18 April 2010

IJburg Night Safari

Night photography was one of the topics of the photography course (see here, here and here). A friend of mine told me Boekhandel van Pampus organized a Night Safari to take photos in a new area of Amsterdam: IJburg. I decided to take part in the night safari. (Nice to know: I used a photo of the bridge connecting IJburg to the main land as a banner for my blog. Click here and here)

The night safari was organized to introduce a new book on IJburg. Louis Stiller and Jabik de Vries wrote “Wachtland - de nachtwaker, de fotograaf en het wordende land”. During the evening and late at night Jabik photographed various locations and wrote about the thoughts he had while waiting for the shutter to close. Jabik visited the island in the first three years of its construction. At that time Louis Stiller wrote about building projects in the Netherlands. They found each other and started this project.

The night safari started at a part in IJburg which is still under construction.

Grotere kaart weergeven

Jabik told us of his experiences while taking the photos. Most of the time you are all alone in the dark. Taking photos in the dark is entirely different from taking photos during daytime. It is quiet, almost no people present, and you cannot always see what will be registered. Also, the camera sees the scene very different than the human eye. Exposure times vary between seconds to several minutes. Camera settings are actually rather simple. The focusing distance is close to infinity. Jabik used aperture settings of about f/5. White balance can be set to Auto. I used the daylight setting to review the photo on screen, and saved the photos in RAW format to make the final decision for white balance later behind the computer. The Canon TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller proved very useful to set exposure times longer than 30 seconds.

Jabik suggested to to take a photo which included the finished part of the residential area and the part being built. It shows a nice contrast:

Residential Area IJBurg
Residential Area IJburg
Canon 50D | 17-55mm @ 50mm | 35 secs @ f/5.6 | ISO 100

When I was framing the photo I could only see the street lights and the right hand part of the building. The following day I noticed the red traffic post in the lower left corner of the photo. That is the beauty of evening / night photography: you discover a lot of details in your photo later behind your computer.

Car Trails
Car Trails
Canon 50 D | 17-55mm @ 43mm | 148 secs @ f/8 | ISO 100
In the last 20 seconds of the exposure a car passed by and nicely lighted up the lower part of the photo for me.

Jabik suggested to make a photo of the stars in the sky. As there were no planes flying that night (volcano ash, click on this [link]) all the dots and stripes you see in the sky are real stars!

Star Trails
Star Trails
Canon 50D | 17-55mm @ 17mm | 90 secs @ f/4.5 | ISO 200

Of course some passages were read from the book Wachtland.

Reading from the Book Wachtland
Canon 50D | 17-55mm @ 17mm | 2 secs @ f/2.8 | ISO 1600

Some more photos:

Self Portrait
Self Portrait
Canon 50D | 17-55mm @ 17mm | 60 secs @ f/5.0 | ISO 100
Notice the two shadows because I was lighted by two different lamp posts.

Looking into the distance
Looking into the distance
Canon 50D | 17-55mm @ 17mm | 149 secs @ f/4.5 | ISO 200
At this spot it was pitch dark. I only framed for the horizon and I could just see in the distance that another person was setting up his tripod.
The yellow lights in the lower part of the photos are greenhouses. The white part next to the greenhouses is made by the city of Almere.

A slide show of all the photos:

16 April 2010

No-fly Zone The Netherlands

Thursday 15 April 2010 turned out to be a very special day. The evening before a volcano eruption in Iceland released large amounts of ash particles in the upper atmosphere. The wind patterns dispersed the ash clouds over large parts of the UK, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and other countries. Late Thursday large parts of the European air space were declared a no-fly zone. This was the first time in history a specific warning for volcanic ash (Volcanic Ash SIGMET) was given in The Netherlands.

At this moment the air space is expected to be closed until Saturday, 6:00. The situation will then be reviewed.

The Royal Meteorological Institute (KMNI) predicted a special red sunset for Thursday because the ash particles in the atmosphere disperses the sunlight. So, that day, before I joined the IJburg Night Safari, I made photos of the sunset at Zeeburg, Amsterdam:

Sunset Amsterdam IJburg
Red Sunset at Amsterdam Zeeburg

Moments later, the red light faded away:

Sunset Amsterdam IJburg
Sunset at Amsterdam Zeeburg

Where will you be on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 hours (U.T.C.) ?

