Yesterday Marion and I have visited the town of Wijk aan Zee, which is not really far away from Heemskerk. But it is a very nice area to wander around. And of course I took my new camera along.

Lets talk first a bit about photography. Not interested or have no clue what it is about? Just skip it :-).

With my new camera I have over-thought they way things I have done and which tools I have used.
For my normal photo-editing I will stick to The Gimp. Some will claim PhotoShop is better. Maybe, but I am not going to pay over €1000 for a software package. And yes, as software developer I have an issue with illegal software. Specially when there are good alternatives available. The Gimp is such an alternative. It can do anything one may need for normal photo processing.
For the RAW-conversion I always used UFRAW, an open source package. Really a great working application, but there were some bugs in it (specially in the Windows version) that are now untouched for years. So I have looked around for other RAW converters. Currently I am looking at ViewNX2, a free application of Nikon. As someone said once: “Who will better understand Nikon RAW-files as Nikon themselves”. I believe that is correct.
ViewNX2 does its work good, but it has some nuisances I have to deal with. But it will do for now. I have to alter the workflow I am used to, but that is not a problem (I think). The finishing touch will be done in The Gimp anyway.

Anyway… Wijk aan Zee!

Someone told me a while ago that the dune-area north of Wijk aan Zee was beautiful and great to make long walks. And yes, it is indeed a wonderful place. And very silent, which I like. In the walk of at least 3 hours we made there we saw one person walking a dog (very in the beginning) and a jogger later on.

From the dunes we walked towards the beach. The idea was to walk over the beach towards the town of Wijk aan Zee again. There I had the opportunity to play around with my camera again. The sea is always a wonderful subject for pictures. It always changes and never is the same. Yesterday the weather was a bit “gray” and so the sea looked more “gray” yesterday. Over the two years that I am living now in Heemskerk, I made so many pictures of the sea. And yet, the atmosphere of those pictures are never the same.

Here some of the pictures that I made yesterday…

Over beach we walked to “Het Strandhuis”. Marion and I have been before to this restaurant. It is located directly to the beach. And from the terrace you have a very clear view on the sea. On the terrace we sat yesterday and enjoyed these great views of the sea.
We already knew from the last time that we visited “Het Strandhuis” that the kitchen is very good. And they proofed that this time again. The burrito’s we had were great. Spicy, but not too spicy.

A wonderful spent afternoon again!

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My newest play thingy…..

by Rob on

Although it isn’t a real play thingy… It will be rather useful to me!

Anyway, I always wanted to have a drawing tablet for my computer. Specially after someone showed me how handy such a tablet can be with processing pictures. Oh sure, everything is also possible with a mouse. But with such a tablet things will go easier and faster (for instance you can jump from one side of the screen to the other, while with a mouse you have to drag the cursor to the point where you want it. Now it is just one click with the pen on the wanted position and the cursor is there).
Many functions are very easy to access. But maybe even most important, when making very precise and small adjustments to a picture the tablet will be way more useful as the mouse.

But I admit, it will take some time to get really used to it. But that is okay :).

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My Photo-site…

by Rob on

People who read around here more often may remember that I used to have a photo site. I have taken this site down some time ago because I wanted to update the site to Gallery 3 (Gallery is the software on the site that I use for displaying my pictures). Another reason was that the pictures displayed on the old site was not a good collection any more.

So after I installed and customized the new version of Gallery 3 I started to add pictures again. But I have chosen to process the pictures I want on the site all over. This means that every picture I want on the site will be processed from scratch with UFRaw/Gimp to a result I find acceptable on the site.

Also I am still playing around with the look and feel of the site. So this may change every now and then.

Processing all the pictures all over and adding good comments to them is a lot of work. This means there only a few pictures on the site by now. But the number of pictures will grown over time.

What I really want to place back in what was in “The Past” on the old site. It was filled with old B/W pictures of my family and of myself when I very young. Some even me as baby.

When I place a picture on my photo site that I really like or there is something to tell about I will post it here and comment on it.

For those that don’t know, but here is my photo site: Photography is the skill to steal a moment from time
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Finally it is done :)

by Rob on

Finally after almost then a year working on it, I have my own photo-site online. Well, the first little bit of it :). There were many reasons why it took so long… my new job, just having less time, problems with the web-software, certain private matters and some more things.

But here it is… I proudly present….

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Ermmm… yes, I know… there are just some pictures there yet. But from here on I can add as many pictures as I want… old ones, new ones, whatever.

And no, I am not all finished with it…. the used theme may change… the layout may change…. but the beginning is there!!!! Woootttt…. :)

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Something from the past….

by Rob on

Some days ago I was looking for something an the attic… but I never found what I was looking for. But I did found this….

My old Petri SLR…. With this camera it all really started. It was so great to have it in my hands again…. Feels it weight compared to my new Nikon DSLR… to play with it again. Maybe one day I get a new battery for it… and a film. And then I will go with it for the last time.Someone whispered it into my ear and she was right. It is a relic… something to honor!!!!

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by Rob on

Yesterday I was walking over the May-market here in the Haaksbergen. This May-market is a yearly event with a fair and all kind of other enjoyable things.
The weather was rather good and so it was very busy. Even a bit too busy to my taste. I don’t mind lots of people around me, but I want to be capable to move normally.

Part of this yearly event is a second hand market. People and companies can sell off their second hand and old stuff. Most of it is just rubbish, but well.. as long people are willing to pay for it.

But when talking about second hand, there is always one thing very interesting… books!

Now there is lately with my new interest in photography one kind of books I am looking for. These are photo-books. Not the books about how to make photographs, but those books that show the work of (wellknown) professional photographers.
Apart that it is an joy to look at the pictures in these books, one can learn a lot of it.

