Category Archives: Camera

Liftoff! My new website is in orbit

website-200At times it seemed like a mountain too steep to climb, a rock too heavy to push. Five hundred hours of design, programming, developing, adding images, redeveloping old images, writing content, typing meta data, etc., have paid dividends and I am now very happy, relieved and proud to present and launch my entirely new website. FlemmingBoJensen.com Mk III is now live!
NB! If you get the old site, reboot your computer, try again.

I cannot convey how sweet it is to finally launch this ‘ship’ and I am very pleased with the result. Before you head over there, take a few minutes to read about the site.  I have so much to tell, I must try to be brief though.

Features

  • Innovative design by Jesse Speer of WideRange Galleries, read more below.
  • Programming and brilliant CMS by Jack Brauer of WideRange Galleries.
  • More than 300 of my very best fine art images have been carefully selected for the galleries.
  • Large preview images. I want my wide open spaces to really bring you to my world, so most images are 1000 pixels wide.
  • The much-fabled Southwest USA gallery is launched.
  • More than 75 new fine art images from USA, Laos, Thailand and Australia from my November 2009 to June 2010 life on the road have been developed and are launching today with the new site.
  • Nearly half of the existing images have been reworked and reprocessed in Photoshop to meet my current standards and processing techniques.
  • New profile, artist statement and bio on the About page.
  • Search index, browse images by search tags, location, themes, colours and still to come, moods.
  • Integrated shopping cart.
  • Still much to come in the following months: New images. Integrated WP blog (this blog will move), large stock image archive, wallpapers, calendars and if I can get 30 hours in the day, books!

Design

Jesse Speer of WideRange Galleries created the design. Jesse blew my mind with his draft one, he truly captured my vision. Here are some of the words I gave Jesse: Wide Open Space, minimalistic, uncluttered, otherworldly magic look, hyperreality, earth tones, red soil, blue sky, orange sunlight, desert, ocean, waves, dunes, grandscapes, view to infinity, elements that float free, weightless, no limits, no boxes, no lines.

Website-background blog His design and the background are created from my images and I love it much and feel it is a work of art in itself so I want to present it here for you to enjoy. This is the otherworldly view to infinity, to a horizon that is not there, to a world you float freely above that draws you in but has no borders, no confinements.

New company name, we "Escape in Landscapes"

FBJ logo

No, I did not change my name to Luke Skywalker. Rather, I have changed my company name to "Flemming Bo Jensen – Escape in Landscapes". The Escape in Landscapes slogan elegantly describes what I am all about and offer. My vision and my otherworldly boundless wide open spaces ensures there is nothing familiar to collapse the dream, allowing you to Escape in Landscapes. Thanks to a dear friend for the words.

Southwest USA gallery launched

USA thumb Yes, the wait is over. The much fabled, much hyped release is reality. Fifty new fine art images from the ethereally beautiful Southwest USA, and still a few to come. Possibly the best work I have ever done. Enjoy this 12,000 km ride through the magnificent southwest.

WideRange Galleries

My new website is a WideRange Galleries website using their custom built CMS for photographers. It has been a great, fruitful and creative project working with Jack and Jesse, and I highly recommend WideRange Galleries if you’re looking for a new website. My sincerest thanks to Jack and Jesse for building and designing such a superb website for me.

Enjoy!

I have gone on for far too long, switch your browser to full screen browsing, head over to FlemmingBoJensen.com and enjoy and escape. I hope you spend some time browsing, then come back here and let me know your thoughts. If you spot any problems, spelling errors, etc. I would also be much obliged if you would inform me. Enjoy!

All systems go. Liftoff. Approaching orbit. Escape in Landscapes.

www.FlemmingBoJensen.comwww.EscapeInLandscapes.com

FBJ-signature-black

A little less tech a little more art

A personal rant. Running around all these National Parks here in the US with a camera and tripod one meets and talks to a lot of other photographers. I guess as in all things life, some are great people and fascinating and inspiring…some not so much.

At Momument Valley I met 3 guys absolutely packed with very expensive gear complete with camera vests and survival gear. They couldn’t spot a composition if it was bended in neon for them so they spent all their time trying to outdo each other with gear talk boring me to tears. No, I simply do not care how much headroom RAW has nor do I care how much you are bracketing, HDR processing it, genuine fractals blowing it up etc. etc. 

It boils down to: it’s the photographer never the camera. Why are you shooting this? What are you trying to express? What made you choose that composition? How are you using the light, foreground, middle ground, background, leading lines, colours, contrast? What do you want your viewers to feel when viewing this? What are your favourite locations? The artistic not the technical side is the interesting part for me.

