PhotoLexicon, Volume 23, nr. 38 ( September 2006) (en)

Jaap Rieder

Martin Harlaar


Jaap Rieder evolved from an amateur into a professional photographer and from an autodidact into a teacher. He shot his first photo in 1947, at the age of sixteen, and began to photograph as a professional in 1958. As a lover of photography, he also continued to do his own autonomous work, and in the last twenty years, almost exclusively. Over the decades, Rieder photographed cityscapes and landscapes, dance performances and jazz concerts, companies and people. He has always been interested in the technical aspects of photography. Rieder’s enlargements on baryta paper are high quality.




Jacob Bartholomeus (Jaap) Rieder is born in Amsterdam on 4 March. He will remain the only child of Jacob Rieder (1895-1976), bookkeeper/cashier at the Amsterdams Trustee’s Kantoor (‘Amsterdam Trustees Office’), and Alida-Maria Prehn (1897-1975). The family resides at Nassaukade 15.


The Rieder family moves to Amstelkade 129 III in Amsterdam.


The Rieder family moves to Bilderdijkkade 14 III in Amsterdam. Jaap lives with his parents at this address until 1961.

Between 1939 and 1945, Rieder attends primary school.


Rieder receives his first camera— a 6×6 Icarette folding camera from 1926—from his father, who himself is an amateur photographer and drawing artist.


Rieder is at the Dam Square in Amsterdam when Germans begin shooting at people from the Grote Club (‘Great Club’). He flees into the Raadhuisstraat and remains unhurt. Following the summer holiday, Rieder begins attending the MULO (Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs, lower-level secondary school).


Rieder becomes a member of the NJN (Nederlandse Jeugdbond voor Natuurstudie, ‘Netherlands Youth League for Nature Study’) and the AMVJ (Algemene Maatschappij Voor Jongeren, ‘General Society for Young People’).


After failing to pass his MULO exam, Rieder successfully completes a study to become a radio technician at a private school in Amsterdam.


Rieder fulfils Dutch military obligations by serving in the Royal Netherlands Navy.


Rieder takes over his father’s 1936 Rolleicord.

Rieder becomes a member of the NAFV (Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen Vereniging, ‘Netherlands Amateur Photographers Association’). He remains a member until 1967.


Rieder works for one year in the office of Honeywell & Brown, a company in Amsterdam specialised in measurement and control technology.


Rieder works in the telephoto department at ANP Photo on the Damrak in Amsterdam, where photographic images are received and transmitted via telephone and radio.


Rieder purchases a Praktica camera, along with various photographic objectives.


Through an advertising agency, Rieder is hired to take photographs for the retail store Hema. With this work, he earns more in a week than in two months at the ANP. He subsequently decides to become a professional photographer and quits his job at ANP. He now also buys a 9×12 camera and the housing for a Leica III, along with several photographic objectives. During these initial years, Rieder photographs in numerous theatres, ballet studios, and on occasions such as jazz concerts held in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.


Rieder wins the consolation prize hosted by the Nederlandsche Club voor Fotokunst (‘Netherlands Club of Photographic Art’).


Rieder photographs the flooding disaster at Tuindorp Oostzaan. For the magazine Tussen de rails (‘Between the Rails’), Rieder travels around the country to make photo reportages.


Rieder spends six months preparing for the exam of a four-year study programme offered at the Fotovakschool (‘Vocational School of Photography’) in The Hague. He succeeds in passing this exam.

Rieder marries.

Rieder photographs the demolition of the ‘Galerij’ (‘Gallery’, i.e. the ‘remains’ of the Paleis van Volksvlijt [‘Palace of Industry’]) near the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam, and later the construction site of the Nederlandse Bank (‘Dutch National Bank’) at the same location.


In January, Rieder and his wife move to the Van Baerlestraat in Amsterdam.

Photos by Rieder are shown at the exhibition N.A.F.V. 75 jaar (‘NAFV 75 Years’), held at the Fodor Museum in Amsterdam.


Via his friend the drawing artist/painter Norbert Olthuis, Rieder comes into contact with the circus world and begins photographing there on a regular basis. Rieder is commissioned to photograph a large number of musical instruments for posters of the Concertgebouw. On assignment for the ‘Oranje-Groene Kruis’ (‘Orange-Green Cross’), Rieder shoots a series of photos on the topic of healthcare in the Netherlands.


On 27 July, Rieder’s son, Joost, is born.


At the request of Geurt Brinkgreve of the Diogenes Foundation, Rieder shoots photos of abandoned, centuries-old buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

1965–Circa ’69

For Folia Civitatis, the weekly magazine of the University of Amsterdam, Rieder takes portrait photos of professors, the opening celebrations of the new academic year, newly constructed buildings, etc.


Rieder purchases a Hasselblad and three photographic objectives.


Rieder takes over the cameras, darkroom equipment, and clients—including the KRO broadcasting company and the automobile importer Louwman & Parqui—from the photographer Henk Jonker, who spends much of the year in Spain starting in 1964. Rieder wins the Dutch ‘Prix Nièpce’.

Together with the journalist Frits Verhorst, Rieder travels to Israel on assignment for the publishing company Geïllustreerde Pers (‘Illustrated Press’).

Rieder photographs several Dutch writers.


On assignment for the Provinciale Planologische Dienst (‘Provincial Planological Service’) of the province North Holland, Rieder produces a photo series on the area around the North Sea Canal.


