May 25, 2011

The eagle has landed

Finally, the long period of waiting and longing is over… Yesterday I picked up my new pre-ordered Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera.

I was very lucky to get one of the five (1) cameras from the first batch delivered to my dealer. My order even came in complete with the lens hood and leather case.

Ever since its first public showing (still in prototype form) at Photokina in late 2010, the X100 has been constantly buzzed, hyped and trashed on internet forums and in photo magazines - all that with hardly any real units in the hands of paying photo enthusiasts… On top of the high initial demand, Fuji’s plant assembling the X100 lies only 20 miles from the city of Sendai, and sadly suffered significant damage from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. In light of this tragedy and the subsequent disruption of Japanese supply chains, it is no less than an amazing achievement for Fuji to catch up with the delays and start seeding cameras step-by-step across the world.


I got hooked on the X100 as soon as I saw one in Cologne, and even more after I could handle (but not shoot with) it on a trade show in February. My pre-order went in the day after…

This camera will remain at my side wherever I go, whatever I am up to, during the next few weeks (at least). You will read about my expectations, experiences and findings in this blog. And of course follow my renewed discovery of the pleasure of ‘straight shooting’ through lots of pictures! 

Gear notes: Fuji X100

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May 15, 2011

Gossip girls

What might these three be chattering about?


This statue represents the three Ladies of Turnhout (Mary of Brabant, Mary of Hungary and Amalia of Solms) that each played an important role in the city’s history. In reality however, they never could have met…

Gear notes: D700, 24-120/4.0VR

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May 6, 2011

Frames from the Farm

A recent Belgiumdigital Shooting Day brought us to a vast cattle farm in the Haspengouw region, near the city of Sint-Truiden. It served as a major shooting location for the 2011 Belgian drama film Rundskop (released in English as Bullhead).

It did not take long for me to realize that the sparse light and the richness of textures inside the stables were calling for a punchy black-and-white treatment. And as it happens, I just downloaded the trial version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.0 for a spin…

_DS73275_79E-2bwBeams of wood and of light

_DS73280E-3bwA world behind the gate

_DS73299EbwOpen, and closed yet

_DS73308EbwThe hinge
 _DS73292EbwHow do you get this past inspection?

Yes, I admit going wild with the new ‘borders’ feature…

Gear notes: D700, 24-120/4.0VR

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May 3, 2011

Straight up

Whenever I visit a building – especially historic places with a grandiose architecture or abundant decoration – I will make sure to have a good look upwards. More often than not that will result in pictures of domes, ceilings and other ornaments.

Some friends that regularly accompany me on photo explorations by now have quite a collection of shots showing me lying flat on my back, camera pointed all the way up.

Egmontpaleis - AmbassadeurstrapBrussels, Egmont Palace

_DS71298_1304wAntwerp, Central Station

_DS72809_15w Turnhout, Church of the Beguinage

_DS73398w Sint-Truiden, Abbey, Emperor’s Hall

_DS73660_68EBwBrussels, Church of Notre Dame du Sablon

A wide angle lens of course is the default glass choice, and many times my fisheye will end up on camera. Sometimes I will use the distorted picture ‘as is’, other times I will de-fish (using PTLens, or more recently through Lightroom’s built-in lens correction). All depends on the original lines and curves of the construction.

Equally often, I will take a few bracketed shots and combine them with Photomatix Pro’s Exposure Fusion feature, to deal with the extreme dynamic range (sunlit windows through deep shadows).

Gear notes: D700, 16/2.8D, 24/2.8, 17-35/2.8D

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Happy Blogday!


Exactly two years ago I started this modest photoblog of mine.
It has proven to be a challenging commitment – and an excellent incentive to go out and shoot more!

Thanks to all visitors, nearby and far away, friends or unknown passersby! Your comments and critiques are always welcome.

This blog has shown little activity during the past few weeks, for a number of good (and more often silly) reasons. that’s about to change, there’s some nice projects underway.

Come visit again soon!