18. May 2011

sawdust and diamonds

One beautiful thing about living in Belgium is that you are close to lots of things – one of them being France. I picked up Marine in Lille and from there we continued to Cap Gris Nez – a beautiful coastal area west of Calais…what I liked is that you could see the white cliffs of Dover on the other side … what I did not like is that everything was fenced in – you were forced to walk along a paved pathway with a rather high fence left and right. Especially if you want to take pictures it limits you quite a bit… later we found an area that was accessible and allowed us to shoot. Weather was colder than the previous days – but because we had to walk quite a bit, we never really got cold – but I wish we would have had a bit more sun for more intense colours here and there…  no make-up, no styling and therefore no making-of pictures this time…

I briefly talked to a friendly photographer passing by… who spotted me while I was sitting on the ground refilling my film inserts… I think he took some pictures of us while shooting … so maybe there are some making-of’s out there 🙂

The technical details:

Contax 645
Zeiss 2/80mm – shot wide open all the time

Fuji Acros 100, Kodak Portra 160NC and Fuji 400H – all rated at 100.

some more pictures might follow… still some scanning to do.


A psychiatrist is a phayicisn who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. I have a bachelor’s degree in the social services field. For several years, I have worked with children who have been diagnosed with mental disorders. It is upsetting to see children victimize at an early age and even more disturbing to see them as predators as early as 5 years of age, however knowing that I am doing my part to assist them in becoming functioning youths and adults is rewarding. The empathy, confidentiality and maturity of a medical assistant are definitely needed in this area. I enjoy establishing a rapport with these clients and helping them to find adequate coping skills to deal with their disorders, therefore I would like to work for a psychiatrist.I would not like to work for an emergency phayicisn for several reasons. I will explain a few. Patients who come to the emergency center typically have serious injuries or trauma. I would not like to have my mind constantly focused on who is coming thru the door and how sever the prognosis is. Knowing myself, I know that would be my focus and I would not be very productive. Also, in the emergency room the staff has to be prepared for anything, I would prefer an area that focuses on a particular specialty. Most importantly, I do not wish to see excessive amounts of blood loss on a regular basis. Actually, not even a minimal amount of blood loss on a regular basis. Giving my opinion and thoughts about this specialty, I would not be an effective employee.

Hello MicMojo.
I use to visit your website a lot, few years ago, cause wanna learn to do sweet photos.

( and i send u a mail to know wich lens and camera you use ^^)

i cant believe ( and i really can ) that you are doing better and better photos.

i thought you have done the best and thats it.
But no, the more you do pictures, the more im impress by the beauty. ( and technic )

love your blog. This picture must be in a frame on my wall ^^


cheers !

Montpellier, France.

‘storm up above’ is a beautiful frame.

I love your works… you are really inspiring! Thanks for sharing those useful tips!

So nice! Thanks for sharing.

Hi Jan,

A wonderful and catchy series again! Great mood and very pure in the expression.

It looks like your models are acting, not posing. By getting this expression it looks like you are capturing their souls and NOT an ordinary pose. It’s sometimes hard to get that ‘pure’ and ‘specific’ expression.

My experience is that some models provide gradually the expression I am looking for. Some models provide ‘ordinary and standard’ poses. Do you also have that experience and how do you react on that?

Do you instruct the models in a certain way to get this explicit expressions? Or do you look at the their profile (like ModelMayhem) to find out their modeling skills to get the expressions you want?

Have a nice day!


Thanks Maarten, When choosing models I do not really look for their “acting” capabilities. It is part of my routine to tell the girls that I want poses/expressions that look more from a movie than from a fashion mag. the classical (cliché) fashion poses are off-limits for me… my instructions are only very limited – I believe the more a model finds into a “pose” herself the more natural it looks – same for expressions. The rest is observing and choosing the right angle and moment… at the beginning I was never happy with the expressions I got on my pictures and started to work on it… and then you develop some “tactics” to get the look you like.

A bit late… sorry 😉 I forgot to thank you for the reply and your valuable tips! I always appreciate it.


Nice set of pictures! Like the tone of the B/W and color as well. That 80 gives such wonderful depth of field.

Jan you´re my God when it comes to aesthetics. This is another sample which makes me speechless. Hats off my friend.

Friedemann, Dresden

Love the shots!! Do u often use an nd filter since u shoot wide open a lot? (especially outdoor shoots of course) 🙂

Thanks Nick, as the Contax does speeds down to 1/4000s there is no need for a ND Filter.

Ah makes sense! Thanks!

Nice to see you doing colour.

A very nice set, Jan, they have an intimate quality to them. When you rate your Fuji 400H at 100, do you process it normal or have it pulled 2 stops?


Thanks Nasir, the lab processes them normal – so no pulling. The overexposing is actually an open secret used by quite a few film photographers to get nice pastel like colors…

Oh that’s interesting.. I knew a lot of photographers ‘overexposed’ colour film, but I always thought it was to introduce more contrast and saturation, not less.. very interesting.

I have heard the same statement from photographers: overexpose to get more saturation …and then I look at their pictures and to my taste they have a very gentle saturation… more pastel like… probably depends on the personal interpretation of the word saturation…

…I myself found out about it listening to the inside analog photo podcast – highly recommended. lots of interviews with great film photographers..

Thanks very much, I will look out for that podcast. I realise I just asked you this same question on the previous set (blank page) so please ignore. Sorry for the repetition.

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