Science - May 20, 2018

Instapictures of Wageningen nature on hardcopy

Roelof Kleis

The hashtag outdoorwageningen puts the nature in and around Wageningen in the spotlights. The tag is also used by WUR employees and students. The best photos have now been collected in a booklet.

The cover of the booklet. © Uitgeverij Blauwdruk

The Instagram booklet is entitled #outdoorwageningen. It does not get much more direct than that, thinks creator Ilonne Bongers of Bas Buitensport. There is no room for doubt about the provenance of the photos. She started the social media picture book to brighten up the new website of the outdoor sports shop. An ‘Instagram slider’ collects pictures of all Instagram users who tag their pictures with #outdoorwageningen.

Online album
That start was two and a half years ago. The online album has since acquired nearly 1000 posts. From that collection, a selection was made for the booklet that was presented last Friday. One of the contributors is WUR employee Ingrid Hijman, head of the Student Service Centre. She was very curious to discover which of her photos had been used in the booklet. ‘Ilonne asked whether they could use my photos, but I have no clue which ones they eventually took.’

Hijman often walks her dog along the banks. ‘And I simply can’t help myself taking pictures. My husband will say: you have taken that picture so often, already’, she laughs. ‘And it’s true. I often take them from the same point. But they are all different. The changing of seasons, or the tide. Those differences are what makes it so much fun.’

I often take [the photos] from the same point. But they are all different.
Ingrid Hijman

‘I used to carry a regular camera, but that is too much hassle’, she continues. ‘I now use my smartphone to take pictures. They can take really good photos as well.’ Occasionally, Hijman will place a photo on Facebook too. Upon Bongers’ request, she started using #outdoorwageningen. With her contribution to the booklet being the result. The nearly one hundred pages of the booklet contain prints of hundreds of photos, which highlight the Wageningen nature.

Because that is what it is all about, according to Bongers: to portray the nature of Wageningen. ‘It is not a photo competition. We all want to show how beautiful it is around here.’ For that reason, most pictures are not accompanied by any text nor explanation of what is depicted or where the photos were taken. Bongers says it is about the image. ‘The Instagram names of the authors are listed in the back. If someone would want to, they could find everything online.’

The booklet is square (the Instagram format), bilingual (English and Dutch) and around 12 by 12 centimetres (due to the resolution). With some photos, the text is printed along just like it is displayed on Instagram. Hijman is one of the WUR employees and students whose photos were included. Biologist Arnold van Vliet wrote the introduction to the booklet in the form of an enthusiastic argument about the biodiversity in Wageningen, which according to him is ‘the place in the Netherlands where nature was, is and will be studied the most’.

#outdoorwageningen is a publication of Uitgeverij Blauwdruk in Wageningen. The booklet is now available at Bas Buitensport, Kniphorst and Bruna, and costs 12.50 euros. The presentation of the booklet took place on Friday 18 May at 19:00 in the Schip van Blaauw.