Rieder photographs for the magazine Heemschut (edited by Ton Koot and Geurt Brinkgreve), the ‘Stichting ter Bevordering van Amateur Fotografie’ (‘Foundation for the Promotion of Amateur Photography’), and the lighting manufacturer Eurolight. For the publishing company Teleboek, Rieder produces a series of landscape photos.


Rieder photographs the Scapino Ballet. He also shoots photos of river landscapes. During the ‘fotovakbeurs’ (‘Photo Trade Fair’), Rieder exhibits work at the Jaarbeurs Convention Centre in Utrecht


For the book Vensters (‘Windows’), scheduled for publication in 1972, Rieder shoots photos throughout the Netherlands.

Circa 1971

In the early 1970s, Rieder starts receiving numerous assignments to photograph buildings and industrial complexes.


Rieder divorces.

From 1979

Rieder takes numerous trips abroad, resulting in a number of exhibitions.


Rieder takes photos at various demonstrations in Amsterdam.

In 1983, the IISG (Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, ‘International Institute of Social History’) in Amsterdam organises an exhibition, featuring a selection of these photos under the title of Demonstraties in Amsterdam (‘Demonstrations in Amsterdam’).


Rieder exhibits Dijklandschappen (‘Dike Landscapes’) at the ABN Gallery on the Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam.


During a trip to France, Rieder takes the first shots that will eventually lead to the exhibition Nus Normands (‘Nude Normans’).


Rieder experiments with abstract colour compositions.


In Amsterdam, Rieder has an exhibition entitled De burgers van Bulgarije (‘The Citizens of Bulgaria’) at the 2½x 4½ Photo Gallery, as well as an exhibition at the Keijser’s Hart Gallery, entitled Kleur composities (‘Colour Compositions’).


Rieder’s exhibition Naakt en landschap (‘Nudes and Landscape’) is shown at the Canon Image Centre in Amsterdam.


During the winter months, Rieder teaches at the Academie voor Fotografie (‘Academy of Photography’) in Haarlem.


Rieder exhibits work in Cahors, France (Nus et Paysages, ‘Nudes and Landscapes’), together with Jeanloup Sieff Cahors


During these years, Rieder rarely photographs.


Rieder begins working once again with black-and-white photography.


Rieder takes numerous technical proof shots with a Leica M6.


Rieder buys a Nikon F4 with various photographic objectives.


Rieder’s exhibition Nus Normands is shown at various branches of the Centre Culturel Français (‘French Cultural Centre’) in Germany, specifically Kiel, Rostock, and Hannover.


Nus Normands is shown at the SBK (Stichting Beeldende Kunst, ‘Visual Arts Foundation’) in Amsterdam.


Rieder has an exhibition at the IISG in Amsterdam, entitled En passant – La Vie (‘In Passing – Life’).


Two exhibitions of Rieder’s work are shown in Amsterdam: En Passant – La Vie at the WM Gallery (Wanda Michalak), and Fotowerken 1942-2002 (‘Photographic Works 1942–2002’) at the Arti et Amicitiae artists society.


Rieder’s exhibition Fotowerken 1942-2003 is shown at the Foto & Kunst Gallery in Amsterdam. Jazz photos by Rieder are exhibited at the Mahogany Hall Jazz Club in Edam.


Jaap Rieder’s father was a from a Protestant Reformed family. His mother was Catholic. Although both parents were no longer active practitioners of their respective faiths, they sent Jaap to Christian primary and secondary schools. Politically, the family can be described as moderately social democratic. In his free time, Jaap’s father drew and took photographs. Jaap received his first camera from his father on his fourteenth birthday: a 6×6 Icarette folding camera from 1926. As film supplies again gradually became available following the liberation of the Netherlands, Jaap began taking photos of his friends. He also ventured out with his camera in and around Amsterdam. Jaap’s father had a darkroom and taught him how to develop film and make prints of the pictures he had taken. Jaap also learned a lot about art, as well as the beauty of cities and modern architecture from his father, who initially was also a strong influence photographically. In February 2003, Jaap Rieder spoke about this to a journalist from the magazine Focus: ‘My father used to be a member of the Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen [‘Netherlands Amateur Photographers’] and I would often accompany him on photo outings. There everyone produced the same kind of work: pictorialist landscapes in soft focus. My father could spend days waiting for the right mist, with just a slight trace of sunlight still shining through. Like an innocent dog, I also started out with that kind of photography, but I was soon making other work.’

Jaap became a member of the ‘Nederlandse Jeugdbond voor Natuurstudie’ (‘Netherlands Youth League of Nature Study’). Not only did he discover his life-long love of nature there, but he also learned above all to observe.

After failing to pass his MULO (Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs, lower-level secondary school) exam in 1949, Rieder began studying to become a radio technician. After the successfully completing his studies, he met Dutch military service requirements by working as a radio and radar mechanic with the Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (‘Naval Aviation Service’), which entailed repairing aircraft electrical systems. Directly following military service, Rieder worked for one year in the office of Honeywell & Brown, a company specialised in measurement and control technology.

In his free time, Rieder continued to take photographs. In 1954, he became a member of the NAFV (Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen Vereniging, ‘Netherlands Amateur Photographers Association’), just as his father had done before in 1919. In 1955, Rieder was hired by ANP Photo (Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau, ‘General Dutch Press Agency’), on the Damrak in Amsterdam. There he worked in the telephoto department, where photographic images were received and transmitted via the telephone line and by radio. To transmit images, an 8×10 inch enlargement was placed on a roll that was subsequently rotated. The enlargement was then scanned with a light-sensitive cell, which moved from one end of the role to the other. To receive an image, an 8×10 inch negative was placed on the role, which, as it was rotating, was exposed via signals coming in through the telephone line. At ANP Photo, Rieder developed sheet films and repaired flashes for the photographers. When it was quiet, he read everything he could get his hands on regarding the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography.