Monument Valley Totem Pole - blog Better post an image as well, this is what I shot while some of the gearheads in Monument Valley discussed bracketing and RAW headroom. Of course, they might have shot something much better, I hardly broke the world record for best composition (actually it’s stolen from Art Wolfe). But I at least kept quiet and enjoyed the sunrise while shooting.

Somewhat ironical this post comes right after I wrote a post on mirror lock up, purely technical – Not saying I am any better myself, just as boring! Still the next person to ask "what camera are you using" I’ll reply "Polaroid. It’s a polaroid!"

James Price Point and shooting video with the Canon 5D Mk II

Recently I finally found some time to get creative with video editing, something I have wanted to do for a very long time. The result of my video editing baby steps is just a very basic little movie of the absolutely gorgeous pristine coastline of James Price Point, Western Australia. Edited entirely in iMovie from a Canon 5D Mk II recording and featuring a few of my landscapes from James Price Point and the wonderful music of James Newton Howard from Blood Diamond soundtrack; this is Images of James Price Point:

Images of James Price Point, click to see larger on Vimeo

I use Vimeo.com for hosting videos although I feel out of place as Vimeo has so many extremely talented videomakers uploading absolutely magical videos. Have a look at my ‘likes’ on Vimeo and you shall see some amazing stunning work by people like Tom @ Timescapes and Mike Fletcher.

The first of my video editing attempts but definitely not the last. Now that I have experienced how much fun video shooting and editing is I wish I had shot a lot more on my previous trip and will surely shoot a lot on upcoming adventures!

Shooting video with the Canon 5D Mk II

Finally; I want to share some of my experience with shooting video on the Canon 5D Mk II on an actual production. During a corporate shoot in Malaysia and on Borneo in June 09 with Michael Rastrup from Danish Tv2 and Georg from Livingfilms.com we used my 5D Mk II quite a bit for the video as it soon became apparent the quality blew the JVC proHD camera away. Here’s a few of my experiences:

  • It is fun! It is an incredible amount of fun to be a still photographer and suddenly finding yourself shooting video on your still camera! I loved it!
  • Can’t do both simultaneously. Video shooting is incredibly time consuming and it is hard to try and do landscape photography at the same time.
  • The firmware allowing complete manual control of video shooting had just been released and I installed it on day 2 of shooting. It is absolutely essential, giving you complete control of exposure and aperture during video shooting.
  • Mounted on a great Sachtler tripod with a fluid head you forget it’s a still camera. The 5D Mk II becomes a video camera – but a good video tripod is essential for any sort of shooting and panning. The 5D is really terrible to handhold while shooting video, impossible to keep steady.
  • We were a bit perplexed at first trying to get footage from the 5D to co-exist in Final Cut with footage from the JVC. The 5D footage kept skipping. 5D shoots at 30 frames, cannot be changed, JVC shoots at 25 or 50 frames. We ended up using MPEG streamclip to convert all 5D footage to 25 frames and that solved the problem. There are rumours of an upcoming firmware for the 5D allowing us to shoot at 24 and 25fps also – highly needed!
  • Internal microphone is useless and the mini-jack microphone line input probably not a lot better. You really need a separate recorder I think. We actually recorded the audio on the JVC as that had XLR inputs and a headphone monitoring option, essential.
  • Shallow DOF created by 35mm sensor and shooting at f/4.0 is amazing on video! We shot some awesome close ups and over the shoulder shots.
  • High iso rocks! We shot indoors in offices, blinds closed, just a tiny spotlight and got beautiful results.
  • Shooting video eats the battery quickly as is to be expected and I only had one battery, this was back when Canon could not produce batteries. Re-charging at every chance possible was essential.
  • I can’t show the footage so you will just have to take my word for it – video on a 5D shot at 17mm from the back of a jeep driving through a palm plantation looks mindblowing! 17mm looks amazing on video as well as stills.
  • Oh one final tip, mostly for myself, try not to walk into tripod while you shoot (something I did several times)!

My videos on Vimeo

I recently upgraded my Vimeo.com membership to Plus status, and uploaded a few of my Canon 5D Mk II videos – more to come.

Before my 12 days assignment in June in Malaysia and Borneo, shooting video did not really enter into my thoughts when I was working. However, working with Michael from TV Asia and Georg from Livingfilms.com opened my eyes to how much fun video shooting is. The video quality of the Canon 5D Mk II is outstanding so we ended up using my camera quite a bit, mounted on a great Sachtler video tripod with me as the camera operator (I have all the raw footage and on more than one occasion I can be heard saying ‘action!’. Oh dear! Spielberg syndrome). It was a great and fun learning experience.

