There is only 5 months left before a group of old men from Denmark are going to participate in the famous "La Marmotte" cycling event in France. It's "only" 174 km long and with 5.2 km of climbing, passing four mountains and finishing on the top of Alp Duez.
Our training for this event started several months ago and today it was time for a status. So we booked time at the Danish Sports Academy for a serious test. The result was both encouraging (we have come far and have a high fitness level for our age) and worrying, as we still have plenty of room for improvement (increasing the number of hours we train and the millage we are cycling per week). In a few days I'll receive my status report and recommendations for a 16 week training program.
But one thing is dead sure - we all have to loose weight. I have to loose minimum 5 kg over the next 4 months. My target is 80-82 kg on July 1st.
The sun was shinning today and I went to a nearby wood to look for a suitable photo subject. When photographing nature you either need to capture the grand view or focus on details - as in this photograph, where I have captured part of a decaying tree lying on the ground among its erect cousins.
I chose to convert to black & white to put focus on the fine structure and pattern in this section of the tree trunk.
For the B&W version I used preset 3.06 Structured Silver from Silver Shadows 2.0. For both photographs I used a preset from Julian Kost - Darken HP -20A 70F - to add a vignette.
The next phase is to see this on print. A monitor and a piece of art paper are really two different types of output medias and I think the best way to judge and appreciate a photo, is when it has been printed in the correct way on a piece of high class art paper.
Twice a year Vivi and I are teaming up with our good friends Ingrid & Ulrik who share our passion for Italy, food and wine. We are living not that far from each other in both Denmark and Italy. Ingrid & Ulrik are also manufacturing their own wine at their Italian Casa, which you can see here:
And while we are at it - here is a photo of our house in Italy:
The rule is simple. We each bring two bottles of excellent Barolo or Barbaresco and then the hosts of the evening are responsible for the food. As you can see from the wine line-up we are bringing really top wines - two Barolo's and two Barbaresco's - both 100% Nebbiolo based - to the table. The wine makers are - from left:
My daughter Camilla would like to work professional with photo and video. She is finishing highschool this year and need to prepare a portfolio of her photographic work to present as part of the application for the multimedia school she wants to attend. They will only accept 20 students each year and the number of applicants are several hundred.
The work to build her portfolio started today and Camilla had persuaded her good friend Simone to act as a model. We set up our home studio and worked both with a white and black back drop and various light set-up with a set of Elinchrom D-Lite flash units and a range of diffusers. For once I acted as the assistent and Camilla made her own choices of lenses, light and set-up decisions. It was difficult for me to shut up, but I tried my best :-)
This photo I took while Camilla and Simone was looking through all the photos Camilla had made on her Nikon D3100. I'm looking forward to see which photos she is going to select and how she will po…
While driving home from a couple of meetings in Copenhagen I passed this beautiful building that was lit by the late afternoon sun. As an eager amateur photographer I always carry my Nikon D300 aside and was able to grab it, roll down the car window and shoot a couple of frames while waiting for the light to turn green. The photo is cropped a bit and post processed in LR3 - and it looks also rather nice on print too!
Nikon D300, AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G, Exposure 1/200 sec at f/16, ISO 200.
I talked to former colleagues at PostNord today, so why not do some macro stacking exercise with this little "Postman Per" figure.
When shooting macro you are working with a very narrow depth of field - especially if you are using a wide open aperture (f/2.8 in my case) to get a nice blurred back drop. A narrow depth of field means that parts of your subject will be out of focus. The solution is to take a range of photos where you focus on different part of your subject and then stack the photos in Photoshop CS5.
Here is my three photos:
As you can see - different parts of this little figure is in focus in each photo. After importing them into CS5 and following a simple process I achieved this "stacked" photo, where the complete figure is in focus.
Today I'm once again experimenting with my Speedlight's. On my right I have a SB-700 with a Lastolite 45x45 cm EzyBox (you can see the catch light i my eyes). The distance to my face is app. 50 cm and the light power is set to 1/3 of full light power. On my right I have a SB-900 with a Honl Speed Snoot to focus the light beam on my right eye. The SB-900 is set to lowest light power output and the distance is 1.5 meter.
Both the SB-700 and SB-900 is controlled with a PocketWizard Flex TT5 and on my D300 I have both a PocketWizard MiniTT1 and a PocketWizard AC3 (to control the flash output without having to manually dial the flash power settings on each flash unit). My D300 is in manual mode - exposure 1/125 at f/8. I'm using my AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G lens (90mm on a DX) wich turns out to be a very capable portrait lens. Post processed in Lightroom 3.
Having a water pipe damage in your home is really a mess. But after a week installing new pipes and reestablishing electricity and heating, I drove to Slangerup to pick up all the water damaged equipment that had been removed from our home in an attempt to remove the water a slow drying process.
So my expectations wasn't too high arriving home with all that equipment. My 24" Mac monitor was the first unit to receive power and to my delight it worked. So did the keyboard and mouse. Then I tested my Elinchrom D-Lite set - they flashed away. Both my printers worked - all though I had to poor water from the Epsom Stylus Photo R2880 printer and let it try out for 8 hours.
