Thursday, 26 May 2011

New website is LIVE!

This has been a project for not too long time, however it did a while to think it over of focusing more on photography. It is clean and simple, focusing on the images and nothing else. The result can be found on

Please leave feedback if you do have anything to say about my new site, either tweet, email, send smoke signals ... you catch my drift ... ;-)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Another photo licensed

About a week ago I received a message via Flickr with the question if it was possible to use one of my Cycle Vision photos of last year for a poster of some recumbent meeting in Madrid.

In my mind there was nothing but to agree with this, though I had a couple questions. A number of messages later we both agreed on the licensing of this image for this single event... Somehow I now do hope that more of such requests will follow, allowing me to invest a bit more into my photography ... at least it has given me a good feeling of being asked.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

SHORT: Back from Slovenia

To start of this blogpost, it was a grand week spent in Slovenia with a number of friends and acquaintances (whom have now become friends). Most of my time was spent paddling on the Soča and the Koritnica, almost all sections have been paddled (except for the extremely dangerous sections and a few other stretches of the river). I'd like to give you that this is a very short summary of the whole trip, working on some larger posts that give a bit more detail.

Personally I had one rest day where I had planned to go paddling, so hiked up a mountain with two others ... after snow was encountered we turned back ;-).

Though to get back on the topic, Slovenia, paddling and photos...In advance I had a few goals to actually paddle some nice stretches of white water and also create a number of grand photos. Oh yeah, also to have a great time. All these three goals have been reached in this 10 day stretch of vacation.

Arrival was in the morning of April 30th, after having driven through the night in my sturdy car ... quite a long time even with four drivers taking over the wheel after some period. A large coffee did taste pretty good in a German Autohof somewhere in South Germany during this night. The rest of the day was spent chillin' on the Soča in not all too good weather, but rain doesn't hurt anyone on the water.
As this was my first time in my second-hand Wavesport Z it took a bit of time to get used to the kayak, but felt really good and way better than my previous Bliss Stick Flip-stick as river runner.

Ivette near the Soča gorge
Ivette in her Pyranha Inazone 230 on the Soča

From monday on the weather turned for the better during the day, though at night still quite cold. Even discovered one early morning that the tent had actually frozen stiff, must mean that it was quite chilly. In the evenings a fire kept us going and with these low temps the distance between person and fire was not all too far.

Camp at night
Camp by night

The day before last I was finally able to actually work on my photography goal that I had also planned, was just too tired to actually paddle the Trnovo slalom course the correct way and get all the required eddies. So took my DSLR and ran from spot to spot along the course itself, with some of my friends as willing volunteer for photos (who wouldn't want some spectacular images of him/herself on white water :p ). In the photo below Arend-Jan is taking a nice line through a small hole in the first section of the course.

Arend-Jan ripping it on the Trnovo slalom course
Arend-Jan on the Trnovo slalom course

More posts of this trip will be published in the next few weeks, though for so far more photos can be enjoyed on my Flickr-page.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Going kayaking in Slovenia :)

Small waterfall in the Guil, with me paddling

After having not been on a vacation for a number of months, its time again to go on another trip again. This time heading to Slovenia with a couple friends of the student canoe club DKV Euros for a week of white water kayaking.

Have been in the same region for a few times now, and paddled on the same rivers also. Everytime has been a blast, what is better than to have fun on and off the river with friends, and spending the whole day outside for a whole week?!

However, this time I am going to add a bit of more purpose to the trip besides learning to paddle better on white water; my goal is this time to take a number of spectacular kayaking and lifestyle photos. The underlying goal of this will be to improve my photography and photo portfolio of outdoor adventure photos.

I promise to write a bit more about this sometime later in the coming week ...

Friday, 1 April 2011

Short review on the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L

Navigation skills were lacking a bit that day ... iPhone's GPS worked wonders :p

OK, a while back I promised on Twitter that, after having purchased a second-hand Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, I would post a review about this lens on my blog. Besides, the Interwebs is also about sharing information, not only gathering info; so here is my contibution that I hope to do more.
A note here: I am not a professional photographer, merely an enthusiast that is eager to learn more about outdoor adventure and travel photography...

Having previously owned the incredible Canon EF-S 10-22mm my reasons to go for the 17-40mm were the weather sealing in this lens. I found myself shooting in the rain and in horrible conditions sometimes and just didn't want to do that to the 10-22mm. So in those cases I would go out with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and not bother about the weather.... but missed the wider shots then in those conditions.
The 17-40mm is presented as a lens with good weather sealing, if fitted with a screw-in filter on the front. However, up to so far I really haven't had a proper chance (errr... taken the time) to go out in bad weather conditions with my camera and the 17-40mm. So no comments yet on the weather sealing...

The first time I had the lens on my 20D body I could feel the difference in weight, in comparison with the 10-22mm. The 17-40 is quite a hefty lens, and is also a bit longer than the 10-22mm. The difference in weight is  just over 100g (385g for the 10-22mm, and 500g for the 17-40mm), which is a significant increase in weight coming from the 10-22mm. I do like the additional weight on the whole combination, as it is a bit easier to keep the camera steady for those slower shutter speeds (up to 1/2th of a second, personally).

As there is quite a difference in the term wide-angle when comparing the 10-22mm with the 17-40mm on my body, my first impressions of the lens were that I would lose quite a bit of wideness. Though, now that I have used the 17-40mm a bit more I tend to focus more on the things in the frame and try to get a little more closer to the objects I want in the frame.
Below I have posted two images while riding my recumbent, one is taken with the 10-22mm and the other with the 17-40mm (sorry for the hairy legs on the last photo ;-) ). I do like both images, and the difference in field of view is quite large, but I personally don't miss the super-wide-angle anymore for my photography. The image quality between the two lenses does not differ in my opinion, both are excellent sharp at f/4.

Cycling near Deventer - View from my bike

Scenery along the tour (2)

My conclusion to this short review: I have gained a great quality lens that will enable me to photograph in practically all weather conditions, resulting in high IQ photos.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Adventure Cycling Association annual photo contest

Another shot of the scenery
It is already a while ago that I heard of this photo contest. Not sure anymore how I got hold of this contest, probably via Twitter or Facebook, but decided that I wanted to participate.
The brief was to submit a maximum of five photos "highlighting the beauty, adventure, and inspiration of bicycle travel".
One of the photos was the photo that is depicted above, which made it as first photo in a blogpost by the Adventure Cycling Association.

Unfortunately I did not win this competition, though stoked to have made it as 'inspiration'.
Please check out the winners, these are spectacular photos...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Next big cycle tour: South America

Well, there I said it; my next big cycle tour will be in South America.
This plan has been playing around in my head for quite some time now.
It started while I was still cycling in New
Zealand, reaching the end of that big cycle tour.

Last year for my birthday I already put the Lonely Planet guides for
Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina on my wishlist; which I
subsequently also got from my parents ;-).

However, I haven't done much with these books so far, except flipping
through the pages. Though, today while watching the Going South
TV-series on Dutch TV, I made up my mind to go do a (short) cycling
trip this year, and plan for a big one in about two years. As a
response to putting that on twitter, I was asked the question of where
to? Well, that moment I decided to go to South America as my next big

Will this be on a recumbent bike, or a regular MTB-style touring bike?
I am not sure yet... What I do know is that I will love it to be back
on the bike again for a tour!

Will keep you updated as this plan comes into shape...