In March 2013, I self-published 
The Devil’s Grin
(see description below)
If you want to receive a free-of-charge, digital pdf copy of this book, that you can read on any computer and on most tablets etc. when using the proper software, please order your pdf copy by contacting me by email.

See the right column on this page for contact information to obtain my email address and postal address.

There is also a limited number of printed books for sale (illustrated paperback, 6x9 in., 186 p.). Cost depends on where you live:

If you live in Canada, please send me a cheque for CD$34 ($30 for the book and $4 for postage and handling) and include your name, address, and email address. If you can pick up the book yourself from my home, there will be no p/h cost.

If you live in the USA, please send me a check for US$38 ($30 for the book and $8 for postage and handling) and include your name, address, and email address.

If you live in the rest of the world, please send me an international money order for CD$45 ($30 for the book and $15 for airmail postage and handling) and include your name, address, and email address. Delivery can be expected in 10 or more business days after receipt of the order, depending upon the destination country.


The Devil's Grin 

Why and How the Japanese Military Imprisoned Dutch Civilians Living in the Dutch East Indies During the 1941-1945 Pacific War.

The Devil's Grin aims to provide insight into, and information about, the mentality, philosophy, and motivation of the Japanese people, especially the Japanese military, before and during the 1941-1945 war in the Pacific, as well as their system of civilian concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies colony in Southeast Asia.

The book also portrays the story of a young Dutch teenage boy developing into an eighteen-year-old man under brutal circumstances as a civilian prisoner of war in Japanese concentration camps in the Dutch East Indies. The story is formatted not as a conventional, detailed memoir but as an informative, journalistic report inspired by, and to a large extent based on, my own experiences, observations, and thoughts as a civilian prisoner of war.

The purpose of this book is to offer an English-language source of information to the general public on the state of affairs in the Dutch East Indies colony, which has now become Indonesia, when the country was conquered and occupied by the Japanese during the Pacific War. Particular attention is paid to events taking place in the civilian concentration camps where a great many Dutch nationals were incarcerated. In the extensive collection of written history on this war, the state of affairs in the Dutch colony has regrettably not received the attention it deserves. I hope that this book will remedy that unfortunate situation to some degree by offering it to as many people as possible as a free-of-charge, digital pdf file that can be ordered by email; a limited number of printed books is also available (see above).



The Department Gallery Mainspace, 3 - 23 December 2009

Following my very successful photo/food/wine show Thirty in Twenty in this gallery during September 2009 (see the information directly below), a seventh exhibition of a selection from my Provence Collection (see further down below) is mounted in the same gallery from 3 to 23 December. For more information on this show, please click here.

1389 Dundas Street West, Toronto, M6J 1Y4
Gallery hours 12-4 pm, Tues-Sat


A unique adventure in the world of haute cuisine
During September 2009, a unparalleled exhibition was presented in an art gallery in downtown Toronto. This remarkable show was based on a culinary adventure my wife, Ria, and I had enjoyed during twenty days in September 1973 in France when we visited ten of France’s fabulous three-star restaurants, while living in a Volkswagen Camper van. It was our unforgettable Thirty Stars in Twenty Days gastronomical odyssey.
Nineteen of the photographs I made on that trip, together with four of the original menus as well as other memorabilia and a photo book, were exhibited at The Department Gallery Mainspace, 1389 Dundas Street West. What made this even more of a special occasion were the three ticketed events on 10, 17, and 24 September, offering food and wine tastings prepared by several of Canada’s most talented chefs, who were inspired in their offerings by the menus from the restaurants we visited in 1973.
More information on this exhibition is available here.
Several media reactions to the show can be seen here and here and here.

The Toni Harting Provence Photographs Collection

In the hearts of millions of people, young and old from all over the world, the name Provence holds a special place, full of affection and fascination.

My own long and passionate love affair with Provence was born in Cannes in the summer of 1951. Another Dutchman and I formed a duo of travelling musicians, playing our guitars and singing all kinds of songs in a great variety of places for people of different nationalities and social backgrounds. We were musiciens ambulants, wandering minstrels, true bohemians living a life of intense exploration and great diversity that often led to extraordinary situations. We continued to perform with great success for several summers until well into the 1960s.

During the years of our Provence adventures, and purely for my own pleasure, I made thousands of black-and-white photographs of numerous colourful characters from many walks of life. I observed these people while they lived their lives on the streets and the beaches, in the bars and at the bullfights and the pétanque fields, when embracing each other or sleeping in the heat of the day, just being themselves.

