Traveling: Curacao

I haven’t been blogging for a few weeks. As some of you know, I have been traveling to the other side of the world to finally see my boyfriend again after 6 months.


cuac

Curacao is one of the most beautiful countries I have traveled so far. The beaches, the weather, the lovely people and the exotic animals like Flammingos, sea turtles, lizzards and parrots make this island one big paradise. Another fun fact: Curacao is actually part of the Netherlands. I was able to speak Dutch to everyone.

For the first 4 days we stayed at the most Western tip of the island: Westpunt (litterally translated: West Point). The apartment where we stayed was just a 2 minute walk from the beautiful Kalki beach.

playa-kalki-curacao We did absolutely nothing but enjoying the beach those four days. We snorkelled along the beach for hours. Thousands of colourful fish swimming underneath us.

Paco was determined to cook me dinner the second day, so we had to find a supermarket. Which was quite the adventure. We both don’t have a drivers’ license, so we wheren’t able to get a car (though I think it wouldn’t even be noticed if we would drive around Curacao without a license. I have seen 3 car accidents in 14 days over there. I doubted whether the people in Curacao got their drivers’ license with a pack of cornflakes or actually had to take tests). We had to hike inland to find a “supermarket”. We hiked for almost an hour before finding a house with a small ” Heineken beer” sign on the wall. I have never seen a supermarket like it. It was as if I went back in time. An old lady standing behind a handmade counter looked at us as if we where aliens (we where probably doing the exact same thing back). It was the “town supermarket”. A garage filled with all canned products. Anyway, we did get some really good tomato soup. A culinary delight.

I also took some pictures around the neighbourhood. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the lady and her garage-canned-supermarket. I think she wouldn’t really appreciate the attention. Besides the supermarket lady I couldn’t find a lot of people on the streets. Most of them probably escaped the heat.

2015-01-11 22.42.01-2 2015-01-11 22.43.03-2 2015-01-11 22.43.45-2 2015-01-11 22.44.25-2 2015-01-11 22.48.52-2 2015-01-11 22.50.42-2

After relaxing at Kalki, we traveled on to the next place: Punda!

Punda is on the more touristic side of Curacao. But still amazing. Walking across the “pondjesbrug” and drinking on the terrace at Otrabanda. Eating dinner at the Wilhelmina Cafe. Relaxing at Saint Tropez beach club. I felt totally relaxed.

_MGU9462 _MGU9466 _MGU9470 _MGU9471

cura

One of the last things we did was sailing to Klein Curacao. An island just half an hour from Curacao. A small paradise. No residents, no houses, just a shipwreck and a lighthouse. I even got to swim with some Sea turtles!

cura

I had a wonderful time and I really hope to come back one day. What an awesome trip!

curaca

Workshop Denis Koval

With planning a trip to Curacao (leaving January 7th) and working on school, there wasn’t a lot of time left to write about the whole photography progress. But I didn’t forget you guys and I documented quite a lot behind the scenes.

So here is what I have been working on (scroll down for bigger pictures):

VT201-14nov140790 91 TEST

The past few months I’ve been having workshops from Denis Koval, a still photographer (http://www.deniskoval.com/). Go visit his website. He makes these amazing commercial stills.
During the workshops, we got the time to work on some stills. One ad for Coca-Cola, and one ad for Chanel.

A few years ago, Coca-Cola and Jean-Paul Gaultier produced some limited edition Coca-Cola bottles. One of those bottles was a blue and white striped sailor themed bottle (see image below).

COCACOLADAY

The idea was to make an ad matching Coca-Cola and Jean-Paul Gaultier, featuring the bottle itself in the center.

Coca-Cola is bubbly, vibrant and happy. The Jaen-Paul Gaultier bottle is sailor themed. I immediately thought of a sea and underwater theme. I tried to get those themes together in a colorful underwater-themed still.

I cut out some water plants from cardboard and colored paper, then glued them to skewers. I used styrofoam as a base to pin my water plants glued on skewers in place. I needed sand to create some kind of underground to cover the styrofoam. I didn’t want to use actual sand. That would make a huge mess in the studio. Instead, I used sanding paper, which did the trick.
I wanted a good camera to make the image as sharp as possible, so I used a Cambo Technical camera with a digital back to shoot the image. Here is a shot of the whole setting. I’m sorry for the bad quality. I took it with my phone.

Schermopname (2)

It looks so stupid if you see the whole thing. But the image itself turned out pretty good. I’m really happy with my result.

In case you have never heard of a Cambo Technical camera (I don’t blame you, I never heard of it  before I went to the FotoAcademie), here is a clear picture of the whole thing:

Legend-2BW

If anyone is interested in this camera and wants to know what makes it special, let me know and I will write a post about it.