The New York Times has a fun experiment at Sunday, May 2. They want you to send in a photo of a moment at Sunday, May 2, 1500 hours UTC. All images will be collected and put into a mosaic. What matters is the thought behind the picture, not the technique. Why did you select this photo, and what are you thinking?

15:00 hours UTC equals 15:00 in London, 17:00 in Amsterdam, and 8:00 in San Francisco. Send your photo to submit.nytimes.com/moment.

To read more about this project, follow this [link].

13 April 2010

Science Comedy

Did you enjoy the ‘A Virus Walks Into a Bar’ video? It turns out that the entire talk is available on the web. Click on the photo below to start the video or click here to watch the video.

12 April 2010

Panorama Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall China Court

The Ibn Battuta Mall has a wonderful China Court. A full size Chinese sailing vessel can be seen, and of course the wonderful decorations inspired by Chinese temples. You can also see the Tony Romas Restaurant where we had spare ribs, Dubai style.
The panorama was shot ‘guerilla style’ (no tripod, rotate on your left foot), so parts of the panorama are not so sharp as I wanted them to be. Click here to see a larger version of the panorama.

Click here for a HTML5 version of the panorama.

11 April 2010

A Virus Walks Into a Bar

…and tells some jokes about viruses, bacteria, photons, neutrinos and more. Watch this funny talk by Brian Malow.

To understand the Schrödinger's cat joke better, read this.

09 April 2010

Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall

I wanted to visit the Ibn Battuta Mall because of its Chinese court. Before I show you the photos, let me tell you more about this mall. The Ibn Battuta Mall is on the way from Dubai to Abu Dhabi (Sheikh Zayed Road) past Dubai Internet City. The mall is named after the famous explorer Ibn Battuta. The mall’s theme is based on the countries he visited.

The mall has six courts:

  1. Andalusia
  2. Tunisia
  3. Egypt
  4. Persia
  5. India
  6. China

Our taxi dropped us off at the Andalusia side of the mall.

Taxi Stand at Ibn Battuta Mall 
Taxi Stand at Ibn Battuta Mall

In the background you can see the giant arch entrance of the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel.

Somebody told me to look up inside all the Dubai malls because the roofs are also decorated. They were right!

Roof Decoration Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Roof decoration Ibn Battuta Mall

The decorations were beautiful. This one reminded me of the Alhambra in Andalusia:

Fountain Andalusia Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Fountain Andalusia Court

The roof of the Tunisian Court looks like the shopping mall of Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas:

Tunisian Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Tunisian Court

 Tunisian Food Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Tunisian Food Court

Egypt Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
The Egypt Court

Entrance Persia Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Entrance Persia Court

Persia Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall 
Persia Court

Persia Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Roof Persia Court

India Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall 
India Court

The India Court holds a special reproduction: The Elephant Clock

Elephant Clock India Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Elephant Clock

This clock is powered by water and weights. Inside the elephant a bucket is slowly filled with water. This takes about 30 minutes. When the bucket is full a system of strings and balls pulls out the bucket and a drum is sounded to indicate a half hour has passed. The clock keeps running when there is enough water and balls available to empty the buckets.

Finally we arrived at the China Court:

China Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
China Court

China Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall 
China Court

Roof China Court Ibn Battuta Mall
Roof China Court

The Main China Court holds a Chinese Junk – a sailing vessel:

Chinese Junk @ China Court Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall
Chinese Junk at China Court

The mall also houses a Tony Roma’s. Beef ribs are served here, much larger than the regular ribs in the USA:

Tony Romas @ Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall

08 April 2010

Dubai Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world (as of January 2010). It is so high you can see it wherever you are in Dubai. It does not seem to get any smaller when you move away.
Dubai Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is near the Dubai Mall (just right of the tower), the Dubai Fountain and the Address Hotel.
The Address Hotel
The Address Hotel reflected in the Dubai Fountain.

Construction of the Burj Khalifa was not completed when we were there. Unfortunately, the observation deck was closed, reason unknown. So I had to settle for some photos from the ground floor.
Click on the photo below to start the slide show or follow this link.

Trajectum Lumen

Utrecht wereldbol RGB
Just opened in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands: Trajectum Lumen – A Utrecht Tale of Light.
Trajectum Lumen is an exploration route through Utrecht passing a number of light installations which illuminate historical locations. These light artworks shine a new light on the old buildings :-)
Opened on 7 April 2010, this free exposition will continue until 2018. The exposition starts with 18 light artworks. There will be 25 in total when everything is finished. The ambition of Utrecht is to become the cultural capital city of Europe in 2018.
The artworks will be switched on from dusk until midnight. I am planning to see the artworks by myself (I wonder what HDR photography will do here).  If you want to know when dusk starts in Utrecht – use the application TPE to determine this. I have written about this in an earlier post.
Meanwhile, take a look at the video below and the photos from the press kit.



