I have been doing some interesting studio sessions this week, but the images need some more work before I can publish. First this, fall is coming and I’m happy to live in some of Flanders greatest landscapes, the Flemish Ardennes, or in dutch ‘De Vlaamse Ardennen’. the region is well known among foreigners for the Belgian cycling classics that come by here every spring. Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Kruisberg, Patersberg, … all cobblestone climbs from the best of bicycle races, and certainly famous from the ‘tour de Flandres’.
Just next to some of those climbs you can find Flanders most beautiful forests, lying on the hills that have been left behind when the rivers Schelde and Leie sculpted our land.
Below you can see the result of yesterdays afternoon walk trough one of the finest forests.
All taken with Fujifilm X100F on a Siriu T-005-KX mini-tripod. All at ISO 200, varying aperture and shutter speeds.
• Fall is coming – Hotondberg •
thanks for watching,
see you soon for some more work!!!
Do you remember this one? I do, I was wet and cold to the bone, and then I discovered this moss overgrown forest, and the rain calmed down a little. Something I couldn’t resist to.
• Ariundle National Nature Reserve – Strontian – Scotland •
0,3 sec f11 ISO100 Canon 5Ds with Canon 17-40mm @19mm
The Zinkae exhibit I took part in has ended yesterday,
a lot of people were a bit surprised not to see my women, well, I think it’s good to surprise people from time to time. 😉 See you there next year!
Hi there, yes I travelled quite a lot this summer. I took a week off to do a little motorcycling trip to Exmoor National Park. I was not sure where to go, as I never make any reservations except for the Ferry, but I ended up riding to New Forest National Park on the first day, and then trough to Exmoor National Park for the next five days. (Lynton/Lynmouth). I took my Canon 5Ds with 17-40mm wide angle zoom and a couple of filters, together with my Siriu mini tripod.
I was really charmed about Exmoor National Park, I could still enjoy the last days of the hot summer period we had all over Europe, so I did not get too much rain. The landscape exist of roughly three different types: 1. The coastline with beautiful, spectacular at times, cliffs to the North, 2. The valleys with a diversity of grasslands divided by hedges and dense, green forests 3. The moors, with their wild grazing animals, scattered trees sometimes, and flowering broom and heather, at times overwhelming! I Stayed at the same camping spot for four nights, which gave me plenty of time to walk the very vast network of public footpaths. These walks, together with the short motorcycle trips in the region have given me a good idea of the overall character of the National Park, and gave me the possibility of taking pictures at ease during my walks. Last year I went to Scotland and I moved my tent every day. This lead to interference between ‘wanting to get somewhere’ and ‘wanting to take pictures’. I didn’t have this inner battle this time. Conclusion, a very enjoyable trip that gets me thinking about my next destination already.
I have not used the tripod nor the filters, except for the last day, when I was already back near Maidstone, where i started working on a new project (still in doubt of what the name should be) but I cannot show any images about that yet. So this is again a ‘very limited gear’ landscape reportage, enjoy:
for those interested in my journey:
I did 1820 kms departing from home in Belgium and back.
All images shown are taken in the little loop at the west side of the map.
For the motoring enthusiasts, this is my ride, packed with photo gear, camping gear, limited cooking gear, walking gear … :
thanks for reading 🙂
I had a nice stay with my wife in Bretagne (France) this summer, and we surfed on the hot summer days that covered all of Europe in July. A lot of sun and a cool sea-breeze made the weather perfect for hiking and discovery. It was the first time I was in Bretagne, and I have discovered a different part of France, one that I haven’t met yet. Here ‘la douce France’ is to be taken literally. The people are nice, the landscape is beautiful and divers, the food is excellent, with fresh oysters and mussels and fish as much as you like, the climate is moderate and tourism is present, but not overwhelming. We haven’t hurried to see all the main attractions, but we really plunged into it, enjoying all our senses.
I have photographed mainly with the Fujifilm x100F, all images except two were shot with this camera. I have liked working with it a lot, it takes some time to get used to the fixed focal length, and sometimes you would want a little wider view, or a little narrower, but I didn’t matter too much.
