week 15 | 2012

2012, Photography, Project

With gaining strength in my back and leg I can finally start living my other passion again, cycling. I just love cycling, either road cycling or mountain biking. The swooshing sound of narrow tires eating up kilometers of tarmac. Finding smooth lines with my single speed on single tracks in the forest. And best of all, I hope to combine both my passions into one.

On a second note, I have been using my Ricoh camera as my primary tool for a third week in row and finally I feel comfortable again with it. For me, it is just so much pleasurable to use in B&W. And the easy accessibility of this small camera makes it a joy to use, again.

This week I felt energetic, had fun, and was full of ideas. And I think it reflects in the below photographs.


And after long personal debating I have decided to share with you a black & white high contrast Lightroom preset. Post processing is absolutely a meaningful effort to make something special of your photographs, but the essence of your photography should be your personal intentions in my opinion. You can download an archive file here with actually two Lightroom presets. The Lightroom 3 version will work in both Lightroom 3 and version 4, while the Lightroom 4 version will only work in the latter. Both presets will nit give exactly the same results due to radical changes in the adjustment possibilities of Lightroom 4.

On a personal note I still prefer the Lightroom 3 preset. I hope you enjoy this preset.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

21 thoughts on “week 15 | 2012

  1. Great photos – and I’m glad you are getting back into cycling. I really miss the hours on the bike and am working on getting it back too, though I have a lot further to go.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Another series of beautiful pictures… great dutch feeling! ik vind de vierde en zesde er echt uitspringen… mooi werk Wouter en fijn dat je weer op je fiets kan…

    1. Dank je wel Joanna. Deze week voelde gewoon heel goed aan. En de vrijdag foto was echt een verrassing. Ik wou op de dijk van Zeewolde naar Almere de windmolens fotograferen, maar het licht boven het Eemmeer was zo prachtig dat ik daarvan wel een foto moest maken.

    1. Ha Jan. Die foto op de club van die oude Volvo in België bij die koers had dus niet alleen met de Volvo te maken. Ja, ik fiets heel graag en ik hoop het gevoel ook echt weer terug te krijgen. Afgelopen woensdag was ieder geval heel goed. De regen, wind en kadans van de benen was perfect.

  3. Ola, Wouter!
    It certainly shows on your photographs that you have lightened your mood and I’m glad for it. Excellent shoots!
    About your personal story, let me share something curious: I came across your blog by chance, some months ago and I liked your work and your attitude toward photography almost instantly. I also have a lower back problem that often gives me some pain and numbness on my right leg. I also am (was) a fanatic mountain biker, but I ride less and less these days, because riding makes me pay a high price in back pain, afterwards. It makes me wonder; different people, different lives and different cultural environments with such unsuspected similarities…
    All the best.

    1. You know, António. It is so recognizable. The pain got to a point that I couldn’t ride anymore. What helped for me was walking. I started to walk each night for an hour. At first I felt a lot of resistance from my back and leg until after a couple of days I noticed I literally walked through my pain. Before I had a full suspension bike, but I finally built up a single speed bike based on my good old Stumpjumper. It was the best thing I did. With a single speed I make shorter, but more active rides. Less sitting, more standing on the pedals. Last weekend I trained on my ergo trainer at home and it felt good. So finally this week I jumped back on my race bike too.

      Best with your back pain, António!

  4. Wouter, nr 2, the hand on the bike is great, love the composition and the black background.

    NR5 is second up, nice misty scene.

  5. Glad you are feeling better. I saw about 100 cyclists today as the road I drive to work is a popular route. Hope you have lots of pleasant spring time rides. Sincere thanks for sharing the preset too.

    1. Temperatures are still cold here compared to SoCal unfortunately, but soon the true riding season will start. Most cyclists seem to start when the classics for the Pros have finished.

  6. Hello Wouter, after making a habit out of reading and looking at your blog since last year finally this series compelled me to comment. You have made so many fine weekly series which is even more impressive since your subject matter often is quite mundane, for lack of better words. This is not criticism from me but merely a way of recognizing fact. You make seemingly ordinary views look quite special because of your skills. But this last series, to me, must be one of your finest in a long time. To get such impressive B&W imagery out of the small Ricoh is truly special, and very inspirational to me, having finally bought a GRD last September, in good part because of your writing and photos. I find your seriousness very refreshing. Thank you and good luck with your increased health. All the best/Mattias (Stockholm)

  7. One of my favourite songwriters, Alejandro Escovedo, once sang: More miles than money. And that’s how this week feels to me. And what I love about these week of yours: How you are able to take me with you on these rides. The joy felt between your high contrasts, the great light & the amazing details. Every frame is so special, every frame is something felt more than seen. A great week. A great essay, Wouter!

    All the best & safe travels, Fritsch.

    1. Maybe April is simply the best season here. It is this month that provides the best light and shadows on the Northern Hemisphere for high contrast photography. I sure missed it.

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