Dolph Kessler

Dolph Kessler (Amsterdam, 1950) has been a documentary photographer since 2005. He studied urbanism at Delft University of Technology and presently lives in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands.  He worked as a regional planner for the province of Friesland (1976-1982), as a municipal councillor for the town of Leeuwarden (1982-1991) and organized study tours (1995-2003). From 2003-2006 he studied at the Fotoacademie Amsterdam. He is now a professional photographer working mostly in a documentary tradition.

He regularly publishes photos in magazines and newspapers. Besides being a photographer of the ‘condition humaine’ (the modern man in the social and cultural context of today), he is a landscape photographer who is fascinated by the meanings and significances given to landscape and nature.

Selection of photo’s

(click to enlarge)


He publishes photobooks on his own account through his company Mauritsheech Publishers. These are mainly limited edition books e.g.: RDM, de laatste dagen van een Rotterdamse fabriek (RDM, the last days of a Rotterdam factory) (2006); Tristan da Cunha (2007); South Atlantic Ocean (2008); Remedios, a small Cuban town (2009). Besides he did a lot of photobooks in commission, such as the photo book Palingvissers and Palingrokers (Eel fishers and Eel smokers) (2007) and the book Een leven lang kunst (A lifelong love of art) (2011).

Long term projects

During the last 8 years he worked on three long term projects

  1. At the end of 2009 the book Art Fairs was published by d’Jonge Hond Publishers. The book was a compilation of photographs taken by Kessler at high level international art fairs over a period of three years. He went on to win first prize when a selection of these photos was entered into the Art, Culture and Entertainment section of the annual Dutch photographic competition, de Zilveren Camera 2009. The Silver Camera is an annual award for the best Dutch journalistic photo. In 2013 he published a second book about Art Fairs, with the title Art Fairs Revisted
  2. The photobooks Around the North Sea (2012) is about the North sea coast of Europa. Dolph Kessler has photographed the North Sea Coast of the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, the Shetlands, Scotland, England and Belgium for nearly five years. He shows that for some time now the North Sea Coast of Europe cannot be considered unspoilt anymore and becomes more and more the playground of its inhabitants. Photo’s of this book were shown on international photofestivals, like Photofestival Naarden and Noorder licht (Northern Light). About this books one of the critics wrote:
    “Dolph Kessler’s work contains a remarkable power. He likes to show, without passing any judgment, what kind of interventions man makes into reality. Not so much as an individual but rather as a species: man bending the landscape to his will, trying to relate to nature, trying to control it.” (Hans den Hartog Jager)
  3. The photobook Lviv, city of paradoxes is his last project and was also self-published in a high run in 2014, respectively.

Dolph Kessler is inspired by photographers working in the tradition of the New Topographics such as the americans Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfield and Nicholas Nixon and the Europeans like Rob Hornstra, Mark Power and Simon Roberts to name a few.