I have chosen for a 2:1 image aspect ratio, I like it for landscape, sometimes I would even choose 2.5:1, but for the sake of uniformity, I kept one aspect ratio in this series. This also meant skipping some images that were shot vertically. For people who have never visited Bretagne, I hope this series will be a good appetizer for your visit. Enjoy, feel the sun and the atmosphere, smell the sea and hear the seagulls scream!
For those who wonder where these images were taken, you probably have recognised the Mont-Saint-Michel, one of the ‘incontournables’ (must see things), all the other images are taken west from there, up to Plougrescant along the cost, except for the last image, which was taken at Lanvellec, showing a part of the garden of the ‘Château de Rozanbo’.
Oh, and I had a hard time selecting only 20 images, there’s so much more to see 😉
thanks for watching, comments or questions always welcome!
just a little message to announce a next exhibit participation, a group exhibit with the Zinkae photoclub in Ghent. This time I will be exhibiting not my usual subject ‘women’, but I will propose two series: ‘Turbulence’ and ‘private’ … Private will show a limited series of 3 images about our tendency to shielding ourselves from the outside world, in order to protect the personal living environment. Fences, doors, security camera’s, hedges … etcetera. …
‘Turbulence’ will show 4 images reflecting a personal view on landscape and nature photography. The inherent structures in nature, that seem largely turbulent on a small scale, lead to a certain order on a bigger scale. Disturbed fractals versus clear equations, and how these structures show themselves to us. Brought to you in delicate black and white images.
the invitation for the exhibit:
then what about Crisis?
Well, things are getting tough, and If I want to continue my work as I do now, I will need to cut some costs, or find a new form of income. I am currently working on it, but of course your help would be welcome too. That’s why I have included a Paypal button on the welcome page. You can donate any amount, all is welcome, (I chose 5€ as a standard) and it will help to pay the costs of exhibiting, models, film, travel, … this is the button: (this one is active too 😉 )
The exhibit in Sint-Laureins is still on and running, so you can go take a look, every day, 10-17hrs, till september 2nd.
for your convenience, and for those who like my work but are at this moment not in the possibility to hang a print of a nude woman on the wall of their living room, my work is also available in book format.
I added a page in the main menu, BOOKS where you can order any of my books, I currently have three listed on my page, if you click further to my Blurb bookstore, you may find four.
The books are well printed and well finished, I picked the best suited paper for my work, and a book size that is handy for all.
A present, to someone else or to yourself, an add-on to your book collection, a source of inspiration, or just some support for me, all reasons are good to go shopping today 😉
A couple of weeks ago I was with another group at Côte d’Opale in France, for teaching landscape photography to adults in the KISP.be photography program. I wanted to pack light on gear to be able to focus on helping out my students and still be able to take some pictures myself. This made me decide that for this weekend I would only take my small Fujifilm x100T, and my lightweight Sirui tripod, bought for motorcycle traveling. The camera has a 16Mp APS-c sensor and a fixed focal length lens of 23mm or 35mm equivalent if compared to full frame viewing angle. It has a relatively wide f/2.0 max. aperture, and closes down to f16. I have it equipped with the optional sunshade and an extra hand-grip. The hand grip features the same dovetail grooves for arca-swiss compatible tripods as the camera itself does. So the grip bottomplate becomes the tripod plate.
This post will not focus on pixel-peepers image quality, rather on user experience.
Images down below.
THE GEAR USED.
Fujifilm x100T with MHG-X100 grip and the additional sun shade from Fujifilm. I use a custom strap from an old light-meter if I remember well.
Sirui T005-KX, featured also in this article, where I commented on using it with my DSLR. As you can see the tripod has a two segment center column which I mostly do not use, for extra stability. I have not needed the extra reach on this trip, and by omitting it, the ballhead has greater stability.
