Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter landscape

F5 film 4, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


EUR_3172, originally uploaded by gugs.

I liked the light in the old Solvay library in Brussels... I deliberately selected ISO3200 on my camera to get a grainy old-fashioned look to this picture. BW mode out of camera, no post-processing done. Lens was Tamron 17-50 2.8 on the Nikon D200.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Aachen 05, originally uploaded by gugs.

Merry Christmas to everybody !

shot in Aachen, Germany.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Paris-03, originally uploaded by gugs.

A simple one, I liked the colors and the perspective. Shot outside the "Galeries Lafayette" shop in Paris a few days ago. Camera used: D200 with the 17-50 2.8 lens (Tamron)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Paris Opera

Paris-01, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Bruges reflection

EUR_2361bw, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


112_8483, originally uploaded by gugs.

This has been shot just outside the Yosemite Park in California... I loved the colors and the special triangle composition.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hong Kong acrobat

Hong Kong 040, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Hong Kong

Hong Kong 088, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


EUR_3010, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


Various Singapore 77, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Chinese chess

Various Singapore 35, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

strange reflection

Various Singapore 83, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


Various Singapore 18, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Fisheye shot

Turkey 28, originally uploaded by gugs.

Sometimes I just like playing with a fisheye... here a picture of a restaurant in a resort where I have been a few days ago... I like the strange perspective it gives. Lens is a Nikkor 10.5mm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Water on a metal plate

Turkey 02, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


various Turkey 03, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Macro fruit

various 08, originally uploaded by gugs.

Ultra shallow DOF using a macro lens (105VR), handheld, with the pop-up flash on the D40x, my simple travel camera, focus in the middle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Candles, originally uploaded by gugs.

sometimes I take pictures because I just like the mood, the colors... this is such an example... simple diagonal composition, white balance on auto, giving very warm tones.

Monday, September 17, 2007


US 2007 1, originally uploaded by gugs.

Shot in Santa Cruz in July. The weather was terrible. 70-200VR on the D200. The AF system didn't have too many difficulties to track the bird...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flower in the dark

DSC_0048, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


D40x 3, originally uploaded by gugs.

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
- simplicity
- excellent on board flash performance
- 10MP
- 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


Turkey 2006 47, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


DSC_3289, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Nikon compendium

scan0008, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Knock knock

sing 02, originally uploaded by gugs.

no comment. Door of a temple in Chinatown, Singapore. Shot at night in very low light.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Colored lamps

Turkey 2006 31, originally uploaded by gugs.

Just a tourist shot in Kemer, Turkey, in one of those tourist traps (shops)... here I liked the colors and took a picture. D200+18-200VR, the tourist confirguration...


g 8, originally uploaded by gugs.

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).
g 7


DSC_1032, originally uploaded by gugs.

A simple shot... this gave me a "Jaws" impression... this is just the GPS/Phone antenna on my car, shot with my now outdated ;-) D70 6MP camera with one of the best lenses in my bag, the 105VR 2.8

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Low light concert

Elia 5 years36, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

My first camera - the Kodak Instamatic

DSC_camera4, originally uploaded by gugs.
This is how it all started... my first "own" camera. A present from my father when I was a young kid (I was 5 or 6 if I remember well). This was already a sophisticated version with aperture priority mode ;-). You had the choice between a lot of light and less light. It was possible to use flashes (non-reusable ones) but I never did. The major advantage is that the camera was pretty light compared to the crazy gear I am carrying now when I am travelling...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Difficult light

elia 1, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

singapore 2007 09

singapore 2007 09, originally uploaded by gugs.

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.

cliff palace bw

cliff palace bw, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


paradisio 10, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

US trip

US trip part 228, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Monument valley

us trip 2007 034, originally uploaded by gugs.

This is one of the postcard shots I like. I took this picture during my trip in the US. Just point and shoot and you get a postcard... this is in monument valley. I added an object in the frame to make the picture a bit different...


scan0001, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Colors in Antelope Canyon

us trip 2007 017, originally uploaded by gugs.

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


1, originally uploaded by gugs.

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).
Highly recommended.

Friday, June 15, 2007


sharp eyes, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Farfadais show

Elia 5 years9, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

Chinatown in Singapore

singapore 2007 BW 04, originally uploaded by gugs.

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...

Collecting salt in the Lake Rose

Senegal 88, originally uploaded by gugs.

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

A window to the world

bw F5 brussels3, originally uploaded by gugs.

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.

First introduction about photography

I am a very enthusiastic photographer. I started very young when I was a kid, my father told me what an aperture was, what a shutter speed was, how to measure light and calculate the different parameters including the DOF (depth of focus).... I was 10 years old. After that, I used a lot of small and reflex cameras, just taking a lot of pictures, mainly naive travel pictures. A few years ago, I decided to become more serious about photography, and I started to invest time in lurking on several internet forums to collect information. I actually rediscovered photography about 6 years ago with a simple Nikon SLR camera and since then, I have invested quite a lot of time and money in that hobby. The hobby recently became a professional activity and I now get assignments to take pictures... I consider myself as being a beginner semipro photographer. There is so much to learn and to do. That's one of the reasons why I create a simple website to share my experiences with any people interested in photography. I hope to help them with the information I share, to speed up the learning process and to have fun...

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) (French speaking)

to be continued...