Travel

During the school holiday we went for a week to Drenthe, we hired a nice cabin in the woods and were relaxing for a while with friends and family. My six year old daughter had the time of her life and was really eager to go on photo safari with dad. Of course it was not a typical vacation as we normally do but still we had a lot of photo opportunities in our wonderful country.  We were surrounded by beautiful nature and very nice scenery. One morning we (me and my daughter) got up before sunrise and we went to the heath to shoot some deer (with our cameras of course). We don not spot any of them, all we encountered were sheep, lots of them. But at the end it was still a great adventure to walk to the big spotting tower and have breakfast in the nature. We also went on several trips with the forester and learned a lot about all the plants and wildlife. Drenthe has a beautiful nature reserve and is worth visiting. But I guess you need to know where and when to be there the find the deer.

During our water wildlife excursion with the forester we had some rain but hey we were both carrying waterproof cameras and or cases so we still had lots of fun. And once back at the cabin there was mom to serve us a warm drink and dry clothes.

I also experimented with making underwater shots in the swimming pool. And I am more then pleased with them, there will be another post on them later on. On on top of all that we did some ‘semi’ urban exploring when we found an abandoned garage that still had all the old cars in it. After

April 2014 we flew to the USA, FLorida. We promised our daughter that we would visit Disney World a while ago, and now it was finally the right time to do so. So the four of us traveled to the sunshine state Florida. After a long flight and a long wait for our rental car we were finally able to drive to the hotel. And from that moment on our adventures started. We literally travelled around Florida (see the image in the left which represents all the photos we have made during our trip and the location where they were made)  We visited many places and attractions in the state of Florida, like Kennedy Space Center, the Everglades, Disney World, Sea World, and of course all the well known beaches and city centers.  We enjoyed a private airboat trip on the Everglades, ate some gator. We were amazed by the space shuttle in Cape Canaveral and impressed by all the rockets that were exhibitted at Kennedy Space Center. Follow this link to see the whole gallery Or just enjoy a few shots shown here below. [Show slideshow] We were washed away by the rain while we were visiting Sea World, and we were very lucky with the weather when we were visiting Disney World. We visited pirates and butterflies, we ate lobster and oversized burgers. So in short what did all. Looking back we had a nice holiday and we saw so many different places and cultures. It is definitely a place to visit again.

In 2013 we traveled to Menorca (Spain) with the four of us. My wife, my daughter, my foster son, and myself. And as usual I brought my gear to do some photography. Due to all different reasons we never had the time to go through the whole set to make a nice selection. So after two years I finally found the time to do so.

And man, did I surprise myself. While I was editing I noticed that there was not the usual coherence which I normally see in my photos which I make during such a trip. Almost every edit was different and every subject I approached with a totally different view. So to be honest; I am not sure what to think of this collection myself and I am more then curious to your views and comments.

For example there are the standard touristic shots and my typical way of shooting portraits. There are the extreme underwater shots I (for some strange reason) tend to make while snorkeling with my daughter, souped up with bright HDR like techniques.

Sure, we did go to the zoo, and yes I did bring my close-up lens for some nice macro shots. I encountered some cool bugs, found some nice flowers and beautiful nature. But I also did some over the top street-photography. I loved the ‘festes de Sant Joan’ in Fornells, where they were riding the Menorquín horses following the Menorca tradition, and I loved the shopping streets in Ciutadella de Menorca.

If you go to the gallery – 2013 Menorca you will understand what I mean by the diversity of the images. It still stuns me why I came home with so many different types of photos. So please let me know what you think of it. All I know

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

Finally I took the time to update my travel gallery. Almost everything is in there dating back to 1988. Just follow this link to see the gallery. I still need to update 2007 but that will be done soon.

Untill 1994 it’s all black and white, and from there on I started to use color. I actually can’t remember the moment when I decided to make the switch but it is cool to see the difference, and also the switch to digital in 2000 (first compact and later DSLR(2004)). All memories….

Just returned from our trip to Firenze (Florance) and Roma (Rome). Traveling two weeks by car through beautiful Italy. We decided to go on this trip just two weeks before we actually left so we had a lot of last minute arrangements to make but at the end everything fell into place and we had a smooth trip.

I never went to Rome before, don’t ask me why, it just never happened. And the same for Firenze. But after these two weeks I am wondering why not because it was worth the trip. We saw so many beautiful things, too  much to describe. So I do hope the photos will say enough.

Click here to go to the gallery

On our combined Kenya – Tanzania trip we saw too much, yes even for me that is possible. People we know me, know that it is never enough for me. And so it almost was on our trip. To be honnest I must say that we didn’t see enough but when we came back we had to organise all the photos we made (and videos). And that was way enough. We took 6900 photos and 24 hours of video. So you can imagine that it took a while to go thru all.

Below you see just a few, and in the Tanzania gallery there are a few more. (I did make a selection (80 pcs.))
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When we entered Tanzania we already did many gamedrives in Kenya and we were getting the hang of it. We learned to be patient and most important we had learned where to look. What realy intreged me were the zebras. I love their paterns.

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We saw many hyenas on the road, mostly lying in the mud or eating. They weren’t scared of the visitors and you could approach them very close. Persoanly I think they are scruffy looking animals with no beauty at all. And 9 out of 10 times they looked angry. When I took the photo of the eating hyena, we could hear the bone cracking. It made it even more realistic then it already was.

To be continued………

In 2006 we made a trip to Kenya and Tanzania, on this page you will find a selection of photos that were made in Kenya (for Tanzania go back and select ‘Tanzania’)

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We made the trip in February and the rain season was just starting.During this period you will be able to see many new born animals. And so did we. We saw many lion troops with their cubs, and to be honest it was hard to resist not to leave the car and walk over to them, just to pet them.

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We had made the choice to take a private safari and therefore we could decide for ourselves if we wanted to spend more time at a specific location. This giving us the opportunity to see what we wanted to see. In Kenya we spend the most time in the Masai Mara, a nature park that connects to the Serengeti (Tanzania). In this park it is still possible to leave the road and come up real close to the animals. Sometimes a little bit too close! This young elephant bull wasn’t very happy to see us, or wanted to make a statement in front of his little herd. He was really showing of and making a lot of fuzz about our visit.

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Later that day we encountered a solitaire elephant bull, and that was when it became scary. As soon as he spotted us he started to wave his head and making clear to us that he was not going to move. For us it was almost impossible to escape by driving backwards due to the difficult roads. We waited for some very exciting minutes and finally we saw a little opening. Our driver steps on the gas and we were able to