Juggling with passion

Wow … ūüėĮ ¬†it has been a year since the last time I posted on this blog. As I mentioned in my introduction post, I am not the kind of person to focus on one thing for the full 100%. I have a couple of things I’m passionate about in life, but I’m not able nor willing to give one up. In a perfect world I would be the best and most productive photographer on the planet. At the same time I also would be a guitarlegend, the best in my job as a psychologist, the best father on the globe, a great athlete and a perfect husband. Unfortunately the world isn’t perfect and in real life i’m none of all that. I try my best not to suck at any of it though, and I hope I’m succeeding in just that.

Usually there is one passion that has the upper hand in my life and often it stays dominant for a while, ranging from months to even years sometimes. But eventually I tend to shift focus between the passions in my life, never fully abandoning any of them. As I mentioned before, at the time our first child was born I got into photography and it kept me busy for a couple of years. I started this blog to keep it alive … but this past year I reconnected with an old love, my guitar. I really enjoy playing it again on a regular basis, and I finally got that amp that I had been dreaming of for years. But in the meanwhile this blog got neglected a bit, no photography projects that I felt were worth sharing here. But here I am again, posting for you all to read, letting you all know I’m still around. I hope to be able to come around more often, but we will see. I see way to many people struggling and suffering under the pressure of trying to juggle way to many things at a time. I’m not the best juggler, but then again, it is not my ambition to be a juggler.


So, at last some visuals. Here’s our youngest, enjoying some nice weather finally (winter just kept coming at us this year). I still try to document our everyday life and preserve some precious memories in doing so. I choose this shot to share because, to me, it has that summer feel all over it and I’m longing for that summer to come. I hope we get lots of it, and I wish you all the same.





Hey there, back again, … , and it only took me two months this time!! I know I still have been missing in action the last couple of months, and I must admit I haven’t done much photography-wise either. Certainly nothing that I felt was worth sharing here, on the blog.

Anyway, for today’s post I wanted to share a picture of our beloved yogiman who has been living with us in our home since the day we moved in. He has had different locations across our living-room, but nowadays he’s sitting in a niche inside a closet. That is why the light is being blocked from above him. I took this shot using on-camera flash (ttl), but I bounced the light from my flash over my shoulder onto the ceiling behind me. Additionally, I was blocking some of the light myself, as I was standing in front of the niche. Doing so resulted in this image with the most gorgeous and dramatic light.

I immediatly loved what I saw on my camera’s lcd so I went straight to my computer to finish the image. First I loaded the raw-file into darktable. For those who aren’t familiar with darktable: it is basically a photo-workflow application for linux (much like Adobe’s Lightroom is for Windows or Mac, I might write a post about it sometime). That’s right, I use Linux. I do almost exclusively on my home computer since 2007 (99.5% of the time, 0.5% windows: when I really need an application that isn’t available on linux and a good alternative is missing). I didn’t have to do much to this image though. It is literally just a square crop, a slight change of white balance, and some added contrast using the curves-tool.

But wait, what’s the instagram-like border and all??? Well, that’s exactly it: it’s instagram. I recently started playing with instagram since it launched for android a week or two ago (you can find me as ‘sebasb37’ on there if you wish to follow me). Although it is ment for spicing up the snapshots one takes with his phone, the square crop of the image made me think: what if I load this file onto my tablet and throw it into instagram?? So, I did and went through the available filters. Most of them were just bleh, or meh, … , and just ruined the image, but the ‘lo-fi’ filter made me go: “Oh, wow!”. I was pretty pleased with my image already, but it made it even better (in my opinion anyway). So that’s basically it, simple and easy! I probably can get the same result using different layers, masks, and other wizardry in ‘the Gimp” (or Adobe’s Photoshop), but I like simple :-). I will try to recreate it though, since instagram ate all my resolution :-(. I simply cannot make a decent print of it anymore, so in case I want a print of it, I will have to do some Gimp-magic.

Well, that’s it for today’s post. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and see you all next time!!



I did not die (and portrait)

Sssoooww, time flies they say!! No, I did not die since that last post for those wondering. Basically I got caught up in everyday life the last few months and my photography got banned to the second (or third) plan because of that. I didn’t even finish the photography-course I was attending (the one about portraiture I mentioned in this post). Although I really enjoyed the actual saturday morning classes I found myself having a difficult time in investing time and energy in the additional assignments. They just weren’t very high on my priority list and eventually I threw in the towel. It wasn’t an easy decision but I must admit it felt somewhat liberating in the end. Now I can shoot because I want to instead of shooting because I have to.¬†Although I didn’t finish the course, I did attend most of the classes and learned a lot. The opportunity to work and experiment with all the fancy studio-equipment was an absolute blast.

Today I wanted to share two portraits of Eric, one of my fellow students. In one of the classes we had to exercise in balancing flash exposure with the existing ambient light. For the first shot above we found a spot inside the KISP-building where I could use a giant window as a backdrop. Outside that window was an industrial kind of landscape bathing in gorgeous morning light. By under-exposing the background and lighting Eric (studio-strobe + softbox) separatly we ended up with this.

