Oct 25, 2010

Up above…

The Kemmelberg is a 156m high hill near Kemmel (municipality of Heuvelland) in West Flanders, Belgium. Just as many other hills in the area, its origin lies with a formation of dunes from way back when the North Sea reached that far inland. The sand from these dunes was rich in iron, and the resulting sandstone withstood centuries of erosion.

A Celtic community was established on the hill some 2,500 years ago. They built a fort an conducted trade with the Romans. In present days, the Kemmelberg is best known for its steep cobbled road over the hill, often a decisive factor in bicycle races, especially in the wet.

On and around the hill, there’s plenty of woods and fields, even a couple of vineyards. Hikers are treated to spectacular vistas, reaching even into the north of France.

But all is not as quiet and innocent there at it may seem… 
During World War I, the area was an important battle site. In April 1918 the hill was taken by Germans, later recaptured by the allied forces in September at the expense of high human losses.

But the real secrets lie well underneath. Stay tuned for a next post to discover!

Gear notes: D700, 24-70/2.8
The last image is an early trial of the new Nik HDR Efex Pro.

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Oct 21, 2010


It’s done: BelgiumdigitalLive 2010 is now behind us, and it was a roaring success! Mind you, I speak as one of the organizers…

We welcomed around 750 participants, and had a team of more than 150 contributors (speakers, models, exhibitors, sponsors, support staff….) ready to deliver a feature-packed photography fest. With
32 workshop sessions covering all kinds of topics on shooting and post-processing techniques, a couple of fully-loaded studio setups and a whole palette of fun-to-shoot attractions (a clown, a folk dancing group… even a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder!) no moment was left idle or boring.

Rene-70291w Rene-70180w
As always, lots of photographers were packed around the catwalk for each of the three model shows. Fire those flashes, folks!
It was a lot of work to help prepare and run this event, but also tremendous fun to work with a close group of photo-maniacs to make it happen… Now finally ‘normal’ life can resume, and so will regular additions to this blog.

For more images, see this photo gallery.

Gear notes: D700, 17-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8

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Oct 8, 2010

Yes we dare!

I am not a great fan of ‘extreme’ HDR processing. I strongly prefer the more subtle ‘exposure fusion’ approach that preserves a photo- realistic rendering.

I have seen plenty of examples where a full-force HDR treatment leads to attractive results, but it just something that does not seem to match with the subject matter I normally shoot.

This time however, while exploring the new Photomatix Pro 4.0 release, I could not resist giving it a try. And I happened to have a suitable image at hand.


I will not claim that this is a great shot, but at least I tried. And I managed to add a new post during an extremely busy period…

More information and pictures about the location where this image came from in a future post!

Gear notes: D700, 17-35/2.8

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Oct 1, 2010

Blame it on BelgiumdigitalLive

This has been the longest interval ever between posts on my blog. So little time to capture new pictures, nor to post-process a few recent shoots.

All my free time currently goes to the organization of the BelgiumdigitalLive 2010 event, working closely with a small team of other digital photography enthusiasts.

So, for your pleasure: a few of my shots from last year’s edition.


Gear notes: D700, 24-70/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version