Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 22: Fine-art F-86 Sabre fighter jet at Chino, CA

Fine-art is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when one talks about Aviation photography. But there is however a market for gallery prints and other art-work in this space, as a lot of aviation geeks love to hang up a beautiful image of their favourite flying machine. Especially for the aircraft that are left in bare metal, the shiny surface reflecting in the sun often makes for an interesting black and white fine-art image!

Such was the case with this 1950's F-86 Sabre jet, which I photographed at the Planes of Fame airshow in Chino (CA, USA) end of last month. This particular one served in the German Airforce after the war and is in the process of being restored back to flying condition by the famous Lewis Air Legends warbird restoration company.  


Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 18-135 lens 
ISO 200, 1/500s, 41mm (62mm full frame equivalent)
RAW file development in Lightroom CC
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 with the detail enhancer filter
Nik SilverEfex Pro for Black and White conversion

More images from the amazing Planes of Fame airshow in Chino, CA can be found here

Remember: "Don't allow the fear of falling, keep you from flying


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 21: FESTIVAL CITY - BUSINESS BAY BRIDGE, Dubai

Festival city, is a large residential, business and entertainment development along the Dubai Creek, close to Business Bay bridge. The project was started in 2003 and its expansion is now slowly coming to the "complete status".

Across the Creek, under the Business Bay bridge, one has a spectacular view on the two Festival city hotels.

The image was made during my favourite time, the 15 min lasting "blue hour", just after sunset. This short time window, allows me to have a nice balanced look between the foreground (under the bridge) and the architecture in the background.

Image details:
Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the XF 10-24 f4 lens
ISO 200, f8, 26s, 21mm (31mm full frame equivalent)
RAW development in Lightroom CC
Nik ColorEfex Pro for optimal contrast

For years "bridges" have played a big role in my Architectural photography; a quick collection of some of these shots, can be found here.

Remember: "We build too many walls and not enough bridges" Isaac Newton


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 20: SUNSET OVER SKYDIVE DUBAI

Now that the temperatures are on the rise over the Gulf region, the best time for Landscape photography, is slowly coming to a close... Lets enjoy those last moments of the season!

The sunset image below was shot at the Palm dropzone of Skydive Dubai; right in front of Dubai Marina with its spectacular skyscrapers and just adjacent to the manmade island, "Palm Jumeirah". In less than 10 years, Skydive Dubai has become one of the Worlds premier Skydiving centers. It was also one of the main sites of the 2015 World Air Games, held in Dubai last year.

The Skydive Dubai runway, which is visible in the top right of the image, sits on pillars mounted in the sea and makes for a spectacular aircraft carrier like airport. 

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF10-24mm f4 lens
ISO 200, f9.0, 24mm (36mm full frame equivalent)
5 bracketed shots between 1.5s and 1/20s
MacPhun Aurora HDR Pro for HDR processing

Although I initially processed the image using classic image blending techniques, I ended up using a version processed in MacPhun's Aurora HDR Pro for a more dramatic effect. I especially like how one can easily use different versions of the image by using layers and then easily paint in what is needed without the usual hard transitions. And oh boy it is fast! The processing of the image took me less than 5 minutes; while it took about 40 minutes to get a similar result with the image blending technique in Photoshop.

Remember, "Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn".


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 19: NEW YORK - Subway train 5012

NEW YORK city remains my favourite Global Street Photography place. Having a great street photography camera like the new Fujifilm X-Pro2 with you, makes that even all that more enjoyable! 

Although I do use the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) for the large majority of the shots, there is definitively a place for using an OVF (Optical Viewfinder) for those shots where you want to have a wider view outside the frame. Photographing on a busy subway, where one wants to see the people coming into and exiting the frame, is a great example of that.

While classic Street Photography is mostly Black and White, I must say that I do enjoy shooting Color more and more; especially the great Fujifilm "Classic Chrome" film simulation! 

Image details:
Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the XF 35mm f2 R WR lens
ISO 6400, f4.0, 1/125s
No image editing beside a small crop, Straight Out Of Camera (SOOC)

As I start doing more and more Street Photography, my best work can now be found in one of two galleries:

Remember: "If you can smell the street by looking at a photo, it is a Street Photograph" - Bruce Gilden


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 18: Stampe SV-4C biplane, Verchocq, France

Belgium, is not really known for being a country of large aircraft manufactures, however the Stampe SV-4 biplane designed in the early thirties by Stampe en Vertongen in Antwerp (Belgium), is one exception!  

After only 35 SV-4's were built, the company closed doors during the second World War, to resume production in 1947, under the new Stampe et Renard brand.

While about 90 SV-4's were built in Belgium, more than 500 SV-4C's were license built in France and Algeria, by SNCAN (Sociéte Nationale de Construction Aeronautique du Nord).

A few weeks ago, I was out flying my 1954 Piper Super Cub, in close formation with some other "Aviators". One of the other vintage airplanes in the four-ship formation, was a beautiful example of a SV-4C, built by SNCAN after WWII and restored by Raymond's Aircraft Restoration

The image was shot over lunch at the Aéro Delahaye Air Park in Verchocq; a residential Air Park in Northern France, which is every pilots dream! Living on a small grass airport with your aircraft parked in the "garage" below; what more can a pilot wish for!

Seeing this almost 70 year old biplane, shining in the afternoon sun, was a memory that will be stored on the personal harddisk, but having it in the form of a photograph makes it all that much more memorable. 

Image details:
Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF18-135 Fujinon lens
ISO 200, f8, 1/350s, 19.5mm (29mm full frame equivalent)
Lightroom CC for RAW and Black and White conversion

I often get the question, if I don't like Lightroom for Black and White conversions, because I often use Nik SilverEfex instead... While I often go the SilverEfex way, Lightroom is definitively up to the task when it comes to B&W editing. On the image above, I actually tried emulating the same effect using Nik and wasn't able to fully do so in a reasonable amount of time. So, the answer is, I'll use whatever I deem best for the task!

I've said it before... combining my two passions in life, Aviation and Photography, makes a perfect fit for me! Exactly as what I'm about to do, where I'll be attending the great Planes of Fame warbird airshow in Chino, CA (US) over the next weekend! Let's test the great XF 100-400 (my review here) telezoom some more...

Remember: "I fly because it releases my mind of the tyranny of petty things" Antoine de Saint-Exupery.