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Showing posts from 2015

Experiences with the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

I was one of the 20 lucky winners in a street photography contest organized by  Chip Photo Magazine and Olympus . All of us were invited for a workshop by professional photographer Brendan de Clerq and got the opportunity to play around with the new  Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II . The grand price - winning the camera - went to Albert Dros with a  beautiful photo . The workshop was a lot of fun. Brendan is a great guy and before hitting the streets he talked us through some of his favourite photos from his portfolio. Besides being informative he also triggered a spark again. I want to go out and shoot more! After the presentations we travelled down town for some street photography. Let me share my three favorite shots of the day. All these pictures were taken with the Olympus camera; at the end of this article I'll share some of my thoughts on the little performer . Tattoo shop in the red light district of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) - Olympus 14-42mm This is my favourite

India street shots

I was in the opportunity to visit India again and of course brought my camera along. What a mind blowing place on earth! Last time I shared all my photos in color ... this time I returned to my beloved black and white. Somehow it is just more aesthetic. One of the remarkable things in India is that most women in the streets cover their face with a scarf. This is not for religious reasons but to get protection from the sun and dirty smog. I wanted to capture this behavior but making photos of strange woman can be a bit tricky in India. Therefor I asked one of my colleagues to model for me and she was happy to do so :) During a 'tea break' we went outside the office and took some shots. Another colleague was smoking and I asked her to hold his cigarette to get this final picture. I never asked anyone to pose before and it was actually quite fun! Smoking eyes in Pune (India) - Pentax-A 50mm F1.4

Rainbow in Italy

With photography you just need to be lucky sometimes. There are many photos you can plan ahead like a sunset over the country side, a shot of the milky-way or whatever ... But some stuff just happens very rarely and cannot be planned upfront. My father calls these events the 'little gifts' in life. Last summer I received one of these little gifts during our travels in Italy. All day the weather had been horrible and then suddenly the sky opened up and this rainbow unfolded right in front of the medieval town of Trevi in Umbria Italy. I immediately pulled the car over and took a couple of shots. Some minutes later the rainbow was gone. Rainbow in front of Trevi (Italy) - Pentax-A 100mm F2.8

Nostalgia in Torino

This autumn my wife and me spent some days in Turin, or Torino as the Italians say. A truly great city that surpassed my expectations. To be honest, I assumed Turin to be a grey industrial city ... but instead we found a large historic centre with tons of interesting sites to visit. Did you know that Turin was Italy's first official capital? I didn't! This photo shows the window of the famous Caffè Al Bicerin , a coffee shop that openend in 1763 and where the famous Italian coffee was invented. In Turin you can find many of these places that seemed to have stood the test of time. Maybe Turin is a city of nostalgia. Let's find out :) Caffè Al Bicerin, Turin (Italy) - Pentax-A 50mm F1.4

Discovering India - day 2/2

Over two months ago I visited India and posted the article  Discovering India - day 1/2  ... I think it's about time to cover part 2! The day started with a visit to the Kelkar Museum  (recommended) after which I wandered around town a bit. Honestly, it felt a bit adventurous walking all alone in such a different world than I am used to. Let me share some of the scenes I encountered. You can't imagine how crowded the streets in India are. Yet, this old lady was taking a nap in her fruit shop. Totally undisturbed! I love the colors and structures in this shot. Lady sleeping in her fruit shop (India) - Pentax DA 35mm F2.4

Discovering India - day 1/2

Work gave me the opportunity to visit India. After a full week of flights, hotels, taxis and business meetings I had planned 2 days of private time in Pune before flying back to Europe. Even though my stay was short, I can already conclude that India is a country full of diversity: high-tech companies vs great poverty, a mix of all kinds of religions, remainders of British heritage vs local traditions, super strict bureaucracy vs chaotic traffic. Mix all this in a hot and humid country é voila: you have India. My colleague Pradeep took me for a drive on the back of his motorbike. At first I thought we'd go for a 10 min cruise to the city center ... but we ended up driving a great distance all the way to the country side. I certainly had my share of horrendous Indian traffic, but I couldn't have wished a better introduction to India. Along the drive we passed a random temple and I asked Pradeep to pull over. The gates were closed but then these friendly old men showed up an

