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Iphoneography: the lines of the City by @macenzo

100000 followers on Instagram in less than one year!

Dirk Bakker aka @macenzo has a huge success on IG. In a few months, he has built a unique gallery made of graphic and abstract patterns. Both his extreme sense of details and his background in graphic design create a strong photographic style dedicated to draw the lines of the city.

Here is an interview with Dirk who shares his experience. Ready to learn something? Let’s go!



P: Pierre      D: Dirk

P: Dirk, could you tell us about your background in Graphic Design?

D: I studied Graphic Design / DTP in Amsterdam and worked in that branch at different companies – but also as a freelancer for about 15 years.
I loved to convert ideas, concepts and information into new and original graphic forms and mostly designed things like company logos/branding, brochures, posters etc…
I started old fashion with paper and pencil but adapted the (Apple)computer as soon as it showed its face…
My love for lines and graphic compositions was born in that period for sure!

P: How did you begin your Instagram experience?

D: I really discovered IG on the right moment in my life! I was struggling with my health and needed a physical and creative outlet. IG gave me both!!

I went out on my bicycle to shoot and had so much fun with it, I discovered my own city in a brand new way and keep discovering other places, all for the sake of creative photography…!-)) And because I cycled, my body got a lot more exercise too!!
My friends even adapted my newly created dutch word “fotografiets” witch means PhotoCycling.. :-)

And of course “your first Pop”… the comments, the (spontaneous) instawalks and most important the new inspiring friends is what IG makes so satisfying, so much fun.



P: 100000+ followers…, what is the key of such a success on Instagram ? (apart from your undisputed talent).

D: Yeah thats a really crazy number isn’t it… but let’s be honest here.. :-)
I am on the suggested users list for some time now and that brings me lots of new followers of course, but most of them are not really seriously involved.

That number does give me a kind of status on IG, and that’s a good thing because I do want my pics to be seen, my work to be noticed… and I even hope it brings me that dream photography job one day…

P: What is your relationship to Photography and how do you create the link with your passion for graphic design?

D: I used to shoot the old fashion way a lot with my SLR Canon (T90/T70) several years ago but lost interest…
Some ended on my wall or as a present to friends but most of them ended in an old shoebox, and later in iPhoto.

The iPhone and mainly Instagram totally renewed my passion for photography. It’s the community that makes it so much fun.

I combine my love for graphic design and photography and try to create my GraphicPhotos.

I live in Amsterdam, so there is a lot of great architecture around, lots of old but luckily lot of beautiful new architecture too.



P: you have a highly distinctive and consistent style. Can you tell us about the way you shoot and edit your photos?

D: In my pics you will hardly see the total building, but mostly a small part of it which makes it more graphic and abstract and thats just the way I love it!

Shooting/discovering strong patterns in pavement or other objects; creating/editing pics with the use of other apps like Blender or Diptic is also a very very fun thing to do, sometimes even more satisfying.

I did a series of Diptic patterns lately which i thought were really cool; repetition of parts of a building can give great results..
Followers compared the pics to Andreas Gursky…., I had to google him but am a big fan of him now… !! :-)

You will not often see picturesque Amsterdam pics, i do shoot them occasionally and posted them when i just started IG but mostly I think they look to much like ‘touristic postcards’.. :-)

I am quite an app addict.. i love to try out new (mainly photography) apps. The apps I used most besides the above are Camera+, Snapseed (selective adjust!!) or Photogene2.



P: Do you also take pictures with another camera?

D: At the moment, I only shoot with iPhone 4S camera. Only using that camera became a kind of a sport… a kick…
The fact that it is always standby in my pocket is such a great thing, it gives freedom! I have been accused on IG that I am using a DSLR cam several times, but that’s kind of a compliment in a way if you think of it…

P: Do you sometimes take photographs of people?

D: Of course I shoot the occasional family/ friends pictures and even try to make people ‘model’ for me sometimes, but on my IG feed you will not see them…
I don’t think those pics are good enough and also wanted to keep a clear style in my stream.
Occasionally you will see ‘little people” in my stream though, unknown people passing by…
Some pics really need those, for composition, contrast or scale purpose.
I can wait a long time at one spot for ‘that right person’ to pass… :-)



P: Are there design/architecture communities on Instagram similar to those about Street Photography for example? Do you belong to some of them?

D:  I don’t know any particular ones besides the groups I follow like WeAreJuxt or AMPt community, but they are not only design/architecture.
AMPt did feature a pic of mine ones when covering architecture.

P: I have discovered the #SEEMYCITY project. A few words about it?

D:  I am part of the @IGersHolland and @SeeMyCity group.
IGersHolland has great challenges, instameets and spotlight features.

#SeeMyCity is a new Dutch City marketing project started by Marianne Hope, based on creative mobile photography and social media. Our goal is to show and market cities through unique and contemporary mobile photography. We want to inspire the residents, but also the outer world to see, notice and share their city through engaging, teaching and encouraging them through the use of photography and by using social media like Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.

We have finished two projects now and one is in the planning, and I am really happy to be part of such a great group!
You can reed all about it on our Facebook page and very soon on (under construction).

P: Thank you so much Dirk! See you at 200.000 followers. We shouldn’t wait too long :-)