Beautiful wedding photography for Lovers

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.

Giro d'Italia in Driemond

Category: Photography

I am back in Holland, they lost my tripod somewhere between Naples and Schiphol, but today there is still a little bit of Italy in the Netherlands. Yesterday the proloog started in Amsterdam and today the Giro passes the village where we live. Everybody was there to cheer the riders on myself included and I made a view shots.

It took them all in all no more than half a minute to pass through our village but it was quite impressive to see this big group of riders!

Gear: Back Button Focus

Category: Gear | Photography

When shooting I encountered on many occasion that after I had focused on my subject the shutter button would start focusing on my subject al over again. Very annoying especially when in low light and I would finally have my subject in focus and before shutter release. In my frequently discussed workshop of Mike Larson I first got introduced to back button focus. I had read about it in blogs but when I say how it worked I adjusted my Canon 350D immediately. I sometimes forgot to focus but in a very short time I began to see the difference in my photography. Much sharper and I would be able to react much faster to what was happening before my camera.

So what does back button focus do? The main idea behind back button focus is that instead of the shutter release performing the focusing of a subject this is now transferred to the * button on the back of your camera. Now focus and shutter release are separated.

When I bought the Canon 5DmkII I tried to adjust my setting but did not get it working properly opposed to my Canon 350D. That is until I came across the blog of Melissa Jill an Arizona based photographer who shared the proper settings for not only the Canon 5mkII but also the Canon 5D and Nikon camera's.

So here a brief explanation of how you can set up your Canon 5D MKII to set it to back button focus:
* Go to the menu and select the camera tab.

*  Go to C.FN IV: Operation/Others and set #1 to "3:AE lock/Metering + AF start" and

    set #2 to "1:Enable"

* Then turn your AF setting to AI Servo.

For a Canon 5D:
* Go to the menu and select custom function 4 and set it to setting 1. (setting 0 is default) 

* Then turn your AF setting to AI Servo.

For Nikon users you can also take a look on D-Town TV everything DSLR, where Matt Kloskowski shows in episode 31 how to set it up properly for your Nikon camera's.

Lisbon Portrait: Inge

Category: Photography | Portrait

Well here they are! A selection of this weekends portrait shoot with Inge and they turned out great. The fabulous light, the fabulous environment and not in the least the fabulous model.

And be honest there are worse backdrops than Lisbon. I can not get over this great city, the great sites, the fibes, the feel. When I was editing Inge's photographs I could feel it again. I hope it translates into this page, I hope these shots will show you what I mean. It almost looks like a decor sometimes but it is not.

Well here it goes. Enjoy!

True beauty! Love these.

Great backdrop and back light!

Even in the lobby we had great light

Portrait preview: Inge

Category: Photography | Portrait

We discussed taking portraits since Christmas brunch last year, but with busy schedules we did not seem to be able to set date. I know Inge for more than 8 years. She is Nurse Practitioner in a hospital and still has a lot of studying to do. Well being both in Lisbon this seemed the best location for this portrait session. Not only did the location invite to take photographs endlessly but we had so much fun that we kept on shooting one picture after another.

When Inge stepped in front of the camera she became an allround model. She was so easy to work with, a natural talent, had so much ideas on where she wanted to take her portaits. As we headed out in the morning and still had a lot of sun. With these trees with had giant natural filters giving us fabulous light. 

I am going to show a lot more of the shots that I made but here a preview. Don't you just love these? I do!

Up close and personal: Lookie

Category: Photography

Today I want to present a very special friend of mine that has been around for a number of year. My adorable little friend is called Lookie the Lion.

Lookie has been a very popular tv celebrity who for a very long time connected commercials during the commercial breaks. His most famous quote was: 'Asjemenou'.

When I saw him in the supermarket a couple of years ago I could not resist. Could just hear him call my name. Every since he came to my house he has been begging for a photoshoot. Well today I just had to do him this favor and we did this portrait session. I must say Lookie is a natural. Don't you agree?


Category: Photography

My mom does not really like to be photographed. For as long as I can remember she tries to avoid it saying she looks funny in a photograph. Well I do not agree and was very happy that she allowed me to take portraits of her in her own environment.

I have shot a series and have to say that she looks lovely, all the more reason why I don't understand why she does not liked to be photographed. My mother is in her 70's and has less gray hair than me. No color rinse has come near her hair.

I am very proud of my mother and happy that I have taken these great photographs of her.

Pretty Pink Gerbera

Category: Photography

The purpose of a photo blog is off course to show and share my photography. But I also try to challenge myself and learn new things. I try to capture at least a photograph a day to learn and keep a fresh perspective on what is around me. So when I received a nice bouquet of flowers this week I wanted to capture the Gerbera's on a white background with my Canon 5D mkII. I have not done a lot of still photography with my Canon 5D so this Gerbera seemed a nice object.

Usually when I photograph with a white background I use my gray card as it is difficult to trust the lightmeter of the camera with big white or black background. But today I did not have my graycard with me so I had to do it without it. So without the graycard the biggest challenge was not to get a gray background and not to over expose my photographs.

Here are the results.