Lighting Experiments with Monica

I’ve been looking at the amazing work of Brandon Woelfel and Josefien Hoekstra the last couple of months. I love their post processing, color toning, Josefien’s use of latex and in the case of Brandon Woelfel I love how he plays with those small led lights.

I have already been playing around with color gels on several occasions. And I’ve been reading up on the topic of led lights. I had originally planned to use Christmas lights for the experiments. But I quickly learned that the wires used in Christmas lights are way too thick and that even the smallest of those lights are too big.

So, I’ve found these lights on Amazon.de. They are dead cheap and are battery operated. They seem to be perfect for this kind of work:

I still have a lot to learn, but these couple of shots I did with Monica are pretty cool.

Starlit Monica

Starlit Monica

Starlit Monica

Starlit Monica

I’m Going to Graceland

Or rather: I’ve been to Graceland. This is the last of the posts about my holidays in Tennessee this spring.

After having a blast in Nashville, my buddy Luc and I traveled to Memphis. The soundtrack to that leg of the trip started with Paul Simon’s Graceland, but that was just a prelude to lots and lots of music of Elvis. Elvis lived in his mansion in Memphis–named after the original owner’s daughter–from 1957 until his death in 1977. It is now a museum and a US National Historic Landmark.

Did you know it is the 2nd most-visited house in the USA? 2nd only to the White House in Washington D.C.

Elvis Presley's Graceland

Currently owned by Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley, the grounds and the mansion are quite crowded with over 650000 visitors per year. It’s so crowded, you hardly have time to get a good look at the rooms inside the house. Fortunately, you are allowed more time to visit his gravestone.

The media room at Elvis Presley's Graceland

The living room at Elvis Presley's Graceland

Elvis Presley's Last Resting Place

The museum across the street from the mansion offers many artifacts of Elvis Presley’s career and personal life. You can wonder around there for hours. Lots and lots of stuff to see: private airplanes, stage costumes, awards, golden records and so many cool cars.

Selfie at the Graceland Museum

Elvis Presley's Private Airplanes

Elvis Presley's Pink Jeep

Elvis Presley's Stage Costumes

Elvis Presley's Military Uniform

Latex and More with Lizzy

I had my friend Lizzy in the studio over the summer.

Actually, she had asked me if I wanted to do a photshoot for her friend Yana as a birthday present. She said she would love to shoot with me after I finished working with Yana. Lizzy knows I like working with her, so I guess she knew I would say yes to shooting with her.

She said she would arrange a make-up artist. She introduced me to Nadia. Nadia is a talented make-up artist I had already met a couple of times but never had the pleasure of working with her. She did an awesome job on Lizzy’s make-up. And both ladies surprised me with a truckload of outfits. Nadia styled Lizzy both in the outfits provided by MOOD-S and well as in some of the latex fashion from my collection.

I was an absolute joy to work with both ladies. I hope to work with Nadia and Lizzy again in the near future. I would really like that.

Lizzy in Feathers by Lovechild Boudoir and Latex by Catalyst Latex

Lizzy in Feathers by Lovechild Boudoir, Ballet Heels and Latex by Catalyst Latex

Lizzy in Feathers by Lovechild Boudoir and Latex by Catalyst Latex

Lizzy in Feathers by Lovechild Boudoir, Ballet Heels and Latex by Catalyst Latex

Lizzy in Feathers by Lovechild Boudoir and Latex by Catalyst Latex

Lizzy in Latex by Zorenko London and Fashion from MOOD-S

Romi & Shannety at the MAS Museum

As most of you know, I’ve know my favorite model and good friend Shannety back in 2012 when she entered a model contest. The very 1st shoot I did with her was actually a shoot with 2 other models: Romi and Sarah. It was 5 years ago this summer we did that shoot, I started an anniversary project with the girls. Unfortunately Sarah could make it–we’ve missed you Sarah!–but Romi, Shannety and I headed out to a rained out Antwerp for what turned out to be a very fun shoot.

They’ve both grown up from cute girls to classy young ladies as you can see from the photos. And if I look back on the 2012 photo, I’ve come a long way in my as far as my photography and my editing skills go.

Shannety & Romi in 2012 at Park Spoor Noord, AntwerpShannety (left) & Romi in 2012 at Park Spoor Noord in Antwerp

Romi & Shannety in 2017 at MAS Museum, AntwerpShannety (right) & Romi in 2017 at the MAS Museum in Antwerp

It was raining when we were supposed to start the shoot. We held off for a hour or so and caught up over coffee. After all, Shannety and I had not seen Romi in a few years. And by the time we were ready start the photo shoot, the sun came out.

Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Shannety & Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Shannety & Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Romi at the MAS Museum, Antwerp

Legendary Recording Studios in Tennessee 

There’s quite a number of recording studios in the Nashville area. Hey, they don’t call it the Music City for nothing! Most of them are not open to the public. Like the Bradley Studios, aka the Quonset Hut Studio, later owned by Columbia Records on Music Row which today serves as a recording classroom for Belmont University. Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Tammy Wynette have recorded at those studios over the years.

Columbia Records Studio A and the Quonset Hut in Nashville, TN

The RCA Victor Studio B is no longer and active studio but hold a legendary status. Elvis recorded many of his greatest hits in this studio designed by the legendary Chet Atkins. Open to the public, it can only be visited in conjunction with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

RCA Victor Studio B in Nashville, TN

In Memphis you should obviously visit the legendary Sun Studio where Elvis Presley recorded his 1st songs. But did you know that legends like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded there too? And did you know that the studio that was opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Aven on January 3, 1950 is still being used today?