Working in the photographic perspective called humanistic reportage, I put together a wide-ranging collection of candid, revealing portraits that are an original, joyous, thought-provoking, but above all honest historical documentary record of the lively spirit of those times. With these pictures I celebrate the enchanting heart of the land of glorious light and present a loving look at the people of captivating Provence, the playground of Southern France.

I am delighted to have exhibited several special selections of these photographs at six prestigious art galleries in 2007, 2008, and 2009 (follow the links in the column on the right). Included in these shows was the ever-popular Poopie Dog (see above) as well as my celebrated picture of Pablo Picasso and his family at the bullfight in Arles in September 1961 (see below). A short account of my meeting with this world-famous artist is also presented below.
A seventh show of my Provence photos will be mounted in December 2009 at The Department Gallery Mainspace in Toronto.

For more information on the Provence collection, please click here (Jet Fuel show) and here (Alliance Française Toronto show).


My friend Paulo, Pablo Picasso’s eldest son, had mentioned he could still get me a ticket for the loge d’honneur —the seats of honor, reserved for the most important visitors —at tomorrow’s end-of-season, biggest-of-the-year-1961 bullfight in Arles. Of course I grabbed the opportunity to see the best and most revered toreros in the world at work and having the privilege of witnessing six magnificent bulls being put to stylish but bloody death by true masters in the art of tauromachie.

When Paulo pointed out that his father, together with a few other family members, would also be at the corrida, I became even more interested. As so many millions of people, I was of course familiar with the name Pablo Picasso, the giant of twentieth-century art and surely the most successful and richest painter in the world. But I had never met the man. Well, the coming corrida was as good a place as any to get to see him up close.

As usual, the bullfight would take place late in the afternoon at Les Arènes, the impressive stone amphitheatre located in the old heart of Arles, dating from Roman times. When we finally got to Les Arènes and found our way to the front row of the loge d’honneur, the huge stone oval was already packed with more than 20,000 anxious fans of the rivetting spectacle of bullfighting. A rippling sea of movement, color, and sound enclosed the bullring where the surface of smoothed-down sand awaited the arrival of the players in today’s show.

Paulo introduced me to his father, his stepmother, Jacqueline, and his lovely sister, 17-year-old Paloma. The small, stocky, balding Pablo grinned a bit when we touched fingers in the Mediterranean way of shaking hands and with a twinkle in his eye said: "Holland, eh, how are the corridas there, any good bulls?" When I assured him there was no bullfighting at all in Holland, Picasso looked at me as if I had escaped from another planet. "What, no corrida, how can you live like that? Must be pretty boring!" I was sure the man was joking. He then occasionally explained to me some of the finer points of his beloved tauromachie, an activity he considered essential to living fully. So much for my opportunity to have a profound discussion with this creative genius on the ups and downs of modern art.

Of the few photographs I managed to take of the Picasso family, I am especially pleased with the one that captures the three main characters: Jacqueline at bottom-left, showing her famous profile immortalized by her husband in so many paintings; the man she slavishly adored and always reverently called Monseigneur (His Highness, His Grace) in the centre, a cigarette in his left hand and listening to somebody off camera; and the obviously curious Paloma with a flower in her hair, looking directly at the camera over her father’s shoulder.

What struck me most in Pablo Picasso were his piercing black eyes, like jewels of the darkest coal set in a large face adorned with a grey late-afternoon stubble. When he had looked at me during our introduction, he really looked at me, he saw me, as if he wanted to absorb every visual detail of that person in front of him, maybe storing new images in his mind, ready to be used later in another of his numerous creations, who knows. Remarkably, Paloma possessed the same strikingly dark eyes as her father, perhaps indicating a similar strong, single-minded character.

Picasso’s hands were quite large, with surprisingly long but well-manicured fingernails, and on his left index finger he wore a large silver ring. With these hands the astonishingly productive artist had created at least 40,000 works of art that had rocked the world for many decades since the end of the 19th century. In spite of his deeply lined face with the wide mouth and large nose, he looked much younger than his actual age, reacting to the events and people around him with a youthful vitality and enthusiasm that belied his 79 years.