07 April 2010

Famous Failures

Watch the video…
If you have never failed, you have never lived!

06 April 2010

Winnaar Fotowedstrijd Avro ‘De Maand van de Fotografie’

De maand maart stond in het teken van de fotografie bij Avro Kunst. Het thema van de wedstrijd was 'Jouw Stad als Kunst'. Kijk op 7 april, 21.30  naar Opium TV om te zien wie de winnaar van deze fotowedstrijd is geworden.

The SE-R Project

Cool car advertisement shot with a Canon 5D. Look below to see how they made this video.

05 April 2010

What is In Your Bag? – Part 8

Damon Webster is publishing a series of videos where Kristian Dowling explaining what he is carrying in his bag. He is a Nikon shooter and also tells about the lenses he uses in part 2 and 3. In part 4 he tells about the cameras he uses.

Part 1
Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

04 April 2010

The Making of the House Sonneveld Panorama

Huis Sonneveld Zitkamer / Living Room
House Sonneveld is located in Rotterdam and is built in the Nieuwe Bouwen style in 1933. It looks very modern, even for today's standards. Since 2001 it is a museum house and you can visit it.

I visited this museum house during Wiki Loves Art/NL. During this photo contest the collections of a large number of Dutch museums could be photographed. Each photographer made his/her photos available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence. This way the photos could be used by others like Wikimedia Commons. The 10 best photos would get a prize.

Let me tell you how I made this panorama. I was shooting all objects the organizers wanted me to. Besides this museum I also visited the Tropenmuseum and later on the Verzetsmuseum. I was thinking that in order to win a prize the photo had to stand out from the crowd (one way to stand out is to give the largest number of photos to the project…click here to see my 314 photos which made me the top contributor :-).

When I entered the living room I decided to make a panorama so you could see all the objects in their surroundings. I assumed no-one else would submit a panorama. Click on the photo below to see the individual photos:

Normally the camera is put on a tripod with a panorama head to ensure the photos align with each other. However, the usage of a tripod is forbidden, so I took the photos ‘guerilla style’. This means you take the photos while rotating your body around a foot (in my case the left foot). It was a very sunny day and the orange blinds were down on the windows of the right side. You can see the orange cast on the individual photos.

All photos were shot in RAW, so colour correcting them in post production was easy. Autopano Pro was used to stitch the photos together. I was not sure to include or exclude the door on the left side of the panorama. In the end I submitted the photo with the door included, because it was my way to lead the viewer into the panorama.

When I won the seventh prize (see here and here), I was extremely happy, of course. I smiled when read the jury’s comment (translated from Dutch):

“Photo does good justice to the subject, beautiful panorama, disturbing is the composition on the left: the open door. The composition is better when the door is omitted". I am very glad they still awarded me with a prize!

03 April 2010

What Is In Your Bag? – Part 7

Moose Peterson explains how he packs his bag in this video. He has a lot of setups, depending on the task at hand. You can read about it here. I like these explanations because I am always amazed how much stuff the photographer can fit in in his/her bag.

02 April 2010

The World of Abbot and Atget

Take a look at this documentary of the photographers Eugene Atget and Berenice Abbott. I have seen Atget’s photos in the BBC documentary The Genius of Photography, but I did not know that Berenice Abbot was heavily influenced by him.
The documentary is in English with Dutch subtitles and voice-over. Click here to watch it, or watch it below (requires Silverlight 2.0)
Get Microsoft Silverlight

01 April 2010

Dubai Metro

100313-071707_ 0870_50D

Dubai is building one of the most futuristic looking metro systems I have seen. When finished, the metro system will be the longest, driverless and fully automated metro system in the world.

Dubai Metro Station Dubai Mall
The metro stations look like rail guns which fire off metro cars.


Dubai Metro Emirates Towers Station
They also look like star ships docked to the buildings, ready for take-off.


Dubai Metro Union Square Entrance
Entrance of Dubai Metro Union Square Station.


Dubai Metro escalator 
Dubai Metro Union Square Station stair and escalators.


Inside Dubai Metro Station Union Square

Inside Dubai Metro Union Square Station.


 Dubai Metro Station
Dubai Metro Station at night (charging for the next blast?)