Hi, in case you are wondering who this guy is, let me introduce myself. My name is Hans Martens. I was born in the south of The Netherlands, very close to both Germany and Belgium, were I lived most of my life. About twenty years ago I moved to a small city in the middle of The Netherlands, very close to the Oostvaarderplassen nature reserve, where I still live.
As you can see in these pictures, I am fond of animals. Here I am playing "Crocodile Dundee" in The Gambia (with a wild crocodile), on a trip to West-Africa. In the other photograph I am playing with my favorite big cat, a beautiful cheetah (captive). The one with the rhino's (wild) was taken in South Africa.
I have lots of different interests, but mainly wildlife, photography and traveling, preferable all three of them combined. So far I have been focussing mainly on Africa and its wildlife. I have been fortunate to be able to travel many times through about a dozen countries in northern, eastern, western and southern Africa in the past twenty+ years. I have also visited Sri Lanka, India and the beautiful underwater world of the Maldives. About twenty years ago, in august 1996, I was able to fulfill one of my dreams and went to South Africa to do an officially accredited Field Guide / Safari Guide Training. About ten years ago I persued another dream as I was enrolled in a reasearch master in Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria. Of course I do photography in Europe as well, concentrating mainly on birds. My favourite places are the Greek island of Lesbos and the Portugese (eastern) Algarve, as well as my home country The Netherlands.
Photography has been a passion of me for many years. When I was 14 years old I bought my first reflex camera, a Praktica MTL-5. At highschool we had a darkroom but no photography teacher, so I learned everything the hard way from books and personal experience. The first years I mostly photographed aircraft, specially military jets. Gradually I also got interested in model and portrait photography. Many years I have been a member of a model photography club. Twentyfive years ago in 1991, I finally made my first trip to Africa (Kenya) and it made an everlasting impression on me. The great enthusiasm and love for nature I had as a child came back to me. Then I realized that Wildlife Photography was my greatest passion. For several years I worked semi-professional and had publications in magazines and books. In 2008/2009 I published my own book on safari photography.
These days I regard photography as a wonderfull hobby and travel and photograph only for my own pleasure.