This is a peaceful winter landscape shot in Damme, Belgium with the F5 film camera (lens was 35-70 2.8), film was Fuji Sensia Slide, scanned with a Nikon Coolscan V. No processing done on the picture. I picked that one among many others shot the same day. This was frost, not really snow, and it just lasted for 2 days.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
a statue on top of the Opera building in Paris. I liked the special color... this was at the end of the day, with a warm sunlight. Picture taken with the D200 and the 18-200VR lens. There is quite some vignetting but I didn't process to remove it... I don't find it too disturbing in this case.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This is a picture taken at night in a deserted city... Bruges in Belgium, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe... it was raining and I liked the reflections on the cobblestones. Black and white also adds a bit to the sadness of the weather. Shot with the Nikon D200.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
a strange experience... I was just walking around in Hong Kong Central, on my way to the escalator and I spotted that guy on top of a double deck bus (very high). I could just move my camera (D200+70-200VR) and take a snapshot. The guy looked at me and smiled and the bus disappeared just a few seconds later. I don't know what happened to that guy and how he could get there in the first place...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
just another cityscape, this time taken with an old lens (one of Nikon's best a number of years ago), the 35mm f1.4 AIS (manual focus) on the D200 camera. I put the camera on a micro-tripod (a very small pocket Manfrotto tripod). Used the shutter timer delay option, pause was 3 seconds and aperture was f8. I am amazed by the quality of the details when the picture is viewed full size. -1EV exposure compensation done in camera.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
A simple photo I took some time ago. I just put a rose on a piece of black paper, set up a wireless flash shooting to the ceiling on the left... I like the impression. Not my best shot (to my own criteria). Composition is not that good (attention point right in the middle) but I think it still works (a bit).
Shot with a Nikon D200 with the 105 VR Nikkor macro lens closed down to f5.6, handheld.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This is a very simple point & shoot shot... I found this building in a residential area in Singapore and liked the colors and the geometry.
This picture has been taken with a Nikon D40x (my favorite compact travel camera now) with the "consumer grade" 18-200VR lens. Some people don't like that lens (hence the double quotes) but I really like it for the versatility and the more than average picture quality.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This is a game I should learn. I find those players fascinating. I regularly visit Chinatown in Singapore, where a number of passionate people play every evening. I like the aesthetics of the game and the concentration of the players and their supporters. The place where they play is relatively dark. From a photography point of view, you need to go up to ISO3200 ! to be able to take a decent picture, here with a 70-200VR 2.8 lens, not exactly the cheapest lens in the Nikon catalog. The lens was attached to a consumer grade D40x camera, used in BW mode of course.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
This is a strange picture.... It has been yesterday in Singapore after a tropical shower. There was water on the street, the sun became visible through the clouds (around 12:00) and I saw this looking at my feet in the water. Impossible to focus correctly on that one, and this gives that kind of blur effect. I like the result. Comments welcome (like on any other picture by the way)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This is an unforeseen effect, I was in a restaurant and I had my D40x in my bag with the 105VR micro lens (macro according to Nikon), I just used the pop up flash, large aperture to get a shallow dof, focus in the middle... and here we are. It looks like the fruit is floating in the air. I first thought I would throw the picture away, but after looking, I started to like the effect... no post processing done on this one.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
This is a strange picture I liked. I took my 105VR lens on the D200 to take a picture of condensation on a very cold metal plate. I held the camera diagonally to get the diagonal sharp and nothing else. I have been surprise by the overall effect at that level of magnification. In fact fact it looks a bit like metal drops...
Monday, October 1, 2007
This is a strange test I did... a palm tree shot at night in almost total darkness. I used the SB-800 flash on the D200 camera, capable of focusing without natural light... the result looks like a ghost. I was amazed by the accurate focus. Colors are of course off but what do you expect ? I didn't try to correct since I liked the effect.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This is a test picture with the D40x. I shot this almost in the dark, using the on board flash, with the 105VR macro lens (becoming one of my favorite lenses)... the flower just seems to be floating in the air thanks to the use of flash and the shallow depth of field. A few relevant parameters: ISO100 and f11.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
my new allround camera... I just decided to go for the D40x, a camera with a lot of limitations, but excellent picture quality. Here pictured with 2 of my favorite lenses, the 105VR and the 70-200VR.
