Tag Archives: landscape

Coming soon to a galaxy near you

Houston, start the countdown. We are almost ready for launch:

Coming soon new www.flemmingbojensen.com

My entirely new website is nearing launch. New design, new images and new features. The very best of my fine art fine art landscape work, at least half of the collection has been re-processed and featuring new images from Thailand, Australia, Laos and 50+ stunning images from Southwest USA. Stay tuned, we launch for the stars within 1-2 weeks if all goes well!

In pursuit of dreams

Without dreams we have nothing. Do you dream of becoming something, do something or going somewhere? Reach out and grab it. Only you can change your world.

fbj at sugarloaf - blog 

There is a classic scene in HEAT where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s characters have coffee and discuss why they do what they do, one being a cop, one a robber. "Don’t know how to do anything else. Don’t much want do either!" they both answer. Recently it has become very clear how much I am now a photographer. Contrary to Pacino and De Niro’s characters, there are a few other things I know how to do well but I don’t much want to! Well, I would also love be an astronaut or a scientist but one dream at a time. 

fbj - ansel adams button - blogI love photography. Three years ago I quit my fulltime job in IT in pursuit of new horizons and photographing the world. I have since done some freelance IT-consulting to help pay the bills but my passion is truly photography. Travelling the world, capturing and creating images of untouched ethereally beautiful wide open spaces. I love being out in remote locations hunging for the perfect light and composition. I love capturing those fleeting moments of Mother Nature’s magic. I love studying the art of others, especially non-landscape photographer’s like the personal work of Joey L. Photojournalists and ethno-photographers and especially cinematographers are a great source of inspiration for me. So is other art, I love music, writing, reading, movies. I love the digital darkroom and all the creative tools available. I cherish receiving a gorgeous print from the lab and sending it off to a customer. I love when my stock images are sold for websites and magazines. I just simply love photography.

I want galleries around the world selling my art and I want books published. I want to build a large high quality stock library. I want to be Art Wolfe and travel to the edge with a camera crew documenting the journey. I want to create images that moves the viewer, shows how gorgeous and powerful Mother Nature is with an otherworldly twist.

Will it happen? Yes it will, some day. I have much to learn, but I am dreaming it, living it and I will make it happen!

I felt like sharing my passion today. Thanks so much for reading. If you wish, you can find more detailed info about me, my journey and my photography on the About page.

Mother Nature the artist at Wyadup Rocks

Looking back at a few shots from Australia in February I remembered I never got around to posting the sunset from Wyadup Rocks. Now; this really was an extraordinary afternoon and sunset at the best location I reckon on the Southwest coast of Western Australia. Waves like we had never experienced before and some pretty clouds came out to play as well and to top it off, Mother Nature lit up the sky.

It was such an incredible experience and so beautiful that all my images are sorely lacking. There’s just no way to capture this as we experienced it. The waves, the light, the sun, the sound, the smell, the feeling, the smiles. Cannot capture it. Not for lack of trying; I shot plenty but there just isn’t one image which is just right. Only the memory of the experience is just right. There is about 3-4 contenders from the sunset, shot in between the rocks and I can’t get any of them to look quite right and the composition is not quite right either. Good processing ideas much appreciated as I’ll have another whack at developing these in a few months or so when my new website (bet ya never get tired off hearing about it) goes online.

Here’s one of 3-4 final contenders, pretty much straight from Lightroom:

Wyadup Rocks - blog

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!"

Back from Laos

I have just returned to my home in Chiang Mai, Thailand after some mindblowing days in Laos. Most of the time was spent in remote hmong hilltribe villages in absolutely drop dead stunning mountain landscapes in the Xieng Khoung province. Driving through these mountains in a 4WD through stunning mountainscapes and then visiting villages so remote the kids had never met a "white fella” before. The joy, innocence, strength and laughter from these kids were moving and inspirational and hard to stop smiling and laughing. Naturally, the camera and watching themselves on the lcd screen caused a lot of stunned laughs from the kids!

