Yearly Archives: 2012

What do you mean taking photo’s on a consistent basis. Just noticed that we took almost the same amount of photos per year of our daughter with exception of the first year. Just funny to notice. (See print screen from my lightroom libary. 5th year just started)

During my last travel to Andalusia (Spain) I made a lot of HDR shots, all of them were shot without tripod. I knew it was a risk, but it worked out fine for me. With the current versions of Photomatix and Adobe Photoshop (and probably many others) you can correct the horizontal and vertical shifts automatically, and you have the option to reduce ghosting artifacts (moving people, tree branches and other objects) So all those hand-shaken images are still useful. And of course some of the HDR’s are ‘single’ HDRi’s. Click here for the gallery

Landscapes and Ruins is what I titled this post. While we traveld through Andalusia (South of Spain) we saw so many beautiful landscapes, and ruins. Many houses were abandoned and left to the force of nature, which created wonderful ruins in very nice landscapes. I had this visual in my head about a landscape that looked like a patchwork. I had lots of near opportunities but most of the landscapes were ‘poluted’ with industy, highways, or modern farms. Luckily we encountered a few spots that we nice and clean, and ‘colorful as patchwork’. We visited ‘El Torcal’, a nature reserve with unusual limestone rock formations. A lovely place to hike with your camera. And even our 3 year old daughter was able to do the short route (1,5 km) which took us about 90 minutes (in stead of the 45 minutes which the guide told us) Nice scenery and lots of good spots. I shot a lot of panorama’s and HDR images. And regardless of the extra time it took us we had a beautiful hike. (And junior had her backpack filled with nice rocks she wanted to add to her collection.) ‘El Chorro’ is a small village that is know for the gorge that has been dammed in 1920. Famous for its dangerous walkway which at the moment is only accessible by experienced climbers. The whole area has some nice views and was worth a visit. We also visited the area around Ronda a wonderful medieval ‘white’ city from the Moorish period, and we ‘discovered’ a old castle ruin that was ‘somewhat’ accessible for the public. So click on the Photos to see the whole gallery. (there are two galleries (clicking here for the landscapes or here for the ruins))

Visiting a butterfly garden or a zoo is something we always like to see on our itinerary. While we were in Spain this summer we were lucky to be able to visit both. We went to Mariposario de Benalmadena, a nice butterfly parc that claims to be the largest in Europe but I doubt that. Nevertheless we were able to photograph some beautiful species. Most of the time I tried to capture (with my camera) the “Morpho peleides”. This seems to me one of the more difficult species to photograph. The top of its wings is blue but you will only be able to see that while it is flying. (Or when he just lands or takes off) It took me a while to get the shot you see here. Unfortunately its not tag sharp but I will keep trying in any future butterfly garden. We also went to Selwo Marina, a marine parc with sea lions and dolphins. A beautiful show but for the rest it was just an average parc. Bioparc Fuengirola on the other hand was a wonderful zoo. They had beautiful tigers and many other animals all worth to photograph and the whole parc looked spic ‘n span. The area where they kept the tigers was very nice arranged, and gave ‘the photographer’ nice opportunities for even better shots. Click here to see the other photo’s.

The Alhambra, or officially “Al Calat Alhambra” – The red fortress. A beautiful Moorish fortress/palace-city located in Andalusia (Spain). We went there on our last travel and we were lucky that we were able to purchase entrance tickets (we did not realize we had to reserve them upfront due to the limitations of the number of visitors per day by Unesco World Heritage). We did the whole tour, so that includes Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Palace of Charles V and the Bath of the Mosque. We walked 5 kilometers, and what really surprised me was that our 3 years old daughter Nicki almost did the whole walk on her own, trying to spot princesses and knights in shining armor. I have to say; “What a wonderful place!” we walked around looking left and right, not knowing what to photograph. I tried to prepare before we left the hotel. And oh man what did I feel like an amateur when I discovered that I misplaced my 24-70mm lens. By doing so I left it in the hotel safe and brought my 100mm Macro lens instead. What a bummer. So all photos were taken with my DSLR were with the 16-35mm lens. The other photos were shot with my G12 so I was lucky we brought that one as well. But a good lesson for future trips. With the Canon 5D mark II is shot mostly HDR images, and a few panorama’s (and a few with a little bit of both) For me the Alhambra was the ideal place to use HDR. The warm colors and the many shadows were the perfect setting to experiment with the high dynamic range technic. Just check the gallery and see for yourself.

