Menno van Duijn, born in 1983, got interested in birds at the age of four. His parents bought an English birdbook and translated the names into Dutch and within a couple of days he new all the birds in it. Menno was always outdoor, searching for birdnests, catching frogs and watching birds. The neighbour of his grandma was also a keen birdwatcher who took him along and taught hem about birdwatching and introduced him to the local birdclub. With them he also saw his first rarity, a first winter male Pine Bunting in 1993 at IJmuiden. Later he met other guys of his age who where also interested in watching birds. Every weekend they got out and later when they got their drivers license they chased rare birds all over the country.
Menno always watched the birdphotographers with their telelenses. At the age of 12 he then got his first telelens and body and spend all his pocketmoney on films. Luckely digital photgraphy stepped in and after saving money he was able to buy a Sigma 170-500 APO f5.6 with a Canon EOS 300D. Other photographers like Lorenzo Maginzali and Hans Overduin he met learned him about birds and their behavior and how you can take action photos by this. They also learned him about how to use the light, composition, working with hides and more. Menno mainly works in the dunes and on the beach near his home but he also travels abroad to take photos like Iceland, Poland, Spain, Antarctica and more. Since 2009 he leads tours and gives workshops.
Menno´s photos are published in National Geographic, Birdwatch, Birding World, Vogels, Grasduinen, Dutch Birding and more. His work is also used in books, calendars, promotions, leaflets and on other materials. His photos can be found at the Dutch Agency of Agami and Splashdown based in the UK. If you like to use his work or join on a tour please contact him.
VIDEOS & Interviews
Left: Local television Omroep West (The Hagea e.a.) interviewed Menno (Dutch) about nature photography in the winter period in the Dutch dunes.
Right: Frans Lanting Award 2014 at RTL Late Night, Menno got third place with the Rockhoppers covered in oil at Tristan da Cunha.