So the only thing left now is to get a new wooden floor, new door and door frame in my study. The walls need new wall paper and painting. A couple of ceilings need to be replaced.
The photo of the day is a macro shot of a piece of wood with a rough and ragged surface - just like floot and ceiling after the wate…
Those who see which music I listen to on Spotify will have noticed that the band - Within Temptation - is rather prominent. Within Temptation is a symphonic metal band from netherlands founded in 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarrist Robert Westerholt. Their music is variously described as a symphonic metal and gothic metal.
Interested - go to Spotify and select their album "The Unforgiving". It's doesn't get any better. And of course it doesn't hurt that Sharon den Adel is one good looking female rock-metal goddess.
Today Peter, Christian, Finn and I visited X-Trainer Studio i Bagsvær for a test spinning hour. Compared to Fitness World - where we normally train - X-Trainer Studio focus only on spinning and hence has a more advanced spinning bike set-up with "computers" on every bike that monitor our performance and sends data to a huge screen, where all participants can follow their own performance and that of everyone else.
The monthly fee is only 220 kr. and I'm seriously considering adding X-Trainer Studio to my monthly "exercise cost", as I really need to monitor my fitness progress on a more professional level as preparation for the "La Marmotte" event in July.
While we were in Bad Gastein skiing we had a severe waterpipe leak that flooded our kitchen and my study, where all my photo and Mac equipment is stored. Tomorrow I'll visit the company who removed all the water damaged items (among those all my analog Nikon camera's) and here their verdict. I hope the managed to save my collection of analog Nikon cameras. My Mac monitor, Epson and HP printer and Elinchrom flash items can be replaced.
This also means that I hadn't had much time for photographing, so my iPhone has been used a lot to capture snap shots. The "snap shot" of the day is Mathilde - the youngest daughter to our good friends Lissen & Finn. Post processed with the iPhone app Iris.
Det sociale netværk for erhvervslivet - LinkedIn - har stor succes i Danmark, hvor antallet af brugere nu har passeret 800.000 personer. IDG - der er forretningspartner for LinkedIn i Danmark - har kommunikeret følgende statistik for LinkedIn i Danmark: 840.000 brugere+15.000 nye profiler hver måned!66% er over 40 år55% er mænd51% er fra hovedstadsområdet66% er højtuddannedeDer er over 5.100 grupper
Dermed kan vi konkludere, at hovedparten af dansk erhvervsliv er repræsenteret på LinkedIn. Hvis gennemsnitsbrugerens adfærd minder om min, så anvendes LinkedIn primært til at søge opdaterede kontaktinformationer om sit netværk samt profilindsigt om personer man enten skal møde eller lige har mødt.
Personligt har jeg en Pro konto og anvender jeg LinkedIn dagligt. En nyttig egenskab ved sit LinkedIn netværk er, at hvis du ønsker at etablere kontakt til en person, der ikke findes i dit netværk, så kan LinkedIn fortælle dig om der er nogen personer i dit netværk der har en direkte eller indirek…
After driving from 09.00 am to 21.00 pm we finally arrived at Puttgarden, where the ferry to Denmark (Rødby) is awaiting us.
As I had been driving the whole day there was no real opportunity to take a photo during the day, so when we where seated in the ferry restaurant I took this photo. On the wall there is a photo of the Danish Princes Benedikte and the live princess is Finn's daughter Amalie.
Captured with iPhone 4S and post processed in iPhone with Iris (filter: Lo-Fi 80's).
The last day of our 2012 ski vacation has ended. From left Finn is holding his new ski, which made him a better skier due to a better fit and grib. Next the daughters Mathilde and Amalie, who both made strong progress in becoming better at skiing and snowboarding. Then we have Lissen - Finn's wife - who also got a new pair of ski. As it turns out the cost of a good pair of ski has come down considerably and hence the ROI compared to renting is 2-3 seasons / trips.
My wife Vivi is very happy for her new very yellow skijacket, which - in her own opinion - made her a better skier. My son Christian had a fantastic week and really learned to master a snowboard. On the last day he went downhill with me on a black slope. Christian is holding my new set of ski - HEAD i.Speed Supershape - requiring "excellent skiing technique". Even though I've been skiing for over 20 years and think I'm a fairly good skier, this was a wakeup call for me. Suddenly it wasn't me contro…
This ski vacation has been a break through for my son Christian. He is now seriously good on a snowboard. Today I saw him skiing (or is it snowboarding?) down a black slope in a snow storm. I was very proud. He is nearly 15 and fast becoming a young man.
Shot with Nikon D300 and AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5, at an exposure of 1/125 at f/4.5 (70mm). A handheld SB-700 was remotely controlled by PW. Original dimension: 2848x4288 - cropped: 2290x2290.
My good friend Finn exposed to an iphone 4S and post processed in the IRIS app on the iphone. It's lunch time and we are waiting for our favour dish - Gullasch Soup. What we didn't know at this point was, that five hours later we would buy new ski and boots - so now we are equipped for 100% a total black slope down hill attack.