Then there was the Chanel Perfume bottle. The assignment was to make an ad for this bottle, without using the actual bottle in the image.
I was brainstorming and researching Chanel and its history when I actually found out that the shape of the bottle is inspired by Place Vendome in Paris.

Schermopname (3)

So the shapes of the bottle are actually the most important. That is why I chose to do something with the exact shape of the bottle. I used white foamboard to cut the shape of the bottle in. Then I used the same technique as I used with the Coca-Cola picture to create this image. I chose to create a classic and elegant image inside of the bottle, as the fragrance and brand are both very classic and elegant. I made this one at home as I didn’t have the time to go to the studios in Amsterdam.

_MGL9889I really liked making these stills, and I hope you guys like the results. Let me know! Leave a comment which one you like most and why. Or if you don’t like them at all, why?

TEST

VT201-14nov140790 91
Oh!

Have an awesome new year everyone!

X
Len

My favorite Etsy shops

 

I have just recently opened my own shop on Etsy and so far I’m really happy everything is going well. I sell analogue cameras, stamps and envelopes. I’ll be uploading more and more products over time. But I’m still finding out what sells best.
While searching through etsy, I found some really awesome online stores I just need to share with you guys. So here is a list of shops you really need to check out.
And while you’re there, feel free to stop by The Dutch Store. :)iusb_760x100.14081478_qeiaMy top Etsy shops:

1. Alicks & Raflin ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/alicksandraflin ).
iusb_760x100.14521340_6q0v
I actually just bought something from this shop. It sells vintage clothing for a good price. I love almost everything. I need to hold myself from buying more and more. They ship from America, which is quite far away. Everything is at a nice price, even with shipping costs up to 20 euros.

Go see what they have, you won’t regret scrolling through all those pages of vintage awesomeness.

2. Demestiks New York ( www.etsy.com/shop/DemestiksNewYork ).

iusb_760x100.14686782_q4zv

 

The colors, the patterns, the clothing. I absolutely love everything. These dresses, skirts, coats and blouses are there to make a statement. I’m desperately searching for a reason to buy a skirt or dress form this store. If you like colors and patterns you really need to look at this shop.

3.  Sweet Heritage Paper ( www.etsy.com/shop/SweetHeritagePaper ).

iusb_760x100.13252296_dtua

For all  the snailmailers out there. This shop has some pretty awesome stuff. Envelopes, stickers, twine, tags and tape. You can find it at Sweet Heritage.  I love sending my penpals some little extras with the holidays. Go be creative yourself and get some stuff from here.

4. Retro & Me ( www.etsy.com/shop/retroandme ).

iusb_760x100.14688357_gj2p

As some of you know I always wear vintage glasses. I buy them at thrift stores and search for nice frames. I pop out the glass and I ask my opticien to put my own in again. This shop has lots of super nice (and affordable) vintage glasses. They actually sell a lot more than just glasses. They sell clothing, accessories and much more. Everything retro! Go check it out.

5. The Old Times Junk Shop ( www.etsy.com/shop/TheOldTimeJunkShop ).

iusb_760x100.8989147

Basically an online thrift store. It’s full of junk.  From jewelry to licence plates, they have it all! I see so much stuff I want to buy to use as decoration for my room. Go have a look if you’re searching for some old stuff to give your house a vintage touch.

 

So these are my favorites for now. Do you own an Etsy shop I need to see? Or do you really like one? Please comment below cause I’m always searching for some fun Etsy shops.

 

Have an awesome day!

 

 

 

Change

So I have been crazy bussy with school the past few months. I made it to my next year and I have been working so hard on getting everything done.
Also, I have been having trouble getting inspired to write new posts. I’m thinking about changing a few things.
quote-George-Bernard-Shaw-progress-is-impossible-without-change-and-those-103515
For example. I want to take you guys with me on shoots. I don’t want you guys to just see the pictures, I want you guys to see the work I put into it too. Now that is harder than you may think.
I try to take a photo on the set every thime I shoot in the studio. Together with my models and the hair and make-up people. I just forget it all the time. I’m so focussed on taking that one good shot I forget to take some shots in between. But let me know I you’d like to see more of a “behind the scenes of a photoshoot” blog.

Besides all the above I want to use this blog as a place where I can write down all my inspiration and ideas. I want to share them and let you guys think with me. I want to post ideas for shoots and get inspired by your comments. Maybe you have my golden tip. I WILL mention you if I use your tips for my work.

I think this will really work for me. I’ll have to commit myself to make new photography work every week. It will help me keep up with my homework too!

Of course I will keep posting personal/random stuff too, I just need something to stick to as a base for this blog. Cause right now, I’m going nowhere.

