During our trip to Drenthe we drove by an abandoned garage several times. So one time we decided to stop and have a look. There were some possible entry points at the front, but with wife and kid they were not the best way of entering the building (broken glass and rusty nails). So we took a look at the back. There we found a big yard with a small garage still in business. And people who were actually working on cars. So I decided to have a chat. Soon we learned that the old garage was owned by three brothers who were in a quarrel about the last will of their father. And all the time they were discussing the will no one did a thing with the garage nor with the cars that were still inside. So I went straight for the bold question and asked if it would be okay to have a look inside and take some pictures. And without a doubt the guy said ‘yes’. So without further ado here are the shot I took inside of this old garage. Because I was totally unprepared but still wanted to do HDR I decided to shoot everything without a tripod. All HDRs are three images combined and edited in Photomatix and Lightroom. The full gallery can be found here – Urbex HDR Gallery

We went to the Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen (AWD) to do a shoot of the girls before they are donating their hair to the Children’s Cancer foundation. Because this proved to be the perfect location last time for some nice Bokeh Panoramas or Brenizer shots I decided to try them once more. At first it did not feel good because the whole look and feel of the area was just off. But then I realized that it was just stupid me, Last time I was there, there were almost no leaves on the trees and now it was the opposite. So I missed the wildly growing branches and the nice structures. But nevertheless I decided to continue and after explaining to my wife what needed to be done we started. If you are not familiar with the concept of bokeh panoramas please read this earlier post on the Brenizer method tutorial. I will give you a clear description on how to create this kind of images. Because my daughter knew what the end result would look like she was enthusiastic from the start and before we knew we had several shots made. Once at home I tried to combine the images with the new lightroom CC but it failed horribly. My MacBook crashed several times and it was just too much. Lessons learned… you need to downsize your individual shots or the shot should match perfectly so your pc does not have to do too much calculations. To give you an example. A shot out of 32 images worked fine but a similar shot out of 24 images failed due to lack of processor and memory. I tried to use AutoPano Giga 3.0 and that managed to stitch all the images but then I noticed that there were huge gaps. And I […]

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 […]

On Saturday the 27th of June 2015 we went to Zomer Folk a music festival organised by the band Rapalje. One of the band members is an old friend of my wife and we thought it would be fun to go and see the gig and at the same time enjoy the festival for a day (it’s a two day festival). Our daughter of seven also joined us and we had a great day. It was her first festival and she had so much fun, so I see a future with lot of festival in out agenda. Once I came home I imported the photos and immediately I knew I had to process them in Black and White (using my own specific technique). And I am pretty pleased with the outcome. The guys really fit well with the hard and crunchy way of processing that I use. So below a few shots I made that day, all shot with my Canon 5D mkII and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8. Rapalje is a Celtic Folkband, Irish, Scottish (and Dutch) folkmusic with a difference. You can find a bit more about them on their own website.

For my last entry of the project 50mm shot I wrote that I used a group portrait. But actually it is a composite created using 3 different portraits. See below I combined the three portraits in Photoshop and then processed t in Lightroom, you can see the difference below with the before and after. Just to show you a bit of my workflow.

Week 51, almost there, and I know already that I am going to miss it, our weekly sessions. This weeks photo’s are even more back to the basis of how I started this project. And that makes me curious what next week will bring, our final Project 50mm session. It’s gonna be a busy weekend with birhtdays and parties but I will find a moment to close this project on a good way. Nicki Joan Betty The gallery with the other photos can be found here

A while back I got a message via Facebook from a classmate from the past (primary school). She told me she had seen my photos of a squirrel I shot while we were away for a week to Drenthe and was wondering if she could use these as a mother’s day present for her mother. How could I say no? So I didn’t and a few day later I received another message with a photo in it of her mother holding a canvas with my squirrel photos on it. She told me she could not choose so she used all four of them. Which gave a great result as you can see on the photo of her mom. For me it was a great compliment that she asked if she could use the photos and I am more than happy with the result and the fact that it brought joy to her mother! Below you find three of the four shots. More in the gallery

Week 48, the end is near. And we all feel that it should not take much longer. I love the fact that all girls have supported me so far. So just four more weeks ladies and then we are done. This week I chose to go for a light setting and even used (a fill-in) flash where possible. Which reminds me that I am not doing that enough. You’ve got to love these challenges in the way they keep reminding you of your abilities and shortcomings. But for me it is still fun to do and I will make sure we will finish the whole year. Nicki Joan Betty The gallery with the other photos can be found here

Photo Challenge, Project 50mm, week 45, just 7 more weeks and I finished a whole year. The first time ever I did a project (photo challenge) that would run for a year. And I have to admit it is hard. I was thinking last week about doing another year with my new 85mm but first of all, I know for sure my mom and my wife will say no to another year posing every single week. My daughter wouldn’t mind, because she is not used to a life without a camera. This weeks shots, first Nicki while eating her salad, then Joan my wife while behind her laptop, figuring something out about my moms diet. And last but not least, my mom, trying to figure out her diet ;-). So for this weeks photo challenge, only shots without direct eye contact. And it seems to work. At least for me, normally I always try to capture the look, because I think this gives a photo more personality, but while looking at the photos below I now realize that this is not mandatory. Nicki Joan Betty The gallery with the other photos can be found here