I have nothing but good memories of my few hours with Pablo Picasso. He was accessible to the people surrounding him who were eager to have their moment with fame. There was no hint of the fiercely self-obsessed tyrant he is said to have been in his private life. Here in this majestic arena he was just a pleasant guy to be with, one of the thousands of aficionados enjoying some superb bullfighting in the glorious sunlight of a warm Provence afternoon.

(Excerpt from my forthcoming book Bonjour Provence!)
Provence People Show - Expo Gens de Provence.

Excerpt from my book SHOOTING PADDLERS


Millions of people all over the world are united by a passion for paddling. They feel a powerful need to hear again and again the seductive, swishing sound generated when paddle meets water in an elegantly choreographed dance. Every spring, summer, fall and even winter, these devoted lovers of the outdoors take their paddlecraft to favourite waters and enjoy the peace, freedom and excitement of doing what they all love: paddling.

They are the accomplished wilderness canoeists exploring the wild and lonely waters of the far North. They are the whitewater enthusiasts who go on excitement-filled weekends playing in rapids and even plunging down falls. They are the sea-kayakers searching for magical islands and bays in coastal waters. They are the racing fanatics, both marathon and sprint, spending numerous hours on the water in canoes and kayaks enjoying their demanding sport. They are the people who use inflatable rafts to run challenging rapids and visit wilderness rivers far and wide. They are the cottagers, who use the beloved family canoe only for some quiet puttering about on the placid neighbourhood lake. And they are the kids in summer camp, for whom paddling is often central to their activities.

What many of these diverse people share, besides a sincere love of paddling, is the desire to bring home a memento of their times on and near the water, something that will always inspire fond memories of the moments they had outdoors and the joy they discovered there. They want to add illustrations to the stories of their adventures, of the challenges they met, of their demanding races and of the people they befriended.

There is no better way to do that than through photography, the easiest but also most effective method of building a fine collection of visual souvenirs. Nothing, not even the spoken word or moving pictures, beats still photography as a medium to capture memories. Verbal descriptions of events are easily forgotten, but photographs, be these simple snapshots or venerated masterpieces, will be retained because these provide unsurpassed intimacy with the subject. No wonder photography has become essential to our society.

Everybody can discover the language of photography; it is just a matter of learning how to express your vision through technology. So if you consistently want to make good photographs under a variety of conditions, you have to start by understanding a few basic techniques, acquiring a minimum grasp of the equipment and the processes involved. Of course, the better you understand the technical side of photography, the more opportunities you have for making good photographs by allowing the camera to gradually become an extension of your senses. Do not let technique take over and rule you, though; it is no more than a tool to help record the pictures you see.

Because paddling photography takes place around water, which is a deadly enemy of delicate equipment, the photographer often needs a special approach to successfully shoot paddlers. Once a reasonable level of knowledge of photographic equipment and techniques, as well as some understanding of the demanding water environment have been reached, paddlers soon discover that this particular kind of outdoor photography gives immense satisfaction. Now the paddlers themselves can produce a wealth of images of their various paddling activities.

Shooting Paddlers aims to help paddlers strengthen their ability to see, recognize and record meaningful images encountered when using canoes, kayaks or rafts. It is intended for both amateur (amateur comes from the Latin amare, love) and professional photographers, presenting an original approach to the study of photography and providing a wealth of specialized information that is difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere. The book discusses what is most important in paddling photography: subject, lighting and composition, also explaining how the photos in the publication were made and why. Emphasis is concentrated on specific possibilities and problems unique to the paddling environment, rather than on the technical basics of general photography.

The reader is taken along on a series of educational and exciting ‘adventures’ in the varied world of paddling, and is shown how to create fine pictures in any situation. The photographs presented in the book have been selected on the basis of their effectiveness as tools for instruction. Their purpose is to give useful information to the reader about many aspects of paddling photography, including things that can go wrong. Together with the numerous ‘good’ photos offered for study, several mediocre and even bad ones are included to strengthen the reader’s analytic ability.

Most of the 238 black-and-white and colour photographs are discussed through the presentation of one or several pictures on a page, each accompanied by an analysis that includes explanations, tips, recommendations and other useful instructions. Some pertinent suggestions on technical photographic aspects complete the support material, but are held to a minimum.
The majority of the pictures were made in Ontario; several were shot in Quebec and West Virginia. Where the pictures were taken is really not important, though; the photography of paddlers is the same everywhere.

