On me

Dré de Man studied Dutch and photography. At the age of thirty, he developed an interest in exact subjects, and added mathematics, physics and chemistry to his curriculum and followed an evening course in physics at the University of Amsterdam for a year. Unfortunately, he had to quit when he got a job as an editor at the magazine KRO-studio that – due to a poorly functioning IT system – required working overtime quite often. That was also the start of his career as a journalist in 1986. In 1982 he had already started as a photojournalist. From 1986 until his move to Germany in 1990, he worked as an editor, then mainly as a freelance journalist and photographer. He wrote on topics varying from the environmental effects of the German system of packaging, waste collection and recycling, via the art of writing penny novels to the importance of insults, beer and speeding in German society.

Software

On his return to the Netherlands in 1998, he started working in the IT sector, where he was trained as a DBA and programmer. At the beginning of 2001 he became editor-in-chief of the professional IT magazines Software Release Magazine, Java Magazine and Optimize. In 2008 he launched his own company as a journalist, photographer and author. Three years earlier, he had already started writing books about digital photography. His knowledge of digital photography is based on classical photography training at the Academy of Photography and Audiovisual Design Hans Götze. Optics and densitometry were his favorite subjects. He started digital photo editing in 1994, first with Aldus PhotoStyler, and soon with Adobe Photoshop. In 1996 he wrote a long article for science supplement of NRC Handelsblad about digital photography, one of the first publications for the general public on this subject.

Photographic technology

Over the course of 23 years since then, his knowledge of digital photography has greatly increased. From the onset, he preferred researching and testing himself over the often incorrect technical information on the internet. As early as 1982 he started developing his own test method for photographic lenses, then using microfilm and a microscope. He has continued to perfect this since the rise of digital photography. But he has also his own method to test the dynamics of cameras/sensors, which not only measures the shadows but also the lightest parts. When testing color fidelity, he uses a color swatch specially developed for him with colors that are very difficult to display. His knowledge of color management is not only based on theory but also on printing many photos on his professional Epson printer and on the production of print-ready PDFs for his books. (Dré de Man has done the layout for all his books since 2014 – with the exception of Photographing in Paris.)

Nikon

Because of his experience with Nikon equipment since 1974, he has become a Nikon expert, who has no equal in the Netherlands and probably beyond. He keeps a close eye on all new developments and is often one of the first to test new equipment, often before it is on the market. As a result, he knows better than anyone how progressive and promising the new mirrorless Nikon Z system is. At the same time, he still has a great deal of appreciation for the existing Nikon F system, which still forms a very good basis for taking the very best photos and that will remain for many years.

DigifotoPro and even more technology

Since a few years, he has been testing for the magazine DigifotoPro all common brands of cameras and lenses. He does this in a technically very objective way with fixed test criteria and therefore has knowledge of the technical quality of almost all brands. He is strongly committed to objectivity, even though he does not hide his enthusiasm for the Nikon system. That is not necessary either, because Nikon has always produced special cameras and lenses and has succeeded better than ever in recent years. However, he closely follows the developments at the other brands. He is particularly enthusiastic about the technological innovations that result from the fierce competition in the field of full-frame mirrorless cameras. In addition to the increasingly powerful computers and the use of machine learning, this has raised the quality of lenses for the new mirrorless mounts of Nikon and Canon in particular. He also follows the developments regarding the competitive mirrorless AF techniques of Nikon, Sony, Canon and Panasonic with fascination. In recent years, he has become one of the few in the world who combines digital and analog photography expertise with the ability to write.

Drones

In 2014, Dré de Man produced a magazine about drones. As an extension of this, he has bought a drone from the client, which he uses in combination with a mirrorless Nikon camera, the first mirrorless full-frame Nikon camera, specially made for him by Nikon Service Point in Beverwijk. He was among the first to successfully pass the exam to use drones professionally. In practice, however, it appears that absurdly strict Dutch policy for professional use makes making money with a drone impossible. Only in North Korea, the rules are stricter. He doesn’t use it professionally for now – and waits for the application of European rules. He’s from time to time compelled to sell or trade this unique camera, a great collector’s item that has hardly been used. If you’re interested, let me now.

IT Leaks

As an IT journalist, he has in-depth technical knowledge. One of his strengths is that he grasps complex technical and business topics quickly. Specialties include programming and architecture, but of course, he also has knowledge of operating systems, databases, storage, offshore, big data and other technologies and practices such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. In 2012 he wrote the book IT Leaks. It is a history of IT, told as a succession of failures. It explains in particular why there are so many problems in our society with regard to security and the efficient use of IT.

General journalism

A series of articles on various topics related to Germany appeared in the Dutch quality Newspaper NRC Handelsblad. He has a very good knowledge of the German political and cultural situation and speaks German fluently. He also writes German articles and books and has experience translating into the German language. He has also published in English and worked for four years for two companies where English was the official language and speaks French and some Italian – which only helps him when listening to operas.

Du holde Kunst

On the personal level, Dré de Man is a great fan of classical music and literature. This is combined in his love for Lieder, also known as Art Songs in English. For seventeen years he has been singing mainly German romantic composers, but he only performs in private concerts. However, music and literature have a relationship with his journalistic career: he started as an editor for the radio pages of Studio, the magazine of the Dutch broadcaster KRO, where he focused primarily on classical music. In 2012 he started writing about classical music again, now on his own site www.duholdekunst.com. This was the result of an appointment with an organization that did not live up to the promise of financial support. In combination with his move from The Hague to Maastricht, the frequency of contributions to the site has unfortunately fallen sharply as a result.

Dr3book

With effect from 2019, Dré de Man is also a publisher. Because he carries out all activities except for the correction of the texts himself, the overhead in producing books is very low. Therefore, already in the first year, six books have been published and written by him. The publishing house is called Dré de Man, but in practice, the imprint dr3book will be used more often. The name refers to the functions of author, photographer, and designer united in one person.