Thursday, 19 July 2007


These are a few of my favourite things.

Today, a snapshot of my new camera. I am over the moon, I just got the D200 as a present from Paul. This is my thank you to him, a quick shot in the studio, grey bg this time, full on flash, but that is irrelevant...
The FIRST image (a PORTRAIT of PAUL) TAKEN WITH IT!!! 1600 iso!

I was a full on film user and fanatic until a year ago. OOh yes I did have the Nikon P1 always with me, but for creative work, it was my Nikon F4s.
Then Paul decided on the Canon 5D, and I was given the D70.
I used it, in the beginning not a lot, but than, sadly one of my F4 died, it had been in hospital a couple of times, some transplants, but this was it!
So I used the D70 more and more, still very much as a film camera, not boasting about coming home with hundreds of images. Quietly happy if I came home with about 100 and had 5 good ones in there! Determined to use digital as much as possible as a film camera, I do not want to loose that discipline, of looking, concentration and focus you 'need' with film because it costs money. This is 'cost' of another level that you could be squandering? I see a lot of 'sloppy and slapdash'. But hey, that is only my opinion!

Somehow, I never really got on with that camera, no complaints, it just didn't seem to jell.

Paul came in, we were talking, I suddenly noticed this golden box on the table that said D200, I couldn't believe my eyes! I am so glad that I am not 'blasé' and still have that unbelievable feeling I remember from childhood, when I recieve a gift like this. Even after all those years, all the cameras and lenses, from Hasselblad to Zeiss, the tripods, lights, haha, loads of great moments!
The moment I held it, it felt so familiar, I found immediately what everything 'did'!
It reminds me of my F4.
I put it together with my fave lenses,
the Nikkor: 75-300
: 28-200
: 18-70
: 85mm
: 60 macro.

It is still ALWAYS a great moment, a new camera is a new partnership and a new adventure, lol
Ultimately they are only the tools of the trade! It is still the eye and the creative brain using them that will SEE and 'take' the image...

Thanx, M, (*___*)

Saturday, 7 July 2007


For more images of this UNIQUE event: click HERE

Photography is often the recording and eternalising of important, sometimes golden moments. An image can easily conjure up more than what your eyes see; you relive the emotion of that instance, the sounds, the smells and sometimes even tastes, like here, the salt on my lips. That is what the photographer experiences, but what about the viewer? Is it just a photo of a ship at sea?
Or will the words fill in the questions and gaps? I know there is a faction that maintains that a good photo speaks for itself; however I've often experienced people's genuine interest, not so much in the how, since that is ever changing anyway, but especially in the WHY?
The circumstances, feelings and reasons for your taking it, if you then add the emotions, the image is SOLD!!!

THE MERCATOR, 75 this year (2007).

For special occasions, one of them being a gathering of tall-ships, centenaries or royal anniversaries, she'll be kitted out again.
The last men and few 'older’ gang (the only ones still in the know) are gathered, the rest are eager but choice volunteers.
The bridges are drawn. The sluices and locks are very narrow; they guide her through from the quayside. Thousands of people come and watch it, forming a row of honour to bid her 'farewell'.
Late afternoon, I sit on the other side of the harbour, on the rocks at the right pier, the other side of town, in the shadow of the lighthouse and some war-leftovers (bunkers hidden and overgrown by dunegrasses).
Nobody there, camera on tripod, fixed and focused on the point where the Mercator will suddenly appear, ready to sail stately down the entrance of the harbour, between the two piers, cheered on.
After some impatient delay, she appears at the mouth of the dock, guided by towboats, frantic activity on deck and up the masts; she's being positioned for the glorious depart...
I get my shots, but, she's now moving, gaining momentum, so am I.
I run alongside, stopping repeatedly and briefly to take another shot, but my goal is the end of the pier.
I hear the creaking and shaking ship, she's alive again, this is what she's meant for, yes, she's in her element...
She dips her bow and stern alternately the closer she gets to the pier-heads, like a dolphin finding a rhythm.

At last, she's at sea, late, the sun is going, the mist and night coming.
The Jetfoil shoots out the harbour, and makes a bow of honour to the old ship, flying a semi-circle and giving the salute by blowing the horn in passing...
Most of the fleet of smaller vessels had stopped, got out of the way, saw her off...
I photograph her for as long as I can.
This is my last shot: 'The Mercator'.