- small package
- excellent picture quality at a reasonable price
- very intuitive user interface
- excellent on board flash performance
- good ISO performance
- excellent LCD display
- very good viewfinder
- limited ISO steps
- no CLS (wireless flash system support)
- only one thumbwheel
- a few critical functions only via menus (BUT function button available)
- no grid display in viewfinder
- no optional grip
- batteries incompatible with other cameras (D50, D70, D80, D200, D300)
- incompatible with AF lenses without a built-in motor (only AF-S and HSM lenses will work. This is a HUGE limitation.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This is a picture I shot in Turkey last year... with the "crappy" 18-200VR lens on the D200. I loved that place, a fishermen's village on the South coast of the country... I am going back at the end of the month and I am already thinking of the nice weather and the friendly people over there.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Just a casual shot for today... I have been in a training center for a week.. superb environment... I had my "simple" camera with me, a D70+18-200VR, took a few pics in the park where the training center was located... gives a peaceful feeling... nothing more to share today...
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
This is a fabulous reference book I found while browsing in a library. This is an amazing collection of information about all Nikon products from the beginning to the D100/D1X DSLR generation. The most recent generations (2005-...) are not included. You will find all the cameras, lenses, and accessories including some exotic products described with very nice stories about the evolution of the ranges, the marketing, technical and commercial choices. Very interesting and highly recommended to any Nikon fan.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A simple accessory I recommend to the traveling photographer. It allows to take nice night pictures while traveling light, not having to carry a real tripod. This is a so-called table tripod, but a high quality one, from Manfrotto. It comes with a nice head, in a small pouch and is working pretty well (height is a bit more than a foot and the tripod supports a heavy camera with a normal lens, for instance D200+grip+12-24).
Saturday, August 18, 2007
An example of a concert shot. My favorite lenses for this kind of shot are medium length primes like the 50mm 1.8 or 85mm 1.8 or 105mm 1.8 (manual focus). In this case I used the 85 1.8 closed down to 2.2 to get some DOF (still limited) with an exposure compensation (-2/3EV). I do this to try to render the mood properly. If you let the camera expose, you might get a "better" picture with respect to light balance, but the picture will not reflect the actual light effects... I always recommend to voluntarily underexpose when shooting in the dark (not too much of course). Because of the low light environment, I used ISO1600, necessary to freeze the movement.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This picture has been used for a magazine and has been a tough assignment... this has been shot in the control room of the dispatching center of the power grid operator in Belgium. The problem was that the room was very dark, with an additional problem: the screen had a glossy finish, giving awful reflections if you used any flash or any misplaced light. It has been tricky to expose this properly. I used two fixed hot lamps (2x650W) with a softbox to get enough light on the person using the telephone, also using the ceiling as a reflector and using them from a distance to get just enough light to take the picture. I needed to balance that light with the information on the screens. I used a D200 on a tripod with a relatively long focal length (105mm) and with relatively slow shutter speed (1/3 sec approx). This is the end result, they liked it and this is the picture as it appeared in their magazine.
Friday, August 10, 2007
This is a recent shot in Singapore, close to the Raffles Place MRT station (the underground) in the financial district. I used a 10.5mm 2.8 fisheye on the D200 to give that strange perspective, shooting in the direction of the sky. The interesting thing about such a fisheye is that you have an enormous depth of field, even fully open, allowing to shoot at reasonable speeds (in fact 1/10 sec or 1/15 sec is enough at that focal distance) with a normal sensibility (no high ISO needed) even in low light. This allows to have relatively clean pictures even at night.
This is a picture I initially took in color with a Nikon D200 with a Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens. I post-processed the picture with the Nikon Capture NX software to do the black and white conversion and to play with contrast and light (also hue). My idea was to maximize the use of the dynamic and to avoid to lose any information in the picture. I also want to maximize the kind of 3D effect you can get with contrasty BW pictures.
The picture has been taken in Mesa Verde, Colorado. The exact location of the pueblo in the rocks is called Cliff Palace and is a bit the symbol of Mesa Verde. There are lots of visitors and this is almost a lucky shot because I could get a reasonable overview shot without having people in the picture...