Finally I found the time to go trough my travel photo’s of the last 5 years…. Shame on me for letting it slip so long. But they are finally here. Below you’ll find some samples. (each photo represents a gallery, so when you click on it you see the rest) Roma, Firenze, Pisa Vienna, Luzern, Strasbourgh Cyprus, Curacao, La Palma

We went to Artis, the Amsterdam zoo which has a wonderful butterfly garden. For me it was the second time I photographed butterflies in Artis, so this time I was a little bit better prepared. Unfortunately this time there were a lot of kids (school class) who were running around chasing the butterflies in stead of just looking at them. The one you see on the left is a glass butterfly with wonderful transparant wings like glass windows. I do not know the names of the other ones but that will be something to remember for the next visit. I selected just four photos, because those were the only ones that I think were worth publishing.

Finally (with the help of my mom, and an early birthday present) I managed to get my GoPro HD Hero 2 sports camera. I went for the motorsport edition due to the fact it contains the suction cup which I want to use for inside the car. I also bought the GoPro Ride, a mount for on the steer of my bike (and of course on the bike of my daughter. We already had some fun testing the camera. I mounted the camera to her bike helmet with some additional pivot arms and connectors to extend the distance and pointed the cam to her face. With this setup she was running around the house. This gave us some nice footage. But that is the fun part. So what is my first impression; I did some testing with time-lapse, straight out of the box. As soon as I got back in my car (after leaving the store) I placed the cam to my windscreen with the suction cup and set the camera to time-lapse (without reading the manual). All looked well and I managed to get a very nice time-lapse of my ride back home. The only mistake I made (by not reading the manual) was that I forgot to flip the image, so I recorded everything up-side down. Something which i could easily correct with the software provided by GoPro. The camera itself is very tiny. Which I think is the whole idea behind it. This makes it very easy to attach it to a helmet or other locations or parts. And the whole beauty of the product is that you can buy literally almost any mount to attach your camera. If not from GoPro itself, you will be able to find a 3rd party product that will fulfill your […]

Have been playing around with Adobe Photoshop to get a new look and feel for my next project. And am still not convinced what road to follow. Feel free to let me know what you like best. Color or the old fashion Black and White? Just leave a comment. Click here to go to the gallery (I also included the originals so you see what was changed) [Canon G12, with flash]

Today we went to Hindeloopen, a little village close to the coast of the IJsselmeer (a big lake (former sea)) Although most of the ice has melted over the last days there is still a lot left on the IJsselmeer. And the south west wind has made it drifting towards the coast of Hindeloopen. Some of the piles were six meters high. This is a pretty unique scenery for The Netherlands so you can imagine that it attracted a huge crowd. We also went to see these wonders of nature and I have to say it was a pretty amazing sight. Despite the cold and the crowd I still managed to shoot a few nice decent photos. See below for an example and click on this link to go to the gallery to see more. [Canon 5D mk2, 24-70mm, Flash 580ex mk2]

Been playing with something else, virtual 3D images. What you basically do is take a photograph, cut it in to several layers and use Adobe After Effect to create a ‘fake’ 3D effect. By doing so you get a movie file instead of a photo. Click on the play button below to see an example. I rather call it a 3D cutout because I think it is a better description for the end result. Anyhow I like the effect a lot and more will follow. Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Been playing with something new – cinemagraphs, a photo with a litte bit extra. Cinemagraphs are photographs with a subtle moving element in it. Originally the idea was created by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. On their website you will find some very beautiful examples (http://cinemagraphs.com). For me this was the first tryout and I still see many hurdles to take before I get the image that I want. But hey practice makes perfect. Just let me know what you think of this one.