Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 31: WIDE ANGLE VIEW AT DUBAI MARINA - Samyang 8mm f2.8 Fish-eye

Last week I picked up a second hand Samyang 8mm f2.8 lens; known as a fish-eye lens it is ultra wide angle lens that produces strong visual distortion. 

The lens is made specifically for the Fujifilm X-mount and is manually focus only; no big deal as pretty much all is in focus anyway at 8mm focal length! Some people might know the Samyang brand as Rokinon which is basically the same. In any case make sure the get the version II. 

Then first images I shot with the lens were done in Dubai Marina, more specifically of the Jumeriah Beach Residences (JBR), sometimes referred to as the "Concrete jungle". 

Image details
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with the Samyang 8mm f2.8 
  • ISO 160, 1/1500s, f5.6
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • DxO ColorEfexc pro 4 for optimal contrast + Brilliance/Warmth filter

More Architectural images shot in Dubai can be found here

Remember: "The high building now once was just a stone" - Anon

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


while watching a documentary about the first manned moon landing 50 years ago last week, I could only imagine how it must have felt watching the event live with over 500 million people back in July 1969! Yes, I missed it by a few years since I'm born in 1971.
Trying to give this great event a special twist half a century later, I shot some images through a large empty glass while watching television. Neil Armstrong, who was the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20 1969 (Houston time), passed away almost 7 years ago. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with XF50 f2 lens
  • ISO 6400, 1/200s, f11
  • Raw development in Lightroom CC using Classic Chrome film simulation
A couple of Hasselblad cameras were used to shoot all of the Apollo 11 images. An interesting read about the specific cameras used can be found here

I would like to finish with the words of Neil Armstrong as he first set foot on the moon: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" - Neil Armstrong

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 29: CORN FIELD AERIAL - DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Over the last few years, the whole drone business has been really taking off. One of the fields civilian drones are used for quite extensively is in agricultural. Where large fields used to be walked by farmers in order to check how plants were doing, this can now be done from the air. Check out the following link for an interesting video on the subject matter. 

From a photographic standpoint, I've always liked patterns and specific subject contrast in my aerial photography. The image below of a corn field shot with my DJI Mavic 2 Pro, is a good example of that!

Image details:
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro 
  • 1/50s, f4.0, ISO 100
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • DxO Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast
More of my recent Aerial photography, can be found here. I strongly believe that there still is a place and time for both classic aircraft based aerial photography as well as using drones. 

As an airplane pilot myself it is my duty to remind all drone pilots to fly your drones legally. There are far too many incidents between drones and aircraft; a significant portion by people that are not aware of the danger of operating your drones close to aircraft. And no, I'm not talking about the risk of loosing your drone here!

Remember: "You have never seen a tree, until you have seen its shadow from the sky". Amelia Earhart

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 28: SPITFIRE SUNSET - MOORSELE FLY-IN 2019

Some of you might know that I spend most of my childhood at a small airfield in western Belgium, called Moorsele. The historic grass runway used to be a German World War II frontline airfield and also is the place where I did my first solo flight at age 16 back in 1987.

In the 1970's and 80's, I grew up with some great summer airshows and fly-ins at Moorsele. When a group of mostly young pilots and enthusiasts wanted to go back to these grassroots aviation events a few years back, they got all of my support! I therefore couldn't miss this years biannual event, held June 29 and 30.

Two iconic British fighters were the main attraction in Moorsele this year; the worlds only flying Hawker Hurricane Mark IV and a Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI. The latter was built at the end of WWII and was the personal aircraft of Air Vice Marshal Sir James M. Robb with registration SL721. A nice historic write-up can be found here.  

Between volunteering as a marshaller and flying demo-flights in my 1954 Piper Super Cub, there was also the occasional opportunity to do some aviation photography during the event.

The image below of the iconic Spitfire bathing in beautiful post sunset light, is particularly close to my heart, as the silhouettes are two pilots I highly respect; the owner of this amazing warbird and the person responsible for its assembly last year and maintenance. 

Image details:

  • Fujifilm X-T3 with the XF18-135 lens
  • ISO 600, f9.0, 1/400s, 37mm
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • DxO ColorEfex pro 4 for with Pro Contrast, Neutral density and Brilliance Warmth filter
More images shot during the two day event in Moorsele, can be found here

I've added the image above to my personal Aviation portfolio, a small group of my best Aviation images. 

The Spitfire depicted above presently carries D-Day invasion stripes in commemoration for the 75th anniversary of this life changing battle in Normandy, France. A place where I'll be attending the commemoration of Operation Cobra with my vintage Piper Cub, early August. More later.

Remember: "Volunteers don't get paid. Not because they are worthless but because they are priceless". Anon

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 27: DUBAI - CITY OF CONTRAST - Mohamed bin Rashid library

If there is one thing that makes Dubai interesting for me, it is the contrast one finds all over the city. Starting with the more than 150 different nationalities that call Dubai home, just the difference amongst these make for a very interesting mix. One can go shopping in some small street souk downtown Deira or spend the whole day in one of the worlds largest indoor shopping malls. Have dinner for 5,-USD or 500,-USD... You pick what you want! Contrast is everywhere! 

Such is also the case when looking at Architecture around the city. A while ago, I was passing by the yet to be opened Mohamed bin Rashid library, a nice piece of architecture in the form of a large book, which is meant to house 1.5million printed books. 

The wooden Dhow (traditional wooden vessel) in the foreground makes for an interresting contrast between old and new. Contrast in photography is not limited to light and shadow; there is so much more to it!

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with XF16 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 320, 1/320s, f10
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • DxO Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast including ND filter
More of my Architectural photography work shot in Dubai can be found here.

Remember: "In Dubai we don't wait for things to happen. We make them happen". - H.H. Sheik Mohammed al Maktoum