Tag Archives: social media

Eliminate the noise

Dear all,

In my last post, I talked about slowing down, and those of you reading between the lines might have captured that my muse decided to take a nap. To me, these are the perfect moments to reflect and to separate the important from the not so important, the perfect moments to eliminate some noise. Noise, as in non muse feeding, time-consuming distractions.

And boy, does it feel good:

  • I took a critical look at the twitter acounts I have been following for the last months and stopped following the ones which create noise without feeding my muse, … at one point I was close to following a 100 people, that is now down to 55, no pun intended for the ones I no longer follow. Needs for information and inspiration change, …;
  • I closed down my shutterstock account, mainly because I want to shoot for myself instead off adjusting to what the market wants. And let’s be honnest, with 25 cents per shot, there’s little reason to do it for the money;
  • I stopped pondering about a 5D Mark III, even better, I decided to stick to my 7D and to sell off my 5D Mark I, allowing me to focus on my photography instead of my gear, wasting time as per which camera/lens combination to carry around, to then come home to waste some more time in regretting not having carried another combination. All excuses for having failed to be creative with the tools at hand. On top of that, I got convinced that without switching between a full-frame and crop sensored camera, my photographic eye will further develop itself, by improving my ability to see what my camera will see without actually having to put it to my face, on its turn increasing my ability to recognize the photographic opportunities out there;
  • facebook is next, I still havn’t gathered the muscle to actually close down my page and post from my personal account only, … it’s a process, who knows what will happen during my muse’s next nap?;

Anyway, the time I’ve saved by spending less time on social media, I’ve been using productively. I’ve been reading quite a bit about photography, vision, creativity, … two highlights being David duChemin’s set of ‘Vision is better’ e-books and ‘How to be creative’ by Hugh MacLeod, a free e-book well worth your time, you won’t regret it.

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM, 1/40, f/20, ISO 100
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM, 1/40, f/20, ISO 100

As a result, my muse is singing again: dug into Piet van den Eynde’s Lightroom tutorial e-book and have been working om some long overdue shots; updated this site (the devil is in the detail) and have done some thinking about what kind of photographer I am. Earlier on I’d call myself a nature and wildlife photographer and that still is what my muse likes most. In addition, I figured World Photography to best describe and capture my non nature related work.

Finally, and most importantly, I started shooting again and I am working on some projects, one of them being a book of our daughter’s first year (no worries, I’ll spare you) and as I write this, I am uploading some postcards to Moo, to be followed …!

Eliminate the noise and your muse’s voice will be heard again, her voice is actually always there, make sure you give her room to sing.

For those of you who are still with me at this point, do you recognize this? And how do you deal with a sleeping muse?

Warm regards,



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,