PRO limited gear set:
First and most important difference with a complete bag full of landscape gear is of course weight. Taking with me a professional range full frame camera body and a couple of quality lenses + my Berlebach tripod is a physical challenge not to be underestimated. 5kgs of photo gear, 3kgs of tripod, a bag of at least 1.5kgs and some food and drink supplies easily brings 10-12 kgs on the scale. The x100T and the Sirui mini tripod together weigh about 1.5kgs. A light backpack with some water and food supplies and I’m off like a butterfly to the cliffs of Cap-Griz-Nez. So this was for me a huge benefit, I never felt tired physically caused by dragging around gear.
Second benefit, and directly linked to the first one of saved weight, is manoeuvrability on difficult terrain. When dealing with a heavy tripod, with an expensive camera + lens, with a backpack that has the remainder of your gear on the back, you are limited in movements, in places where you can get safely with all your gear, in where you want to drop your bag to get out your filters, or just another lens, … With my lightweight setup I could take camera and tripod in one hand, leaving my other hand free for climbing and rock balancing exercises without limitations.
CONTRA limited gear set:
What I missed the most was the variation I have in focal lengths when travelling fully equipped with my DSLR setup. Although I mostly have fixed focal length lenses (24mm – 17-40mm Zoom – 50mm – 100mm – 135mm), they still allow me great variety in compositions, in bringing out distant landscape details or in compositing out disturbing elements. I can go much wider (17mm vs 35mm is a huge difference in viewing angle) or much narrower if I need to. I never missed a lens longer than 135mm in my landscape work. (This could be solved by adding the wide angle and the telephoto extender lenses you can buy for this camera, but they are rather expensive, and you loose some portability)
Next most missed was the Tilt-Shift lens I traditionally use on landscape trips. I often look for foreground elements in my compositions, to create depth in a wide angle view. The tilt-shift lens gives me the ability to get extreme depth of field in such cases, without the need for closing down the aperture too much. It also allows me to make stitched panoramic images with a horizontal viewing angle comparable to the 17mm lens. If I would need to limit my DSLR setup to one lens for landscape, it would be this lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f3.4 L II. (I’m afraid this cannot be solved with this setup)
Next thing I missed is the ability to do automatic bracketing, at least I couldn’t find it in the menu, I since have looked it up on the internet and it is perfectly possible to do AE bracketing in 3 exposures. Shame on me, I should have read-the-f*******g-manual. So I ended up doing manual bracketing for most of the time. (little tip, always use bracketing, even when not needed. the time needed for bracketing exposures is minimal compared to the time needed to find your composition, setting up your tripod, setting the focus correct, etc. … different exposures will give you more choice for development afterwards). (Solved issue, the bracketing function is under the ‘drive’ button. I looked trough the menu’s only.)
Another thing I missed (because I don’t have it) is the ability to use filters on the Fujifilm x100T. The camera has a built in ND filter (3 stops) but this is not enough for flatting out water surfaces or for streaking cloud movements over a long distance. It does help to lengthen your shutter speeds a little when shooting at dawn or at dusk, but it is not enough in most situations with broad daylight. This could be solved by investing in a filter system for this camera, there are several systems available on the market, like for instance the LEE seven 5 system. (there are two pictures below with the sea flattened out, they are taken late in the evening at a shutter speed of 30 seconds.
that’s about it, the rest was comfort 😉
Oh by the way, there’s a lot of ranting going around about these system camera’s and battery life. I had two batteries, did not finish the first one the first day, which lasted from 6:31:51 am. (first picture) till 22:31:58 pm. (last picture). Of course I did not take a massive amount of images (92) because my main task is teaching, but in landscape photography I never do.
some images of our trip, with the occasional student in the frame.
I cropped all images to the same 2×1 ratio, I kind of like them that way.
Thanks for viewing, if you have any questions about this article, please comment, and on a side-note, after seeing my images of this weekend, I might sell this camera to buy its successor, the x100F, so if you are interested in buying mine, drop me a line.
Coming from Glentrool, and taking the ferry in Ardrossan late in the evening, I could spend a couple of hours at ease in Dunure, a very small fishermen’s town a couple of miles south-west from Ayr.