This tall ship was designed by the Antarctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache (1866-1934) as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet. She was built in Scotland and launched in 1932.
Technical data:
• length : 78.4 m
• beam : 11.09 m
• draught : 4.5 m
• foremast : 39 m (square-rigged)
• mainmast : 41 m (fore-and-aft-rigged)
• mizzenmast : 40 m (fore-and-aft-rigged)
• 15 sails (4 jibs, 4 foresails, 3 staysails, 2 spankers and 2 gaff topsails)
• Speed : 13 knots (24 km/h)
• Crew : 150
The “MERCATOR” is named after the famous Flemish cartographer and is rigged as a barkentine or barquentine.
A barquentine is a sailing vessel with three or more masts and with a square rigged foremast and only fore-and-aft rigged sails on the main, mizzen and any other masts, related rigs are brigantine (2 masts).
Usually the “MERCATOR” carried 15 sails with a total surface of about 1600 m². Besides being a training a ship, she was also used, mainly before WW II, for scientific observations, or as ambassador for Belgium on world fairs and in sailing events.
She carried back two Moai (giant statues) from Easter Island. In 1936 she brought home from Molokai, Hawaii, the remains of Father Damien the Flemish missionary and apostle of the lepers, who died on the Molokai Island in 1889.
On February 21st, 1940, the training ship left the port of Ostend.
After a voyage to Rio de Janeiro, the Belgian ship arrived in Boma. This was the end of the twentieth voyage and at the same time the last cruise before World War II. Early 1943, the schoolship was summoned by the British Admiralty and left under the British Flag as a “Submarine Depot Ship” for Freetown, where it stayed till August 1945. It was only on January 18th, 1947 that the “MERCATOR”, taken in tow by the “Empire Mary”, sailed on the River Scheldt again.
Nothing was left from the formerly elegant and well maintained training ship. However she was repaired in Gent and sailed again from January 20th 1951 till 1960, used as a training ship and taking part in 3 major sail-races.
After World War II, the Belgian training ship put to sea again on January 20th, 1951.
The “MERCATOR” was in service as a training ship till August 1960 and made 54 voyages altogether, during which almost all seas have been sailed on and a great deal of ports called at.
The “MERCATOR” accomplished many scientific missions and many times represented Belgium abroad. The ship participated in the great sailing races, such as Torbay-Lisbon (1956), Brest-Canary Islands (1958) and won the Oslo-Ostend race (1960).
Her last trip was to Lisbon for the commemoration of the quincentenary (500 years) of the death of infante Henry the Navigator.
In 1961 she became a floating museum, first in Antwerp, and finally from 1964 in the marina of Ostend, just in front of the city hall. She was once more completely restored between 1999 and 2000 she is now a National treasure and monument.
The hottest news this week is she’s definitely staying in Ostend, West- Flanders Belgium.

Monday, 2 July 2007


My beautiful son came over for a visit.
He is happily married (steady ladies, but you can look, hihi!!!) with two lovely children.
I have captured again the essence of my son, a very kind man, hardworking, and being like me, a sensitive human being, he has had to learn to live in this harsh world and take some knocks, a bit sad about the betrayals and cynicism.
Yet always an optimist and still a bit of a dreamer.
I miss him and yes, I am proud of him, no surprises there?.
It is a scanned image of a wet darkroom print.
This has not been manipulated in any way, a slight crop off the left, comp in camera, focus on the eyes and very little dof.
I photographed enough people in my life to know if it's going to be 'easy' or difficult! Tee hee. lol. Now he is easy, because
1. he doesn't mind being photographed (mostly because he is so used to it after all these years, mmmm, not his brother, so there goes that theory, no?), so he behaves normal, he was listening to Paul here.
2. because he is one of those lucky people= PHOTOGENIC!


I’ve long wondered about that phenomenon, why are certain objects and certainly people so much more photogenic than others.
They look good to me, but take a photograph and… well, let’s say, what I expected is just not there!

So a person described as being photogenic may not necessarily look as attractive in real life and a person who appears attractive in real life may look less attractive in photograph.

This phenomenon is caused by the three dimensional and two dimensional polarizing effect and could explain why a person looks "better" in 2D than in 3D or vice versa. Therefore, a person described as photogenic means he or she looks better in 2D than 3D.(says wikipedia)

Well, these two models have both the 2D and 3D factor then, because they look good both ways, lucky sods… hihi, hey wait has it got NOTHING to do with the photographer and her skills? AAWWW… LOL.

I was after VERY high contrast ON FILM, ILFORD PAN F 50, virtually no grain and a special lighting in the studio.

Have a day full of laughter, it’s good for you, and thanx for your time, Magda, (*_*)