When I get the time I plan to edit some small movies from my travels. For now, enjoy the raw footage on my Vimeo profile. Here are a few movies embedded, but I recommend clicking text links (click the title in the video to view them at large size on Vimeo instead of these embedded videos. With a fast connection, you should click on ‘HD’ in the video player on Vimeo to enjoy the movies in HD. 

Life on the river, in the town of Pangkalan Bun, Borneo

Speed boat through Borneo’s jungle

James Price Point, Broome, West Australia

And while you are on Vimeo, check out the incredible videos from Mike Fletcher!

Dune with a Zoom

The sand dunes of Namibia are massive. Largest in the world. More than 400 meters tall. So you would be right in thinking ‘to capture them I need to bring the widest lens I own’. In my case 17 mm and on a fullframe 5D MkII that is very wide. But you should also bring the longest zoom lens you have. I brought my Canon 70-200mm f/4 L, one of the best lenses Canon makes and great for landscapes. I could however very easily have used a 400mm zoom or more.  Only a few places in the Naukluft National Park can you get up close and walk the dunes. This is a good thing, or there would be people and foot prints everywhere! The rest of the time you will be parked on the side of the road going into the Sossusvlei and Deadvlei dunes and you will actually be quite far away from the dunes.

The sand dunes at Namib-Naukluft are shaped by a wind alternating from either the ocean to the west or the desert to the east. This ensures a perfect sharp crest on the towering dunes that seem to reach into the clouds. When people view images of the dunes they have a hard time understanding the scale. Your brain cannot comprehend sand dunes taller than Empire State Building. This is where your longest zoom lens comes to the rescue. The large dunes offers some outstanding photo opportunities in the morning or afternoon where the strong side light will highlight the razor sharp crest. And if you get lucky you can include wildlife grazing in front of the dunes to provide some scale.

This is exactly what I captured in the image below. It is shot at 200 mm and cropped somewhat to zoom in further. I could easily have used 400 or 600 mm zoom. Fortunately the 70-200mm is tack sharp, when viewed at full size you can clearly make out the tiny oryx (antilopes) and trees in front of the massive dune. I would however have loved to be able to zoom in a lot more and not include any sky at all so next time I am bringing at least a 400mm zoom.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The Mighty Dune
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The 60 km drive from the gate of the national park into the Sossusvlei and Deadvlei dunes is 60 km of pure magic. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever done. The outer gates open at 6am so you will be driving in through the dunes just as the sun is rising. Well, there is also an inner gate, opens at 5am. If you pay an absolute fortune for accommodation you can stay here, inside the park, meaning you get to take off at 5am. Clever business tactics here. If you do not wish to spend a fortune you can join the rest of us outside the outer gate waiting for 6am!

Driving in is so magical I completely lost myself in the visuals. Apart from Deadvlei, which is so gorgeous you get high shooting in there, the drive into the park is the most beautiful part of the massive park. My friend kept asking ‘wanna stop? wanna stop?’ but I couldn’t answer. How do you decide where you want to stop when you have just landed on Mars? It’s all so otherworldly, so beautiful, so mind boggling. Fortunately I managed to mumble a ‘yes’ now and then, and she stopped by herself on occasions so we could capture gorgeous images.

If you find yourself at Namib-Naukluft, take it easy,  enjoy the ride and don’t rush to get to Sossusvlei where everyone else is going. Bring a mega zoom and remember to stop along the way.
The journey is as important as the destination here, as it often is!

On Broome Time and oh the stupidity.

Lazy Days. Holiday mode. I don’t usually allow myself much time to relax while travelling (must shoot photos. Will die if I don’t. Eternally Restless) but have been forced into lazy holiday mode. I am now in Broome, Western Australia, a small but popular outback town where relaxation in 34 degree perfect sunny days is not too bad at all. Why am I forced into holiday mode? My own stupidity!

