Monday, April 14, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 16: Car Painting Art?

It has been a while since I last had an iPhone image make it to my Pic(k) of the week... But I believe this one deserves to be up there!

The image was shot at Alserkal, an industrial area in Al Quoz -Dubai; which over the last 6 years has quickly become the "Art center" of Dubai. The project houses about twenty or so "Art Spaces", and is a great places for people that want to boost their lack of Art in Dubai!

While walking back to my car, after attending a very inspiring Gulf Photo Plus talk by Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur, I bumped into this special Bentley. The limousine, that clearly wasn't being driven like this, had received a contemporary paint job that really stood out! 

I was especially attracted to the dark street feeling of the scene and believe this iPhone 5S image really reflects this atmosphere!

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Image details:
iPhone 5S, ISO320, f2.2, 1/20s, 
Image edited in Lightroom 5.4

On a side note; if you haven't done so, please make sure you check out Gulf Photo Plus. They are a private organisation that does a wide variety of Photography related things; from organising photography workshops, through gallery exhibitions, doing quality printing to selling all kind of photography stuff and much more!

A gallery with the best of my iPhoneography can be found here

Remember: "The best camera is the what you have with you" - Chase Jarvis


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 15: Broel Towers, Kortrijk - almost 600 years old

Last week, I spent the entire week in my home country Belgium. Even though there was not as much time for photography as I had wished for, I did come home with a few interesting images...

One of them, is an image made at dusk in Kortrijk, the city where I used to live before moving to Dubai almost 12 years ago. Due to the booming flax and wool industry in the Middle Ages, this city became the most important city in Flanders. 

One of the most historic buildings in Kortrijk, dating back to the Late Middle Ages, are "The Broeltorens" (Broel Towers in English). Although looking identical, both towers were not built together; but one was built in 1385 to control the traffic on the river Lys, while the second one dates back to 1415 and was used as an armoury.

Interestingly, the day I made the image below, was an extremely dark, overcast day. Less than 10' after I left the house, the sky broke up and it ended up being a great sunset. Proof that one always needs to try and see if any images can be made out there!

2014 Pic(k) of the week 15: Broel Towers, Kortrijk - almost 600 years old

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF18-55 lens
ISO 2500, 34mm (51mm full frame equivalent), f 6.4, shutter speeds between 1/10s and 1/125s
DNG development in Lightroom 5.3
Nik ColorEfex pro for contrast/detail enhancement

Photographers note: As I shot this image using a MeFoto tripod, there was absolutely no need to use a relatively high ISO of 2500... I left the camera on AUTO ISO by mistake. Having said this, it is a testament for the great high ISO quality of the X-series cameras!

A dedicated gallery with only Fujifilm X-series work can be found here.

Remember: "Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives" 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 14: Remembering the Great War

2014 marks 100 years since the start of the Great War; best known as World War I (1914-1918). 

The part of Flanders in Belgium where I'm from, has hundreds of military cemeteries and memorials scattered over the West part of the country. Over the years, I've visited a large amount of them, but until yesterday had never visited a German cemetery. While there are a few hundred Commonwealth WWI cemeteries in Belgium, only 4 German ones exist. 

Being very sober and dark, they are very different from their counterparts, which often have hundreds of white identical graves.   

As more than 16 million people lost their lives in the Great War, I wanted to show both sides of the story with the image below.  

2014 Pic(k) of the week 14: Remembering the Great War

A diptych of two cemeteries showing both sides of the story; the top one being the German Cemetery at Vladslo near Diksmuide (25644 soldiers), while the bottom one was framed at the Commonwealth Tyne Cot cemetery (11954 soldiers) near Zonnebeke. 

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 18-55 lens
RAW files developed in Lightroom 5.3 after import as DNG
Nik ColorEfex Pro for contrast and detail enhancement

More images of the Belgian Military cemeteries can be found here.

Remember: "War does not determine who is right, only who is left" - Bertrand Russell 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 13: Singapore Light-show

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city state and country in South-East Asia. Part of the Malay Peninsula, it is only 137 North of the equator; so hot and humid weather conditions are the norm.

Seriously jet-lagged, I dragged myself to the daily Singapore Light-show a few nights ago.

Travelling with my new Fujifilm X-T1 and a my lightweight MeFoto tripod, I set up shop just before 8pm on one of the Helix bridge viewpoints. In hindsight, there was quite a bit of movement induced by several hundred people on the bridge, leading to a degradation in image sharpness. 

Next time around, I would also consider using a neutral density filter in order to capture more of the laser beams during the show. I guess being awake for more than 24hrs didn't help!

The tall building on the left is the Marina Bay Sands resort; a hotel and casino that is probably best known for having an amazing infinity pool on the roof of the building.

The image below is a result of blending three images in Photoshop. One of the hotel and bridge, one for the futuristic Art Center and a last one for the laser beams.

2014 Pic(k) of the week 13: SIngapore Lightshow

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the 14mm 2.8 prime lens
ISO 200, 14mm (21mm full frame equivalent), f4, 2.5s
3 images blended together in Photoshop CC
Nik ColorEfex pro for detail enhancement
Lightroom 5.3 for further contrast and sharpness adjustments

More of my Singapore images can be found here.

Remember; " It takes darkness to be aware about the light" - Treasure Tatum


Friday, March 21, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 12: Sneaking into a Dubai Saloon with the Fujifilm X-T1

Even though my day-job as an airline pilot, has kept me very busy lately, I used most of my spare time to explore the brand-new Fujifilm X-T1 camera. 

The main drive for picking up my first X-series Fujfilm camera, now more than a year ago, was doing more Street Photography. The new X-T1 makes that experience even better!

Even Street Photography guru, Erik Kim seems to like it as well! His real life review can be found here.

Strolling through the small streets of Deira, I discovered how the X-T1 tilt screen proved to be very useful documenting daily life in the old part of Dubai! 

Sitting on the side of the road, while pretending to play with the buttons of the camera, I flipped out the tilt screen to frame this candid shot of a hairdressers saloon.  I really like the expression of the two gentlemen looking towards the camera and probably thinking, "what is this guy doing?". Needless to say one needs to be respectful not to offend people if shooting Street Photography in this part of the world...

2014 Pic(k) of the week 12: Sneaking into a Dubai Saloon with the Fujifilm X-T1

While I'm still waiting for Lightroom to update their RAW converter to handle the new X-T1 RAW files, I used the latest release candidate of Camera Raw to do the initial conversion. I really like how this version allows me select the same camera profiles Fujifilm uses in the camera when working with jpegs.

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 18-55 lens
ISO 2000, f4, 1/400s, 30mm (45mm full frame equivalent)
Adobe Camera Raw release candidate for RAW conversion
Nik ColorEfex Pro for contrast optimisation

More images of the daily life in Dubai, can be found here.

As Street Photography master, Henri Cartier Bresson used to say; " Photography is nothing, it is life that interests me".