Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 41: LOOKING UP AT MUCEM, Marseille, France

It is often been said that interesting modern Architecture often changes a city over a few years; this might become the case with one of Marseille's latest buildings; MUCEM, a museum devoted to European and Mediterranean civilizations which opened in 2013. 

As Marseille is trying to get rid off its reputation of crime capital of France, MUCEM will hopefully bring in more visitors to France second largest city!  

The building which was built on reclaimed land, was designed by the French Architect Rudy Ricciotti in collaboration with Architect Roland Carta. It is connected to the 17th century adjacent fort with a 130m long footbridge. The 15.000 square meter cube is surrounded by a latticework shell of fibre reenforced concrete; the main attraction of this architectural marvel.

The openings in the shell make for some interesting shadows, the terrace on the roof also gives the visitor great views on the Mediterranean sea. One does not need to pay for the entrance to the museum in order to visit the terrace on the top floor. 

The image below was shot from this viewing deck, using a smaller aperture to have a nice sunburst effect. elected to convert to Black and White in order to take away some of the distracting color fringing in the sun flare.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 320, 1/500s, f16
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • Nik SilverEfex for Black and White conversion

I did enjoy my short time in Marseille... more images of this large city in southern France can be found here

Given that so many different cultures live together in Marseille, it is also a great city for Street Photography. Next Pic(k) of the week will show you an example of this!

Remember: "Turn your face into the sun and the shadows fall behind you" - Unknown


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 40: HOW TO STREET ? Xposure Photo Festival Sharjah

In about 7 weeks, November 22 till 25, the Xposure Photo-festival in Sharjah is on again! This 4 day yearly photo-festival, is quickly becoming one the regions most prominent photo events; having a nice mix of workshops, one of best photo exhibitions I've seen and the regions largest trade show.  

Fujifilm Middle East, will be present at Xposure and although still not 100% confirmed, as an official X-Photographer, yours truly will probably being doing a speaking event on one of the first two days. 

For the ones that don't know, Sharjah is the Emirate next to Dubai in the UAE and is promoted as being the "Cultural Heart" of the UAE. As it doesn't have the same amount of eye catching architecture like Dubai, it feels a bit like Dubai used to be in the 1980's or even 1990's. 

One of the workshops that immediately caught my eye, was "HOW TO STREET" by Indian Street Photographer Vineet Vohra. I've been following Vineet's work for several years and have always have been attracted in how he's able to layer his Street Photograph images that well. 

Something I also see in the work of Magnum Photographers Alex Webb and Harry Gruyaert; my two main inspirations when it comes to Street/Documentary photography. 

Within hours of opening, I booked my own slot for the How to Street workshop and can't wait to shoot along the master! As of today, there are still a few slots available, which can be booked here

By the way, I'm not affiliated or paid by Vineet to advertise this; he doesn't even know.

One of my Photo resolutions was the fact that I would go more to Sharjah to document Life on the Streets of the UAE Cultural Emirate. The workshop above will be a great opportunity to do so.

The image below was shot at the main Dhow (wooden cargo boats) port in Sharjah, while a small truck was being loaded onto a ship. I love the look on the face of the guy on the left; you can see him thinking, "I hope the chains were properly fixed"! 


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, 1/350s, f5.6
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development using the Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation

More Street Photography from Sharjah can be found here

Remember: "Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes, always have a camera around your neck, be patient, optimistic and don't forget to smile" - Matt Stuart


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 39: THIS IS NOT A DOUBLE EXPOSURE

Most modern cameras (all of the latest Fujifilm X-series, more here) have a multi or sometimes called double exposure mode. I allows the photographer to take multiple images and blend them together during the shooting process; something that can be used in a very creative way!

Now, the image below is NOT such an image. While shooting the streets of the Belgian city of Ghent (Gent in Dutch), I bumped into a construction site which was fenced off. It had several banners installed along the fence, made of a partially see through material. While I framed a few images, I didn't think too much about it on the spot. However on reviewing the images on the computer, I really liked the effect and mystery. 