Last week, walking down the street to Cable Beach with my head in the clouds as usual – I have a real problem with not looking where I am going – I am actually studying the beautiful clouds thinking this will be a stunner of a sunset. Up comes the big heavy Detour sign (ironic isn’t it). Now, I pay this no attention at all but simply hammer my left foot (just wearing a thong or flip-flops as some people know them) full force into the sign. I fall forward. I get my head out of the clouds just in time to brace the fall. At which point the tripod, in the tripod holder on my camera backpack, slides forward at great speed, comes to a full stop when it collides the stationary object that is my head and proceeds to tattoo a Gitzo logo in the back of my skull. Ouch. I now lie in the red dirt. I take a few seconds to gather myself and wonder what hurts the most, my foot, my head or my dignity. I choose all 3 but the following day reveals two toes on my left foot commands attention. Nothing broken but very severely sprained and coloured like a rainbow. Can almost not bloody walk at all, left foot now 2 sizes larger than right foot. Need to use tripod as a crutch and generally look ridiculous as I limp around Broome with yet another bump in my head and an Elephant’s foot.

It is a big disappointment, but somehow lucky that the All Terrrain Photo tour was cancelled (didn’t get enough bookings). I would need a wheel chair for that. So, all original plans are off, and can’t walk, need new plans! I had such amazing light in Namibia, I think I used up my luck for a while. I may go up the Gibb River Road next week after some more recovery. Also need to adjust to a new leg of this tour as Namibia was such an incredible experience, I can’t really get over that it had to end at some point. My desert, where are thou now?

Well, I have managed to get around and shoot some in Broome, Cable Beach, Town Beach, Gantheaume Point, Reddell Beach etc. Decided I could at least build up a good stock library of Broome images. It is not art, but stock images are nice, they usually pay the bills so we can afford to shoot art. Here’s a few of my Broome stock images:

5D Mark II-090508-IMG_1501 copy

Sunset on Cable Beach. Managed to find a bit of sand dunes with ripples on Cable Beach! Not quite the Namib, but it’s sand! Crazy sky is smoke from bush fires lit up by the setting sun.

5D Mark II-090504-IMG_1417 copy

Surreal water- and cloudscape – Cable Beach at dusk. Shot roughly one hour after my little accident. The colours at dusk in the tropics can sometimes be simply ridiculous. Like, you look at it and think, how is that possible in nature? I attempted to create a slightly abstract surreal look here. Water and a beach is clearly not my element, I don’t really know how to shoot it and I’m not very good at stitching wave shots. Earth is my element!

5D Mark II-090510-IMG_1531 copy

The famous Broome ‘Staircase to the moon’.

It is the full moon reflected into the mud banks at low tide. Only happens of course when there’s a full moon (duh) and a low tide as the moon rises so the exposed water on the mud banks can reflect the light. In every shop in Broome you can buy photos, canvas, postcards etc. of the Staircase to the Moon. I needed my shot as well, even though it is impossible to create anything that doesn’t look like all the other images of this. In the image on the left, I chose to blend two exposures, one for the moon, one for the foreground as I wanted more detail in the foreground than you usually see. Also, even though I had seen a thousand images of this it really was quite special to witness this as it really is good fun and a bit of magic. Locals told me it was the best in years, so a bit of luck I still have left. I also had heaps of fun explaining moon photography to a crowd of many who noticed tripod and gear etc. The moon itself is actually super bright (it is reflected sunlight, like daylight!) so shoot it almost like it was daylight!

Randomness

  • Panasonic LX3 -small My bag of clothes arrived 3 days late from Johannesburg. When I leave home I spend a few hours precision packing everything into camera bag (bring on plane) and big check-in bag. It is the only time this is possible, on next flight I will have bought stuff and shuffled everything around and can’t be bothered and it just never fits in one bag again. So I have an Eagle Creek soft compact fold-out duffel bag I then use for clothes etc. meaning two check-in bags. Jo’burg airport is apparently notorious for handlers ‘lending’ items from luggage in the airport. Somehow (got no idea how) my custom street-modded Panasonic LX-3 compact (see image) complete with Voigtlander 21mm viewfinder and leather strap was in the clothes bag. Was. Is no more. Some lucky thief in Jo’burg now uses this! He seemed less interested in my underwear as that was left in the bag!
  • I think the tripod knocked a few braincells loose! As I said, been shooting around Broome. Went to Gantheaume Point. Then remembered it is all rocks. Navigated this in thongs on one leg. Then remembered I had forgotten mossie spray. Was promptly eaten alive. Some Aussies from Noosa took photos of me taking photos from top of a rock and doing the ‘insects go away dance’ and kindly came to the rescue, spraying me with Bushman mossie spray. Also dropped ND grad filter in sand about 10 times. Brain not really working!

Namib Desert. Desert is home.

Man was born in the desert. Desert is home. The words are Bruce Chatwin, I heartily agree with him. No landscape could be more alien to a Danish farm boy like yours truly and yet at the same time be so fascinating and possess a strange power. Desert is home.