I am nursing a hilltribe cold (warm in the day but at night in these mountains in a guesthouse with no heating and no windows – COLD!) so more to come later, more stories and many more images. Here’s one of the hmong tribe boys who instantly took to the camera, he tried to pose and appear in every shot:

hmong_coolkid

CAKE crew meets Camel Man

Camel Man. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

“Walla walla. Walla Lalla!”. That is what it sounds like repeated over and over! But Camel Man is actually shouting “leave the dog alone leave the dog alone!”. The wind, Camel Man’s mosquito net and that fact that he is just about toothless slightly muffles his words!

A truly surreal encounter just happened upon us. How did Camel Man enter the lives of the CAKE09 crew all so suddenly? Let us backtrack!

Continue reading

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!

The Purnululu sunset that almost never was

“All good things come to those who wait” goes the old saying. I am not a patient soul so I often have to remind myself to calm down. And wait. Good things will come. I could argue that if you wait long enough, pigs will fly over a frozen hell but I won’t. It’s often true. Restless, frustrated and impatient I must admit that waiting works. Especially in landscape photography. I am passionate about landscape photography to the point of obsession easily leading to frustrations – but ultimately also to some amazing experiences:

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

Glowing Red Bungle Bungle Range at sunset
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

On an outback tour in 2008 in Australia, we were driving from El Questro on the Gibb River Road in Kimberley to Purnululu National Park. It’s an extremely long drive. It was an extremely hot day. Everything happened in slow motion. Everyone moved slowly. Everything took forever. Aircon wasn’t working in the truck. My boiling brain was constantly calculating our location and our ETA, the deadline being sunset at 5pm in Purnululu National Park.

As time froze on the never-ending bitumen road going South, I was getting very restless and frustrated. The sky was fantastic, some spectacular otherworldly cloud formations adding to my frustrations. This sunset would be out of this world and we would surely not make it to Purnululu in time. When we finally hit the 54km dirt road leading into Purnululu National Park it was after 3pm. It was my second time to Purnululu and I knew it is about a 2½ hour drive to get through the 54km quite poor dirt road – at least. Sunset was around 5.15pm. Simple math told me to give up; resign. We would not make it. We would have to stop on the way and enjoy the sunset from the road, I should start scouting for alternative locations along the way into Purnululu.

I remember being so frustrated I zoned out listening to my ipod. Imagine my surprise when we pull up at the ranger station at 4.45pm. We had made it in about 1 hour and 40 minutes! I switch into a shooting mode frenzy! “Nick” I shout at our driver, “Nick, mate, get everyone back on board, we’re 5 minutes from the Kungkalahayi lookout, we can make it we can make it!”.

Make it we did. Shoot many photos I did. All good things to those who wait! I raced up the hill and had a 360 degree view from the Kungkalahayi lookout of an absolutely magical sunset that had me smiling and talking all night after capturing countless images.

The shot above I have shown you before; it is with the sun behind me. Below is a new release facing the sun:

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

Purnululu Landscape against the setting sun
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is a stitched panorama. I can’t make up my mind whether the ‘sun beaming into a f/22 aperture’ works. There are also quite a few different colours in one shot and a slightly busy composition. But it’s a wonderful scene and there is a lesson in here somewhere I suspect. Something about patience.

Landscape Photography is all about waiting; waiting for that special moment with the magical light. Never give up. Things may look like a no-shot day but the sun can change that in a split second. Always be ready. I seem to get worse at waiting though. But when everything looks grim but ultimately works out beautifully like this day; the restless impatient me at least provides me with some good laughs afterwards. All good things to those who wait!

Canon 5D Mk II; First Impressions

I pre-ordered my new travelmate, my 5D Mk II, in early October and on the 23rd of December Photografica called me; my copy was now in store! I just had time to pick it up before flying to see family for Xmas. I had very few opportunities to go out and shoot with my new tool due to Xmas celebrations and a never ending supply of boring grey overcast days. Fortunately one afternoon offered some great surreal light!