In 1958, an advertising agency commissioned Rieder to take photographs for the Dutch retail store Hema. His contact with the agency had come from the wife of the graphic designer Ad Werner. She was in the cabaret group of the AMVJ (Algemene Maatschappij Voor Jongeren, ‘General Society of Young People’), for which Rieder had been taking photos on a regular basis. Rieder himself had been a member of the AMVJ since 1947. Besides cabaret, he also photographed the organisation’s events in the area of sports, theatre, ballet, modern dance, as well as parties. With this first paid assignment for the Hema, Rieder earned more money in a week than he did working two months at ANP Photo. He therefore decided to become a professional photographer and subsequently quit his job. By this time, Rieder had several cameras that he could use: a Rolleicord, a 9×12 camera, a Praktica, and a Leica III, in addition to a number of objectives. He would continue to receive regular follow-up assignments from the Hema up until 1965. Rieder shot photos of the storefront display windows and store interiors. His photos were also used for advertisements.

Because a diploma was required for a business permit to work as a professional photographer, Rieder signed up to sit for the exam at the Fotovakschool (‘Vocational School of Photography’) in The Hague, which was normally preceded by a four-year study programme. For six months, he followed a training course with Lex Werkheim at his home. Werkheim prepared candidates for their exams, by taking old exams from the previous years. In 1961, Rieder passed his exams with flying colours.

By this time, Rieder had already won the consolation prize of the Nederlandsche Club voor Fotokunst (‘Netherlands Club of Photographic Art’) in 1959. The prize was administered by the NAFV and awarded for the last time in this year.

In 1960, Rieder approached the editors of the monthly magazine Tussen de rails (‘Between the Rails’) with a a number of his photos. Following a meeting with the magazine’s chief editor, Viktor Silverberg (better known as Bob Uschi), Rieder was able to start taking photographs for the magazine. Rieder continued doing work for Tussen de rails for a period of several years, traveling around the Netherlands either alone, or on occasion, accompanied by journalists such as Elisabeth Lampe-Soutberg, who wrote under the name of ‘Bibeb’.

Rieder made corporate reportages for Tussen de rails, but also took portraits of various city mayors, city council members, factory heads, and engineers. To make his photos more attractive, he portrayed people in relation to their working environments. The 2 August 1963 issue of the magazine Focus wrote the following about this aspect of his work: ‘All of these portraits, one for one, betray an original vision.’

In 1962, Rieder was chosen for a photo assignment commissioned by the Oranje-Groene Kruis (‘Orange-Green Cross’, i.e. the ‘Bond van Protestants-Christelijke Verenigingen voor Wijkverpleging in Nederland’, ‘Federation of Protestant-Christian Associations for District Nursing in the Netherlands’). On the occasion of the organisation’s twenty-fifth anniversary, a publication was planned concerning its activities. Entitled en gij hebt Mij bezocht (‘And You Came to Visit Me’), it comprised more than sixty photos by Rieder. This included portraits as well as photographs of the district caregivers’ day-to-day work, shown in a concise manner. At no point was he ever being invasive with his camera. Just as with Tussen de rails, Rieder portrayed people in their own surroundings.

In 1967—after thirteen years—Rieder cancelled his membership with the NAFV, where he had won numerous prizes with his photos. Responding to the question of a journalist in the August 1963 issue of Focus regarding whether the club still had anything to offer him: ‘You can’t always be asking yourself: what use is a photography club to me. There is another side: ‘What use am I to the club! I enjoy helping these people, and besides, they’ve become friends of mine there, and that’s why I also want to hold on to that.’ After several years, however, Rieder nevertheless came to the conclusion that he had outgrown the world of the amateurs definitively.

By the time Rieder started photographing jazz concerts in the late 1950s, as well as dance and circus performances later on, he had already acquired a limited amount of experience by working with various forms of theatrical photography at the AMVJ. Between 1958 and 1960, Rieder was photographing stars of the jazz world during the legendary evening concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, including Errol Garner, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis, and Benny Goodman. Lou van Rees arranged a press pass for Rieder, so he could also work on stage. In the beginning, it was not so much the music itself that interested him, but rather the atmosphere he encountered at these concerts. Only much later would Rieder become a lover of jazz.

At approximately the same time, Rieder began photographing various dance companies on his own initiative, including the Opera Ballet, the Ballet der Lage Landen (‘Ballet of the Lowlands’), and the Scapino Ballet. Unlike jazz concerts, there was usually no opportunity to photograph during the actual performances. It was instead during and in between the general rehearsals that he was able to photograph the dancers in their costumes, with the stage decors in the background. Rieder’s dance photos were featured in publications such as the book Scapino, which appeared in 1985 to mark the Scapino Ballet’s fortieth year.

In early 1963, Rieder became engrossed in another variant of theatrical photography. In those days, his friend the painter Norbert Olthuis was doing a lot of drawing at the circus. After one visit with Olthuis, Rieder was sold: circus photography was an area of work that would hold his interest for a number of years. In 1963, he was hired by the designer responsible for making posters for the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to photograph a large number of musical instruments. Rieder reworked the photos into graphic images by means of solarisation.

