Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 42: WHERE THERE IS LIGHT THERE IS SHADOW

Earlier this year, while testing the new Fujifilm X-H1 (review here), I shot some images at an old abandoned village in the UAE; Check out Pic(k) of the week 11, "When the desert takes over", for more!

When I visited the small village in Al Madam last March, I knew I would come back and I finally managed to do so last week. 

Clearly social media has given this hidden jewel a sudden boost with images appearing on a weekly basis. With the image below however, I've tried to bring a bit more of an artistic image; keeping the mystery alive! 

I personally find that we still see too many images where photographers want to open up the shadows at all cost. Depending on what you want to show the viewer, there is definitively a place to keep the shadows as they are; dark and moody like in the image below.


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF50-140 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 1600, f10, 1/320s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex pro for optimal constrast
The entire collection of images shot at the abandoned village can be now be found in the new "When the desert takes over" gallery. Similar to Kolmanskop in Namibia but on a much smaller scale, it contains images where one can see the power of the desert; therefore the name, "When the desert takes over". 

I'll be sharing new images from Al Madam in my Instagram feed this week; if you don't follow me yet, I do invite you to do so, here

Lastly, I'll be in Istanbul, Turkey on a Street Photography trip on OCT 18, 19 and 20. Any photographers that want to meet up in this great city, feel free to contact me though social media! 

Remember; "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light" - Aristotle


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 41: SUNSET OVER MOUNT FUJI

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and one of the main symbols of the country. At 3776m (12389ft) it is a dormant volcano which last erupted in 1708. Although about 100km away from the capital, it often can be seen on a clear day from downtown Tokyo. 

Mount Fuji is one of Japans Holy mountains, with Mount Tatu and Mount Haku being the other ones. 

Below is an aerial image of Mount Fuji, often by the Japanese called "Fuji san", just as the sun had set behind it. I love how it distinct shape dominates the landscape!  


Image details:
  • Fujifilm XT-2 with XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, f3.6, 1/320s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex pro 4 for optimal contrast
Being so iconic, I believe the image above deserves a place in my Aerial Photography Portfolio. Click here, to see the remainder of this "select" group of my best aerial images!

Remember: "Those at the top of the mountain, didn't fall there

BJORN





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 40: STEEET HUNT IN TOKYO - Fujifilm XT-2 with XF16 f1.4

During the month of October, I'll be shooting in my favorite three Street Photography cities worldwide! 

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to shoot in my number one, Tokyo! In a few weeks, I'll be off for a 4 day trip to Istanbul followed by New York city at the end of the month. Yes, October is clearly Street Photograph month for me!

Whenever we fly into Tokyo as airline crew, we stay in the smaller city Narita which is about one hour away from the megapolis Tokyo. Tropical storm Trami, which temporary closed Tokyo Narita airport on Sunday night, gave me an extended stay by 20hrs; this meant visiting my favorite Street Photography city was much more practical! 

Because I knew that the public transport would eventually shut down due to the storm, I had limited time available in order to make it back to my Narita hotel in time. It ended up being an intensive 4 hours of shooting downtown Tokyo. 

The image below was shot close to Shibuya station where one finds the worlds most busy pedestrian crossing. I love how the guy looks at the young lady on the right; a very telling expression which gives the "Street Hunt" phrase the extra dimension!



Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f1.4 lens
  • ISO 6400, f9, 1/100s
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development using the Acros Y Camera profile
Tokyo is known for its great light with deep shadows and amazing highlights; perfect for colour work; see my Tokyo Colour gallery

Since the sky was grey with the occasional rain shower, I decided to limit myself to shooting black and white. The entire gallery of the shoot can be found here

Remember: "Street Photography is like fishing. Catching the fish is more important that eating it" - Thomas Leuthard.

BJORN






Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 39: OPERATION CAUDRON - Landing on the beach at Le Crotoy

September 1st 2018, is a date that stands out in my 32 year old pilot's logbook... After sending of multiple emails and jumping through a few hoops (figuratively), we managed to land our 1954 Piper Super Cub on a historic beach in Northwestern France.



The reason for the event, was the remembrance of the Worlds First official Flying School, started by the French brothers Caudron and which dates back to 1910! 108 years later, the Piper Club France, got 40 (mostly) vintage Piper aircraft together to land on the same beach the brothers had their Flying School well before the start of World War one! 

In preparation for the mass landing which was nicknamed "Operation Caudron", most aircraft got initially together on the last day of August at a small nearby airport called, Abbeville. While some people spend the night at nearby hotels, some die-hards like ourselves spend the night under the wing of their historic aircraft in tents. 

After breakfast the following morning, we left under a perfect blue sky with three minutes spacing between two aircraft, for the short hop across the Somme Bay to the Le Crotoy beach . After more than 14500 flying hours, my first beach landing was finally in the can! And what a beach. Talk about Aviation history! Click here, to see what it all looked like more than 100 years ago!

Over the years, I've shot a collection of Portfolio aerial images of the Somme Bay which has amazing patterns, especially at or close to low tide. Two examples can be found here and here

After we all returned successfully later that day before the high-tide came in, it clearly was a flying day to remember. Thanks Piper Club France for the perfect organization; no incidents or aircraft damaged. Bravo!

The video above, which exceptionally I'm presenting as my "Pic(k) of the week, consists of footage GoPro, Fujifilm X-T3 camera and even a short iPhone clip (sorry for the vertical format). All still images were made with the Fujifilm X-T3 camera, which at the time wasn't even released. To check out the X-T3 review, click here.

I know it might not be the highest video quality you've seen, but as the event was so important for myself, it did deserve to be my Pic(k) of the week. Die-hard still photographers, don't worry, we will go back to the weekly standard Pic(k) of the week for the next one! Meanwhile more still images of the Operation Caudron event can be seen here.

The video above can also be found in my YouTube channel

Lastly, looking into next year, I'm presently planning to participate in another remembrance event called "Operation Cobra", this to commemorate a less known military operation, held 7 weeks after D-Day, next year 75 years ago. And yes, it will involve another beach landing! 

Remember: "A mile of highway takes you one mile, but a mile of runway takes you anywhere

BJORN



Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 38: STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, IT IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS...

I've said it over and over again, for me a good Street Photograph, creates more questions than it provides you with answers... However one often needs to be careful in assuming things!

Looking at the image below, I suspect that most viewers will probably immediately see the little boy as a refugee who came to Europe looking for a brighter future. Having the luxury yacht with a tiny sailing boat in the background, gives the image even more visual contrast! 

Well, sometimes life on the street, is not what one thinks it is. The little boy, which I suspect might be adopted (another assumption?), was actually happily playing with his younger brother close to the "Nomade" statue in Antibes, while his parents were overlooking them. The family seemed perfectly happy, far away from our initial assumption! 


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 250, 1/400s, f10
  • In camera Classic Chrome jpeg, converted in Lightroom to Black and White
You might wonder why this image started as a Classic Chrome colour image? Well although I love the Acros Film Simulations built into our Fujifilm cameras, I sometimes will convert a Classic Chrome image to black and white in Lightroom for a special high contrast black and white look. 

For the ones that missed it and as the image above is shot with that camera, please check out my review on the brand-new Fujifilm X-T3 camera.

Lastly more of my Black and White Street Photography work, can be found here.


Remember: "Never assume the obvious is true" - William Safire


BJORN