To me a good Street Photograph, is an image which creates more questions than answers; I think most will agree that the image below definitively fulfills that requirement. 

I'm often asked if a Street Photograph needs to have actual people in the shot? Personally I don't think so; as long as there is a human element in it, I'm OK to call it Street Photography.  

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 2500, 1/500s, f8
  • RAW development including Black and White conversion in Lightroom CC
One might ask why I shot the image at ISO 2500... For my Street Photography, I normally set up with camera in Manual Aperture mode and use a fixed shutter speed between 1/320s and 1/500s. Auto ISO, which I normally allow to float up to ISO 3200 (ISO 6400 in lower light), then takes care of the exposure variations.

While I've added the image to my "Best Black and White Street Photography" work, I would like to invite all readers to check out the other images here!

Remember: "All the technique in the world, doesn't compensate for the inability to notice" - Elliott Erwitt


Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Earlier in the month, I visited C-mine, an industrial museum and creative hub housed in an old (closed) coal mine in the northeastern part of Belgium. In the early 1900's the city of Genk (not the same as the city of Ghent) had only a few thousand citizens. But when coal was discovered just before World War I, three mining sites where opened, giving a huge increase in population numbers (65000). While the mines made for a huge boom of the local economy, eventually they were closed down; 1986 was the last year coal was brought up to the surface at C-mine, then called the mine of Winterslag.

Today, the old industrial site which is open for visitors, attracts a lot of photographers. There must have been more than a dozen wedding photographers shooting images the Saturday I was there. One of the more interesting rooms, is the compressor hall; a large room full of compressors that provided air the miners up to 900 meter underground.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, an outside 1km long steel labyrinth was designed by the art and design duo, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh on C-mine square. "Labyrint" is not a classic high wall labyrinth, but a structure that provides new viewpoints to the site in a very creative way. The 190 ton maze consists of a combination of cylinders, half and full circles, providing some see through parts as can be seen in the image below!

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF18-135mm lens
  • 3 shot exposure bracket at 33mm with a variety of ISO and Shutter speeds
  • Lightroom CC Photomerge HDR to blend images together
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro for optimal contrast
More of own images of the C-mine site can be found here.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Last Friday, I attended the sunset airshow at Sanicole, Belgium; well it should have been called "the evening" airshow as the sun was 100% absent. The rainy weather together with very low light, made it challenging to say the least! It was likely one of the most difficult airshow conditions I ever shot in.

It was the 40th airshow at Sanicole, Belgium's only remaining civil airshow! Beside the Friday night airshow, there was also a full day airshow on Sunday; luckily for the organisers with much better weather! 

Photographing propellor aircraft, one needs to shoot at the shutter speed of maximum 1/200s, in order not to freeze the prop and have some prop blur. As I was shooting with my Fujifilm XF100-400 f4.5-f5.6 lens and the 1.4 Teleconverter attached at maximum focal length, my minimum aperture was f8; needing an ISO of 6400; not ideal but manageable on the X-T2.

It was definitively one of the conditions where a wider aperture lens like a 400mm f4 would have come in handy...

The resulting image below of the Twister Aerobatic Team is still pretty pleasing; the team consists of two Silence Twisters, flying a graceful display just at sunset, using smoke and pyrotechnics. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF100-400 and 1.4TC
  • ISO 6400, f8, 560mm
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast
  • Nik Dfine for noise reduction
More images of the Sanicole sunset airshow on September 08, 2017 can be found here.

Make sure to check out the image of a Belgian Air Force F-16 here, flown by demo pilot GIZMO; an award winning display pilot which finishing his 3 year display tour soon. The F-16 can be shooting some flare; these are not pyrotechnics, by flares used to confuse missiles being shot at the aircraft.

Remember: "When fears are grounded, dreams take flight"