High resolution night shots of Rotterdam

Some time ago I discovered the button 'photo merge' in Photoshop, a very powerful tool to stitch images together. It takes a little practice, but it's easy once you know how to approach this technique. We've had some nice clear nights last week and I decided to give it a go. Let's start with sharing a picture! De Rotterdam by night - Pentax-A 135mm F2.8

Little planet Rotterdam

You all know those cheesy 'little planet' pictures where a touristy place is depicted as a sphere. I decided to give it a try as well. I checked some tutorials on youtube and followed  this one . It explains you in several minutes how to create a 'little planet' from one single picture. Et voilà : Little planet Rotterdam - Harbor and Watertaxi. It was a cold winterday with a very bright orange/yellow sky after sunset. The original photo was taken from the terrace of  Hotel New York , it gives a great panorama view on the city's harbor. That little boat is a  Watertaxi , one of the fastest and most fun ways to get around in Rotterdam. Make sure to go for a ride when you're in town! I took me about one hour in Photoshop to put this picture together. Although I hate the genre ... I am still pretty pleased with this attempt. That's why I've added it also to my shop at . It's a great website that allows you to sell / buy photos o

The best camera is the one you have with you

Last month I visited Italy and I promised to share some more photos from the trip. Let me start with a panorama photo taken with my iPhone 5. As they say ' the best camera is the one you have with you ' and I always carry my phone around. Unfortunately its battery is quite shitty, so I prefer to rephrase that ' the best camera is the one you have with you ... and has a charged battery '. Panorama in Abruzzo, Italy - iPhone 5. Anyway, I love the contrast of the blue skye and the green fields. Such a peaceful place. Enlarge the image and note all the white daisies on the right. Actually I am pretty impressed with capabilities of the iPhone. This result makes me wonder how good the new iPhone 6 performs.

Slow photography in Italy

Let me give you a heads-up, you might as well skip this article if you're not interested in either prime lenses or the Pentax brand. At this very moment I am in Italy enjoying a holiday. My girlfriend is shopping for a wedding dress, giving me some more time than usual to focus on photography. While reading you can play the following Italian song - just needed an excuse to try this new Spotify feature. For this trip I've selected three manual focus prime lenses to bring along (20mm, 50mm, 100mm). This forces me to practice slow photography . I am not sure that's a real term, but I am sure you get what I mean: the opposite of using a 18-300mm zoom range and shoot with 9 frames a second to pick the best result. First a photo taken with the 50mm. Portrait of an Italian Barber - SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 I badly needed a haircut and visited il barbiere (barber) in a small town nearby. The guy was 70 years old and took over the shop from his father who was il barbier

From Rotterdam Centraal to home

Since two months I commute to work by public transport. Yesterday I finally decided to bring my camera along, something I have should done much earlier. While travelling home I snapped some shots. At first wasn't very happy with the results, but some turned out to be quite reasonable. Let's take a look in chronological order. Rotterdam Centraal - Man waiting for train. I started after my arrival at Rotterdam Central station. Light was already dim, forcing me to shoot with high ISO. This man was waiting was his train to arrive. Somehow this photo gives the impression of a lone city. Let me assure you that the train station was crowded! 

Cover of the day on Youpic

Some time ago I joined Youpic , yet another social media platform for photographers. My colleague  Bas Pisa  (also photographer) pointed me to the website. It's a bit of mix between 500px and 1x . I like it. Anyway, each day the honour goes to another photographer to be picked as cover of the day. Today this honour was mine. This resulted in over 120k views within some hours. I've never had such exposure before! 

Rotterdam in snow

My goal is to write about actual photos and not about photo gear, but I must praise my Pentax DSLR. Last week we had some terrible winter days and I took the camera out into snowy conditions. The camera got all wet. My iPhone's battery died in the cold, my gloves and pants were soaked ... but the Pentax continued to work like a charm. The battery didn't even lose a single bar despite being switched on for several hours. Now back to sharing pictures! This shot was taken at a passage under a bridge. I stayed there for a while to create the following image. Not many people decided to go out and I really wanted a person in this shot. Waiting eventually payed off and some guy showed up. The lights on the ceiling of the passage point towards the man, just as the snow tracks on the left bottom. Then the shadow of the place nicely contrasts with the rain and snow. I am happy with the result. Snow and water a the Willemsbrug, Rotterdam