In the early years of his career as a professional photographer, Rieder’s contact with other photographers was minimal. Henk Jonker was the exception. In 1967, Jonker—who had been spending most of his time in Spain since 1964 and was photographing on a less frequent basis—gave Rieder the opportunity to acquire photographic equipment (including a super wide-angle Hasselblad and a 50×60 glossy press) as well as clients (the KRO broadcasting company and the automobile importer Louwman & Parqui) for a modest fee. He also took over the most recent part of Jonker’s negatives archive. In 1999, Rieder transferred these negatives to the Maria Austria Institute. For the KRO’s magazine Studio, he shot mainly portrait photos of radio employees working at the various broadcasting companies. For Louwman & Parqui, the Dutch importer of Toyota and Alfa Romeo, Rieder photographed presentations of the latest car models as well as dealership meetings.

When in 1958 Rieder started photographing as a professional, the generation of photographers preceding him, which included figures such as Cas Oorthuys, had already been photographing the post-war reconstruction of the Netherlands for more than ten years. Rieder had also been making photo reportages on companies and the development of new industrial areas, but without the optimistic belief in progress that characterised the work of many of his older colleagues. Instead, he showed companies and business sectors void of embellishment and any degree of heroism. There are no rugged labourers in his photos. Rieder was also well aware of the tension that existed between economic development and nature. From the age of seventeen, Rieder had been a member of the Nederlandse Jeugdbond voor Natuurstudie. From that time, nature had always remained a personal source of inspiration. In the mid-1960s, Rieder’s photos were featured as illustrations for articles on nature photography in Focus on numerous occasions. For several of these articles, he had also supplied the text.

The 23 July 1965 issue of Focus included an article with photos and text by Rieder, entitled ‘Zijn wij nu beter af?’ (‘Are We Now Really Better Off?’). In the article, he harshly criticises—years before environmental concerns were topical—the belief in progress and asks that attention be given to the value of nature. During the 1950s, Rieder had taken photographs of the De Beer nature area on the island of Rozenburg, to the south of Hook of Holland. It was almost 1,000 hectares in size, with tens of thousands of birds breeding there every year, including several extremely rare species. The De Beer nature area, however, was soon to make way for the expansion of both the harbour and industry, an enterprise that would later become known by the name of ‘Europoort’. When Rieder returned to the De Beer area in 1964, it had been changed into a bare sand flat, where bulldozers, drag lines, and sand trucks were being used to make the ground suitable for building. Rieder opened his article in Focus with the following lines: ‘It’s stated so simply in the newspaper: “The Europoort is starting to take form.” But we fail to realise what’s behind all this. Good, a new port is being dug, there will soon be a wonderful petroleum refinery, along with everything that comes with it—tall smokestacks, smoke and soot, the smell, waste products in the river, etc. Many will say: it’s simply unavoidable, or: one simply can’t stop it, and—who knows—maybe it’s true. But we have no idea of the dangers if we all reason in this manner. Do we ever stop and consider what’s lost with all of these plans to expand?’

Despite Rieder’s major interest in nature, nature photography was never an area that particularly appealed to him. He preferred to photograph landscapes instead. In 1969, Rieder shot landscape photos for Nederlands natuurbezit (‘Netherlands Natural Possessions’), a loose-leaf publication featuring photos and maps for various nature areas throughout the Netherlands, commissioned by the firm Teleboek. One year later, Rieder supplied photos for a publication of the Stichting Amsterdamse Schoolwerktuinen (‘Amsterdam School Work Gardens Foundation’), entitled De nachtegaal en de Bijlmer. Invloed van menselijke activiteiten in natuur en milieu (‘The Nightingale and the Bijlmer. Influence of Human Activities in Nature and the Environment’). On his own initiative, Rieder produced a colour photo series on river landscapes in the same year. The photographer Cor van Weele saw these photos and arranged for a selection to be exhibited at the ABN Gallery on the Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam.

In 1964, Rieder came into contact with Geurt Brinkgreve, who for years had been protesting against the demolition of historic buildings in Amsterdam. During the German Occupation, and especially during the Hunger Winter, empty houses had become uninhabitable because people in need of firewood were tearing out window frames, doors, and floors. After the war, these houses were typically sealed off with wood or bricks. Plans were in the making to tear down entire neighbourhoods in the city replace them with new residential buildings. In the years 1964-’66, Rieder photographed the dilapidation in the older parts of the city, such as the Jordaan neighbourhood, the ring canals in the centre, and the Kattenburg. His photos were used to accompany the articles that Brinkgreve was writing for a variety of newspapers and magazines.

In 1967, Brinkgreve was part of ‘Amsterdaad’, a work group that was protesting against the city of Amsterdam’s demolition policy. Among those participating were also a former mayor of the city, A.J. D’Ailly, and Luud Schimmelpennik, a prominent member of the Provo movement. A manifesto was drawn up, written with the assistance of the Prad advertising agency, and subsequently published in a full-page format by various major newspapers free of charge. Six of Rieder’s photos were included as illustrations, depicting examples of dilapidation in the old city centre. Readers were able to place their signature at the bottom of a slip bearing the text: ‘I think the city centre should not be allowed to go to pot and therefore support the efforts of your work group.’ The person could then post the slip to the workgroup’s secretariat. The campaign, which lasted from 7 to 14 October 1967, produced no less than 114,000 signatures and ultimately resulted in most of the city’s Jordaaan neighbourhood being spared.

