In June 2015, Photogen.lu organized a workshop for photographers and bikers in the nature reserve Haardt in the south of Luxembourg.
In September my photography club organized a tour from Beaufort to Berdorf. I mostly used my macro lens along with a set of PocketWizards for off-camera fill-flash.
About a month ago, Photogen.lu had challenged its members to take part in a ‘street battle’. The purpose of the get-together in Luxembourg City was to roam the city centre and take photographs of the people there, then meet up again and share images and experiences. Most of the photographers went for the candid approach, in which you photograph scenes happening in the streets where people are not aware of being photographed. I decided to do the opposite and approach people directly.
I think it’s easier to decide on a target group. If you can photograph anybody, you’re likely to end up not being able to decide who to approach. If fewer people meet your arbitrary criteria, it’s easier to pick somebody from the masses. In this case, I focused on people with greying hair.
I had a memorable exchange from the workshop in Arles in mind that day. I had asked Serge Picard how I could make my subjects feel more comfortable. He answered: ‘Why on earth would you want them to feel comfortable?’. My goal for the day then was to get out of my own comfort zone by approaching complete strangers and getting them out of their own comfort zone in the process. I went around addressing people, briefly told them that my photography club had given me a mission and asked if I could take their portrait. If they agreed, I first took a regular close-up portrait. Having a camera with a ring-light pointed at your face can be a bit intimidating, so I didn’t want to come straight to the point. The photo I was after was one of my subjects pulling their favourite face. Once a person has agreed to having their portrait taken, the first picture is just a means of breaking down a barrier. After that, it’s much easier to persuade your subject to do something silly or unusual.
In case you’re wondering why there are only men in the gallery: none of the women I asked for a portrait agreed!
A couple of photographers from the Photogen community decided to meet up in Luxembourg City on the evening of May 1st for a 'nightwalk'. Since I happened to be in Luxembourg that week rather than when my volcano-free schedule had planned, I drove up to the Kirchberg to join the others: -Kiischtii-, deBaemm, m-otiv, MB-Photos, McQueen, and Mexx. (Mouseover the photos to see the who's-who in the captions.) We walked from the LuxExpo down to the Philharmonie, where Ben took a great group photo of us, using the combined light power of 4 PocketWizards, 2 580EXs, 1 430EX and 2 SB900s.
Some of us wanted to go see Iron Man 2 after the get-together, and with only 20 minutes to go before the screening, we realized that we had covered quite a distance on the way down from Utopolis. Doesn't feel like it when you can just drive the distance in a car! Oh, Iron Man was crap by the way. But at least it inspired me to take another photograph, which I'll blog about next week.
I wanted to have a bit of fun for April's Fools this year, and apart from successfully fooling my girlfriend I had come up with something for my fellow photographers over at Photogen. A couple of users had asked for an iPhone app for the site. So I made one. Except that, since I have absolutely no idea how to program an app, I made one from scratch in Photoshop. Some got fooled, some figured it out pretty quickly.
Now I'll probably have to watch out for everyone's revenge next year.
This summer a handful of photographers from Photogen.lu met at the Schueberfouer (like last year) to hang out, test the rides and chat. I decided to film rather than take pictures this time. It’s fairly busy there and I didn’t have my shoulder-rig yet; my apologies for the shakiness. I still have loads to learn about the whole SLR-video thing.
This summer, knipser from Photogen invited me and a couple other photographers, mostly members of the Photogen community, to visit the Arcelor-Mittal steel plant in Esch-Belval. It was an impressive mixture of deafening noise, smoldering heat and a thick layer of dust covering every inch inside the plant. Not the kind of place where you want to change lenses all that often.
All photos: 5D MkII and 24-70 2.8L USM.
Update: I've added a bit of video from the trip, also recorded with the 5D MkII.
Over the summer various members from the photogen.lucommunity organized a series of meetings. I attended two of them, one in Mersch hosted by Kiichiii which lasted until late into the night, the other at the traditional Luxembourgian funfair, the Schueberfouer, organized by Marc Gerard. It's cool to see how this little community keeps growing, at the moment it has close to 2000 members, which is not bad for a community based on such a small region as Luxembourg is.
Photographs of me: Tom Ewert, Lex Kleren.
In between revising for my upcoming university exams there remains some time for photography. During my stay in Luxembourg I met up with photographer John Oesch for a shooting with model Kimberley at the Abbaye Neumünster. From there I went on to take the first photograph shown above, which I entered in the Photogen competition 'Luxembourg City'. A bit later I continued for an exploration of the Kirchberg area.