Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 5: Purple light under the bridge, Dubai

My favourite time for exterior Architectural photography, is clearly the "Blue hour"; a period of twilight just before sunrise or after sunset, where the indirect sunlight has a blue hue. While this can be different one day the other, the closer one is to the equator, the faster the good blue hour disappears.

While photographing at a newly developed area in Business Bay last week, I witnessed something spectacular; exactly 15 min after sunset, all of a sudden the sky turned completely purple. Less than 1 min later (estimated lasting 30 to 45s) all went back to the normal blue hour light which was visible just before the event started. While I've seen beautiful purple skies in other places around the world, this was my first one in Dubai; at least as intense!

Under the bridge, Business Bay Dubai

The image above is pretty much exactly how I saw the event. No significant changes have been made to the single RAW file with regards to hue, color and saturation. No color filters have been used. Editing was purely limited to opening the shadows somewhat in Lightroom and making a single contrast adjustment in Nik ColorEfex pro 4.

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon 10-24 f4 lens
ISO 200, 13mm (20mm full frame equivalent), f8, 26sec
RAW development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for slight contrast adjustment

More Dubai skyline images can be found here.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 4: Marina Bay, Singapore - The other side

Earlier this month, I was in one of my favourite cities in Southeast Asia; Singapore.

This city-state which only lies about 135 km North of the equator, is known for its hot and humid climate pretty much the whole year round. 

One of the best places to photograph the urban Singapore landscape, is the Marina Bay area. Wherever one looks, the three 55 floor towers of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, pretty much dominate the landscape. The hotel is known for its amazing infinity pool on the roof.

Wanting to come up with a different viewpoint, I did a bit of online scouting to find a way to the other side of the river. Walking about one hour and crossing the river at the Marina Barrage, I eventually found what I was looking for...

As I had just received my Formatt-Hitec filter kit, launched by Travel photographer Elia Locardi, it was the perfect opportunity to test out the new Firecrest neutral and gradual density filters. For me this is the first 10 stop filter that doesn't have a color cast. Although the glass Firecrest filters are not cheap, it is surely worth the investment!

Marina Bay, Singapore - The other side

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the brand-new 16-55 f 2.8 Fujinon lens
ISO 200, 30mm (45mm full frame equivalent), f5.6
3 shot exposure bracketing, 4s, 17s and 1s
Merge to 32 bit file in Photoshop CC HDR Pro
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 with Pro Contrast

More images of Singapore can be found here.

The image above was one of the last images I shot with the Fujifilm 16-55 f2.8 lens I reviewed here.

Remember, "Great photography is about depth of feeling and not about depth of  field" - Peter Adams


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 3: FALCON 7X FLYING INTO THE SUNSET

It had been a great day of Super Cub flying that first Sunday of the New Year in Belgium. As I parked our little yellow flying machine in its hangar, I noticed that the first flying day of 2015 was ending in great style; with an amazing colourful winter sunset.

A few moments later, I heard a Dassault Falcon 7X Business jet preparing for take-off on runway 24; I knew I had to be ready...

Just after this beautiful bird lifted off, I framed this shot! 

Falcon 7X flying into the sunset

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the 50-140 f2.8 lens
ISO 1600, 140mm, f4, 1/2000s
RAW image development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast

More Business Aviation photography can be found here.

Remember: "The best camera, is the one that's with you" - Chase Jarvis

Till next time, happy shooting 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Following a yearly tradition in the first few weeks of the new year, I blog about my best 3 Architectural, Aviation and Travel images of the past year. As I market myself as a photographer specialising in these three categories, I prefer to split my best images of the year.

For the ones interested, my Lightroom catalog for 2014 shows 10537 keeper images. I likely shot about 30% to 40% more frames, but these were deemed not worth keeping.

I rate my images from 1 to 5 * in Lightroom; 5 being the best images that potentially can make it into my portfolio. Pretty consistent to previous years less than 200 images of the +10.000, made the 5* rating.

Except for the first few months of the year, where I still shot the Nikon DSLR's, all 2014 images were shot with a variety of Fujifilm X-series cameras; the majority with the X-T1, but also some with the X-E1 and X100T.

I've also updated my individual "portfolios", which consist of my 24 best images,  with some new images. Please click on the Architectural, Aviation and Travel titles to check them out.

Here we go...

Shot with the X-T1 and the 10-24 lens, I particularly like the quality of the blue hour light and the reflection in the water.

Wide-angle view on Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque

Shot with the X-T1 and the 10-24 lens, this my favourite Black and White Architectural image of 2014

Desert Spaceship, Dubai Silicon Oasis

Shot with the X-T1 and the 10-24 lens; 2014 was the first year I started experimenting with Architectural Long Exposure photography. Expect a lot more in 2015 as I just took delivery of a Formatt-Hitech Filter kit for my Fujifilm lenses last week

Lehman Brothers building

Shot with the X-T1 and the XF 18-55 lens, this image has created a lot of buzz; a lot of people supposed this is a composite image but I can guarantee it is not. Shot from a very low viewing point, I just paid attention not having any man made distractions along the horizon.

A380 engines

The only image shot with the Nikon D800 and the 70-200 Nikor lens; I particularly like the shiny aluminium look of this antique aircraft photographed during the the first airshow of the year at Cable airport, CA, USA.
Ryan PT-22 Recruit

Shot with the X-T1 and the XF 18-55 lens; 2014 was the year I became the co-owner of a 1954 Piper Cub. This image of my little yellow flying machine (foreground), together with its 40 year younger brother (background) brings back the Summer memories.

Piper Super Cub brothers

Shot with the X-T1 and the 10-24 lens; Cinque Terre in Northeastern Italy, was one of my Travel highlights of 2014.

The sun is setting over Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre

Shot with the X-T1 and the XF 50-140 lens; Myanmar is a must see for every travel photographer. Sites like this will be engraved in my memory forever.

Bagan at dawn

Shot with the X-T1 and the XF 50-140 lens; to me this is the strongest image in my "Faces of Myanmar" series. I will never forget the expression and the natural posing of this child in a Chan State wheat field.

Model in the making on a farm between Aungpan and Pindaya

Remember: "Photography helps people to see" - Berenice Abbott

Till next time, happy shooting 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 2: ZURICH during the blue hour

Earlier this week I reviewed the brand-new 16-55 2.8 Fujinon lens. While I shared some images in the review post, I have a few 5 star images, that haven’t been shared yet, mostly because they consist of more complex multi-exposures image editing technique.

One of these images is one from a Christmas Eve shoot in Zurich (Switzerland) during the blue hour; about 15'-30' after sunset and my favourite time to shoot cityscapes. I particularly like how the Swiss Alpes are still visible at the distant horizon, bathing in a beautiful post-sunset light.

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Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 16-55 f2.8 Fujinon lens
ISO 200, 16mm (24mm full frame equivalent), f11
Shutter-speeds varying between 1/10s and 5s
RAW files developed in Lightroom 5.7
Converted to 32 bit file in Photoshop CC HDR Pro 
Nik Color Efex Pro 4 for contrast optimisation

More images from Zurich, can be found here.

Remember: " When the sun has set, no candle can replace it" - George R.R. Martin

Till next time, happy shooting