In 1967, Rieder won the ‘Prix Nièpce Nederland’ (‘Nièpce Prize Netherlands’). This international photography competition for amateurs and professionals under the age of thirty-five was organised in the Netherlands by the publishing company Geïllustreerde Pers (‘Illustrated Press’). On the jury were Paul Huf, Henk Jonker, and the adjunct director and chief editor of the Geïllustreerde Pers, among others. The award was a cash prize of Dfl. 1,500 or the possibility of making a photo reportage for an equivalent amount. Rieder chose the latter option. For the Dutch weekly magazine Margriet—a publication of the Geïllustreerde Pers—Rieder made a reportage of a trip to Israel, produced in collaboration with the journalist Frits Verhorst.

The leading players on Rieder’s trip were four elderly women who had spent their entire lives working in the fields of healthcare and social work and who had never traveled outside the Netherlands on holiday. The four women (a midwife, a district nurse, a maternity nurse, and a deaconess) were followed closely during their journey and stay in the country, which were sponsored by El Al Airlines and the Israeli travel agency in Amsterdam. The four women traversed all of Israel by car, covering a distance of more than 500 kilometers. The high point of the trip for the four ladies was a visit to a modern maternity centre at the Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. Using a Hasselblad, Rieder shot photographs of the women, the landscape, the cities, and the people in colour on behalf of his client. For his own use, Rieder photographed in black and white with a Pentax. On 13 May 1967, the travel account was published in Margriet, accompanied by twenty-four photos in colour. Just a little more than three weeks later, the Six-DayWar broke out. On 30 September of the same year, the weekly magazine Revu—like Margriet, a publication of the Geïllustreerde Pers—published six of the black-and-white photos that Rieder had taken in Israel. When it came to his colour photos, Rieder typically kept his distance and produced chiefly pretty pictures of the country; with his black-and-white photos, he penetrated much more deeply into people’s everyday life, and then primarily that of the Palestinian population.

Winning the Prix Nièpce not only led to new commissions, but more than ten years later, at a time when Rieder was photographing very little due to personal circumstances, Verhorst managed to arrange assignments with the Geïllustreerde Pers. Over a period of several years, Rieder produced slides that were used to improve the internal communication at this major company.

During the period 1967-’76, Rieder worked for a wide variety of clients. In the late 1960s/ early ’70s, he regularly received commissions to photograph at factories and in various industrial sectors. For the Province of North Holland, Rieder photographed around the North Sea Canal, including companies such as Mobil Oil and Hoogovens Steel. Intervam, Nederhorst Gouda, Ballast Nedam, and Nelis Uitgeest were other clients for whom Rieder did work for years. For Nelis Uitgeest, he photographed different building projects of the Vrije Universiteit (‘Free University’) in Amsterdam.

For the University of Amsterdam, Rieder photographed new buildings on the Roetersstraat. In the second half of the 1960s, he also did regular photographic work for the university’s magazine Folia Civitatis. This entailed making portraits and photographing the annual opening celebrations of the new academic year. Rieder also shot photos for the university’s 1968 annual report.

In 1971, Rieder was commissioned by Huurman NV, a contracting firm specialised in building restoration, to furnish photos for the book Vensters (‘Windows’) by H. Janse, the chief architect at the Rijksdienst Monumentenzorg (‘The Netherlands Historic Preservation Agency’). This book was scheduled to appear in 1972. Rieder traveled throughout the Netherlands gathering indoor and outdoor shots of all kinds of window types found in Dutch architecture built between 1200 and 1800. His task was not only to photograph the form of a window, but also to capture the atmosphere created when light was entering. The book included more than 160 of Rieder’s photos.

After 1976, Rieder photographed very little due to personal circumstances. From 1982 on, he began turning to his camera more often. Rieder took frequent trips abroad, likewise focusing on his autonomous work. During these trips, he photographed people and landscapes.

On a trip to Normandy in 1984, Rieder took along a model for the first time, subsequently combining both subjects. He returned there in 1987 and 1988. The photos from these last two trips resulted in the exhibition Naakt en Landschap (‘Nude and Landscape’), which appeared at the Canon Image Centre in Amsterdam. One year later, the same photos were exhibited in the French city of Cahors under the title Nus et Paysages, together with photos by Jeanloup Sieff. On the initiative of the Maria Austria Institute in Amsterdam, the same photos—supplemented with newer shots—were again exhibited at the Centre Culturel Francais (‘French Cultural Centre’) in the German cities of Kiel, Rostock, and Hannover in 1999. A number of the Nus Normands photos were also shown at the SBK (Stichting Beeldende Kunst, ‘Visual Arts Foundation’) in Amsterdam in 2000, with the same foundation acquiring the entire exhibition.

During the early 1980s, Rieder photographed various demonstrations in Amsterdam. In contrast to many of his colleagues that were involved in documentary photography, Rieder’s primary interest was based on the atmosphere at these demonstrations. In 1983, a number of Rieder’s photos were put on display at the exhibition Demonstraties in Amsterdam (‘Demonstrations in Amsterdam’), held at the IISG (Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, ‘International Institute of Social History’) in Amsterdam.

In the mid-1980s, Rieder studied art history for two years. During the second half of the 1980s, he experimented with abstract colour compositions, resulting in a small exhibition at the Keijser’s Hart Gallery in Amsterdam in 1986.