I have just spent 4 days in the Namib desert. I am lost for words. To say it’s magical does not come close. I have never seen nor experienced anything like this. Even the vast outback of Australia seems a little smaller, a little less empty. The Namib desert is the oldest in the world with the largest sand dunes, up to 400 meters tall and it does truly boggle the mind to see these. But as spectacular as the dunes are, they are just one part of the whole Namib desert experience. 

Space. There is so much space. So much it does not really fit in my brain. The sky seems a million kilometres away. Horizon is always at infinity with perhaps the odd tree or mountain in the far far distance. So much space. Composing an image here, even on a 17mm wide angle, is like attempting to fit the universe in a shoebox. So much space. Not Into The Wild but Into The Nothing as seen here:

Namib Desert - Into The Nothing. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

We drove from Swakopmund to the sand dunes of Sossusvlei for a 3 night bush camp. On the map it does not look like much. In reality it is a 8 hour 360 kilometre road trip on bone rattling corrugated roads through the most incredible ever changing desert country. Sometimes a moon landscape, sometimes ancient mountains, sometimes wide open desert plains with perhaps a herd of springbok. So much space. Namibia is a huge country with a population of only 2 million. So much space. You could easily loose the entire country of Denmark in the desert and never find it again. You could also easily loose yourself. So much space!

Our mode of transport was a Nissan 4WD work pickup truck, no fancy frills, all performance. Our trusty truck had no air con, with the windows open we could truly feel and taste the desert, the dust and the hot wind adding to the experience. If Namibia the country has a flavour it is the warm dry dust of the desert. We named the car Nissi and she runs like a tractor. Bit rough, but tough (‘we breed ‘em tough here, Africa is not for sissies’ – a popular saying) and she never let us down (she did blow a tire and ran hot but not her fault!)

I really am lost for words and also time, so for now I’ll just leave you with a few very quickly developed jpeg previews from Namib Naukluft National Park. Shooting here was a fantastic experience and difficult, will be the topic of many a forthcoming blog post. The Canon 5D Mk II performed perfectly and I seem to just attract good light and interesting clouds at the moment!

Namib Dunes. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sunrise at one of the thousands of dunes; we were lucky to get clouds

Namib Dunes and Oryx. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A lone oryx walks proudly in front of the dunes

Deadvlei. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Dead tree at Deadvlei on a morning with extraordinary cloudscapes. I was so lucky this morning, nice soft light, beautiful clouds where as the norm is boiling hot harsh light from a blue sky.

FBJ at Work in Namibia

And lastly, me & my shadow at work in the dunes. No I am not scratching my head!

Randomness

  • Spare batteries for the Canon 5D Mk II are impossible to find, so it’s fortunate that the battery performance is brilliant. Managed over 1000 shots on a single charge!
  • In the desert we were stopped by a Namibian police officer. He was lost. An accident had been reported, 150 km out of Swakopmund towards Windhoek (which was not the road we were on). Had we seen the accident he asked (no you’re on the wrong road). Oh and did we have mobile reception because he didn’t (no of course we didn’t either and I can’t believe he doesn’t have a sat phone). And had we seen his mate in another police car because he had lost him as well by outrunning him (no to that as well). My friend had to show him a map and really spell out directions for him. He thanked us and we drove on, a few minutes later we met his mate, the other police car, coming towards us, and a few minutes after that, the ambulance. I hope the people in the car crash were ok or dead or they’d be suffering for a long time. My friend tells me that was an insight into how the government can work here. Oh btw the amount of idiots doing 120 km/h on the corrugated dirt road are staggering. No wonder there are accidents!
  • Forgot my torch. I own 2 expensive torches and forgot them both. A torch is the essential item for camping, can’t believe I forgot them. Bloody city boy I am turning out to be!
  • Namibian mozzies are stealthy bastards. Don’t hear them. Don’t feel them. Until you wake up with 10 new bites! Promptly installed a mozzie net over my sleeping bag on day 2 but still slept outside under a million stars, the only way to camp!
  • Hospitality and friendliness of my Namibian friends, the family Eckleben is overwhelming. I can only offer a million thanks. I am now installed in my own house in Swakopmund and have my own bicycle to get around (incidentally also runs and feels like a tractor!). I truly am Bicycle Repair Man – a select few will know what I mean.

And sorry for lack of responses! I am online very little, so no emails etc. at the moment and few updates. Actually it’s nice to be offline for a while, kick the internet drug for a bit. Concentrate on photos and experiences. See ya!