Tag Archives: Canon 350D

Back in action, a deliberate attempt to bring my photography to the next level

Dear all,

After a nice home leave during which I’ve been an offliner for most of the time, we have now settled back in and this is officially the first blog post from the new Mac (with migration from PC to Mac not having been as straightforward as I had hoped for).

The good thing about having been an offliner for so long is the fact that it has gotten me out of the daily habit to keep up with all my social media accounts. What is interesting to notice in this context is that on Twitter people stayed in touch during my absence, while my Facebook page really died down. There’s a few lessons to learn here as per which forum to choose if you want the message about your work being spread, even when yourself you’re less active for some time. That being said, I decided from now on to focus on contributing meaningfully to the more photograhy oriented fora such as G+ and 500px, while trying to get some more shots past the curators on Earthshots and 1X.

The extra time that becomes available in this way, I will use for attacking my New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) course, processing some shots and updating the site.

And while we’re at it, let me say some more about the NYIP course in professional photography. It’s a distance learning programme that uses a great mix of written and audiovisual teaching materials. And I can tell you it’s great stuff, to me it almost works like therapy, keeping me calm and out of trouble while navigating through Nairobi traffic. And then I havn’t mentioned this yet: my proof of payment to this course gave me access to the student versions of both Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6, with the difference in price (79 vs 249 USD and 149 USD vs 999 USD respectively) actually covering my tuition fee. So while only just having started the course it is already paying off.

One of the things I always wanted to try yet which I never got my head around was the processing of an image in such a way that only the actual subject stays in the frame. With Photoshop at hand, I gave it a go on an image taken in the Bujumbura reptile parc with only ugly concrete as a background. As usual, your thoughts are more than welcome.

Canon 350D, Canon 18-55 mm @ 55 mm, 1/200, f/10, ISO 400

Before calling it a day, I want to let you know I am absolutely thrilled to have my ‘Cheetah Hunt’ image selected as one of the 220 images in the 2012 curated 1X yearbook ‘No Words’. I also entered the same shot for their 2012 photo awards, so while we’re at it and in case you feel like it, your vote is more than welcome, you can do so by clicking here.

All the best,



Provide feedback

Dear all,

After connecting and sharing, providing meaningful feedback is the next step, and there’s a few things about providing feedback. First of all there’s the person who provides the feedback and secondly there’s the way of providing feedback. I recently also read a great article by Scott Bourne on this with which I couldn’t agree more: Pedantry is the enemy of great photography.

So, when it comes to the person who provides the feedback, ignore the ones whose work is not out there and whom do nothing but breaking down your picture, they belong to the category of pedantics being described in the mentioned article, people with all the textbook knowledge, yet not able to think outside the box and contributing zero point zero to the photographic community. On the other hand, there are some great photographers out there who are happy providing constructive feedback, people whose work you admire and it’s their inputs you want to get.

Constructive feedback is about catching somebody doing something right, a basic rule of management that can also be applied to photography. While providing feedback, focus on actual ways to improve a shot, on helping people to better capture their vision on the sensor, instead of pointing out what is bad in your opinion and according to the great book of photography.

Let me illustrate this with the following shot:

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 mm @ 260 mm, 1/250, f/8, ISO 200

… yes, I know, the tail of the small one is cut off, and some people would go on and on about that, yet that is not the point, good feedback here would be how to better process the picture, … Does it mean I don’t care about the tail? Certainly not! Did I learn from it? Oh yes! Did it prevent me from taking the shot and sharing it? Certainly not! Never stop shooting and sharing because of the pedantics, never ever let them win! A lot of people still like an honnest capture of a great sighting or some great behavior, even if it isn’t perfect. In a way, it takes more guts to get such a shot out than to post that ‘perfect’ shot you got. As wildlife photographers we have to do with the conditions that are given to us and if you are afraid of making mistakes out of fear for criticism, you’ll eventually miss out on the perfect shot as well.

Feedback is about giving and taking. Don’t be paternalistic, provide feedback by suggesting what could be done to improve a shot, up to the creator to take along that piece of advise or not. Make suggestions instead of blank and opinionated statements: you should do this, you should do that, … is helping nobody. ‘The best steersmen are always ashore or ‘Bachelor’s wives’ and maiden’s children are well thought’ are proverbs that don’t apply to the great.

Warm regards and looking forward to your feedback,


PS: I am about to go on home leave and will not be posting for about a month and I’m already looking forward to get back to you after that.