Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 30: AIR TO AIR WITH A 1941 PIPER CUB

Some of you might know that I have a bit of a weak spot for oldtimer aircraft. Although I'm flying the Airbus A380, one of the worlds most modern airliners, for a living; it is when I fly my vintage 1954 Piper Super Cub that my love for aviation is the strongest. Combining photography with my passion for flight is always high on the priority list; be it shooting Airshows, Aerials or Air to Air photography; all are close to my heart!

The last one, photographing aircraft from another aircraft (air to air), is probably the most exciting one. When shooting propellor aircraft like this 1941 Piper Cub  below, is challenging because of the low shutter speed that needs to be used in order not to freeze the propellor.



Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with XF 18-135 lens
  • ISO 250, f13, 1/200s, 66mm (100mm full frame equivalent)
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast and colour
The beautifully restored 1941 Piper Cub pictured above, is actually up for sale in Belgium. If you are interested in owning a very well restored World War II era vintage aircraft, please click here or send me a PM in order to bring you in contact with the owner.

Remember: "Birds born in cages, think flying is a disease" - Alejandro Jodorowsky


BJORN







Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 29: NEW YORK IN THE RAIN - when luck is on your side

New York city, remains my number one preferred destination when it comes to Street Photography! Needless to say, I'm always looking forward to hunting the streets of Manhattan, whenever the opportunity arrises. 

Such was the case last week, when I spend 48hrs in the Big Apple! Unfortunately the weather wasn't on my side the first day, as it was pretty much pouring rain the whole day. 

You might not think so, but shooting from under an umbrella with a lightweight set-up like the Fujifilm X-T2 and 23mm f2 lens is clearly not a show-stopper.  Been partially invisible under the umbrella actually has an advantage whenever one is after those candid moments.

Although Street Photography is mostly about observation and catching the right moment, occasionally some luck is involved...

Such was the case in the image below, when I was shadowing a lady walking her dog; I was attracted by the colorful umbrella and the dogs coat. Little did I know that in one of the frames I took, the dog was looking straight into a "pet shop"! Yes, PetCo is indeed a pet shop; I actually had to look it up when I was back home.


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 1600, f 5.6, 1/400s (using Auto ISO set at a min 1/400s shutter speed)
  • SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) using the Acros +Y Film Simulation, no further image editing
More of my New York Street Photography can be found here

Remember; "Luck is great but most of life is hard work" - Iain Duncan Smith

BJORN

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 28: 500 FEET OVER THE VIGNARDS OF BURGUNDY

Last week, I flew my 1954 Piper Super Cub to Burgundy; a well known wine area in the South-East of France. Since the 63 year old vintage two-place airplane is perfect for Aerial photography, shooting some portfolio images was one of the main objectives of the trip.

As we were staying just outside a small grasstrip airport (Nuits Saint-Georges), I was able to do some interesting aerial photography early morning; leaving just after sunrise I was still able to be back for breakfast. 

Flights like these, make me reflect why I became a pilot in the first place... There is something magical about flying at 500 feet over an amazing landscape at first light, all at a leisurely 70 knots. Flying with the door wide open makes it all that much intimate.

Although images like the one below can probably also be made with some kind of a drone, the experience is very different! 

While I shot more 5 star (portfolio worthy) images during my days in Burgundy, the image of the Clos de Vougeot below, is the one that sticks out the most. The Clos de Vougeot doesn't produce its own wines anymore, but symbolises almost 1000 years of Burgundy history and still has a lot of very productive and well known vineyards around the property.

I was especially attracted by the way how the shadows casted over the vineyards and how peaceful the overall feel of the scene was; to me it clearly symbolises the joy of flight!


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF 18-135 lens
  • ISO 800, f7.1, 1/850s, 39mm (58mm full frame equivalent)
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Piccure+ for optimal sharpness
More of my recent Aerial photograph work can be found here

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


BJORN






Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 27: THE BLACK SWAN IS BACK - BRUGGE (Bruges- Belgium)

The city of Brugge (Bruges in English), is often referred to as "The Venice of the North", while the 2008 movie "In Bruges", sparked the interest in this medieval city even more! 

