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travel diary: zandvoort

The second day of our little tour was a Saturday and as Amsterdam was bound to be crowded we opted for spending the day at the beach. The beach town of Zandvoort is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam.
We got up early and bought some buns and marmelade and fruit and drove out to Zandvoort to have breakfeast in the dunes.

Afterwards we walked into town and found the prettiest little beach bar to have coffee and just sit for a while and read.


The beach was surprisingly empty, perhaps because the weather was supposed to be cloudy and cool. Instead, by midday the clouds had cleared completely and it was hot enough to swim in the North Sea!


We spent the day relaxing and treated ourselves to dinner at an italian restaurant in the evening (though we did walk around for an hour to find the least pricey one).
More on our last day in Amsterdam soon πŸ™‚

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photo shoot by the creek

I am very lucky to have friends spontaneous enough to jump into a cold creek so I can take photos:


Sundays seem to be the days for impromptu photo shoots around here. I am loving the look of these, almost 1940ish to me. Isn’t she stunning?

My favourite, maybe my favourite image ever taken.

The light down at the creek was very tricky and I found myself wishing I had taken my Olympus OM2…film would probably have been better in dealing with it than digital.

This is almost an outtake, but one that I really love:

Thanks Dana, I really hope you didn’t catch cold and are fit for our next adventure, old school western camp next weekend πŸ˜‰

summer scenes part 2

So what do you do when it’s too hot to even move, the air is stuffy and full of horse flies and nevertheless the pony needs to be entertained?
We opted for walking the ponies down to the creek to let them and us cool down a bit and play in the cold, fresh creek water.


After a few minutes hesitation the ponies decided this was definitely more fun than standing on the pasture in the heat, being pestered by flies.

Though eating, of course, is still more important and the foliage was just too tempting after the dry grass.

My boots came out a little worse for wear, but it was worth it.

summer rant and lavender studies

How’s your summer going everyone? Here it’s been way too hot for the past week and living in a top-floor apartment that means little sleep because it doesn’t cool down even at night and little computer time, because even turning on the computers seems to make it even hotter and stuffier in here.
Also, the air conditioning in my car is broken, so I get home exhausted after a 45mins drive home from work in the blazing heat.
And to continue this rant a little longer, the heat numbs and prevents me from doing stuff like sewing and crafting. Not being active is terrible to me and I feel down and irritated and I’m afraid I’m giving my poor boyfriend a pretty hard time.
I don’t like summer. There, I’ve said it. Heat doesn’t agree with me. Nevertheless, I wrote this post with the intention of showing you some pretty photos and being all positive about this season, so here’s some pics I took in my mom’s garden the other day:

Aren’t those lavender blossoms gorgeous? The bees sure think so!

Ok, so maybe summer isn’t half bad in the evenings…

How’s your summer going?

and just forget the world

Sometimes you just need a little alone-time.

That little pony there? I’m lucky enough to have been riding him for 3 years. That pasture? Not where he’s supposed to be.
But the flies are a pain and in the big herd there’s a lot going on, with friendships to be forged and water to be fought over and he’s not a big socializer. So he frequently wanders off by himself, through the fence to greener pastures where he has lots of alone time, just the fat green grass and himself. Sometimes he’ll lie down and sleep with no other horse to be seen (someone has yet to explain to him that horses are herd animals).
He’s a weird little pony and that’s why I love him to bits.

western shoot: dana

A little impromptu shoot at the barn yesterday, mainly for me to practise some camera settings I wanted to try out without pressure.

Shooting in the bright sun at 2pm in backlighting… tough lighting situation but not always avoidable, so something I really needed to learn.

Spot metering…another function I had real trouble with and therefore never used during ‘important’ shoots. I finally got the hang of it yesterday.

And the last thing I needed to work on, especially in that light: shooting full manual. I used to shoot manual a lot with my Fuji S5600 before I got my DSLR. Then I happily settled for Aperture Priority and never gave full manual a second thought.

What inspired me to try all of this out were the presentations from Jessica Claire and Jerry Ghionis at Escalate Live , which I was lucky enough to be able to view online. Jerry’s examples made it clear that you really have to know your camera inside out to be able to get creative with it and Jessica stressed how important it is to try new things out all the time, even though they mightn’t always work (I’m sure she wasn’t talking about camera settings, but this is my starting point for now, before moving on to ‘higher’ things).

Bottom line: if you want to know how your camera really works, grab a willing friend and try, try, try. I learned valuable things about shooting in tough lighting, while using spot metering, while shooting in full manual mode yesterday.
If you need to start somewhere before that (for example moving away from auto mode to maybe aperture priority), try it!

This one is going to be an all time favourite, I am so in love with that picture!

Next on my things-to-do-to-become-a-better-photographer list: Learn to see more, become less hectic, learn to give instructions.
Oh, and I have already shot enough 120 film in my Holga to outdo the camera price…cool, eh? Look forward to lots of Holga pics πŸ™‚

kids shoot: miri

I did the final one of the kid’s photo sessions on Wednesday with a very cute 11-year-old at the barn and wow, she totally blew me away! In less than an hours we got so many great pictures that I seriously cannot narrow them down to the 5 or 6 I usually show in blog posts. Be prepared for a long post and many many pictures!
Look at those gorgeous blue eyes!

Don’t you just love taking photos when you can give lousy instructions like ‘ok, now smile’ (instructions are my weakest point out of many) and you get rewarded with this?

That’s what it must be like working with models (by the way, this is also a sneak peek of my new quilt with Anna Maria Horner’s wonderful Voile fabrics…more on that one when it stops raining and I can take pictures of it!):

The joy in photographing extremely photogenic people is that you can take 100 pictures and they look different in all of them. She hardly looks eleven here, does she?

We’d picked a great day for photos: slightly overcast with sunny breaks, nice afternoon light and a pretty strong wind replacing the professional fan I always carry around for people with long hair (not).

This may well be my favourite photo from the whole shoot:

Or wait, maybe it’s this one:


In case anyone was wondering, this is the ‘Vintage’ action from the free (!) Pioneer Woman Action Set.

All of my photos are edited using a mix of different free actions I picked up somewhere online, though I do have my very own super secret black-and-white action πŸ˜‰

After we were done out on the meadow we went down to the barn to get some horse shots. This is the pony she’s leasing to ride twice a week starting in June and she’s already soo excited about it:

Seriously, how cute are they together?

I think I’m totally spoiled now for anyone else wishing to have their pictures taken.