Beautiful wedding photography for Lovers

Home Improvement: Demolition Day

Category: Personal

I have been looking forward and dreading this day for months if not longer. We bought this house 14 years ago. At the time we were so happy with it. We did a lot of DIY work and lived here with full satisfaction. The only thing that struck my eye more than once was the floor. So when we decided it was time to buy new furniture we decided to look for a contractor and do it right this time. The floor had to come out completely.

So we finally set the date and we had to clear out the entire room. It is amazing how much stuff we had accumilated during these years. We got rid of a lot of it but then still a lot remained. Yesterday was our last day to clean out the room.

It was strange to see it empty again after 14 years I could not imagine that all this time has passed since we first stepped into this room. Well now the demo has started. These guys do not mess around as you can see in the photographs. You can imagine I can not wait until next week when a new floor is put in and the walls get plastered.

Well you can not change anything without doing anything so this is the first step.

Inspiration Vogue

Yes it is time for another installment of Inspiration. I have been photographing for quite some years and I still love it. I have lost and found photography more than once during this journey of 20 years. What I experience as the biggest challenge through all those years is how to keep growing, improving my skills and to keep challenging myself.

In order to do that I need inspiration. I seek it in every possible place and there is photography everywhere around us. Every day on television, in newspapers, books and magazines. So every now and again I go the magazine stand and buy a couple, just to leaf through them until I find a photograph that catches my eye. I try to dissect the composition, the different angles, the number of softboxes, catch light and hair lights. Then I try to create my own version. That is why I like adverts so much because it fuels my creativity and some of these adverts are just darn right beautiful photographs.

I came across a photograph in the recent Vogue of April a GUESS advertisement photographed by Peter Vincent and it really inspires me. What a beautiful photograph, what a beautiful model. This could be the pose for a portrait shoot or a bride. I love it.

Here the result of two photographs that I have shot and turned into an advertisment using Photoshop .

Lights, camera, action

Category: Photography

Being behind the camera usually means that I am not in any shot. I am focusing on the the light, the settings, the composition and most importantly my client. So when I am busy during a shoot I have no idea what it looks like. Well because Jacques took his camera along during our shoot in Lisbon I now know. As you can see I am walking, talking, directing and showing. That is what I like most, to interact, make sure that my client is comfortable, at ease and relaxed because that results in the best photographs.  

So here they are, thanks Jacques, me in action.

Ways to learn

Category: Photography

In the Netherlands we do not have just one Pentecost no we have two days for this special day (I know it is strange), we have the same thing for Easter and Christmas. This means an extra day of work. Yesterday was a beautiful day and most people headed out to the beach, amusement park or any other outside location but with the photo club that I am part of we agreed to get together.

To make sure we were not indoors all day long we went outside for an photography assignment. Everybody had to take a groupshot and be in it as well. Even though we were not in the best part of town I risked to put my camera up on the refuge in the middle of the road on a tripod and used my remote to fire the shots.

I really like to get together with this group with which I did the base course of the Foto Academie. We are encouraging eachother and finding ways to learn, having photography in our life. As some of the group members are considering starting the Foto Academie first year the group might end. This would be a shame but as with many things in life nothing stays the same and it also means I have to find other ways to learn.

Because I love you

Category: Personal

I was color correcting some pictures today when I saw these pictures of my sister. When the wedding day started two weeks ago I took a couple of shots to test the light of Sorrento. I look at these photographs and see my beautiful sister looking absolutely stunning. And just today it dawned on me that after all these months I have not dedicated a post to my sister. And she so deserves it, because the last couple of years have not been easy on a personal level for her not only relating to her health.

But no matter how rough the tides were in her live, she kept on going and I admire that so much. She is a very strong women and the only reason for this post is to say to my sister: I love you!

And you have to agree she looks so pretty in these photos!

Big in Hong Kong

Category: Personal | Photography

It was our last day in Hong Kong today and we returned to Holland. Wow how fast this week has gone by and how many things we have seen. We were impressed how helpfull the Hong Kong inhabitants were. When we were not sure where to go there was always someone asking if we needed help and always with a smile. We were impressed with the quality and taste of the food. It was without a doubt delicious in the small local restaurants as well as in the big restaurants. All around we ate some great food. We were impressed with the traffic and amount of pedestrians. We have never seen so many people on the street on a work day or in the weekend.

And we saw that our Dutch soccer stars are not only big in Europe (a waiter in a small local restaurant even knew our country from the soccer players), yes on the side of the Nike store we saw portraits of Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. I had to capture this bill board.

As we have a midnight flight we are waiting at the airport. It is a huge building and everything runs effeciently. From check in, to immigration, to the security check (they smiled and let us keep our shoes on, you got to love this place). All in all an impressive week. But I am sure if you ask Ronald what he found the most impressive part of this journey than he might say the WiFi at the airport. Just before we boarded the plane he could still be online.

