Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wide angle Vs Tele, shallow depth of field

This was going to be a nice winter's day with a lot of sunlight coming from a low angle but the foreseen model came home too late the day before the shoot and she was too tired to get out and do the shoot we had planned... sh*t happens

I decided to go for a walk in the forest and stumbled into this "twisted tree"... a strange appearance, it looks like a giant came by and let all of his forces loose on this tree.

As i was walking with my new 35 f:2 lens (yes, I really like those fixed focals) and photographed it at f:2, it still wouldn't come loose from the background, okay, the Dof is longer with a Wide angle but a wide angle is supposed to give more "depth" in your photo, as i wasn't really happy with the result i decided to take about the same picture with a mild tele lens, the 85mm AF-d 1.8 @ f:2, the contrast is almost the same but the colors came out in a very different way. Again this proved that a photographer needs to know his gear ;-)

Twisted tree with the 35mm f:2 AF-D @ f:2.0

Twisted tree with the 85mm f:1.8 AF-D @ f:2.0

So to set an object loose from the background it's better to use a Tele, big apertures also help

Shooting this star far away we call the sun, I have to say the effect from the Pentax lenses was much better, none of my Nikkor lenses can give me the same star shape that i got from my Pentax 18-55 kitlens

I'll just let you enjoy the rest of this series i made:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pushed in a litte corner

This series is a bit different from my normal work, i got pushed in a little corner and wanted to leave my safe zone for this once, the ambient light was so beautiful and usable that i immediately decided not the use any flash light for this shoot with the amazing Inge

In the back you can see a big city Skyline ;-)

This is way out of my safe zone, but I liked it nevertheless

And added a bit of "Polaroid" look to these 2

I did some shots with a Hasselblad 500 with a 400ASA color provia film, this is a scan from a small print, it still "feels" a lot different from digital (80mm f:2.8 1/125th)


Had a cool shoot in the studio, the model was booked by Bart Henseler, my task was only foreseen as an assistant but I had the opportunity to take a few photos myself :-)

I asked our fantastic MUA Sophie Adam to make me a beauty look with Asian influences, i wanted the heart-shaped lips and the hair like this , she decided to do the eyes this way:

Testing out my new inflatable bed in the studio with some "window light"

And some pretty sexy but more fashion like shots !

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


When looking at those twinkling little lights in our small Christmas tree I thought they would make a nice backdrop for a head-shot in the studio, I wanted them to show up in the "bokeh".

I thought that 150 mm, f:2.8 would make a nice starting point, but as we had 2 amazing and very beautiful models, f:2.8 would not produce enough DOF so that the 2 faces would easily be in focus at the same time...

First shot i took was at f:5.6 but i did not like the look so I went for f:4 and tried to keep those 2 pair of eyes in the focus plane

Exif for these series would be about 150/190mm, f:4 , 1/100th, ISO 200 (used lens was the Nikkor 70-200 f:2.8 VRii )

The main light was the big JS Wescott Apolle Softbox with a 600Ws Monobloc inside, as the light is on axis it produces rather flat light but when light sources are this big, it is usable, very usable.

We had to throw the Christmas tree lights a little bit farther away to the back, because some light from the softbox hit them and lighted up the wires between them, as we moved the little lights farther away they also got more out of focus :-)

For these next shots i wanted some lens flare and a radiating white background, so I put the white seamless background at f:16, the light shining in the lens was at f:22 on the models shoulder, i made sure it was shining in the lens when choosing my composition.

The front side of the models was lit with a large octabank, Exif for this series is 100 / 150mm, f:8, 1/125th, ISO 200

Added a bit of soft-focus in Post ...

As we had some time left i thought it would be nice to shoot some more fashion style pictures ...

They fit together very well don't you think?

Thanks to:
Tamara & Jolien for posing
Valérie De rouck for the amazing make-up, hair and styling
Kevin De Raedemaeker for his active assistance

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Traces of David ...

First of all I want to wish you all a very prosperous 2011 and thank you for your support!

A few weeks ago a got a question from Steffi de Greve if I wanted to do a shoot inspired by the work of David Hamilton, Steffi did not know that I have a project running that I called "Traces of David".
I know David Hamilton is a bit controversial but I like the ethereal look emanating from his work and I put a lot of effort achieving some techniques to deliver this look and getting it out of cam without to much of post-process.

In the studio we build ourselves a little ethereal looking bedroom, curtains hanging down and used a lot of light comming from "the wrong side"

Her you can see Cindy preparing the model and my laptop with the pictures because I shot these series in tethered mode, this makes it easier for everyone involved to immediately check the results

This is the result from the bed with all the light coming from behind, because of the enormous surface the light is coming from it is extremely soft and there is an amazing wrap-around quality

Posing done by the amazing Elisa

The next shot involved a curtain again but this one had embroidery in the form of small little flowers

First things first, getting the styling and hair right

Checking the light with Steffi

I know it's not sharp, this is because i had to use manual focus in combination with the Hamilton technique in order to get the soft focus like pictures out of cam and the person taking the picture had absolutely no clue what this focus was all about :-$

And coaching the model.

Steffi did not only do the coaching but she also proved to be a talented make-up artist!

To give us this result:
(remember that all the light is coming from behind)


When I saw Elisa comming in the studio I quickly decided we should do some beauty like portrait too!

The cloth was pretty heavy and didn't stay in place very well so there was a lot of fiddling with it, also from me

But hey, the pictures are not too bad :-)

Okay, back to David:

Window light : check
sixties style backdrop : check
young girl: check
styling : check
ethereal look : check!

And I only added a bit of color toning in pp.