Monday, July 30, 2012

Pic(k) of the week 31: Dark clouds over Europe

By now, pretty much the whole world knows Europe is in a bad financial state. Tomorrow I plan to go to a country which declared its bankruptcy end of 2008. It is remarkable how quickly Iceland has come back from its all time low! Maybe not a bad idea for the other EU countries to follow its lead...

2012 Pic(k) of the week 31 : Dark clouds over Europe

The image above was shot last night in my home country Belgium, just as a large line of thunderstorms passed overhead.

Image details:
Nikon D800 with 70-200 2.8 VR2 lens
ISO 280 f6.3, 70mm, 1/160sec
RAW development in LR4
ColorEfex Pro4 for contrast optimization

Remember, "The future starts today, not tomorrow" - Pope John Paul II"



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pic(k) of the week 30: Bye Bye Dubai

No, I'm not leaving Dubai for good! Today however, my Summer holiday starts. If all goes as planned it will be an interesting three and a half weeks.

Initially off to Belgium for a few days, I'll then fly to Reykjavik Iceland for a weeklong solo photo-adventure. The last 2 weeks will then be spend in Belgium and Northern France, doing some aerial and aviation photography. 

Tomorrow is my "10th anniversary" in Dubai. Oh boy this city has changed since I first got here! Even though I still do like the place, it is always nice to escape the extreme Summer heat and humidity... Temperatures topped at 49C (120F) yesterday. But don't you guys worry. I'll be back! 

2012 Pic(k) of the week 30: Bye Bye Dubai

Keeping to the theme of traveling, the image above was shot on the Dubai Metro, with the Emirates airlines Head Quarters (EKHQ) in the right hand side of the frame. 

Image details:
Nikon D700 with Nikkor 50mm 1.4 
ISO200, 50mm, f5, 1/1250s
LR4 RAW development
Nik SilverEfex 2 for Black and White conversion

Remember, "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore" - Andre Gide


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ho Chi Minh = Saigon = Scooter city

Last night I got back from my first visit to Vietnam. My updated travel map Facebook app tells me I've now visited 38% of the worlds countries. So many more to see!

Motorbike madness

The capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, used to be called Saigon. I would rather call it, "Scooter city"! I've seen my fair share of motorbikes in Far Eastern cities, but this really tops it!

No Fear in Ho Chi Minh

Discovering a new city is all about seeing the daily life. The guy above working in the electrical jungle, tells a story. Just what I was looking for!

Remembering the War

When one thinks about Vietnam, the number one thing that comes to mind is probably "the Vietnam War". Beside a few museums, there isn't much that reminds the visitor about this terrible military conflict.  I'm however not sure what the history of the ex-US Army Jeep above is.

Vietamese duck

As often is the case, going off the beaten "tourist track'" is where one really discovers the "daily life". Small alleyways led me to some interesting shots!

Selling fruit

Playing alleyway kid

Playing alleyway kid

I don't like to photograph kids without adult permission. For the ones above, I was however begged to photograph them by the parents. The midday sun which stood pretty much vertical, shed some nice defused light inside the alleyway.


If all goes as planned, I should be back in Vietnam end of August. Meanwhile more of the images can be found in the Ho Chi Minh gallery.

Remember, "wherever you go, there you are"!


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pic(k) of the week 29: Walking the streets of Satwa

By the end of the month I'll be hopefully shooting Icelandic landscapes and Belgian air shows for the next three weeks. Probably a good time to share a few more environmental portraits from Dubai. 

Last Friday just before sunset, I grabbed my camera and went out to Satwa, Dubai. The Satwa neighborhood is one large melting pod (no pun intended in +45C) of local Emirati, Iranian and all kind of South-Asian cultures like Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Filipinos. Just around sunset and especially on Friday's (Friday equals Sunday in the Gulf) the place is full of energy. Quite in stark contrast with the ultra-modern high-rise buildings of Sheik Zayed road just a few blocks away but a must see for every first time visitor to Dubai!

2012 Pic(k) of the week 29: Walking the streets of Satwa

The image above of a Pakistani man, was made in a more quit backstreet. As explained in my previous post, "a 50mm look at Venice",  I went out with a single lens only, my  thrusty 50mm 1.4 lens. Not wanting to do any editing after I got home, I exceptionally shot in Black and White jpeg.

Image details:
Nikon D800 with Nikkor 50mm 1.4
ISO800, f4, 1/160, 50mm
Black & White jpeg straight out of the camera, except for the 4x5 crop done in Lightroom 4

More images of the "Walking the streets of Satwa" shoot can be found here.

Lastly for all my muslim friends around the world, wishing you all a "Ramadan Kareem"!


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