Saturday, January 10, 2009

Composites, stepping it up...

I've seen a fair few studio shots with composites of people on a simple white no shadows background. This is very simple and effective, but the result is usually a little to clinically clean for me:

So I decided to try something else:

levee2 copy

audubon1 copy

No need for a studio and fancy lighting, just a nice setting a tripod and some Photoshop work.

Create your own motion

So you took a photo of the car, but it looks boring like this:


You want to make the car look like it's moving, but you have no friends to either handle the camera while you drive or drive the car for you as you know you're the better photographer. However you do own Photoshop...

Select the car with a lasso or other freehand selection tool, and apply some motion blur:


This looks kinda weird for two reasons:

1. You can see through the windows and nothing is "moving" here.
2. The tires are not rotating

So add the windows into the original selection to make sure what you see through the windows moves along with the rest of the background. For the tires, simply select them and apply radial blur.


et voilá, your car is moving. OK there is a third reason it still looks weird, there's no driver... who needs that level of reality anyway.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Movement, Friend or Foe?

Photography has is historically a very still-standing affair. Using tripods, wide aperture & pleading with models to please be as still as possible. Most photographers consider a blurry image to be a bad photo, and I guess in a lot of cases this is true.

But then there is also so much fun to be had with either a moving world, or a moving camera, or both...

There are several techniques:


Tracking from a car moving at 40mph.


Camera in hand and tracking the subject.


Standing still holding camera against body and letting people walk past


Camera on the hand rail of one of those automatic walk ways. Waiting for someone who walks at approximately the same speed.


Standing on that same moving walk way aiming camera to a mirrored sealing with lights that change color between white, yellow orange and red...

To those paying attention, the last two shots I used to generate the composite that is the title of this blog...

This can be a somewhat frustrating experience. For every shot I like there tend to be about 25 that don't work. But the dynamic content of the photos are worth the patience.

Next step is a little more risky... camera tossing... For those of you who have never heard of this: it is what is sounds like. You throw your camera in air, and usually with a delay timer or long exposure allow it to take a picture mid air. In true photographers style there is a Flickr group dedicated to this phenomenon:

Watch this space...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I just got my brand new Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 wide angle lens. Not an easy lens to get hold of as it's not been on the market that long, and Nikon does not have a decent wide angle in the price range of this one.

On our way from Seattle to Vancouver I took this picture with it:


Sunday, July 27, 2008



I've always thought that working with kids would be very difficult. When I got asked to do the team photos for a kids baseball team, I was kind off apprehensive about it. Well I learned one thing, if there's a coach involved there are no problems... When I arrived at the field there were 9 kids running around the field playing around as kids do. Introduce myself to the parents and coach. Get out my gear take a few practice shots to check everything is working OK. When coach asks me if I'm ready to go, and my answer is yes, he bellows out "ALRIGHT EVERYBODY, LINE UP AT THE PLATE, 4 IN FRONT ON YOUR KNEES 5 IN THE BACK STANDING LET'S GO!!"

Poof 10 seconds later the kids are lined up, and 2 minutes later the group shot is done. He then tells all the kids to line up at the fence so they can all step up to the plate for individual shots... Thanks Coach! Looking forward to working with you again...

I'm really happy with how the composite worked out as well. I originally did one where the individual photo was just framed in, but after spending a little more time and removing the background from the individual photo, the final results is much more spectacular.

p.s. In case you wonder: yes I have the parents permission to publish this photo online, and no it's not the kids real name or number...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Motion


Another great sport to capture with a fast camera. The Photoshop work takes a little longer with the more complex background, but it's well worth the effort.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Old & New



So much fun with Photoshop... Read some tips on how to make photos look old. Some of the basic Photoshop techniques like adding noise etc. are good, but just don't make it look really old. Using some more manual techniques like scanning some coffee stains & crumpled paper and using overlay layers of these on the original pictures create a much more realistic final result...

Sunday, May 11, 2008



Cutting out the torso and then applying a series of Photoshop effects (can't remember exactly which ones), and you end up with something looking like a sculpture made from weird colored stone..

