Ricoh R10 diary – day 2

2009, Photography

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I went to the Flevopolder in the province of Flevoland in the Netherlands today. Flevoland is the youngest province and this land is completely handmade. It is all reclaimed land from a former sea. Although the theme for the Ricoh around the globe project is completely free, Ricoh would have hoped for a more ecological/environmental theme. With that in mind I went to some location were I could find giant wind mills.
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The thing that is not so easy for this project, is that all the photographs may not be post-processed on a computer. Only some in-camera editing is allowed which is pretty basic with some white balance and level compensation. The most important decision today was to go for color or black and white? After some photographs I figured out I wanted to do black and white. Although the original photographs did look quite flat, because you can’t set additional contrast in-camera when the B&W setting is selected, some level compensation afterwards helped to make the photographs look the way I wanted too.

Tomorrow I will do my final selection of the photographs and I hope to be able to sent the camera to Germany next Monday.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

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Ricoh R10 diary – day 1

2009, Photography

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I had some ideas for the Ricoh around the globe project today, but the weather didn’t take my thoughts into account. I certainly hope it will improve though and that I will be able to take some photographs this weekend.

I kind of like this camera, the Ricoh R10. It is the first Ricoh camera I used that has no RAW capability, and while I prefer the button lay-out of the Ricoh G-series, it remains a very intuitive camera.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

Near home

2009, Photography

Near home by Wouter Brandsma
Some might be fortunate living in a big city, full of great scenes of everyday life to photograph. My town is more a quiet town, but surrounded by beautiful scenery, mostly forest and farmland. I love to do street photography, but I find hardly any possibility to do so here. I do however find a lot of other interesting subjects.
Near home by Wouter Brandsma
In the meantime I am becoming more familiar with the Sigma DP1. I seem to learn how to adapt the speed (or slowness for others) of this camera, making me think more consciously before I press the shutter. The image quality is second to none for a compact camera in my opinion.
Near home by Wouter Brandsma

Near home by Wouter Brandsma
Don’t worry about me not using the Ricoh GX200 anymore. The handling alone makes it fun to use that camera and when I want to have huge depth of field or do something with macro it is still a very good camera.
Near home by Wouter Brandsma
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Holidays are pitfalls

2009, Photography

Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
We, us photographers, probably all know that feeling that we want to take our beloved photography with us on a holiday. We want to come back with photographs different from the mainstream. We either take too much equipments with us, much to the annoince of the family members. We take too many photographs of the same subjects that others don’t understand, or are not interested in. We look too hard for stories, we try too hard to be different.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
We look forward to take great photographs, we prepare ourselves extensively to see what can be photographed and what is compelling. But you know, it never works that way. Your partner wants to have a break too, she or he actually wants to enjoy the holiday. The kids needs attention, and quite a lot as they are entitled to.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
This weekend we, our family, spent a great time in a pony park. That means that we were off the entire day with a pony and kids, and walked around the park.  It is a paradise for kids and a photographers nightmare. So I tried to focus on my creativity in between the limited time.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
I had both my Ricoh GX200 and the Sigma DP1 with me. While the DP1 gives beautiful photographs with some depth, it wasn’t the easiest camera to use. You need to think more, the autofocus is too slow, and zone-focusing not always that easy in ever changing situations.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
The GX200 with the smaller sensor gives great depth of field. And in combination with the snap mode it becomes a really fast camera. The combination of both cameras proved sufficient for the holiday. When the time is available I would get the DP1, and otherwise I took the GX200.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
The cameras were small enough to be hardly noticed. They were small enough to reach for the kids or the pony when ever needed. And the cameras were small enough to not look like a photographer too.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
While I didn’t want to get away with just snap shooting for the sake of the family album, I didn’t want to be too much in the photography mood either. I wanted to participate in the enthusiasm of my kids and wife. I wanted to be there for them.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
And we had a great weekend. The kids were pony riding the entire weekend. My son went to bingo nights, met Zorro, and we even played “midget golf” (mini-golf for the political correct – thanks Nathalie).
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
My wife even had some time for herself.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
Picking up the pony at the beginning of the morning was good fun and the ponies loved the attention from the kids.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
My daughter felt so familiar with the ponies, she could use them as sofas too. And great photo opportunities for her dad too.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
While my daughter and I were following a lesson my wife had some time to relax and photograph too with her cellular phone.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
And I had the opportunity to do some little horse back riding myself, much to the enjoyment of the kids.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
So, be realistic. Of course it is great to come back from a holiday with great photographs. But enjoy the family life too, and let your family have fun too. There remain so many opportunities to photograph outside the holiday.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
When you are part of the kid’s excitement the photography will come too.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
And a final photograph of my young daughter with pony Jul, our loyal companion for the weekend.
Holiday photograhy by Wouter Brandsma
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Unexpected

2009, Photography

I wanted to dedicate todays post to the local celebrations of Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, but our country is in disbelief after the tragedy in the city of Apeldoorn. A car crashed into a crowd who were watching a parade when the Queen and her family past by in an open bus. He killed four people and later this night a fifth person died in the hospital as a result of the injuries.

The Netherlands has been an open minded society. The Queen could be hugged and kissed during celebrations and her sons danced with the crowd. Today we started the celebrations with the same expectations, but at 11:49 AM a lunatic stole other peoples life in front of national television. The day ended with flags half-mast throughout the nation.

Queen’s Day is usually a day of fairs, folklore, dance, and music. And today was no exception. We went to a fair in Down town Ede were we attended a demonstration of the Martial Arts school. Later today we visited a fair in our neighbourhood, but the atmosphere was just not the same.

Queen's Day by Wouter Brandsma

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My son saw so many stuff to buy, but we really had to stop him. But apparently he didn’t like it.
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All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

The light was difficult today. It was partly cloudy, sometimes with strong shadows and bright light and sometimes hardly any shadows to be seen. Instead of relying on the lightmeter of the camera, I trusted the sunny f16 rule. Together with the manual focusing, mostly zone-focusing, I encountered no problems with the camera.

And although my friend, who loaned me her Sigma DP1, insisted I would take the Ricoh GX200 with me together with the DP1. I just took only the DP1 with me and it worked remarkably well.

Sigma released a new version of their Sigma Photo Pro RAW converter (version 3.5 for Windows and 3.3 for the Mac). This new version is able to handle the RAW photographs from the new Sigma DP2, but let to a lot of responses from users about the way it handled highlights differently and worser. I personally didn’t encounter that, but I did notice that the newer version applies more noise reduction at high ISO photographs in comparison the older 2.5 version for Windows. The good thing is that Sigma got a lot of RAW photographs from users world wide and are working on a solution.

I will be a offline until Monday without any internet access.