Photography is one of my passions. What do I mean by photography eyes? I’ll give you an insight in my process from camera to photo book.

When photography is your passion, always make sure you have a camera or smartphone with you. What equipment do I use? I have an entry-level SLR camera. The Canon EOS 600D with an 18-200mm, 70-300mm and 50mm lens and a 580EXII flash. In addition I have a LG G4 smartphone. This phone (the best camera on a smartphone at that time) was given to me by Capture Optimism through a photo contest, which I won in October 2015. This contest allowed me to return to Uganda for a photo shoot, made with the smartphone. Later on I’ll dedicate a blog to this subject. I’m amazed by the quality of the photos taken by the LG G4. For example, it allows me to take RAW images (= biggest photo file) and to adjust settings like ISO, shutter speed etc. manually. Things I can’t do with my iPhone…

My favorite smartphone photo. Yes really! This picture is made in Uganda, with the LG G4.

Photography eyes.
As soon as I grab my camera, I switch on my photography eyes. What does this mean? I look at my surrounding with certain creativity, from different points of views. I pay attention to the light incidence, spontaneity, street photography, details, structures, emotions and so on. As a result, it’s possible that I suddenly jump up to take a photo even though I’m in the middle of a conversation. A kind of continuous photo alertness. That’s why I sometimes leave my big camera at home, so I can fully focus on social contact and live in that moment. If I have my smartphone with me, the feeling of a camera’s presence is literally and figuratively less present. It’s nice to be able to make those choices, depending on the situation and the need. And of course, I do take my SLR camera at photo shoots, company parties and weddings.

Capturing the emotion in Nepal. Made with the Canon EOS 600D.

Wow picture.
What makes me like photography so much? I try to capture the spontaneity in a picture. In addition to capturing a beautiful memory, it’s often pure emotions (the eyes!) or a huge contrast in black and white that triggers me. The big advantage of a SLR camera is that you’re really ín the picture. At that specific moment it’s just me and the picture. And then timing, composition and technique. The moment you push the button and know that it’s going to be a wow picture… A great feeling!! An example is the picture I took of a boy in Uganda, which you can see in my blog Uganda #12. It’s more my creativity and feeling, than technique. After several photo courses and photo projects I know the technical part, but my creativity and feelings have the overhand. I love that I’m now able to combine writing with my photos.

When walking through Soroti back in 2012, I turned around and saw this… When I clicked, I knew: this is it. The wow picture! It still has a prominent place in my living room.

When I travel, I love for me and my camera to just go explore. I forget time and need nothing else. At those moments my SLR camera is my best friend. But, quite honestly, sometimes such a big camera is a lot of hassle as well. That’s why I still doubt to take it with me to Colombia and my world trip. Of course, I’ll make sure there’s a good alternative 😉

Nepal. The serenity and colors speak to me in this picture.

Family thing.
I guess photography is in my genes. My father is also a fanatic hobby photographer. On holidays back in the day he regularly stopped the car to take a picture. Sometimes we started driving again after five minutes, but it could also easily take him half an hour. We didn’t know any better and didn’t even ask why we stopped. My dad still loves to take photos and even sells very original cards and collages through his website. It’s definitely worth taking a look. If you’re curious, click here.

My father’s website.

I import my photos to Lightroom and refer them to the correct folder after minimal editing… And then? It’s not only taking photos that fulfill my creative needs, it’s also making photo books. I make sure there’s lots of variation between the pages. For example one enlarged photo per page, three photos in a row, a collage in the shape of a square, a collage of all kinds of pictures (like a mood board) etc. Therefore, I use my own format and I’ll make sure to use appropriate background colors to make the pictures pop out even more.

Review photo book.
I use different type of photo books and different types of online providers. I came across an advertisement for a free photo book (with a value of 40 euros) a while ago. The only thing I had to do in return was write a review of Saal-Digital. Sounds like a good deal! So I chose a 19 x 28 cm photo book. Inside: glossy, 26 pages. Cover: shiny, undated.

I could apply all my requirements in the software. However, the software could be more user friendly. When you want to create a photo book with a standard layout, Saal-Digital does it. I’m very satisfied with the product itself. It was delivered within a few days, wrapped in sturdy packaging with the necessary protection. The print quality is very good. It has the right colors and sharpness. The high gloss pages are thick and solid. The book has a flat bond. A what? This means that the book lies flat when you open it. Because the left and right sides of the pages are perfectly flat, this photo book is very suitable for large pictures covering both pages.

Conclusion: The software is convenient and user friendly when using a standard format. Because of the glossy pages, the flat bonding and the color and sharpness, the quality of the photo book is good to very good.

Thanks, I’m very happy with my photo book.
For people who want to bundle their memories in a (standard layout)
photo book, I can definitely recommend you guys.

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