Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pic(k) of the week 4: TAKING THE CAMELS FOR A WALK IN DUBAI

I'm a strong believer that as a photographer we should always have a camera with us whenever we leave the house. Yes, it can be a camera phone, but for me it is more likely a "real camera". Remember, the smaller it is, the more likely you will not leave it at home! 

I was happy to have my Fujifilm X-T3 with me in the car, when I bumped into a camel herder while driving just outside my home on the outskirts of Dubai. The scene of a modern Dubai skyline bathing in beautiful morning light with a camel and its owner (or care-taker) in the foreground, was just begging to be photographed. Not doing so would be a photographic crime!

The image was a classic example where I did hesitate between publishing a colour or black and white version. I eventually elected to show the latter as it goes better with the emotional contrast in the image.


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with XF18-135 lens
  • ISO 250, f13, 1/500s, 53mm 
  • RAW development in LR CC
  • DxO SilverEfex for Black and White conversion
Personally I classify the image as a "Street Photo" as it was not posed and clearly shows human life. My best Black and White street-photo work can be found here

Remember: "The best camera is the one you have with you" - Chase Jarvis





Thursday, January 16, 2020

12 PERSONAL BEST IMAGES OF 2019

Ansel Adams, one of the most famous landscape photographers from the 20th century, had a great quote: "12 Significant photos in any one year, is a good crop"! Rather than doing my usual Best 10 of the year post, I elected to allow two more for this years Personal favorites in order to honor Ansel! 

Places like Instagram and Facebook will often send you what they call "your best images of the year". For them, more likes, means a better image, which obviously is often not directly related to the number of likes! What is below is my own Personal best of 2019. A process which takes time and is a bit like picking your favorite child. 

Like 2018, last year has been a good year or photography. It was the year when I actively started using my first drone. A few aerial images from this new photographic tool, did make it into my Top 12.

While last years main photo-adventure was a two week trip to Peru, there were a number of other interesting Aviation photo-events; Moorsele and Hahnweide fly-in's as well as the Dubai Airshow end of the year.

Beside running a few Photowalks, I also reviewed the following new gear for Fujifilm Middle East:
Let's have a look at my 12 Personal favorites images of 2019!

12/ BLERIOT HAHNWEIDE











11/ PIPER CUB SELFIE






























10/ MARAS SALT MINES, PERU

























9/ NICE, COTE D'AZUR SUNRISE

























8/CROWS OVER DUBAI


7/ AMERICAN GIRL


6/SOLAR POWER


5/ BROKEN TRAIN

 


4/ DESERT AERIAL



3/ PARAGLIDER TAKE-OFF



2/SUNSET OVER DUBAI CREEK HARBOUR



1/ SPITFIRE SUNSET

 


So what will 2020 bring photographically speaking? I'm planning to do quite a bit more Aerial drone photography in the new year. This Summer I plan to attend to worlds largest airshow called AirVenture in Oshkosh (Wi, USA). Further on the World Expo in Dubai is going to open on October 20, 2020 and will last for 6 months. This will of course mean a lot of exciting photographic opportunities. As every year, a two week photo-adventure will be undertaken somewhere in the fall; likely to Vietnam but to be confirmed.

Remember: "Hindsight is 20/20" - very relevant for 2020 I guess.







Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pic(k) of the week 3: CAMEL SHADOWS - DJI MAVIC 2 PRO

Living in the desert, I’ve always wanted to made an image of one or more camels with their shadows in a photogenic environment. One year, after picking up my first drone, I finally was able to capture the image I had in mind!

It is a good illustration on the benefit of having different camera systems for different uses. Photographing these camels from ground level with a standard camera set-up would have been boring and would lack the impact and drama of the image I had in mind. Being just a few meters above the ground, we get to see a totally different perspective. The benefits of aerial photography!


Image details:
  • DJI Mavic Pro 2
  • ISO 100, f4, 1/800s
  • RAW development in LR CC
  • DxO ColorEfex pro with Brilliance/Warmth and darken/lighten center filters
Unlike working with Fujifilm RAW files, developing RAW files from the Mavic 2 Pro drone generally needs more work; typically the black and white sliders will need more adjusting for optimal contrast. Do not be shy to use the sliders when your drone image looks dull for optimal impact.

For this weeks Pic(k) I hesitated quite a bit between the image above and a different one, which can be found here.

My Aerial drone photography portfolio which can be found here.

Remember: "Vision is the Art of seeing what is visible to others" - Jonathan Swift


BJORN





Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Pic(k) of the week 2: BED SPACE AVAILABLE

In photography "contrast" can be much more than the difference between highlights and shadows or the difference in contrasting colours. Contrast can also be the difference between two or more subjects that stand in contrast to each other. 

Such was the case, when I came across the scene below where on one side a person is advertising some low budget "bed space" to a specific nationality while a 5-star hotel probably charging a hundredfold is visible in the background.

Images like this often bring up the question if Street Photography images need to have a human person as part of the image? For me, as long as the image documents the human condition, it is definitively a "Street Photograph"! I'm not even sure that a person in the open window, would add something to the image...


Image details:
  •  Fujifilm X-Pro 3 with XF35mm f1.4
  • ISO 320, 1/320s, f13
  • Classic Negative Film simulation with following settings;
    • All default, except,
    • Color Chrome FX Blue Weak
    • Highlights -1 / Shadows +2
    • Sharpness +2
    • Noise reduction -1
Some of my strongest Colour Street Photographs can be found here

Remember: "Seeing is not enough. You have to feel what you photograph" - Andre Kartesz

BJORN








Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Pic(k) of the week 1: FOCUS ON THE WORLD BELOW

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all blog readers! 
Now that year 10 of my Pic(k) of the week series is completed, I’m ready to start fresh again for the 11th time. A new year that looks promising photographically, with some upcoming Photo-walks and talks, a visit to the worlds largest airshow, “Airventure” (Oshkosh, US) in July, the Dubai World Exhibition starting in October 2020 and some other photo-adventures during the  course of the year.

2019 was the year where I shot considerably more Aerial photography compared to previous years. Not coincidentally, it was also the first year, I used a drone for part of my aerial photography. 

As a pilot-photographer I’m privileged to frequently see the world from above; something that has fascinated people all over the world. We do however often tend to forget that a large portion of the population still has never seen such a thing. 

My Aerial photography work has now grown into a considerable body of work, of which the strongest images will hopefully make it into a self published book in 2020! Check out my Aerial photography portfolio here

The image below of a new residential community in Dubai, which I titled FOCUS ON THE WORLD BELOW, shows some of the most important aerial photography composition techniques. Strong leading lines, interesting patterns and a background which is worth including. 


Image details:
  • DJI Mavic Pro 2
  • 1/600s, f4.0, ISO 100
  • Lightroom CC to develop RAW file
  • DxO ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast 
For those interested, I’m working on a presentation about drone and aircraft aerial photography in Dubai. More details will become available in a month or so. A short video about my Aerial Photography can be found here.

Remember:"Let your dreams take flight" - anon

BJORN