When visiting Brugge for the first time one has to check out the white swans on the "Minnewater"; in English referred to as "The Lake of Love". A large group of swans has been living there since at least the start of the 15th century. 

Three years ago, a single black swan settled in amongst its white variants. While the city council couldn't agree what to do with the Black swan, a large majority of the population wanted to keep the black swan as it quickly became a must see by the thousands of tourists coming to Brugge every year. Eventually the black swan all of a sudden disappeared; not clear if the animal was removed or just left...

The image below of a group of swans on the Minnewater was shot a few days ago... With a little help of post-editing, the missing black swan is now back!


































































Image details:

  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, 1/220s, f11
  • Lightroom CC for black and white conversion + editing the black swan

More images of Brugge (Bruges) can be found here.


BJORN




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 26: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED AT THE PARIS AIRSHOW

Hard to believe we are already past the half year point again! This weeks Pic(k) of the week comes from the Paris Airshow, which was held at the Le Bourget airport from June 17 to 23. 

The 52nd edition of the Paris airshow is officially classified as one of the oldest and also largest "airshows" in the world. The event which is held every 2 years (odd years) it is more of an Aviation fair than a classic airshow with a lot of aerobatic acts. CEO's of airlines and heads of state come to Paris to order new civil and military aircraft. 

While new aircraft models are often presented at the Paris airshow for the first time all the time, companies have become quite creative in order to be noticed! Such was the case with the Brazilian airline manufacturer Embraer who brought their new Embraer E195-E2 to Le Bourget. 

The nose section had received a great livery in the form of a Golden Eagle; named the "Profit Hunter" the jet was painted in house by technician Clodoado Quitana, which obviously has a nice creative side to his otherwise academic job in maintenance. 

Needless to say that the the cockpit window section of the paint job can be removed to go flying. 



Image details:

  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 18-135 lens
  • ISO 200, 1/480s, f8.0
  • RAW file development in Lightroom 
  • Piccure+ for optimal sharpness
Check out the following video on the painting process here.

The Paris Airshow images can be found in their dedicated gallery.

I'm presently testing "Piccure+" and really like the boost in sharpness while keeping all detail and avoiding noise artefacts. Expect a separate post about it somewhere in July. 

Remember: "If you won't to soar like an eagle in life, you can't be flocking with turkeys" - Warren Buffett


BJORN



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 25: EID MUBARAK - SATWA, DUBAI

Today is the last day of Ramadan, the yearly month of fasting observed by Muslims all over the world and of which the yearly participation is observed as one of the 5 pillars of Islam. 

After Ramadan, the first day of the next lunar month starts of with festivities  with friends and family, called Eid-al-Fitr; similar to how Christians celebrate Christmas. 

I would like to take the opportunity to which all my Muslim friends a EID MUBARAK - Blessed celebration. 

Just like previous years, I've documented part of Ramadan, especially around Iftar time; a social meal when the daily fast is broken around sunset time.

Lots of people, mostly men, tend to gather in open areas around Mosques, to have Iftar together. It is quite a sight to often see hundreds of people waiting for Iftar time (breaking of the fast) on laid out seating areas. 

The three images below were shot at Satwa in Dubai during the last week of Ramadan. Click on the image for a better view.


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF18-55 lens
  • RAW images edited in Lightroom CC
  • Triptych made in Lightroom CC

The full gallery of my images shot during Ramadan, can be found here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 24: DUBAI MARINA AERIAL - Fujifilm X-T20 and XF18-55 lens

When I arrived in Dubai 15 years ago, work at Dubai Marina was just about to start with the digging of the 3.5 km long U-shaped Marina. Today it houses over 100.000 people in more than 100 high-rise buildings of which some are over 400m (1300ft) tall. 

