing, like MySpace it has had its best time. All the ads, and above all the pictures of people of showing their dinner/cats/back garden etc. Very tiring and very repetitive if you ask me. Time to move on.

Here is an article on stylist Juli Molnar, who I have been working with these past 6 months. The Into the Black story and some of yours truly in action can be seen there.

I have a ton of fashion pix to show, but I am simply too busy posting them, all in due course.

Die! Die! Die! are back here end of June for a few months, so expect some stuff on them as well.

Jeff Hanneman RIP

Been reading that Jeff Hanneman has passed away due to liver failure at the age of 49. Far too early of course, I remember chatting with him and the rest of the band Slayer back in 1985 on the Hell Awaits tour, and although he did not say a lot, what he did say was funny and made us all roar with laughter.

Here is a page from Metallo, an Italian  magazine, I cannot find the original negative at this point, perhaps Stefan Schipper can sort me with a print ;)



On tour with Lord Wilson, Prainy, Logie and Attwell.

Been on tour with Die! Die! Die!.

Did Paris, Brussels, Brighton and London. All good shows, the Paris and London ones being outstanding, Paris loves Die! Die! Die! that’s for sure. I did not shoot a lot of pix, but compensated that with some filming, which eventually will surface….


I left for Paris early in the morning on the Eurostar since I wanted to walk about and take a few shots, found a few shots for The Kiss obviously around the Eiffel Tower. Nice day, dry at least, until the band arrived ;), it actually started to pour.


The band play in a squat, La Miroiterie, in the 20th district, a cool and very cosmopolitan neighborhood.  The squat itself will be leveled this summer so they have parties there every night. The place is rammed with peeps over 30 years old and the 40 somethings seem to be up for  partying the most as they crowd surf more than any other. A fantastic show crowd wise, my all time fave. Lord Wilson’s response: “this is nothing, NZ beats this hands down”…….. I head back to my hotel down the road, the band kips at the promoter’s flat in north west Paris, where I hook up with them the next morning. Although tight, the seating accommodation in the back of the van is not like Ryanair.

Brussels the next day at Magasin4, not a bad sized place, if you play for 300+ people not when you have 80 odd.

A big stage and some proper lights, yay. I shoot the whole show from all around the stage. We end up kipping there as well, the place resembles a set of Stalag 17, 14 bunk beds in one room, we are fortunate, we are NOT sharing :).

We do not see a functioning shower so we leave for Brighton unwashed. Again at Customs the band members are picked out for preferential treatment and we end up waiting for a Customs Officer to finish his ten minute break while handling the case (I kid you not!).

The Brighton show at Green Door, I only video as it has only two lights setup, sound and show wise the least favorite of all four shows. Only 40 dd people bother, you wonder why when they ask for £ 9.00 on the door.

Instead of staying with friends we all make our way back to London to get to our own places and have a wash.

London the next day at The Hoxton Bar & Grill is a great show as well. Sounding tight, Lord Wilson & co. let rip and there is great crowd participation, no Paris, but still an excellent show.

I also shot them at Lightship 95, right across from The Dome, where they have started to record tracks for their new album.

Some more pix:

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Eyem and Snapseed

I have just added Eyeem and Snapseed to my Iphone and they are some great photography apps.

Eyem is a serious contender against Instagram, especially since it’s T&C are a lot more friendlier than Instagrams’ , especially after that revision a few months back.

Snapseed is an app by Nik who make great filtering applications used in conjunction with photoshop users. Great fun!

Will publish a load of pix I have worked on lately next week.

Jeremy Ramsden

I have just found out that Jeremy Ramsden has passed away after suffering a fatal stroke. Jeremy was a printer who I met at LTI in the late 90’s and who did some of my folio and editorial prints before it all went digital. I saw him last in December at Labyrinth, his latest venture.

His premature death is a loss to the  London photographic community, my thoughts are with his family and the crew at Labyrinth.

An obituary can be read HERE

Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria

photocrati galleryA lot of the island of Gran Canaria along the coast is very built up, but the last village on the southern coast Puerto de Mogan has escaped, so far, the huge apartment complexes and the lit up boulevards rammed with  KFC and other related establishments that offer no real value. Puerto de Mogan is sleepy compared to its neighbouring villages and towns, only to wake up on Friday where a huge market is being set up. Other than that a beach front with many restaurants, of which the majority offer the same touristic tapas fare or try to lure you in with a large beer for 2 euros (it seems to work for many). The marina is nice, good for strolling about and just hang and have a meal or a cocktail. Many Norwegians and Danish here escaping the freezing Nordic temp, and although they are the main group there are still plenty of other EU nations represented so you do not have that ”invaded by such and such nationalities” vibe at all. The food is not cheap here, you will have to go inland to get better deals (as always) but overall a really pleasant place to stay if you want some winter sun.


Palermo 2004

I found some high res images of a trip I did in May 2004 in Palermo and also at Mondello (the beach area just outside the city). I deemed all material lost of higher res, all I had was a set of large thumbnail images. It was the first thing I recorded with my new digital camera back then. And due to some screw up I deemed the high res images lost, as the raws were gone too. Well while backing up the discs I made in 2004-2007 I came across a set of images, all with their description, so I am very happy to have them ‘back’.

Funny thing is, that I shot pix of kissing couples there, I did not think back then to turn it into The Kiss already, as I shot The Bench a year after this trip and then in 2006 started toying with The Kiss I am showing one shot, there are four which will go into the book of The Kiss which I will start working on in Feb./March


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Happy New Year!

HNY everyone, may 2013 bring you lots of prosperity and in good  health!

Took a few snaps with my IPhone while the missus and I are in Holland, the weather has been grey but largely dry. We took off one day to go to Gouda, a city I have traveled through many times but never visited before. Stunning little town, especially in the center with a lot of its history intact from 2/300 years ago, a joy to walk along the canals and see the splendid architecture. The pix were posted on my Instagram account.