From 1988 to 1997, Rieder taught classes during the winter months at the Academie voor Fotografie (‘Academy of Photography’) in Haarlem, a three-year private study to become a professional photographer. He instructed his students in how to achieve a perfect negative, and subsequently, how to arrive at the perfect print. In addition, Rieder taught the class ‘Geschiedenis van de fotografie’ (‘History of Photography’). In the years 1992 to 1996, Rieder himself photographed very little. After a number of years of producing landscapes and nudes on an intensive basis, he had lost the inspiration to start something new. In 1996, he turned once again to black-and-white photography. He traveled abroad and ventured out into the streets of Amsterdam, equipped with his camera. From 1999 on, Rieder also began to again participate regularly in exhibitions. He saw it as an extraordinary honour to be included in the book Fotografen in Nederland. Een anthologie 1852-2002 (‘Photographers in the Netherlands. An Anthology 1852-2002’), published by the Hague Photo Museum in 2002.

Rieder’s first camera was a 6×6 Icarette folding camera from 1926. By the time he decided to become a professional photographer in 1958, he owned several cameras, including a 1936 Rolleicord, a 9×12 camera, a Praktica, and a Leica III with a number of photographic objectives. In 1959, Rieder purchased a Rolleiflex 2.8E. In 1964, he took over a super wide-angle Hasselblad camera belonging to Henk Jonker. Two years later, he acquired a Hasselblad 500C with a 50 mm, an 80 mm, and a 150 mm photographic objective, which he used to make colour slides. In black and white, Rieder initially photographed most often with a Pentax, and later with two Nikkormats. For his nature photography, he used a 40 cm objective. In the 1970s and ’80s, Rieder frequently worked with two Nikons FE, and later, with a Nikon F3. In the late 1990s, he began using two Leica M6s and a Nikon F4.

From the very start, technique has played an important role in Rieder’s photography. Before photographing professionally, he was fascinated by technology in general and photographic technique in particular. For more than a century now, Rieder has been testing cameras, lenses, different kinds of film, photographic papers, and developers in order to achieve the best results. Before traveling to Normandy for his series Naakt en Landschap, he first went looking for comparable conditions in the Netherlands to first test everything out. Once Rieder has the technique under control, it becomes less important. He then wishes to surprise himself with anything he comes across when working with the camera or at a later stage in the darkroom.

Rieder has photographed relatively very little in colour. When this did occur, it was often related to colour slide images of landscapes or his commercial assignments. Many of these slides are no longer found in his archive, as they were handed over to the clients. From the beginning, Rieder preferred black and white. His black-and-white archive comprises approximately 18,500 6×6 negatives and circa 43,400 35 mm negatives. Apart from a period in the 1970s and ’80s, Rieder fairly consistently made contact sheets of his negatives. He still always prints his enlargements preferably on baryta paper (gelatin silver print). The attention he gives to making these enlargements as well as the high degree of craftsmanship result in prints of a high quality. Rieder initially made crops, but as time passed, he gradually began to use the entire negative.

At the time Jaap Rieder began to photograph professionally in 1958, he had no major role models whom he wished to imitate. Although he did attend exhibitions and purchase books on photography, prior to this time he was most familiar with the world of amateur photography. Aesthetics would play a key role in his photography well into the 1950s. His approach in this respect eventually became much more liberal, with content gaining in significance.

Rieder is a classic example of a large group of post-war photographers who turned their hobby into their profession and who subsequently worked in relative anonymity. While he always felt a strong involvement in matters such as nature conservation and urban preservation, it was never his ambition to make the world a better place by means of his camera. Like many of his colleagues, Rieder has turned his camera to so many different subjects that he has never achieved any substantial notoriety, nor become specialised in any one given area. For Rieder, photography entailed two parts: on one hand, executing the assignments he received to the best of his ability, as one first had to make a living; and on the other hand, doing autonomous work allowing him to fully embrace his passion for photography. Over the years, Rieder has developed a recognisable style all his own, which is particularly expressed in his autonomous work. At the opening of the retrospective En Passant – La Vie (‘In Passing – Life’) in 2003, friend and photographer Jaap Bijsterbosch characterised Rieder’s photos as follows: ‘They examine reality and show that, despite all of the day-to-day quarrelling, a world exists where soft powers of dignity predominate. Moreover, the photos do this in a poetic way.’


Primary bibliography

(eigen publicaties: tekst, eventueel met foto’s, maar ook fotoboeken e.d.)

Jac. B. Rieder, Probeer het eens bij zwak licht, in Focus 48 (20 december 1963) 26, p. 2-5.

Jac. B. Rieder, Texel anders gezien, in Focus 50 (11 juni 1965) 12, p. 18-23.

Jac. B. Rieder, Zijn wij nu beter af? Natuurreservaat “De Beer”opgeofferd aan uitbreiding van de Rotterdamse haven, in Focus 50 (23 juli 1965) 15, p. 19-23.

Jac. B. Rieder, Dieren in de vrije natuur, in Jean Frijns e.a., Hobby fotoboek, Rotterdam (Foto en Filmpubliciteit Sonja Kalkman) 1966, p. 27-36.

Jac. B. Rieder (tekst en foto’s), Een dag uit het leven van een free-lance fotograaf, in Focus 51 (29 april 1966) 9, p. 15-19.

Jac. B. Rieder (tekst en foto’s), Landschap met 40 cm, in Focus 51 (1 oktober 1966) 20, p. 10-13.

Jac. B. Rieder (tekst en foto’s), Portretten zonder medewerking, in Focus 53 (8 maart 1968) 5, p. 2-8.

Cor Woudstra, De fotoserie, in Focus 57 (maart 1972) 3, p. 14-20.


(foto’s in boeken, tijdschriften en ander drukwerk)

Tussen de rails 1960-1962.

Photography Year Book 1961, afb. 200, p. 239.