That is one of the main joys of travelling alone, not being influenced by companions, to make way, or to discover more things on the go, but just decide for yourself when and where to stop. I had driven past a small road sign along the A719 pointing to Dunure, and then another one, and I saw the rooftops of the houses just along the coast, from this main road, so I decided to turn around and check it out. It proved to be the ideal midday stop. What you see in the pictures is Dunure Castle and surroundings, in some images you will see an island in the distance, (Isle of Arran). Some images of the harbour area, and the facade of the Harbour View Coffee shop, where I had lunch that day. It is the first place that shows up on Google maps when you zoom in on Dunure, and very well documented by pictures as well. Little did I know 🙂 They provided me with a fine meal, and a place to charge my cellphone. Lovely lady-owner, very friendly and servile.
Time was all overcast when I arrived, but with sun coming trough after noon. A very enjoyable time there. I shot one roll of Kodak TMax400 with the Rolleiflex 3.5 6×6 camera. So here you see the entire film, I have not made a selection, you see what I’ve seen and what I’ve shot. Lab developed, home scanned and digitally redeveloped in Adobe Lightroom. You’ll notice some scratches on the left side of the images. These are probably from the lab, that’s why I decided to start developing film again myself. Oooo, it’s been like 25 years, exciting 😀 … (edit: scroll down for the link for part III)
part III of this series, another roll of film shot in the harbour of Ardrossan
It seems I have been shooting landscapes for ages, without really knowing what I looked for. I think now I have got a better understanding of the kind of landscapes I like, the kind of things I want to show. In my latest exhibit, next to a lot of sensual female portraits, I showed this triptych of landscape images:
Europe – Holland/Scotland/Corsica
I feel like in my beauty portraits, I can better express volume and light in black and white photography, hence the choice for converting them. In my landscape book, there are only three images in colour. The above images are the result of both family travels and solitary motorcycle travels, and my love for photography. Lucky me, to be able to do the things I love doing.
come again soon,
for the upcoming exhibit I composed a book with my landscape photography … and other things that jump into my camera
I’ve used no texts except for the book dust cover, where you can read this, it might be inspirational to some of you out there, seeking their way into photography. It merely explains the title’s sub-line:
• I have long felt the urge to do something particular with my landscape photography, something outstanding and eye-popping. This has never led to satisfactory results because it was too often based on imitating other photographers.
This urge has changed over the years into a less stringent and stressful attitude and I have become to a point that I no longer worry about what to photograph. If I’m out in the field I much more enjoy being there, and photographs seem to come to me instead of me seeking them. This is a big leap forward for my own peace of mind and my photography has become a lot more enjoyable since. At least for me. I can only hope that the results are enjoyable to you too.
You will notice that I am not seeking the spectacular views or the exuberant colours in a landscape. For me it is about the sky, the mud, the trees shaken by the wind or standing strong. Solitude, lost memories, but also joy and tranquillity. •
I have been on a motortrip to Scotland last summer, and I had quite some doubts for taking the Rolleiflex (analog camera from the late 50’s) with me, for sake of luggage space, camera safety, etcetera. I have to say that it gave me a lot of pleasure during my trip. It helped me to literally stay still from time to time, and to take the time to enjoy the landscape.
I have stopped in several places with the aim to shoot an entire roll of film in each place.
These images are from my first picture stop.
This place called Glentrool, and Loch Trool, and is located in Galloway forest park, Scotland. Here I shot a roll of Kodak Tmax400 film on a late sunny evening, I had pitched up my tent, cooked a simple but welcome meal after a day of riding (from York that day, over Barnard Castle, trough the North Pennines, along the Hadrian Wall into Dumfries and then Galloway forest park. The bike was filled up with gas for next day and I had some time left before the sun would set. First some images near the Glentrool Visitor Centre, just next to the river ‘Water of Minnoch’, where I met the first midges, then up on my motorbike again I followed a small and bumpy road up to Loch Trool. Despite literally a million midges by the lake, I kept going 😉 . I had my mini tripod with me on the trip, and a wire shutter release, so I could shoot till late in the evening (the lake shots).
there’s more to come from this trip, stay tuned.