The aerial image below, also shows the runway of Skydive Dubai in the foreground; a large popular parachuting center right in front of Dubai Marina on a small man-made island. 


Image detail:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF18-55 lens
  • ISO 200, f5.6, 1/1400s, 21mm (32mm full frame equivalent)
  • RAW development in Iridient Developer 3.1.4
I haven't used Iridient Developer for my RAW development in a while, as I'm normally OK with the way Lightroom develops the file. I do however see still a little bit better results in images that have a lot of detail in it. 

More of my aerial photography can be found here


Remember: "The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo" - Desmond Morris.


BJORN


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 23: MISTY MORNING OVER THE UAE - FUJILOVE MAGAZINE

The aerial image below shows the Northern part of the UAE bordering Oman, on a peaceful early morning some time ago. 



Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with XF 18-135mm
  • ISO 200, 1/1700s, f8.0, 56mm (84mm full frame equivalent)
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro4 for optimal contrast
More of my aerial photography can be found here

I wrote a 25 page article for the June edition of the great Fujilove magazine about aerial photography. A few sample pages can be found below. 

If interesting in aerial photography, make sure to pick up a copy of the electronic magazine here.











Remember: "An eye for an eye, only ends up making the whole world blind" - Mahatma Gandhi


BJORN





Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 22: DEIRA CLOCK TOWER DUBAI

Deira Clocktower, originally referred to as the Dubai Clocktower, is one of the oldest landmarks in Dubai. Ziki Homsi, the Architect of the project, has written about the fact that the project came with a lot of challenges in the mid sixties; not the least having very limited resources and available contractors to complete it. In stark contrast with the recent construction going on in Dubai over the last 15 years! The Clocktower was eventually completed in 1964; just a year after the Maktoum bridge over Dubai Creek was completed. 

While the location of the tower was very central 50 years ago, it has now become very much the older part of town, which a lot of the people visiting Dubai, don't even get to see. 

An interesting fact is that its 4 watch faces have apparently only been replaced once in its more than 50 years history; today they carry the Omega watch brand.


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-100F
  • ISO 250, f8, ISO 1600
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC

Those of you interested in more of Dubai's Architecture, old an new, can check out the dedicated gallery here

Remember: "Don't watch the clock. Just do what it's doing, keep going!" - Sam Levenson


BJORN

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 21: LOST IN CASA - Street Photography with the XF23mm f2

Sometimes I end up going to a city with low expectations and come home with a good number of keeper images. Such was the case on my last visit to Casa (short for Casablanca) in Morocco.

When I first went to Casablanca 15 years ago, I had this pre-conceived idea that I would find a beautiful and exciting North African city; saying I came home a bit disappointed is probably an understatement. Beside the Hassan II Mosque, the worlds second largest mosque, on first sight there is not that much to see in Casablanca. No surprise that most tourists prefer Marrakesh before Moroccos nr.1 Commercial center.

After a 5 year absence, I finally went back to Casa last week with the plan of doing some Colour Street Photography. Diving deep into old Medina, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a complete different Casablanca! A vibrant and lively place which kind of felt like an ancient city of few centuries ago. An exciting place!

Some neighbouring areas however were clearly much poorer and at times looked more like a warzone with beaten down cars and buildings rather than a residential area. A much rougher feel but therefore not less interesting to document. 



Image details: 
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 500, f 9.0, 1/250s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC using Classic Chrome Camera Profile
The series of images shot in Casa last week, can be found here.

To quote one of my favourite street photographers, Alex Webb, "I like pictures that ask questions, not provide answers!". Is the little girl really lost or is her mum just out of the frame? I want the viewer to answer these questions...

More of my Colour Street Photography can be found here.

Lastly, I've been interviewed by US based French Street Photographer Valerie Jardin for here very popular "Hit the Streets" podcast about the past 24 hour project held on April 1st 2017. To check out the 40' podcast together with my partner in crime from Finland Meri Kuakavaara;  click here!


BJORN