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Apart from being a good example of how to stretch your shoulder muscles, it's a good example of what you can do with a remote flash. A SB-800 in remote mode standing on the floor (ev +0.3, LightSphere dome diffuser attached) and the on board flash switched off provides for really cool shadows both on Kodi and from the exercise machine on the ceiling.

I realy like Kodi as a subject as he's very good at ignoring the camera and just looking natural. He's not camera shy, and not constantly looking into the lens either.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


What would a photoblog be without a sunset? No filters, no photoshop work (apart from the size reduction), just a nice sunset over Lake Ponchartrain as seen from the 9th floor of the Lakeway building.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I currently have the pleasure of following a body builder on his pre-competition season training. Although I never understood the reasoning behind body building (then again he doesn't understand why I like to run distance), the kind of dedication that goes into this training is admirable... The photos were taken with my brand new D200, with a 18-200 AF-S VR lens. The VR makes it a lot easier doing panning shots, tracking the subject. The "merge photo" function in Photoshop makes easy work of putting a series into one picture.


One of my first attempts at a personal tag... I got the idea when I was watching a brush artist in Biloxi making T-Shirts using airbrush. I love the effects you create with airbrush. And using Photoshop brushes & vectors you can create and modify to your hearts content (without messing up the neighbour's wall)!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Here a few links to some photo/graphics series I've done...

The first one is of series of pictures taken during my last in Sweden with an Olympus u720sw. It's a collection of very random pictures...

Last Month in Sweden

The second series is of a photo session taken for a gym in New Orleans. The trainer wanted to create a scrapbook to put on display in the gym showing what the different classes were all about. All of the pictures taken with a Nikon D40x and SB400 flash where used


The third series is of a bunch of CD covers I put together using Paint Shop Pro (my favourite program for creating graphics prior to me getting really started on PhotoShop).

CD covers

Saturday, May 3, 2008


A friend of mine was (and still is) dubbing over getting a Tattoo. So I messed around with Photoshop so he could get a feel for what it would look like... I didn't have anything hi-res to work with, so it doesn't get any better than this...

Self portrait

This one I took lying down on the bow of a sailing boat owned at that time by my very good friend Andy. We went sailing on a gorgeous august day in 2004 on Lake Mälaren the body of water north of Södertälje in Sweden. Shame about the water drop on the lens, but I like the shot because of it's odd angle, and the good memories it has associated with it.


These are some of my very first digital pictures, taken with a Fujifilm MX2900-Z, the very first digital camera I bought (an impressive 2.3mp, which was AWESOME in 1999). And the first ones I was actually somewhat happy with. Taken in Dec 2000 in the backyard of my parents house in Wolfheze, The Netherlands.


Three images from a long series of photo's taken during a day at the Batavia shipyard in the Netherlands, with an Olympus C-5050. It was just below freezing most of the day, and absolutely zero wind (as you can see from the main shot).

On a historical note: this was on the 26th of December 2004, the day the tsunami hit Thailand, Indonesia and other parts of asia.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


My wife with her infinite patience for me taking photos of her. Amazingly she appears to be getting more patient with it as time goes on. Then again the pictures are getting better as well

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Frost on the metal lettering on a grave stone in the Netherlands. The word translates to "lives"


I had a 4.5hr lay-over in Chicago prior to flying to the Netherlands for christmas. The boredom sets in easily... I guess she felt the same.


Clouds reflected in the mirror windows of Lakeway II building in Metairie, Louisiana. I like the way the reflection looks surreal, as if it has been pasted in with Photoshop. I'm actually going to try and create a HDR image of this scene at some point to see how surreal it can get :)

Black & White

Three pictures of symbols on the asphalt path of Audubon Park in New Orleans. I like the images turning out a black & white without it being taken in black & white and the different shades of the partially dried asphalt surface.

Photoshop workshop

This is the result from following a workshop published in the Advanced Photoshop magazine. The only photo bit is the tree line, which was taken near Wolfheze in the Netherlands, everything else is pure Photoshop work. The surface of the planet needs some work, but I'm real happy with the treeline reflection in the lake.


I like random patterns, this of a flock of birds flying over lake Ponchartrain, Louisiana. The shot itself isn't all that great, but my excuse is that it's taken hanging from the window of a Ford Mustang doing 50mph (don't worry my wife was driving)


Taken on a beach in Biloxi, Mississippi.