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

Sun Studio in Memphis, TN

A little less known maybe but just as awesome to visit is the studio at Stax Records at 926 E. McLemore Ave in Memphis. The site is currently a Museum about the history of Stax Records but when you think of the artists that have recorded there—Otis Redding, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Isaac Hayes and Carla Thomas amongst others—you just have to visit it.

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Stax Records in Memphis, TN

Yana’s Brithday Bash

My friend Lizzy dropped me an IM asking me if I wanted to do a photo shoot with a friend of hers. Yana tuned 14 earlier this summer and Lizzy said she was really into fashion and photography. She dreamed of doing a photo shoot some day. Lizzy thought it was a good idea to give Yana a photo shoot for her birthday.

So together with stylist and makeup artist Nadia, we set out to give Yana the best birthday gift ever.  And even though Yana had never been in front of a camera before she came to my studio, she rocked the set. Here’s some of the incredible results from our collaboration.

Model for a Day - Yana

Model for a Day - Yana

Model for a Day - Yana

Model for a Day - Yana

I really have to thank Yana for modeling for me, and Lizzy and Nadia for their awesome work in preparing and executing the shoot.

Model for a Day - Yana

London Is Always a Good Idea

I spent a few in days in London the other day. I wanted to go see Little Big Town at the Royal Albert Hall. But I also had plans to take a couple of nice photos around town so I packed my camera gear too. On my list were The London Eye and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

The London Eye

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London

Even if you only have an iPhone on you–you don’t always need a big expensive camera–it is possible to make cool photos in London. I made these at Neal’s Yard, Canary Wharf Tube Station and the Natural History Museum. And I made them all with my iPhone.

Neal's Yard near Covent Garden, London

Canary Wharf Tube Station, London

Natural History Museum, London

Model for a Day Shui

Shui is a fellow Springsteen fan and a fellow photographer. We bump in to each other at concerts a couple of times a year and sometimes shoot side-by-side. A couple of months ago, she said she really liked my model photography and she asked if I would want to do a photo shoot with her.

After My friend Elem was done with makeup, we went ahead and shot these beautiful portraits:

Model for a Day - Shui

Model for a Day - Shui

Model for a Day - Shui

Power To The People

One of the challenges as photographer when you’re traveling is power. Something my best friend Luc and I’ve been developing over the years, is this little puppy: a universal power strip for traveling. I will never leave home without it. It will be most definitely be in my bag tomorrow as I leave for London.

 Universal Power Strip by victorie.com

Most hardware stores will sell cordless DIY power strips. Get yourself a small version with 3 or 4 outlets. Remember: it has to take up as little as possible space in your luggage. I obviously got myself a power strip with European outlets as all my devices have a European plug. You should get one that fits your needs.

Next, get a power cord with a C14 connector. You can get those at most computer stores. Attach it to the power strip and you have yourself a universal power strip. All you need now is standard computer power cords with a C13 connector at one end and local power plug at the other end. Again, you can get those at most computer stores. Buy it in the country of your travels if you can not find one in your country. And any decent hotel will have a spare one you can borough if you forget yours.

There’s a little caveat: check the voltage settings of your devices. Even though most devices have auto-ranging power supplies that can handle anything between 110V and 230V be sure to check it. Especially when you travel across the Atlantic. I wouldn’t want you to blow up your expensive camera or your laptop’s power supply because it is no fit for one or the other voltage.

2017 Sanicole Air Show

Sanicole Air Show is a staple in my air show season. The Sanicole airfield too close to home to want to miss it. It is a very nicely organized air show, working closely together with the Belgian Air Force base at Kleine-Brogel. That cooperation ensures a big presence of the BAF airplanes at the show.

They usually start off on Friday with a sunset show. And that’s the perfect opportunity to get good shots of the planes shooting of flares. I was very eager to get a good shot of our F-16 demo pilot, Tom De Moortel, call sign Gizmo firing of flares. Gizmo is his last year as a demo pilot on F-16 for the Belgian Air Force.


BAF F-16 Demo Flown by Gizmo at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

I was quite successful at getting a picture of Gizmo firing of flares on Friday night. On Sunday, I focused on getting a couple of good close ups of Gizmo’s F-16. And fortunately by the time it was Gizmo’s turn for his display on Sunday, the skies had cleared a bit and there were some specks of blue sky to brighten up Gizmo’s display.

BAF F-16 Demo Flown by Gizmo at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

BAF F-16 Demo Flown by Gizmo at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

BAF F-16 Demo Flown by Gizmo at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Gizmo is a pilot of 31 tiger sqn flying out of Kleine-Brogel AFB. He had is squadron members drop in for a couple of fly-by’s in close formation too.

F-16's of the Belgian Air Force 31 Sqn at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

F-16's of the Belgian Air Force 31 Sqn at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

F-16's of the Belgian Air Force 31 Sqn at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

The BAF has a little four-ship formation called The Red Devils. They hold a special place in my heart. They’re all homegrown pilots of course. The history of this team dates back to the 1960’s and as a kid I loved watching them when they still flew Fouga Magister CM-170R jet trainers. Today, they fly SIAI Marchetti SF260 planes and I still enjoy watching them.

The Belgian Air Force Red Devils at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

The Belgian Air Force Red Devils at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Next to all those cool displays from our own Belgian Air Force, there were a lot of international display and teams at Sunday’s show. Among them, the Saudi Hawks which I’ve never seen before. Flying the BAE Hawk in beautiful green and white, they put on a solid show.

Saudi Hawks at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Saudi Hawks at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

The last display of Sunday’s show was Patrouille de France. They’re reputation precedes them: they gave an impeccable presentation of their skills and the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet they are flying on.

Patrouille de France at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Patrouille de France at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Patrouille de France at 2017 Sanicole Air Show

Patrouille de France at 2017 Sanicole Air Show