All images shot with Rolleiflex 3.5 on Kodak TMax-400 film. Shutter speeds and aperture settings vary.
thank you for watching,
Hi there, for a change a gear review post.
For landscape work I have been a pleased owner of a Berlebach report tripod for many years now. I have had a little issue with it last year, which has been solved amazingly well by the Berlebach company, see my post about it here: http://www.ludwigdesmet.com/2016/09/19/thumbs-up-for-excellent-customer-service-berlebach/
I have taken this tripod with me on my motorbike on many occasions, mostly when giving classes to adults, but it is not very practical because the tripod is big. When mounted it extends beyond the two big panniers I have on my large bike! (BMW R1200GS).
So I have been looking for a smaller tripod for last summer’s trip to Scotland, and for lighter travelling to Corsica weeks after that. I bought the Sirui T-005X with C-10S ballhead, from the T05X Series Traveler Ultralight
It is a lightweight, very compact package, weighs 0.8 kgs and has a maximum height of 137cm and a packing size of 33 cm. This makes it ideal for my motorcycle travels or when you are traveling light in any other way.
How did it fare?
I found it very well performing in quiet weather conditions. The image below is a behind the scene’s shot on a trip out, rain pouring down all day, overcast and not much light, so a tripod was mandatory for I had pretty long shutter times. 0,6s at f11 and ISO100 for the below image.
Image taken in Strontian, Ariundle, Scotland.
as you can see the tripod legs have several spread angle’s, which comes in handy on uneven terrain. The feet are very tiny at approximately 18mm diameter, so some care on where to put them is to be taken. Otherwise, the tripod gave me a perfectly sharp image.
When walking with the camera, the ball head clearly is too weak for a big DSLR (Canon 5Ds) even with a moderately light lens on it. (Canons 17-40 mm f4L, with a weight of 475g) The camera will start heading down soon, no matter how tight you fasten the head knob.
Otherwise, no complaints here.
In Corsica I stumbled upon a deserted hotel, that inspired me to do some long exposure shots. The weather was sunny with clouds, and a rather strong wind, with gusts up to 80km/h (45-50 miles), the building was partly surrounded by green area, with scattered trees. Still I chose to remove the center column of the tripod, for increased stability. (the center column only supported in a single point is the least stable element in all tripods) The removal of the center column is really easy, and the ballhead then screws directly on the tripod base, resulting a much stabler unit. I have no behind the scenes image of this setup so I’ll grap a marketing image from Siriu:
I still had the tripod set up with the legs fully extended in most images, and made perfectly sharp images with shutter speeds over 2 minutes: 121s f13 ISO125 and detail below. I have no images that show camera movements, so I think this is very good proof of the stability of this setup.
I find the leg opening/closing grips rather soft, and some seem to show some wear already, curious to know how long they will last. Also the camera plate is very small, this is clearly not aimed at DSLR users, but more towards the high end compact, light system camera’s. Fortunately the system is Arca Swiss compatible, so I can use my Berlebach dovetail type plates in stead. The ball head, although said to hold 4kgs, will certainly not hold its position when on the move. 4 leg segments are a bit long to extend, especially compared to my Berlebach, that has only two segments.
Very light, very compact, budget friendly, stable within limits, easy to convert to ‘without center column’, then it is even more stable. Not expensive, comes with a carrying bag.
I am very pleased with this little tripod, it fits my motorcycle panniers, it is very light, it extends high enough for my landscape needs and it is stable in light windy weather. I’m a bit afraid that heavy conditions will not be good friends with this tripod, but If you are looking for an easy to carry companion for night shots or occasional landscape work, I can recommend! And at a very fair price of € 109, it won’t break the bank!
A visual report of my 2017 Scotland motor trip.
As you know, I was originally much more involved with landscape photography than I do now, but I still enjoy being in wild open spaces, and I have a hard time forcing myself NOT to stop after every corner when on my motorcycle.
