The original sound of Lakshmi Music

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Very rarely you hear a band with a true original sound. I had this experience when I heard   the Dutch band Lakshmi on a festival a while ago.

It started with the line-up: there was a real (two person) string section, and got only better when the music started. It is difficult to describe the sound, the description that came to my mind was a mix of the Velvet Underground, Soft Cell and the Eurythmics.

The band and band members are relatively young and have a lot of ambition and potential. They definitely deserve and international audience and I am curious how far they will come!


All pictures taken with a  Nikon D70S camera in combination with a Tamron 18-200 (non VC) lens.


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Sherlock Holmes in Switzerland

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A ‘must see’ in Switzerland are the Reichenbach Falls. The reason is not so much that the Falls themselves are that spectacular (at least they failed to impress me). The Reichenbach Falls owe their fame to the fact that this is the venue where Conan Doyle chose to end the life of his hero Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was killed here by his greatest enemy Professor Moriarty in the story “The final problem”. At least initially – due to popular demand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was forced to bring his hero miraculously back to life.

The Falls are made accessible by a funicular from the town of Meiringen at the foot of the fall. The town tries its best to bring Sherlock Holmes back to life as well. There is a Sherlock Holmes statue and of course several pubs and hotels with names referring to the famous detective. There is a even a museum devoted to him, which is of course interesting from a meta-physical point of view: a museum dedicated to a fictional character.

In the town there is also a picturesque church with a beautiful and interesting  separate tower. Below the church the excavations can be seen of the predecessor of the current church.

The circumstances for taking pictures were less than ideal. When I visited the fall it was raining and there was dense mist. Fortunately enough I had the weather sealed Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC lens for my Nikon D750 with me. I have to admit I relied quite a bit on my Adobe Lightroom sliders to overcome the clouds and mist in post production…

The pictures in the town were also taken with my Nikon D750, this time combined with the Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8 lens.reichenbach-hreichenbach-ereichenbach-n-1reichenbach-breichenbach-freichenbach-7reichenbach-8reichenbach-jreichenbach-9reichenbach-kreichenbach-13reichenbach-14

Büren – Another Swiss town with a (in?)famous timber bridge

Last weekend I happened to drive through the city of Büren in Canton Bern (Switzerland). Much to my surprise, before entering the village there was a beautiful bridge, where the road crossed the Aare river. Later I learned that the wooden bridge had been set on fire and burnt down in April 1989. It has been alleged that this was perpetrated by the Jurassic separatists of the Béliers movement. The bridge was rebuilt in 1991.

After crossing the bridge I drove through a beautiful ancient small town center with lots of well restored and maintained old houses.

When I stopped to take some pictures I encountered a couple of members of a Moped Club who happily gave me permission to take some pictures of them.

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All pictures taken with a Nikon D750 and Tamron 28-75 in Raw, processed with Adobe Lightroom

Impressions of the Lake District

One of the most beautiful parts of the world is the Lake District in the North of England. It is a beautiful green area, with mountains, brooks, lovely villages and, well, lakes. I once read that it was this landscape that inspired Tolkien when he described the landscapes in his “Lord of the ring” books, and I would not be surprised. The Lake District is incredibly idyllic. During one hike my travel companion exclaimed at a certain moment: “Look at how beautifully God created the earth”, and I could not agree more.

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“The Struggle 1” – Nikon D750 Tamron 28-75

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“Kirkstone Pass Inn” Nikon D750 Tamron 28-75

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“The Struggle 2” Nikon D750 Tamron 28-75

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“And you are?” Nikon D750 Tamron 28-75

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“The Struggle 3” – Nikon D750 Tamron 28-75

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“Old man Coniston 1”- Olympus OM-D-EM 10 Zuiko 9-18

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“Old man Coniston 2” – Olympus OM-D-EM 10 Zuiko 9-18

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“Abandoned Copper Mine 1” Olympus OM-D-EM 10 Zuiko 9-18

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“Abandoned Copper Mine 2” Olympus OM-D-EM 1o Zuiko 9-18

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“Abandoned Copper Mine 3” Olympus OM-D-EM 10 Zuiko 9-18

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“Old man Coniston 3” Olympus OM-D-EM 10 Zuiko 9-18

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“View on Coniston Water” – Olympus OM-D-EM 1o Zuiko 9-18
 

 

Sarah Jane: Soul with a capital S!

I really enjoyed the performance of Dutch singer Sarah-Jane and her band at the 2016 Bevrijdingsfestival in the Hague. A great combination of self-confidence, beautiful voices (incl. Kimberley Janice and Lola Green), great musicianship and an overdose of enthusiasm.

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The Cool Quest

I did not hear about the Dutch band the Cool Quest before, but the text about them in the “Bevrijdingsfestival” (Liberation festival) brochure sounded promising. Their music turned out to be a great cross-over of hip-hop, soul and funk. Their performance was super: what a presence, what an enthusiasm! Highly recommend their songs “Funkin’ badass” and “Shine” – if only for the saxophone.

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All pictures taken with my 10+ year old Nikon D70S and 4+ year old non-VR Tamron 18-200.

Liberation Day Concert The Hague 2016

Every year on May 5 The Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day in memory of the liberation of the Netherlands on May 5 1945 from the German occupation. On May 5 this year a series of concerts was held at the Malieveld in the Hague.

They day before I was advised, by the camerashop where I alway buy my gear, that my Nikon D70S camera and Tamron 18-200 lens did not have commercial value anymore. Hence I decided to take this camera and lens along to see if there was at least some artistic value in it.

During the afternoon I attended concerts of The cool quest, Lakshmi, Sarah-Jane and Ceux Qui Marchent Debout. The weather was great and the extremely relaxed atmosphere was even better. Here you can find my pictures of the audience. In upcoming posts I will share some pictures of these bands and enable you to judge if there is still some artistic potential in the camera and lens left.

A morning with David Yarrow

Recently I attended an inspiring lecture by wild life photographer David Yarrow. Normally I consider wild life photo’s as XXL boring, but David Yarrow is an exception. He produces beautiful, large and stark contrasted black & white wildlife pictures.

During his lecture he candidly shared his views on photography; both from an artistic, as well as from a commercial perspective.

 

 

  • Stock photography as a business is dead. Too much supply. News photography does not pay too well. Fine art is commercially the most attractive option
  • Black & White has specific artistic merits
  • Try using lens openings to the extreme, make choices: either go for a large depth of field or a shallow one
  • Less than optimal weather conditions often invite great pictures – who is waiting for yet another picture of the Swiss Alps in the snow in bright sunlight?
  • Avoid clichés – do you really want to take the same picture from the Eiffel tower as anyone else?
  • Try a 35 mm lens
  • A little editing does not hurt if you want to produce art – you are not creating a record of a historic event but producing something you want people to enjoy

If you are curious after David’s work I can really recommend you to buy his book “Encounter”. It is great book, both in terms of quality, …as well as size: a whopping 2.5 x 45.1 x 38.1 cm!