So, let’s change some stuff shall we?

Have a great day!

X

WINNER!

YES, it’s time for a winner. I took all the names of the people  who participated on WordPress and Glipho together on my big hat. Then I pulled out just one name. Who will win this giveaway?

CONGRATULATIONS JACCOB!!

You won the MZ-5 camera with lens and battery pack. I saw you like photography, so I’m sure you will love this one. I will contact you personally. We can discuss how I send you this beauty. 

I’ll even try and send you a 35mm film with it, so you can start right away.

If you’ve missed this giveaway, NO WORRIES! Next giveaway is at 700 followers, and the next one at 800 etc. etc.  

Don’t miss the next giveaway, make sure to follow me!

I think I will be in London when I hit 700 followers. How should I celebrate? Anyone in London who knows a good place to celebrate 700 followers on Glipho?

Have a wonderful day everyone!

-XX-

Indecision

It’s something I’ve been struggling with for ever. And I think it will never go away.

I have been studying photography for almost a year now, and the one thing that keeps me from getting everything done is indecision. Every time I get an assignment to photograph, hundreds of ideas pop in my head. They’re everywhere. I write them down. I try some out. But all those ideas often overwhelm me and I won’t be able to do anything. I just freeze. I hate it! Every time I get an assignment, I just need weeks to proces what is the best Idea. Does anyone have this too? If you do, HELP ME PLEASE.

A few months ago, I started a new project for school. I had to choose a theme for this project, and I chose ‘indecision’ as my main theme. Which wasn’t a bad idea at all. I was able to use the one thing that frustrates me the most in these photo’s. At the same time, it was pretty hard, because it’s something so close to me. 

The project is called “portfolio” it was given to me at school. It had a few restrictions.

First I gad to choose a theme (I was not allowed to change it afterwards). Then I got 6 assignments, which I had to link to my theme. Lets call the assignments P1, P2,….P6.

P1: Take a picture describing your theme PLUS the aspect “confrontation”

Image

P2: Take a picture describing your theme PLUS the aspect “hidden”

Image

P3: Take a picture describing your theme PLUS the aspect “emotional”

Image

P4: Take a picture describing your theme PLUS the aspect “wide/spacious”

Image

P5: Take a picture describing your theme PLUS the aspect “Trapped”

Image

P6: Take a picture describing your theme. Your free in what you add.

Image

This work is about something very close to me and who I am. So I decided to take self portraits most of the time. The other person I used is someone really close to me; my brother.

Let me know what you think of these. I had a lot of fun making this. I’m happy with the results.

Have a great day!

-X

 

Its time for a giveaway.

 

WIN WIN WIN

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Mainly because I Have been so bussy with school, I didn’t have the time to find a camera to give away. But I have been working on getting some new stuff for you guys and damn, did I find you something special.

I would normally never give away such a heavy camera. mainly because I have to send it, and it would cost me a fortune. But I haven’t been blogging for a while, and I missed my 500 AND 600 followers giveaway.

This giveaway is a whole analogue camera package. A SLR camera for 35mm film. An extra battery pack so you can bring it on trips and won’t need to worry about your batteries dying. PLUS one lens!!! If you like photography a lot, this is the camera you want to try out analogue photography with. Its a semi professional and high quality camera. I have the exact same and I am really happy with it.

I am going to get a lens for it. It will be a lens between 30-80mm so you can get those nice wide-angle shots.

If you do not know anything about photography, there is a second choice. Another DSLR camera, from the same series, only simpler. It has less settings and an Auto setting for the people who don’t know anything about light metering. It’s simple, and still high quality. This camera also comes with the same lens.

I will give away one of them. You can choose by commenting on this post. Tell me what your first picture with this camera will be of.

Here are the cameras:

Twee

Pentax MZ-5: This is the advanced one, for people who understand ISO, apperture, and shutterspeeds. (if you don’t and you still want this camera, I will be posting a little article on how to use those 3 things)

_MGL8641  _MGL8640

The Mz-10:

easy

 

How do you enter:

  1. Make sure you are following me (on glipho or wordpress), if you’re not, you can’t win.
  2. Comment on this post what your first picture will be of if you win.
  3. If you don’t have an e-mail somewhere on your profile or blog, please make sure I can contact you in other ways (a link to your FaceBook/Twitter etc.).
  4. You will make a bigger chance to win if you share this article on twitter too!  You will enter the giveaway a second time if you have shared it! If you do, please write #TheDutchStory in your tweet so I can find it. Make your tweet stand out.
  5. Wait for two weeks. I will give you guys until the 28th of June.

 

Have a great day everyone!

 

-X