And yes, I found some nice photo-books on the second hand fair!

Next Saturday I will go to the city of Enschede and visit there a store that is famous about their second hand books. Lets hope I can find some good photo-books there as well!

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Nikon User Club

by Rob on

Yesterday Nikon organized a club day for the Dutch Nikon User Club (of which I am since a little member). This event was held in “De Jaarbeurs” in the city of Utrecht.

At first I expected a day with lots of advertising about Nikon-products, but I was very wrong. It all turned out into some very interesting lectures about photography and photo-editing. Although I am not new to photo-editing, I learned a lot.

Specially the parts about color-profiles was interesting. To learn that sRGB (Standard RGB) is not that standard as Microsoft wants us to believe. And more, sRGB is not even the best at all. The color-range of Adobe RGB is much broader as sRGB. And of course that is what you want when you talk about photo-editing.
Sure, that means you have to be a bit careful with printing or publishing your pictures. But it is worth it.

Wasn’t I convinced about making pictures in RAW/NEF format, then I am now. Because there is so much “image” information stored in a RAW-file, you have many and many more possibilities when you need to enhance or correct a picture for what ever reason.

Lately I have a lot to do with companies that are related to graphics in some way. While listening suddenly I got a feeling that a lot of the people working at these companies have no idea about these advanced technics… something that (not directly) confrimed by one of the speakers.
The three speakers (Johan Kerver, Mearlant van Bremen and Roeland Koene) did a marvelous job and proofed they have a great sense of humor.
I bought a book about photo-editing written by Johan Kerver and he was so kind to place his signature in it.

Only this day was already my annual contribution for the user club worth!!!!

Afterwards I had a nice dinner based on curry and chicken at “De Tijd” (which is located in the shopping center that is connected to the central railroad station of the city of Utrecht).

A very good and nice day it was.

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A small reward… for myself :P

by Rob on

Last week was a very busy week. Long working days with hard, hard working….

So now that week it over, I thought it would good to reward myself a little. So I bought myself two “little” things to add to my photo equipment…
First a converter2x… this means when I place this converter between the camera-body and a optical, it will double the range of the optical. So my 300mm lens becomes a 600mm lens… and that is awesome to make pictures from a big distance. Only backside is that you will lose a bit light, but for daytime photo’s that is no problem. Maybe logical, but when using this converter with my 300mm lens, you need a tripod. It is not possible to make pictures with the camera free in the hand…
The other thing I bought is a set 3 macro’s lenses that equal to a 100cm macro lens. So one can take picture from very close to an object.

The real reason I bought these two things is to find what I want to buy next… a very good tele-lens or a very good macro-lens. But with playing a little with these today I still don’t know…. maybe I should enjoy these two things and buy and a good external flashlight (which is something else that I still need)…

Decisions… decisions… decisions… :)

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My photo-set

by Rob on

Today I added a new item to my photo-set. This time not a very expensive item. It is a remote control for the camera to take pictures with. It was just 22 Euro, but it very handy for when making pictures when you want to be assured the camera doesn’t move. In a way it is the logical result of the tripod that I bought last week.

Very carefully I asked the owner of photo-shop (where I always go) about a good macro-lens. First thing he assured me, there are no cheap macro-lenses. Then he told me about this lens he had himself very good experiences with, but the lens is about 500 euro. That is something I cannot pay for at the moment, so it has to wait some months (until May, when I get my holiday money). This is not a problem, because with the current lenses I can already make very nice macro-pictures… but I want more :P.

Another thing I want to add is an external flashlight, which gives more opportunities to play with the lighting.

After that, I think I have a nice SLR set. But the owner of the photo-shop already assured me that I will find more things to add… and if I don’t (he told me with a cheeky grin) he will help me to new things to buy :).

Current my photo-set contains:
– A Nikon D40 body
– A standard 18/55mm lens
– A 70/300mm lens
– A ML-L3 remote controle
– A tripod
– Bags to transport it all safe.

Yeah… for my new hobby :)

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by Rob on

Today someone asked me where this sudden interest in photography I have lately is coming from.

Good question. I think it is something that did grow over the last 3 years. When a bit more then 3 years ago my ex and I did split up, I lost a lot photo’s and with that many direct links to memories I had.

One of the first things I bought when I was on my own again was a digital camera. A rather simple one, a compact Canon Powershot A85. But with this camera I could make already very nice pictures. This way I was able to “capture” those moments I wanted to remember again. No matter if it was a funny moment, a beautiful view or whatever.

Later on, I started a weblog/blog. It is a nice thing to add your own made pictures. From that moment I started to care more about the quality of the pictures. But it was clear I did not know a lot about photography at all. So I wandered a road of trying, trying again and trying even more. And every now and then I was able to make a nice picture. There was a certain person that really encouraged me to continue making pictures. Thank you for that!
Slowly, but surely I started to find my way around. Now, don’t misunderstand me… I am far from an experienced photographer. I am merely a beginner who seeks his way around.

With the SLR I recently got, it all took another step forward. Surely, my SLR is not a real professional SLR, but for making the first steps in this area it is a good one. And believe me there is so much more possible, so much more options… and yes, so much more questions.
There the reason I will follow a course SLR photography next month.

At this moment, photography is for me about to capture that one moment, that one view or that one event, freeze it, save it and have it there any time I want to view it. Isn’t that not a very powerfull thought? Capture that what the eye saw? Or even more, that what the eye didn’t see!

What is more, I can even share it with others… worldwide if wanted. The Flickr-community is a wonderful example of this.

It took a long time, but now I think I can say photography turned into a new hobby and passion of mine. And that is very nice

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