For this next shot we faced the cold (it was freezing) and headed outside. It was a rather sunny morning so we had to move into the shade to avoid the harsh shadows that the sun would have given us. We used the sunny field behind Eric as a backdrop (again somewhat under-exposed) and mimicked sunlight falling on him using a speedlight with shoot-through umbrella for softer light-quality. This way we could keep the contrast under control, but still achieve very natural looking light.

That’s it for today’s comeback-post!! I hope you have enjoyed it and hopefully I will be able to post on a more regular base again, so stay tuned and see you all later.



Available light portrait

Hello there!! The last few weeks have been pretty busy and I haven’t found much time to cultivate my online presence (sounds fancy, no? :-D). Because it has been a while since my last post I figured it was time to share some imagery again. Well, just one image actually.

Some posts ago I mentioned my photography-training being all about portraiture for the moment, and the above shot was taken for the sake of an assignment we got. We had to shoot indoors, with only a window as a lightsource, and produce a series of images with various lighting (as in frontal, sideways and backlit).

My lovely wife helped me out on this one by being a very patient model. Muchas gracias to you mylady!! She is a very creative person herself actually, making her way into the scrapbooking/cardmaking world out there. She has been sharing her creations on her own blog for over two years now and not without succes. She recently got selected as designteam-member for two different, rather important companies in the bussiness. Me proud!! The pictures on her blog, of course, are all done by yours truly. Hope I can contribute a little bit by doing so.



Google+ update

A quick update today following my previous post about Google+.

Seems that Google is rolling out some additional features for Google+ today, and that the ‘limited field trial’-fase is over. As of today Google+ entered ‘open b√®ta’, so invitations to jump aboard are no longer required. Everybody can sign up! Woohoow!

Google’s anouncement:¬†http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-92-93-94-95-96-97-98-99-100.html



Why I’m on Google+

So maybe you’ve noticed that “Follow me on G+“-button in my sidebar and wondered: What the hell is G+? Or maybe you know what it is but can’t stop wondering: why G+ and no Facebook? Everybody is on Facebook!!¬†Well, for those who didn’t know yet: it is indeed kinda like Facebook, but then again somewhat different. Different in, for me anyway, some crucial ways.

Unlike 750 million other people on this planet I’ve never made it to Facebook. From the beginning I wasn’t really interested in putting my personal life in the open. I’m the kind of person that wants control over what I share, and with whom. Of course, Facebook is based on the concept of mutual friendship for sharing, but I saw how the friendlist of many just kept on growing. You can’t keep on ignoring that friend-request of your aunt Zulma can’t you? Or you would’t want to insult your boss at work by holding him off either. That way the friendlists of “many-a-poor-boy” turned into a melting pot of different relationships and the sharing thing became a lot trickier. You don’t want to share those party-pictures with your mom don’t you? Or even your future employer? Besides that I started hearing my friends getting frustrated with the amount of junk that is coming through their stream because of that bulky friendlist. Naah, that Facebook-thing was not my cup of tea.

But then again I felt I was missing out on a lot of cool things too. Twitter is nice to keep up with some stuff or people, but is also very limiting. So I almost made the jump to facebook, and then came Google+.

What I really like about it is their concept of circles. It lets you organise your friends in groups in a very easy-pleasy way, and because of that you get the complete control over what you share with who. Moreover, you can filter your stream to show only what interests you. This video below shows what I mean:

You can find a bunch of video’s on other features of Google+¬†here:¬†http://www.youtube.com/user/Google#grid/user/F3DFB800F05F551A

Being a photographer however, and the reason why I post this on a photography-blog, is that Google+ treats pictures oh so nice. The galleries on Google+ look so much better than on Facebook. Because of this very reason many photographers made the jump to G+ already and you can find the top of the photography-bussiness out there. All within your reach because you can connect with them right away! Really cool.

Want in on the fun? Google+ is still in “limited” field trial, so you have to get an invitation. But as a G+user I get to hand out 150 invitations, so if you want one: just let me know by commenting or through the contact page.



PS: UPDATE => not even a week later Google pushed out some updates and additional features, but more importantly left the limited field trial behind them.(Google’s anouncement)

Those other little ones …

On the about-page¬†I wrote about how I got interested in photography a couple of years ago, which was because we, my wife and I, became parents. Like many other parents we wanted to document all those beautiful moments ¬†with our kids, as time seems to fly by so quickly. A decent camera seemed the way to go, I got hooked to photography in general, and here we are now…

As I’m writing this post we are 3 years down the road already. Nora just started school again, as did her father this very morning. I started another module of the photography-training at KISP¬†today and it surely looks very promising as it will be all about portraiture (in studio and on location). Portraits seem to attract me more than anything else in photography so I’m psyched to learn more about it and hopefully I’ll become a better “people-shooter” in the end.

So portraits and my kids… As you can imagine I tend to shoot my kids quite a lot, but with mixed results (so I have a lot to learn clearly). However, sometimes it just all lines up, and usually I know it/feel it the moment the shutter goes ‘click’. For todays post I thought I’d share two of these pictures that I feel very good about. The models, of course, are the little ones that started all this.

The first picture is Nora about a year ago, the next is Tuur only two months ago. For those interested, the lens used in both these shots was the nikon 50mm AF-S 1.4. God, I love that lens!

That’s it for todays post. Hope you’ve enjoyed it!!