As the sun was setting a very heavy and thick mist shrouded the landscape and provided brilliant light for some otherworldly landscape images. I chose to warm the light a bit to enhance the misty magic and mood of the setting sun. These are two of my very first 5D Mk II exposures:

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

Winter Mist landscape 
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

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

Tree in the Winter Mist 
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

These are single image shots at iso100; and apart from the 14-bit 21 mega pixel raw files the 5D Mk I would have produced similar results I reckon. This is not a review; nor a test of noise or black spots etc. It is simply my first impressions as a photographer (not a gear head / pixel peeper) using the 5D Mk II. Cameras don’t take pictures, photographers do.

First Impressions

  • It is a strange feeling to use a brand new camera! My old 5D is battle worn with scratches and dust; the Mk II is impeccable (for now; hehe). 
  • As a 5D Mk I user, the Mk II is super easy to get going and use. It’s an upgrade; not a new camera; so it’s still my good old mate the 5D !
  • The house feels stronger and better built. Surface seems less prone to scratches and a lot more dust proof. Time will tell if this holds true 🙂
  • The 14-bit 21 mega pixel RAW files are about 25-26 MB in size and a whopping 5616 x 3744 of drop dead gorgeous pixels! I sell most of my prints at sizes from 70cm wide up to 2 meters (8 meters being the current record) so I need all the pixels I can get! Yes, stitching is amazing but not always possible, and the 21 megapixels is going to make a huge difference for my work.
  • ISO display in the viewfinder! Finally. Might prevent me from shooting those sunrises at iso 800 having used iso 800 the previous night and forgetting to reset. My head is in the clouds and my feet aren’t touching the ground much either when I shoot so I need all the help I can get!
  • Brilliant 3” lcd screen is a huge upgrade from the old 5D Mk I and is beautiful to behold.
  • Not really anything to do with the 5D Mk II but bloody f#”£€#&!!! Image Stabilizer on the 24-105mm lens. I forgot to turn it off and when shooting from a tripod the IS ruins half the shots. Only remembered to turn it off half way through the shoot (my brain was frozen).
  • Menu is a lot easier to navigate and the customizable My Menu is a neat idea. Makes it easier to access options like Mirror Lock Up especially as we still do not have a dedicated Mirror Lock Up button.
  • I still miss having a histogram display mode with just a huge RGB histogram on the 3” lcd screen. In strong outback sunlight it’s next to impossible to see the small RGB histogram although I suspect the brilliant 3” lcd screen on the 5D Mk II will help slightly. Still; can I please have a histogram mode with an RGB histogram and nothing else.
  • Live view mode is surprisingly good and useful! HD Video is looking very nice indeed (although I am useless at shooting and editing video)!
  • Automatic sensor dust cleaning is a brilliant feature – if it works. Time will tell. The old 5D sensor was a dust magnet so it couldn’t get any worse!

As I get a lot more exposures with my new mate I will post much more in depth experiences here. Especially Live view and Video are totally new to me. For now; these are just my very first impressions. Can’t wait to bring the 5D Mk II to Africa and Australia and really road test it!

– and happy new year everyone!

What’s it all about? This is what it’s all about!

Some moments feels like they should last forever, frozen in time. But they are over too fast and all that remains is the memory…and the photo. I can’t bottle these moments but at least I can shoot them.

One of my favourite photos of the Hawk Dreaming raw files I have developed so far, is a simple against the light scene shot just after sunrise:

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

Field of Hawk Dreams 
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

My eyes are always naturally attracted to against-the-light scenes; it must be my love of the sun. I love the light, the colours and the tall golden spinifex grass in this panorama. It is a personal favourite however because of the memory. The memory of standing here on this gorgeous morning; warm soft rising sun in my face, gentle warm wind against my body, the sound of birds and insects in my ears and my finger tips on my outstretched hands touching the moving waves of grass. Freeze time. Hope the future never comes.

The future came but at least I still have the memory and the photo. And I feel quite grateful for being able to connect so deeply with the amazing nature in the amazing Hawk Dreaming. Connect, experience and capture nature’s magic.

For me; this is what landscape photography is all about.

Shooting against the light

This is a fairly simple against the light shot. The trick is getting the angle right. You can’t have the sun in the frame because it will overpower everything. But you want the front-lit effect, so you position the sun just out of frame and move sideways till you have the right composition and light and no internal lens reflections. One step can make all the difference! Get this right and exposure is easy and you will love the results.