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
This bird picture has been shot in Belgium, in Parc Paradisio no very far from a city called Ath. They organize demonstrations with birds of prey, and this has been shot during such a demonstration. Camera was a D200, the lens was a 70-200VR 2.8. Interesting here is that the autofocus mode was group dynamic (a number of sensors activated) around a sensor on the right side to get the bird in focus and the rest out of focus (large aperture used). The DOF (depth of field) is very limited and the camera has been able to track the bird in "continuous" mode. This requires some technique, because if you don't acquire the target properly when the bird starts flying, all your pictures will be out of focus. The very fast ultrasonic focus motor in the lens is of course helping here.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I like this one. I saw Salvador Dali with his special eyes, looking at the street and the papers. The angle adds to it (this is one of the cable car streets in San Francisco, not very far from Fisherman's Wharf. This has been shot in low light in the evening (the camera exposes the picture to use all the dynamic range, giving this "daylight"-like result). Shot with a Nikon D200 and the Tamron 17-50 lens.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
one of the best general books I have found about photography. This one stimulates creativity by doing things differently. An eye opener. Highly recommended. I like this book because it is totally different from the classical teaching photography books. If you want to learn something about composition, playing with lights, learning by doing and getting results to become a photographer with a personality, this is the book for you... this book will not teach you how to use the settings on your camera or the technicalities of photography...
Thursday, July 19, 2007
This is a very classical shot taken in Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona. The light is playing with the rocks and giving those gorgeous colors. Because of the lack of light in the canyon, you have to be a bit careful when taking such a picture. This example was a bit on the edge, because there is a part much better lit than the rest, giving a high contrast, very difficult to handle with a modern digital camera. This is due to limited dynamic range of the sensors. To get the proper exposure, it is mandatory to use a tripod. I have used a Nikon D200 camera with an excellent lens, the Tamron 17-50 2.8 closed down to f8, camera set to ISO100, matrix metering. This combination gave exposure times from 0.5 to 20 seconds, making the usage of a very stable tripod mandatory. I used a Manfrotto 055PROB here with a 486RC2 head. This head gives a very high accuracy and stability combined with speed, necessary here because you don't get much time to take a picture here because of all the visitors. I didn't work with a remote release. I just activated the timer set to 2 seconds and the results were very good. A very nice place to visit as a photographer.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
This is one of the best books I own about photography. It concentrates on light, being natural or artificial... I recommend this book to all the people who want to improve their skills because photography is about managing light. It also explains quite some useful post-processing techniques (how to correct pictures with Photoshop or equivalent tools).
Friday, June 15, 2007
This a picture I took while visiting the Paradisio park in Belgium. This is an interesting place for photographers and the occasion to photograph nice birds. This was during a birds show, shot with the excellent Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8 lens fully open (2.8), mounted on a Nikon D200. The DOF (depth of focus) is incredibly thin, making only a very small part sharp. I reframed the picture, like many others to make it available as a poster for those interested among my friends. Bird photography is one of my favorite anti-stress activity, this is definitely not the last one I will post.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This is a picture I like a lot. This has been shot with the D200 camera with a fast medium length lens, the 85mm f1.8, during a corporate event. This was a performance by the "Farfadais", a kind of modern circus, similar to the "Cirque du Soleil". I loved the light and took a number of pics. This turned out to be one of my favorites.
Monday, June 11, 2007
This is a picture I recently took in Chinatown in Singapore. I had been working all day and had some free time at night. I decided to have a walk in Chinatown with my favorite travel camera, the D200 with the 18-200VR. This was a very low light environment and I had to increase sensitivity to ISO 1600. Even so, the shutter speed was 1/15sec with a focal length greater than 100mm. The vibration reduction (VR) system saved the picture by compensating my own movements, but the speed was still too slow to freeze the subject. The person in the pciture is thus a bit blurred. Anyway, aside from the technical explanations, I like the result, I wanted to give a kind of movie drama look by shooting in black and white. The exotic character adds to the mystery... this could be from an old fifties spy movie...
This has been shot in Senegal, not far from Dakar. This is the lake Rose (lac Rose in french), very close to the sea. The lake contains a very percentage of salt and people collect salt crystalizing on pieces of wood they put in the water. That job is particularly difficult and bad for your health because the salt attacks your skin and eyes. Economically speaking, the activity is not too interesting either because those people don't make a lot of money, price of salt in the region not being very high. From a photographic point of view, a great opportunity to take colorful pictures. This has been shot with a Nikon D200 camera and the 18-200VR lens. There is some vignetting in this picture (dark corners) but I didn't dislike it and didn't try to remove it with post-processing.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
This is an interesting place I found by walking around in my home town. I shot this with a film camera, the Nikon F5 and a roll of BW film. No special processing applied, basically this is a picture out of the camera (after scanning of course). I liked the feeling of being lost in a kind of deserted/destroyed place, just a few steps from the classical tourist places. Using black and white just adds to the feeling.
My site can be found here:
The best way to learn on the internet is to participate to forums. The forums I would recommend (I am a Nikon shooter so they are Nikon oriented)
http://www.nikonpassion.com (French speaking)
to be continued...