Chosing subjects

Where non professional photographer take pictures from whetever they see, the pro’s have their specific subjects.
As an member of the first group I use the moment of the year. Like a chef uses the seasonal vegetables on their menu, I use what is promoted in nature. At this moment mushrooms are on their best. Shoot one and get hundreds for free.

Remember… only for the camera, not for consumption!

Aging photographs

An old building can inspire one to develop an old-like picture. With a modern camera it ‘s not so easy to aging the picture, it has to be done in post processing.

This example from the old railway station in Rosendael (France) has been developped from color to b/w in adjunction to increase the grain amount and size.

The original capture as it is, no correction. I definitively need to clean the sensor…
Nikon D800 with AF-S 50mm f:1,8 1/400 f:10 @ ISO250
After decreasing saturation an increasing grain amount some correction in contrast, lights and black.

Always a little bit vignetting is needed to let it look like an acient photograph.

To zoom or not to zoom

Most camera for beginners are sold with a kit lens, mostly a “cheaper” zoom objective . When buying a camera with an objectieve one could choose to buy a body an a prime lens instead of a “ready to go” kit. The major property of a prime lens is the great aperture opening of 1.8 or less . The standard delivered optics have a maximum aperture of 3.5, so they need up to 8 times more light than the prime lenses. The construction consists of two, tree or four glass elements, increasing the sharpness and decreasing the abberation. Another big advantage is their weight, effective on a sunday afternoon walk.

AFS 50mm f:1.8 mounted on NIKON D800 .
EXIF: 1/125 f/5.6 iso 800
AFS 50mm f:1.8 mounted on NIKON D800
EXIF: 1/2000 f/3.5 is 800

The choise is yours, a prime lens of very good quality or a lesser qualitative zoom lens.


If water is present you can create wonderfull reflections. When shooting in between the golden hour and with a polarisation filter even more breathtaking shot can be taken. In the Old abbey park in my village I took a lot of reflections.

Nikon D800 – 24 mm – ISO200 – 1/160 f/2,8

Polarizin’ sun rays

Light is a huge bunch of rays in a million different directions. Organising this give a lesser number of rays pointing in the same direction. Color on the other hand is the reflection of light on a given subject. A mass of rays from different directions are reflected on a subject give different color impression to the photographer. By using a polarisation filter on the camera, only organised rays enter the camera.

Common polarisation filters are circular and can be mounted on the objective of the camera. The filter can be turned around. It is only by turning that the right direction of light rays enter the camera. It results in a better color repartition and a deeper contrast of the image.

Of course when the sky is grey, the filter is useless.

This old factory is taken with a polarisation filter. It is visible trough the dramatically accentuated clouds.
This harvested field is taken without. The blue sky is not as blue as the sky in previous picture.
Again with a filter, a deeper blue sky and more contrast…

Getting wet…

When walking in the forest most photographers can not cross a little river whithout taking a picture. When the sun is at the right position and the light is soften by the treeleafs beautiful scenery’s can be made. Although the point of view is more or less high the perspective is good.

View from the bridge
I stood on the bridge over this little river. The point of view is high and there is a nice perspective.

A few days later I walked the same way with my 28mm f:1.8 on the camera and rubber boots on my feet. On the bridge over the Brook I stepped into the water and followed the flow. The result of a lower point of view was extraordinary better. Although the right side of the picture is rather dark due to the sun.

Getting my feet wet.
With the camera a few inches above the water I took this picture.

The picture above has been edited. A elliptical zone has been added to lighting up the right brook shore. There was also a little crop to optimize the view. One can understand the need to overview the taken pictures more than once.

Boots in the brook
Another view a few yards further in the brook.

A photographer is a kind of adventurer. The only difficulty in such an experiment is the balance. In the river with a camera in your hands it is not the moment to fall into the water. Climbing in and out of the brook is more than enough.

Blue or Gold?

Every dedicated photographer prefers to shoot on a specific time of the day. These time frames, so called blue hour or golden hour, is the result results of refracting sunlight on the atmosphère. Knowing when these frametimes are active, is not always easy. Lucky there are a bunch of applications on smartphones for this purpose.

Using this time frames one can make wonderfull shots. One disadvantage… You do not have the time to shoot on different locations in one time frame. Or you should run fast…very fast.

The San Angelo bridge in Rome during the evening golden hour time frame. The scene gets a “golden reddish ” glow by the lack of blue in the sunlight.