Snowboard is the ski disciplin for my son Christian. He is the only one in our family learning to master this unique ski disciplin. But it is hard work and a long and hopefully rewarding learning curve. Here we have Christian after a long day on showboard on a very cold day (minus 18 degree C), but with perfect slope and snow conditions. Captured with an iPhone 4S and post processed in LR3. Tomorrow we will have blue sky, lots of sunshine and minus 14 degree C.
Today we arrived at the lovely ski resort Bad Gastein in Austria where we will be skiing for a week. The photograph is captured from the centre of the city! Imaging a beautiful waterfall right in the middle of your city. I was only able to capture one third of the waterfall with my iPhone 4S. The post processing was done in Filterstorm on an iPad.
This morning I woke suddenly by the sound of splashing water. It was a water pipe that had bursted as a consequence of the hard winter cold we have had in the last week. The actual crack was 3 cm long and the water was all over the place. I closed the main water dial and after three hours the repair guy came and fixed the problem. The photograph - taken with an Iphone 4S - shows the piece he removed.
We feel lucky as we are driving to Austria for a ski vacation this evening. Imaging that this water leak has happened tomorrow. Water all over the place for a whole week. A nightmare.
Sorry to admit it, but all creativity has left me today. I'm so exhausted after two hours spinning, that I just want to go to bed. I snatched a pineapple from te fruit bowl and placed it in the snow outside. With a single flash (SB-700) I tried to get some creative lighting but failed also there. So here you have it - a boring pineapple on ice. Goodnight.
After a business meeting today in central Copenhagen I had to visit a photo store - Photographica - in Skinnergade. While walking there I passed the oldest square in Copenhagen called "Gammel Torv (Old Square)". It was established in the 13. century as part of Bishop Absalons expansion plans for Copenhagen. It was also the public execution arena for decapitation. Hanging was conducted outside the city walls.
My photo assignment today was a piece af art that I imaging should appear in an art catalogue. A white back drop was chosen so a shadow of the sculpture could be part of the final photograph.
I placed a SB-900 to the left of the camera pointing directly towards the sculture in an angle of 30 degrees. A SB-700 was positioned to the right of the camera pointing toward the sculpture in an angle of 60 degrees. A Heavy Frost gel was mounted on both SB's. To manage the flash output I used PW FlexTT5 on both SB's and PW MiniTT1 and PW AC3 on my Nikon D300.
The SB-900 was set to group A and the SB-700 to group B. With the stop-dials on the PW AC3 I controlled the flash output in steps of 1/3 stop until I was satisfied with the light distribution.
The Nikon D300 was in A-mode with an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/10. I used a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom at 110mm.
In LR3 I used "Clarity" and "Tone Curve" to adjust the contrast and shadow areas. Saturation is -100 (B/W). S…
This morning - when I drove to FitnessWorld - the temperature was hitting minus 14 degrees C. The high pressure over Denmark is causing this extreme cold but is also responsible for the clear blue sky and bright sun.
The daytime hours are beautiful - as is the twilight hours. This photograph was taken today at 5pm and the sun is setting creating a golden glow over the frozen lake.
If you go back a few days on this blog you will find another photo where the ocean waves are hitting the coast. Now only some days later the severe winter coldness we have experienced in north Europe is starting to freeze the ocean around Copenhagen.
Can you locate the 7 Seagulls ? I chose to make all edges dark to highlight the structure in the ice. The vignet is rather dominant to guide the viewer towards the Seagulls.
Right now I'm listening to the tune "Ice & Fire" with the amazing Dutch rock band Within Temptation.If you haven't heard about Within Temptation then do me a favor and locate this tune on Spotify and just listen to a fantastic melody. When the lead singer starts the chorus part (And I still wonder...) the the speakers must be a max power. Wauw.
Here is the lyrics - is is about a lost love or a lost cause - or both?
Every word you're saying is a lie
Run away my dear
But every sign will say your heart is deaf
Bury all the memories
Cover them w…
Time for a self portrait again. This conversion - from a standard color raw file to a mono version with punch - is made 100% in Lightroom. To start with I made it much more gritty but felt that it didn't look that nice on me. No presets have been used. I also used the "Adjustment Bruch" with "Auto Mask" to paint the back drop brighter.
The original photo is here - straight out of the camera.
And here you have the home studio set-up to make this photo.
The set-up is a Nikon D300 with a AF 50mm f/1.4. A PW MiniTT1 and PW AC3 is mounted in the flash hot shoe so it is possible to control the flash output of the SB-900 mounted on a PW FlexTT5 and shooting into a silver umbrella.
The D300 settings where: ISO 200, M-mode, exposure 1/125 sec f/5.6 as a starting point. I soon realized I hade to go to f/7.1 to get more DoF sharpness. The PW AC3 I started of on the lowest output value and the increase by one stop a time until I reased a reading on the histogram that look…
A couple pf photos from a small trip I made to an old mill close to my home. It's getting colder day by day and we should approach minus 15 degrees C in the next few days and if you add the wind factor it will feel like minus 36 degrees C. That is very cold for Denmark and we might achieve want we Danes call an "Ice Winter", where large part of the ocean around Denmark freezes to thick ice and the huge "Ice Breaker" ships will have to assist all the vessels sailing through our waters every day.