Once your photos have been taken and processed, you can collect them in albums or slide shows, creating absorbing capsules of images frozen in time, memories you can relive over and over again. Such personal recollections become priceless documents of important and unique events in your life, forming a link between the viewer and your experiences. What you will show in those collections is limited only by your own creativity and the strength of your desire to express yourself through photography. By bringing back some good, evocative images that excite, educate and inspire, you will be able to tell fascinating stories supported by the images you discovered in the wonderfully diverse world of paddling. There is no limit to what you can achieve if you are dedicated.

May this book be an inspiration to all who share the joy of paddling and photography.

Excerpt from my book FRENCH RIVER



Over the hard, immensely old Canadian Shield rocks of the Near North, where Ontario's huge mainland is squeezed to a narrow waist measuring a mere 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Quebec to Georgian Bay, the waters of Lake Nipissing flow westward down a most unusual waterway: the French River.

This is much more than a single stream carrying its waters from source to mouth. It is instead an intricate collection of channels and lakes, bays and marshes, rapids and falls, strategically located between the Ottawa River watershed to the east and the Great Lakes to the west. The French River shows so much physical diversity and has such a rich history that it is among the most exceptional and fascinating rivers in the province, if not Canada.

Before the arrival of Europeans in this part of the country, the Native inhabitants had used the river for countless centuries as part of a major trade route which carried them across much of northern North America. Regrettably, the name they had given the river then is lost in the mist of time: no written records survive from those prehistoric peoples.

The situation started to change dramatically in about 1610 when the first white man came from the east, followed by another some time later, then another, and still more until their light-skinned faces became a familiar sight in the region.

It was this river that brought the foreigners, Frenchmen at first, to the ancient lands and waters of the Native peoples. So the waterway soon became known in Ojibwe (the local Native language) as Wemitigoozhi Ziibii. Wemitigoozhi means stick-waver and Ziibii means river. This peculiar name originates from the Natives' first contact with French missionaries who were waving their crosses around while blessing the people. In time this name Wemitigoozhi was applied to all Frenchmen.

From then on the lives of the Natives would be changed forever, disrupted by contact with people of such a radically different culture and level of technological development.

The European visitors were explorers, missionaries, and fur traders who penetrated deeper and deeper into the unknown, eager to discover other worlds and meet new people. They travelled in birchbark canoes and were passionately dedicated to a single-minded search for knowledge, souls, or profit, willingly risking their lives in a fierce struggle to fulfil their dreams.

Over time these adventurers came to know the river by various names: Rivière des Sorcières, Rivière des Nipisiriniens, Rivière de Revillon, Rivière des François, Rivière des Français, and finally, French River.

During the more than 250 years that the western fur trade lasted, the French River formed a small-but-vital link in the lifeline between east and west. Its waters were part of the famous Champlain Trail, the Voyageurs Highway, the incredible Road to the West, a thin thread of rivers, lakes, and portages stretching for thousands of kilometres from Montreal all the way to the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

Down this critically important but highly vulnerable canoe route, huge fortunes of precious fur were carried to ocean-going ships waiting in the St. Lawrence River, ready to transport the treasures to Europe. The backbone of this immense fur-trade network, the 4,000-kilometre-long (2,500 miles) central mainline between Montreal and Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca, is shown on Map 1.

The exhilarating days of exploration, adventure, and trade are now long gone; the French River has left its glorious fur-trade past behind. No more the sweating voyageurs carrying backbreaking packs across the ancient, smooth-worn portage trails. No more the feverish rush of heavily laden canots du maître struggling upriver to get the precious furs to Montreal before the returning grip of winter would close the route down. No more the magic sound of paddlers' songs drifting over the misty stretches of the Stick-wavers' River. No more.

But perhaps they are still there somewhere, if you know how to find them, if you listen carefully with your heart. Soon you'll hear sounds coming from around the river bend: the swish of paddles, the laughter of excited voices, the water splashing against birchbark, the singing. You'll hear it all. Just close your eyes ... listen...

Parmi les voyageurs, lui y a de bons enfants.
Et qui ne mangent guère, mais qui boivent souvent,
Et la pipe à la bouche, et le verre à la main,
Ils disent: camarades, versez-moi du vin.

Lorsque nous faisons rout', la charge sur le dos,
En disant: camarades, ah! grand Dieu, qu'il fait chaud!
Que la chaleur est grande! il faut nous rafraîchir:
A la fin du voyage, on prendra du plaisir.