Shot these all with my Powershot. The one below I shot at 1/5th shutter speed, 400 iso and F4.5. Yes I shot the next shot out of my hand!

Hong Kong how a top 3 becomes a top 5

Category: Personal | Photography

Well I thought it would be a top 3 but after yesterday and today I must extend this must do list to a top 5. Hong Kong has so many great things to do at a low price which makes it a real treat to go out and explore.

So here it goes my remaining must do's:

4. - Buy a ticket for the Star Ferry to Kowloon or Hong Kong Island (depending on where you stay). As we are staying on Hong Kong Island we took the ferry from pier 7. A one way trip on the Ferry costs 2.50 HK dollar and takes about 5 minutes to cross the habor. The ferry runs from morning to midnight so it is also good idea to take the ferry in the evening an see the breatch taking view of the skyline from the water.

5. - Take a ride with the Peak tram. Cathay Pacific gave us a complementary Peak tram ticket. As it was a public holiday today we were not the only ones taking the tram. Normally a one way ticket costs 25 HK dollar and a return ticket 36 HK dollar. From the Victoria Peak you have another great view from the top of the city. Further you ride in a historical tram carriage adding to this attraction. At Victoria Peak you also have a Peak market were you can buy all sorts of Chinees merchandise. Probably not the most cheap of all of Hong Kong but they have a nice selection.

One last tip which is off course regarding food after the Peak tram ride we went down to Wellington Street 77. Here you can find Mak's Noodles. It is a very small restaurant with about the same number of waiters as the number of customers that fit in the restaurant. We had some Wonton + Shrimp Dumpling Noodles and they tasted delicious.

Ronald reading the Chinees newspaper. Okay the English version.

The streets of Kowloon

The Hong Kong Island skyline

The Peak tram arrives.

Hong Kong 101 or 3 things to do when in Hong Kong

Category: Personal | Photography

The first thing that comes to mind when I start a blog post about things to do when in Hong Kong is off course shopping. It must be shoppers paradise if you see the amount of shops and shopping malls. Never have I seen so many shopping centres that have brands like Louis Vutton, Chanel, Prada, Dolce&Gabanna, Versace, etc. Never have I seen a queue in front of a LV store making it almost an attraction in Disney World. But as much as I like shopping I must admit that I have hardly bought anything (beside a pair of Timberlands). So when you go to Hong Kong shopping will be inevitable but that is not on my top 3 of things to do.

I have made the following list:

1. - A must do is go and have Dim Sum at Maxim's restaurant in City Hall 2nd floor. This mega restaurant has some of the best Dim Sum and on top of that an excellent view of the harbor. We were not the only one who had that idea but within 20 minutes we had a table harbor view and could choose Dim Sum from the trolleys that were pushed around the dining hall. Deliciouse, A definite must do.

2. - A ride on the double decker tram. All around the city you see these small double decker trams with bright adverts on them. They stop just about every 250 meter and cost near to nothing (2 HK dollar). You have to pay when you leave the tram and have a tourist ride all for this low price.

3. - Go to the horse races. The people of Hong Kong love to gamble and on Wednesday night they come out in full force at the Hong Kong Jockey club. Our hotel (the Cosmopolitan) is across the road so we had a home game. Admission is 10 HK dollar and there are 6 races that run every half hour. We saw a couple of races and I had the change to take some great shots of the horses and the start of one of the races. It started raining quite heavily but this could not stop the races.

Hong Kong and the complementary city tour

Category: Personal | Photography

Because we used the shuttle service fron Hong Kong airport we were eligible for a complementary city tour. A real nice gesture of Cathay Pacific. So we accepted the tour and at 9:30 we were ready and waiting in the Parklane lobby. In Hong Kong everything goes really fast and even if it was rush hour the bus arrived ahead of time. We had four stops on this tour and three were rather interesting as we went to see the fishermen harbor. An area where the fishermen now live. The number of fishermen is rapidly decreasing as children from fishermen have more options than their parents used to have. The second interesting stop was Repulse bay. Right near the small beach of Hong Kong were the Buddhas stand near the sea. The bright colors made some great pictures. The last interesting stop was Victoria Peak (a separate tram is also going up there). A great view point of the city. The day started out bright and sunny but by the time we got up to Victoria Peak is was rather cloudy.

We still managed to get a number of shots out. Here some of the results.

Symphony of Lights

Category: Personal

Hong Kong hold a guiness book world record when it comes to the biggest sound and light show on the planet. Every night at 20:00 a large number of office buildings and hotels participate in this show when the lights go on and 'dance to the music'.

Last night we were on the Aqualuna Duk Ling boat and had a first class view of the spectacle when we sat on a lounge chair on the upper deck. The night was clear so I was able to take so great shots.