Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 9: SUNRISE ON THE SKI SLOPES, LES MENUIRES - Fujifilm X-A3

Sometimes one clicks the shutter knowing straight away a winning shot is in the bag. Although photography is mainly about vision, composition and obviously some technical expertise, one can hardly deny there is a bit of luck involved from time to time...

I had seen the dramatic sunrise over the Les Menuires ski slopes, the days before. As I was waiting for the sun to come from behind the mountains on day 4 of my recent ski holiday, a contrail of an airliner flying westbound appeared, adding to the image composition. I shot a serious of images moving slightly in order to have two parallel lines between the sun flare and contrail. Having immediate feedback on the LCD was vital in getting the shot below!

I especially like how the lifts on the left reflect the early morning sunlight while there were a handful skiers coming down from their hotels/chalets for their first run. The image was made around 0845am, 15 mins before the ski lifts opened for the day.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-A3 with the pancake 27mm f2.8 lens
  • ISO 200, 1/340s, f14
  • RAW file development in Iridient Developer 3.1.3
  • Nik ColorEfex pro 4 with Neutral density filter and Pro contrast 
While I initially envisioned to do a full "First Look" review of the new Fujifilm entry level X-A3 camera, I eventually elected not to do so as the firmware installed was early pre-production and still had quite a few bugs. Checking with Fujifilm Japan, I've been told that all has been cleared in latest 1.0 production firmware but unfortunately I wasn't able to do a quick firmware upgrade while I was away on the trip with the camera.

In any case, being one of the smallest of the X-series cameras, the X-A3 was great to take with me while skiing; especially with the little pancake 27mm f2.8 and small 35mm f2 lenses. The image quality of the 24 Mpx APS-C "non-X-Trans" sensor is great. If interested in more X-A3 images, check out my dedicated gallery for the trip: "Les Menuires, 3 Vallées, France".

On the last day of my weeklong trip, I had a small ski accident, going home with an injured left shoulder and lower leg. Although I presently have a very limited mobility, I do plan to use the probably 3 to 4 weeks off from the day-job, working on an upcoming "single hand photography" project...  More to come soon!

Remember: "There is no gain without pain"


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 8: Dubai Creek Golf club house - TOP 100 Camera blogs

When the Dubai Creek Golf clubhouse was built in 1993, it reminded a lot of people of the Sydney Opera house. Apparently the buildings Architect, Brian Johnson, is always keeping at least one 20 UAE Dirham note in his wallet, as it shows the clubhouse in full glory; a perfect business card he calls it!

Over the years, my own Architectural photography has become a lot more minimalistic with the image below being a good example of that. Although I initially envisioned the image in black and white, I do like the color version more; more than likely because of the blue and yellow complementary colours.

 Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF27mm f2.8 pancake lens
  • ISO 1000, f5.6, 1/1000s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro4 with neutral gradient filter and Pro Contrast 
More of my Architectural photography work in Dubai can be found here.

Last but not least, the Bjorn Moerman Photography blog made it into the Top 100 Camera blogs curated by Feedspot, one of the leading modern RSS readers for the web. Thanks to all the blog-readers, we made number 53 out of the 100 blogs selected. For a blog that has been run for almost 8 years without any advertising, I'm very happy with this achievement!  


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 7: Fluffy clouds over the Gulf - Fujifilm XF50mm f2 lens

We finally got to see some clouds and even got a few drops of rain in Dubai, this week! Coming from Central Europe, it is hard to believe one can be excited about this!

The image below was shot from the passenger cabin near the island of Bahrain. With the more dramatic clouds at the horizon, the fluffy clouds in the foreground felt like a soft bed one wants to jump in at the end of a hard working day! Although as an airline pilot I see scenes like these almost on a daily basis, I still don't them for granted. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, F9, 1/200s
  • RAW file development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik Software Color Efex pro4 for optimal contrast
For the ones that missed it, my review of the new XF50mm f2 lens can be found here

I'm writing this the day before I'll be leaving for the snow; my yearly trek to the Alpes for hopefully some great alpine skiing. Just like every year, I'll be taking a camera with me and this year it will be the brand-new compact Fujifilm X-A3 camera! More to come...

Remember: "Every cloud has a silver lining"


Sunday, February 12, 2017


Today I'm introducing the 24 Hour Project; a yearly photography project which gathers Street and Documentary photographers from around the globe who share in real time images documenting the "Human condition of their city"/. Photographers share one photo per hour on social media during twenty-four hours. All images need to be shot on the day itself. 

You don't need a fancy camera to participate; a camera phone will work just fine! The main objective is to go out there and document human life in your city during the 24 hour time frame. How you do this is purely up to you!

Started by Renzo Grande and Sam Smotherman in 2012, this great photography challenge is now on its 5th edition. Last year 2785 photographers in 718 cities from 107 countries participated!

The 24 hour project, partners with NGO's to raise awareness, empower initiatives and hopes to make a difference!

Worldwide the event will start on Saturday April 1st at midnight (0000am) and will run till Saturday night 2359pm. As all cities will start and finish at the same local time, the event will run over a more than 24hr period. For the suspicious ones, no it is not an April fools'!  

After the event, all photographers participating will submit their final 24 images to www.24hourproject.org . The most inspiring images will then be selected and will travel around the world in exhibitions and will be used to make a photo-book. 

Each city has a dedicated ambassador and yours truly (Bjorn Moerman) has agreed with the organizers to take up this role for Dubai. 

I hereby like to invite all people wanting to participate, to first register for FREE at www.24hourproject.org . 

Photographers that are willing to accept the challenge in Dubai, I invite to join the Facebook group "24 Hour Project Dubai". People who do not have Facebook accounts are of course welcome to join as well; please leave a comment below or email, so I can contact you directly with all the info needed. 

The intention is to get some attention for the project by the local media. People having good ideas to do so, please leave me a message below or contact me on Facebook or Instagram

Although the 24 Hour Project is not meant to be like a classic photowalk, I do intent to a least meet for the start and finish as well as potentially get together for breakfast/lunch and dinner. A rough timeline with the places I personally would like to document over the 24 hours will be shared on the Facebook group before the event.

I'm very interested to see who dares to accept this challenge, which will probably be something you remember for the rest of your life! Good luck to all the participants!

Remember: "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"!

Feel free to download and share the banner in this post! No permission is required to do so.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 6: Looking at Dubai - Aerial view of Burj al Arab and Palm Jumeirah

Having plenty of prominent landmarks, Dubai is a great place for Aerial photography. As a pilot/photographer it is no surprise this genre of photography is close to my heart! Check out my Aerial Photography gallery here

When an outsider thinks about Dubai, three landmarks/buildings often come to mind; the worlds largest tower, "Burj Khalifa; the "worlds only 7 star hotel"Burj al Arab and the Palm Jumeirah a large residential man-made island.

A few weeks ago, I managed to frame the last two together in a single shot with the new XF50mm f2 Fujifilm lens. I like how the shadow of the Burj al Arab hotel in the foreground casts in the early morning calm waters of the Gulf. One can also see the runway of SkyDive Dubai in the top left third and the "Dubai Eye" under construction, just of the Dubai Marina coastline.  

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, f5.6, 1/680s
  • Lightroom CC for RAW file image processing
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro for optimal contrast
For the ones interested, my review of the brand-new lens used to make the image above, can be found here

Remember: "You haven't seen a tree, until you have seen its shadow from the sky" - Amelia Earhart