Bart Koetsier

Taillights Fade


Bart Koetsier follows the tradition of night street photographers in his series Taillights Fade.

Walking the dark hours of cities in Europe, the work-in-progress series so far includes Amsterdam, Paris, Marseille and Warsaw.

While many street photographers rely on anonymity and distance, Koetsier says he enjoys the night-time interactions and even, in a way, uses photography as an enabler for the experiences. Capturing the blurry, bizarre, and occasionally confrontational nature of night life, the photos are a mixture of color and black and white, yet maintain a consistent unsettling atmosphere.

In years to come Koetsier intends to create an image of time in days of economic hardship, not only shooting sombre images but also showing resilience, force, hope and humor among Europe’s inhabitants.




Bart Koetsier (1975, Doorwerth, The Netherlands) graduated with honours at the Photoacademy – December 2009 in Amsterdam.

Since then Bart works as a freelance photographer for several media, including the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, the Belgian daily De Morgen and publisher Van Oorschot.

Currently Bart works on his series ‘Taillights Fade’ – a document on life in the nightly streets of Europe.

In January 2013 Koetsier won 2nd prize in the category ‘portraits’ at the Zilveren Camera award 2012. In the summer of 2010 his work was honored with the 2nd price during the annual Photoacademy Award.

In 2011 and 2012 Bart Koetsier attended workshops held by Michael Ackerman – Agence VU Paris and a grant-writing-workshop by Donald Weber in Amsterdam.

Bart Koetsier is based in Amsterdam and represented by Hollandse Hoogte.


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Bart Koetsier


8 thoughts on “Bart Koetsier – Taillights Fade”

  1. I looked at this when I first got home from over a week in the field, exhausted and worn out from hard work couple with lack of sleep. My thought was, “nice enough but so what?” It felt old and tired, so I did not comment. It did not surprise me when I saw no one else was commenting, either.

    But now that I have had a little time to recover, I decided to take a second look.

    Now I see that the only thing that was old and tired was me. This is fresh, vibrant, and vivid; brilliant, even. It is a work of wonder and I can feel the interactions between the photographer and those he photographa; how he has enabled himself to enter their world and experience it with them.

    Where are all the comments? Once, such an essay would have generated a long string, even pages of comments. Are all you past commenters out there feeling old and tired? Does it have something to do with the rapidity with which the net now fires an endless deluge of images at us? Is it wearing us down?… blurring our vision?… even as we shoot more and more and view an ever increasing cascade of images?

    Where are all of you? Why aren’t you here?

  2. Much of this work is very nice indeed.

    Bill. Going back to your original thought of “tired and old”. What do you mean by that in the context of photography in general? Is it the concept or the execution? The subject matter or the treatment.
    Interested to hear your thoughts, and glad you had another look and saw something.

  3. Frostfrog…

    I experienced exactly the same feeling as you when I first went through the essay. Ok I’ll give it another look…

  4. Night time photography is generally dissatisfying for me due to the lack of light bouncing off surfaces. I have seen work quite wonderful; it takes a skill few have. Bringing a flash certainly helps.

    I’m counting at least five of the eighteen images here taken at the quarter angle, which for me is the big no-no of street photography. I’m uncertain if the square format accentuates the problem; the quarter shot is an indication of uninvolvement in the situation, and lies somewhere between the engaged and unengaged moment. This results in a uninteresting, non-mysterious ambiguity that goes against the artist’s statement; where he shoots directly and head-on, his intent works.

  5. John, I did not mean concept, execution, subject matter or treatment – all of which vary greatly. Delivery is what I meant. I LOVE all the new media, from the big screen of the 27 inch iMac I now sit at to my iPad to the tiny Instagrams on my iPhone. I love it all.

    Yet, at the same time, it shoots such a constant stream of images and stories through you that it overwhelms. I remember back in the “old days” when I would get a copy of what was then a very good American Photo or Aperture magazine, or pick up a good book, I would sit on the couch, sometimes for hours, slowly page through, study and absorb every image and word. Now, in a single sitting at my computer, I can and do access ten times as photography in a short time as I did in those many hours. The images shoot past. Where as I might have gazed at one image for ten minutes or even longer, I might now give most images a few seconds, some barely a second. It can enthrall, but it can also wear one out.

    Still, having just go into Instagram these past three or four weeks, it was so amazing and fun to be communicating almost instantly in picture exchanges with people, many from the Burn community, literally spread around the globe, from me in the Arctic to Vivek in the tropics of India. I just hope I didn’t let it distract me too far from the core work I went out to do, which I could not do in iPhone/Instagram. That is exhausting, too – trying to make certain you get ample good shots on your “real” cameras to accomplish the job (I am confident I did) while at the same time immersing yourself in this world-wide stream of constantly flowing images.

    I came home so utterly exhausted I have barely been able to function – and it wasn’t just because I missed one night’s sleep altogether and only got a small amount of sleep the other nights, but also because I was immersed in this constant stream of images.

    That’s what I mean.

  6. Pingback: Warsaw | Amsterdam Streets

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