For those interested, this was my route: (© Routeyou)
All images taken with Canon 5Ds and Canon 17-40mm f4L, converted to black and white in Lightroom. You can click them for a better view.
for analog pictures from this trip, start here
thank you for watching, I used a small kit of extra gear on this trip, a mini tripod, next I’ll do a short review of it.
… nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
Milky way over Fort Mahon (Ambleteuse France)
- Find yourself a group of crazy photography students, willing to go out at night in freezing temperatures for yet another experiment. Cover up well. Provide yourself with a headlight.
- Look for a low light environment, some kind of deserted landscape, no cities around. (This only half worked out, the Fort is near the village of Ambleteuse, hence the brightly lit right side of the building)
- find yourself a nice location that can serve as a foreground: A Fort, pebble beach, some straying rocks will do. Use your headlight to find your way around. (things will be black out there)
- Locate the milky way in the sky (if you have fulfilled step 2. of the recipe it should be visible to the naked eye), put up your sturdy tripod and compose. Fix your tripod well.
- Take some pictures (settings here: 10sec f1.4 ISO1600) I took a panorama of 5 images vertically. Taken on a Canon 5D mark II.
- Merge images in Lightroom (you’ll keep a RAW editable file). Post Process if needed. It probably will be needed, I played with exposure, contrast, blacks, white balance, …
- Sit back and start counting the stars.
Image taken on a trip with my ‘landscape photography’ class, a couple of weeks ago.
In between tuition moments, I get to snap an image here and there.
135mm at f11 – 30sec.
Image taken with Canon 5D II and Canon 135mm f2.0 L
Taken with a ND1000 (10stops) filter from B+W and converted to black and white in Lightroom. I only have a 10stops screw filter for 77mm lens diameters (for my Canon 17-40mm f4), the 135mm has a 72mm diameter filter thread. I simply positioned the filter in the back of the lens shade, worked fine, don’t tell anybody. 😉
The image depicts old mussel growing poles. they get floated at high tides, become apparent at low tides. taken a little east from Cap-Griz-Nez
thank you for watching.
Another before and after short explanation.
A lot of people have liked this image on facebook, and this inspired me to repeat once again the importance of good development of your images.
What happened in post production? For those familiar to Lightroom, here we go: (to those not familiar to Lightroom – I enhanced the image 😉 )
color temperature slightly warmer, tint unchanged
added a +0,18 stops exposure +40 contrast +97 highlights (to accentuate the sun ray’s/highlights)
Added +8 in purple Hue settings
Added +35 and +23 in respectively Blue and Purple saturation
Added +25 in Blue luminance
Added 2 gradient filters:
1 to darken the tree trunks from top: exposure -0,94 – highlights +63 – shadows +24
1 to darken foreground from bottom: exposure -0,94 – highlights +62
Added 1 radial filter:
position: central, horizontally shaped, where I wanted the sun rays to be accentuated:
settings: exposure +0,99 – highlights +63 – shadows -71 – clarity +33 – sharpness +20 (inverted mask to work on the central area, not on the outside area)
I sincerely hope this will inspire you to work a little on your images too. You don’t need Lightroom to enhance them, a lot of these things can be done in other RAW development applications too, some coming for free with your digital camera.
see you soon,
I got challenged by my brother to post a ‘nature’ picture each day for 5 days in a row. I have been photographing quite some landscapes in the last years, but my focus gradually shifted towards feminine beauty, so I decided to look for combinations of earlier landscape photographs and pictures of women that suited them well. These are the five images that made the series.
I kinda liked the excercise. I hope you like the pairings too.
have a nice weekend everyone!
I could have called this post: In Flanders Fields, or even in Flanders Mud, … but let’s look on the bright side.
Just some snaps from a frisky but sunny sunday morning walk trough the ‘Flemish Ardennes’. Oh, and I love square format more and more. These are not taken on film, just square cropped digital.
There’s something about the square format, for me the compositions are easier and more peaceful and ‘in balance’. Please tell me if I’m talking rubbish, before I buy a 30.000 € digital medium format camera. 🙂
Bright light against the sun, keep the details in those highlights!!