Anoniem, En gij hebt mij bezocht [uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van het 25-jarig bestaan van de Bond van Prot. Chr. Ver. voor Wijkverpleging in Nederland, het Oranje-Groene Kruis; 1938-1963] , Den Haag (Het Oranje-Groene Kruis) 1963.

Henk van Halm (tekst) en Jac. B. Rieder (foto’s), Voorjaar op de wildbaan, in Focus 49 (10 april 1964) 8, p. 14-23.

Henk van Halm (tekst) en Jac. B. Rieder (foto’s), Vogels aan de drinkplaats, in Focus 49 (8 mei 1964) 10, p. 2-7.

Folia Civitatis 1965-ca. 1969.

Henk van Halm (tekst) en Jac B. Rieder (foto’s), Borstelwild voor de camera, in Focus 50 (22 januari 1965) 2, p. 2-8.

Catalogus Prix Nièpce 66, Amsterdam 1966, ongepag.

Th. M. van der Koogh, De Zaanse Schans. Een waarlijk Nationaal Monument, in Heemschut 43 (april 1966) 2, omslag, p. 30-34.

Studio. Officieel weekblad van de KRO 1967-1977.

KRO schoolradiokalender 1967-1968.

Anoniem [= Frits Verhorst], Extra vlucht naar Hadassah, in Margriet (13 mei 1967) 19, p. 5, 102-116.

Recreatie in Noord-Holland. Taakstelling. Nota van het provinciaal bestuur over de hoofdlijnen van het beleid op het gebied van de openluchtrecreatie buiten de woonkern, Haarlem (Provinciale Planologische Dienst van Noord-Holland) 1968.

Stedelijk Jaarverslag Amsterdam 1968, Gemeente Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Stadsdrukkerij) 1969.

Nederlands Natuurbezit, Bussum (Teleboek) z.j. [ca. 1969] (losbladige uitgave).

Wim Broekman (tekst) en Jac. B. Rieder (foto’s), Pieter d’Hont in zijn atelier, in Focus 54 (6 juni 1969) 11, p. 2-5.

Wim Broekman (tekst) en Jac. B. Rieder (foto’s), Amsterdam oud & nieuw, in Focus 54 (18 juli 1969) 14, p. 2-7 (met foto’s).

(Brochure) Nelis Uitgeest. Het berijdbare parkeerdak, z.j. (ca. 1970).

(Brochures) Nelis Uitgeest afdeling staalbouw, z.j. (ca. 1970).

(Brochure) Nelis Uitgeest afdeling pijpleidingen, z.j. (ca. 1970).

(Brochure) Nelis Uitgeest, (ca. 1971).

Stichting Amsterdamse Schoolwerktuinen, De nachtegaal en de Bijlmer. Invloed van menselijke activiteiten in natuur en milieu, Amsterdam z.j. (ca. 1970).

H.W.J. Schmitz, Kleurenfotografie in de Nederlandse natuurgebieden, in Focus 55 (augustus 1970) 8, p. 36-38.

Dick Boer en Paul Heysse (hoofdred.), Focus Elsevier foto en filmencyclopedie, Amsterdam/Brussel (Elsevier) 3de geh. herz. dr., 1971, p. 331.

Anoniem, Intervam, Gebouwencomplex voor Bejaarden “De Drie Hoven”, z.j. (ca. 1972).

H. Janse, Vensters, Nijmegen (Thieme) 1972, afb. 1-19, 22-25, 27, 29-62, 66-67, 73-112, 114-117, 119-122, 124-130, 132-134, 137, 139-141, 113-114, 147-155, 157-162, 170-173, 175-179, 182-197, 199-201 (idem Schiedam (Interbook International) 2de dr. 1977).

Nederlandsche Credietverzekering Maatschappij nv. NCM-introductie, Amsterdam 1971.

Op+onder maaiveld [maandelijkse publicatie voor de personeelsleden van de N.V. tot Aanneming van Werken v/h HJ. Nederhorst Gouda] 7 (maart 1971) 3.

J. Uittien, Ballet, Gorinchem (De Ruiter) 1973 (serie: Informatie 142).

D. Boon e.a. (red.), Het 2e gebruik, Grafisch Nederland 1974.

Uit in eigen land. Met vijftig toeristische tochten door Nederland, Amsterdam (The Reader’s Digest) z.j. [1975].

Gerard H. Peeters en Ciny Macrander (tekst), Terug naar de natuur, z.p. [Amsterdam] (Amsterdam Boek) 1976.

(Brochure) Programma Stichting Jeugd en Muziek Haarlem, 11 juni 1976.

Eva van Schaik, Op gespannen voet. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse theaterdans vanaf 1900, Haarlem (De Haan) 1981, p. 93.

Dansjaarboek 1983/1984, p. 38.

Dansjaarboek 1984/1985, p. 30.

Jessica Voeten, Scapino, Zutphen (De Walburg Pers) 1985, p. 35, 37, 39.

Adriaan Monshouwer (samenstelling), Oog in oog. Hedendaagse Nederlandse fotografie, Amsterdam (SBK/De Verbeelding) 2002, p. 158-161.

Geurt Brinkgreve e.a., Phoenix. Verdwijnend of herrijzend Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Vereniging Vrienden van de Amsterdamse Binnenstad) 2004.

Ellen Kok e.a. (samenstelling), GKf Fotografen 2003-2004, Amsterdam (GKf, beroepsvereniging voor fotografen) 2004, p. 159, 226.

Secondary bibliography

Catalogus van de internationale fototentoonstelling t.g.v. het 75-jarig bestaan van de Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen Vereniging te Amsterdam 1887-1962, 7-29 oktober 1962, Amsterdam (Museum Fodor) 1962.

