Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pic(k) of the week 4: Keeping Beijing clean

In the second half of January I had two brief 30hr visits to Beijing. I always find it remarkable how the old Peking is a city of extremes... Temperatures often climb above 40C in the summer months, while they dropped to -20C the first night  I was there. 

In the afternoon I made my way to the" Beijing camera equipment city". A one hour metro ride from my hotel followed by a 20 min walk brought me to a large complex full of official camera stores. No fake stuff here! Everything comes with international warranty. 
Just before entering the center, I had a brief chat with a very friendly Beijing street cleaner... Well chat? He didn't speak any English and my Mandarin is limited to Niihau (Hello) and Xie Xie (Thank you). Using sign language, I asked him whether I could take his picture. He smiled and approved. Interesting enough he collects the garbage with two large chopsticks. Very Chinese if you ask me! I do like the shot but wished the blue car in the background was not there. Next time better!

Image details:
Nikon D700 with 24-70 2.8 Nikkor lens
50mm, f8, 1/400s, ISO 200
RAW file processed in Lightroom (LR) followed by a Tonal adjustment with Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0

By the way, I couldn't resist and left the place with a brand new Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VRII lens. Meanwhile I sold my "old" (18months) 70-200 2.8. VR lens in Dubai. More on this exciting lens shortly!

Happy shooting,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Off the beaten path in Rome

Just back from spending 30 hrs in Rome, Italy. I've been to the capital of Italy multiple times and this time decided to go for a photo walk off the beaten path. Basically wherever the tourists were turning left, I took a right and vice versa... Admittedly I did finish with two of the most iconic monuments of Rome, "the Spanish steps" ( PIaza di Spagna) and the "Trevi fountain" (Fontana di Trevi). 

Initially I started the beautiful cold winter morning walk by crossing the Tiber river and strolling along its west bank which beside the Vatican has very few tourists.

While the Police seems to be chasing away the homeless from the centre...  I bumped into the household of this older Italian, living around the Isola Tiberina area. 

Continuing up North, I followed the Via Giullia which leads to a nice arch, called "L'Archo Farnese". I had seen a Google Earth photo of the bridge where it's fully covered by beautiful hanging greenery. Unfortunately most of the plants seem to be gone this time of the year. Nevertheless I'm still quite happy with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) image above which highlights the structure.

At the Piazza Farnese I spotted this older lady feeding the pigeons. The pieces of old bread were quickly discovered by the hundreds of birds surrounding her. The fact that her left eye was taped off made me wonder whether she had been attacked by the pigeons...

Meanwhile behind me a dog was patiently waiting for his boss to come out of this coffee shop.

There seems to be a constant lack of parking space in Rome. The Smart fortwo is therefore very common. Three of them in a row made for a nice photo opportunity.

More of my Rome photography can be found by clicking on any of the photos above.
I really enjoyed the Rome Photo walk and did not miss the thousands of tourists pushing and pulling though the city's main attractions...

Happy shooting,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pic(k) of the week 3: Land Recovery

Yesterday I made this detailed shot of part of the overhead panel on the flight deck of an Airbus A330-200. The name "Land recovery" might have some mystery to my non-pilot readers... 


Without going into too much detail, I can tell you it has to do with recovering some systems in case of a loss of all electrical generators. So... no big deal!

Iphone 3GS, 
all post-processing done within the iPhone
selective focus with TiltShift
optimized with Photogene

More iPhone images in my iSee gallery.

Happy shooting,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pic(k) of the week 2: Flanders field models

While photographing a windmill at a farm in Belgium (Moorsele) earlier this week , I bumped into these 2 four-footers, a Brabant Draft horse and a donkey. Both seemed very curious what the guy with the black thing was doing...

D700, 1/320s, f8, ISO 200 at 66mm with 24-70 2.8 
Raw file processed in LR (Lightroom)
Detail and exposure corrected with Topaz adjust
Converted to Black & White with Ni Software SilverEfex

Happy shooting,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pic(k) of the week 1: Knotwilg Avenue

May 2010 bring you joy and happiness!!!
My number 1 Photography resolution for 2010 is a new personal project called: "Pic(k) of the week". Each week I will pick a pic(ture) from my own library and write a small blogpost about it. Ideally this will be a picture shot during the specific week. If that is not possible, I will pick a pic that somehow resonated with me during the week.
Here we go...

"Knotwilg Avenue", my first pic(k) of the week, was shot in Vinderhoute near Ghent (Belgium) on a cold and wintery morning after some night snowfall. Needless to say that the official name of the street is not Knotwilg Avenue for the curious ones, it's called "Molenslag". Knotwilg trees are common in Belgian landscapes.

Image details:
Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24-70 2.8
27mm focal length
f 11 aperture
no filters
3 shots -2EV, 0EV, +2EV for HDR
HDR processed with PhotomatixPro
Final adjustments in Lightroom

Happy shooting,