Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 9: SUPER MOON RISE OVER THE ALPS - Fujifilm X-T30

Readers who follow me on Instagram probably have recently seen some images shot during a weeklong ski trip to Austria. Although it was mainly a family holiday, I used the opportunity to shoot some test images with the Fujifilm X-T30. A separate blogpost about my recent experience with this brand-new camera will be online within the next few days. 

One of the images, that stood out, was the one below from a supermoon rise over the Austrian Alps. I had just got back from a full day of intensive skiing when I looked outside my hotel bedroom and saw a beautiful moon rise over the surrounding mountains. The warm glow of the sunlight reflecting on the snow covered mountains, made it for an iconic image.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T30 with the XF18-135 lens
  • ISO 200, f8, 1/200s, 135mm 
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development + NEW Enhance details function
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro4 with Color Contrast filter

More of the images shot during the ski trip to Leogang, Austria, can be found here

Remember: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land amongst the stars". 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Last week, FEB 14, Fujifilm announced a new camera which I have been testing for over a week now. Due to work and family commitments, I wasn't able to release a full review by the release date. Meanwhile, I'm writing this on a ski holiday in Austria; yes, with the new camera! So, while the review is definitively in the making and will likely come out end of February (or early March), I would like to share an image shot with the new camera as my Pic(k) of the week!

As the camera has the same new sensor as the Fujifilm X-T3 (review here), there are no surprises with regards to the image quality. The image below was shot at "Dubai Creek Harbour", my favorite location to shoot Dubai skyline images. I was lucky to be there during a nice cloudy winter evening, making for some great sunset light. I especially like how the sun-rays were reflecting into the middle of the image. The image was shot as single frame as I wanted to show the beautiful light as I witnessed it without fancy image blending techniques.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T30 with the XF50-140 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 200, f11, 1/180s, 66mm focal length
  • RAW development in the latest 
During the Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) week in Dubai on FEB 08, Fujifilm held their first X Summit (full video here). The first edition of a new type of event where a number of Fujifilm managers on stage were explaining some of the new developments and asked the audience for advice on lenses and possible firmware functionalities. I attended as an X-Photographer for the brand and at the very end (1h47') of the video, can be heard asking a few questions about the Fujifilm Remote App and Geotagging. Meanwhile, we have learned that a brand-new Remote app will be coming out by the end of March which is great news. Let's see if it will allow to be used in landscape mode and if transfer of video files will be possible? 

Back to skiing now!

Remember: "Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 7: THE OTHER DUBAI - when old needs to make place for new

Most people don't realize that Dubai is much more than huge shopping centers, the worlds tallest buildings, expensive cars and extravagant life styles. 

To me the old part of town, is much more interesting than some of the more modern developments. One of my favourite areas of the old town is along Dubai Creek, more at my "Life at the Creek" gallery. 

It is not uncommon that in cities that see a lot of expansion, older parts of town eventually have to make place for newer city projects. This is the case at Satwa, where a part of the South Asian community living there will have to be relocated. This was the inspiration for a project called, "The other Dubai", where I document the contrast between old and new, rich and poor.

In the image below, I was attracted by the dying palm tree in the foreground and the shiny high-rise buildings in the background; symbols for old and new. 

Image details:
  • 1/320s, f11, ISO 400 with the XF16 f 1.4 lens
  • Straight Out of Camera (SOOC) jpeg using Classic Chrome
Remember: "Rich people are poor people with money" - George Orwell

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 6: DESERT ROAD - my start at aerial drone photography

As a pilot-photographer, I guess it is normal that I'm being drawn to Aerial photography. Inspired by Yann Arthus-Bertrand since a young age, shooting aerials is definitively in my top 3 favorite genres of photography. Until now this was done from either airliners flying up high or from light single engine planes like my 1954 Piper Super Cub low and slow. But that is about to change...

Over the last few years the use of drones for aerial photography has become more and more popular. Although I did hold off for a while, I finally got myself a Mavic 2 Pro; the latest prosumer drone from DJI, the worldwide leader in drone sales. 

The main reason what I've been waiting that long was the lack of a decent camera. The Mavic 2 Pro, has a Hasselblad branded 1 inch CMOS 20Mpx sensor with a 28mm (full frame equivalent) lens. To my knowledge this is one of the first prosumer drones with a 1 inch sensor camera. On top of that, it has a variable aperture (f2.8/f11) lens, which is pretty rare as well in this market segment. Did you notice, I'm excited?

Last week, I got my drone certificate in Dubai after a theoretical and practical test. As this is a legal requirement for flying a drone as a hobbyist in Dubai, I obviously want to follow the rules and lead by example. Since I'm a pilot myself, I'm a strong advocate for flying drones legally and responsibly! 

Anyway, back to the Pic(k) of the week. The image below was shot at an undisclosed location where there is a whole network of roads that have been overtaken by the surrounding desert. It was shot on an overcast day just after a  rare period of rain, which makes the tire tracks stand out even more.  

Image details:
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro 
  • ISO 100, f2.8, 1/400s
  • DNG raw development in Lightroom CC
In my Aerial photography, I've always been drawn to shooting straight down; something that is not that easy to do from a plane or helicopter but very straight forward from a drone. While I did shoot some images from ground level at the location, the results were mediocre. As photographers which should always be using the right camera for the right project!

For the ones that want to see more, I've made a short 1 min video that shows the same location from a different perspective. Click here to check it out on Vimeo. Also check out my Aerial gallery for more images.

No I haven't lost my desire to do "classic aerial photography" from actual aircraft and no, I haven't given up on shooting the great Fujifilm cameras! 

On the latter, please check out the worlds first X Summit held in Dubai on February 8. People attending the Gulf Photo Plus photo week (FEB 4-9) and that want to catch up, please leave me a message. Contact is in About page.

I'll end the post with one of my all time favorite Aerial photography quotes:
"You haven't seen a tree, until you've seen its shadow from the sky" - Amelia Earhart.