Jan A. Kleyn, Jac. B. Rieder jong bescheiden veelzijdig, in Foto 18 (maart 1963) 3, p. 132-139 (met foto’s).

Cor Woudstra, Zoek de kern. Cor Woudstra sprak met Jaap Rieder, in Focus 48 (2 augustus 1963) 16, p. 12-19 (met foto’s).

Catalogus Salon International d’Art Photographique, Schifflange (Photo-Club Schifflange) 1964.

Anoniem, Prix Nièpce. Unieke kans voor jonge fotografen, in Revu (30 september 1967) 39, p. 46-47 (met foto’s).

Wim Broekman, Portfolio Jaap Rieder, in Foto 33 (december 1988) 12, p. 28-33 (met foto’s).

Anoniem, Forum, in Camera Austria (december 1989) 30, p. 52-53 (met foto’s).

JO [=Jerven Ober], Jac. B. Rieder, in Wim van Sinderen (red.), Fotografen in Nederland. Een anthologie 1852-2002, Amsterdam/Gent/Den Haag (Ludion/Fotomuseum Den Haag) 2002, p. 322-323 (met foto’s).

Robert Theunissen, Tussen vluchtigheid en eeuwigheid, in Focus 90 (februari 2003) 2, p. 11-17 (met foto’s).


Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen Vereniging 1954-1967.

Arti et Amicitiae 2003-heden.

GKf 2003-heden.


1959 Wisselprijs van de Nederlandsche Club voor Fotokunst.

1967 Nederlandse Prix Nièpce.


1962 (g) Amsterdam, Museum Fodor, N.A.F.V. 75 jaar.

1964 (e) Amsterdam, Vlieger, Foto’s Jac. B. Rieder.

1964 (g) Schifflange, Photo-Club Schifflange, Salon International d’Art Photographique.

1966 (g) Amsterdam, Geïllustreerde Pers, Prix Nièpce 1966 [tentoonstelling van de nationale en internationale winnaars].

1970 (g) Den Haag, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Foto-portret.

1970 (g) Utrecht, Jaarbeurs, Fotovakbeurs.

1982 (e) Amsterdam, ABN-galerij Vijzelstraat, Dijklandschappen.

1983 (e) Amsterdam, Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Demonstraties in Amsterdam.

1986 (e) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2½x4½, “De burgers van Bulgarije”.

1986 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Keijser’s Hart, Kleur composities.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Image Centre, Naakt en Landschap [Jaap Rieder, Rushka Teekema en Jan Voster].

1989 (g) Cahors, Salie Caviole, Nus et Paysages [Jaap Rieder en Jeanloup Sieff]

1999 (g) Amsterdam, SBK Amsterdam Centrum, 2e Weekend van de Fotografie [Jaap Rieder en Dick Duyves].

1999 (e) Hannover, Centre Culturel Francais, Nus Normands.

1999 (e) Kiel, Centre Culturel Francais, Nus Normands.

1999 (e) Rostock, Centre Culturel Français, Nus Normands.

2000 (e) Amsterdam, Stichting Beeldende Kunst, Nus Normands.

2001 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Een dag in Amsterdam.

2001 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, 35 Fotografen van de Amsterdamse Fotografenavond.

2001 (e) Amsterdam, Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, En Passant – La Vie.

2001 (e) Amsterdam, King Arthur, Noordermarkt.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Sterker na kanker.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Tweede Fotografenavond-tentoonstelling.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, The wonder of woman. Hommage aan de vrouw door 21 Nederlandse fotografen.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, SBK Amsterdam Noord, Oog in oog/Recent werk.

2002/2003 (g) Den Haag, Fotomuseum Den Haag, Fotografen in Nederland 1852-2002.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, History Today/Verleden Vandaag.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Tuliphoto.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, Arti et Amicitiae, Nieuwe leden tentoonstelling.

2003 (e) Amsterdam, Arti et Amicitiae, Fotowerken 1942-2002.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, Gallery WM [Wanda Michalak], Egosentrika.

2003 (e) Amsterdam, Gallery WM [Wanda Michalak], En Passant – La Vie.

2003 (e) Emmen, Galerie De Kamer, Fotowerken 1942-2002.

2003 (g) Laren (N-H), Galerie Kessel, Focus op fotografie.

2004 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Water.

2004 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Foto & Kunst, Fotowerken 1942-2003.

2004 (g) Amsterdam, Six Images Foto Galerie, 4x Amsterdam.

2004 (g) Amsterdam, Gallery WM [Wanda Michalak], 30 Dirty Pictures.

2004 (e) Edam, Jazzclub Mahogany Hall, Jazzfoto’s Jac. B. Rieder.

2005 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, A Tribute to Tini van Doornik (1906-1980).

2005 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Hogerzeil.

2005 (g) Amsterdam, ABC Treehouse Gallery, Een dag in Amsterdam/A day in Amsterdam.


Amsterdam, Maarten Brinkgreve (mondelinge en schriftelijke informatie).

Amsterdam, Jaap Bijsterbosch (mondelinge en schriftelijke informatie).

Amsterdam, Jaap Rieder (documentatie en mondelinge informatie).

Leiden, Studie en Documentatie Centrum voor Fotografie, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Leusden, Jan Wingender (collectie nederlands fotoboek).


Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.

Amsterdam, SBK.

Den Haag, Algemeen Rijksarchief.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Parijs, Bibliothèque Nationale.