Updated My Webpage..

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby Bao on Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:26 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:
Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:Damn, those pics impress the hell out of me. Self-taught, you say? Well done! What are you shooting with? I love the landscapes and people, especially that shot of your teacher on the top page. Very cool.

Good luck. The webpage layout is very nicely done. I hope you get a steady and enthusiastic group together.

I'm glad you liked them, but I really, really wish that I had time to take more.. The days were extremely long and the weather, people and animals didn't always cooperate, but I made the best of it.. :)

One third of the work is using your photographer's eye to spot a good composition or getting lucky. The second third is taking the photo with the correct exposure settings (which means understanding those settings). Finally, the last third is post-processing it in Photoshop. Photoshop can only make a good photo great or a great photo amazing. It can't make a shitty photo into a masterpiece. The trick is to edit the photos to look more like what your eyes saw and not overdo it.

Notice that only one third of the above process depends on the camera. About a fourth of the photos were taken with a cheap Panasonic bridge camera and the rest were taken with an entry-level Canon DSLR and cheap lenses. There were also several that were taken with a cheap Fujifilm camera. If I bought a new camera now it would probably be a Canon 200D, which when paired with my excellent, but cheap 24mm pancake lense would be a great, light travel camera.

Still, you can take great photos with just about any camera in good light and good light is usually what you strive to shoot in. Make sure that your camera can shoot in RAW mode so that you can get detail out of the highlight and shadows. Another secret ingredient is using a polarising filtre to get nice colours and reduce glare. Before I went back to China in 2011 I borrowed all the books on photography that I could find at the library and learned the basics, then started to practise. Over time I learned new tricks and improved my post processing and the rest is history.. 8-)

That shot of my teacher and that shot of me on the first page were the only photos not taken by me! :P


Interesting. Thank you for sharing.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:33 am

Greg J wrote:The website looks great, Maarten! I think this will serve you well when you land stateside. For better or for worse, the internet is people's go-to medium for information, and this will be a good way for prospective students to get to know more about you, your lineage, and the different areas you will be instructing and training.

Best,
Greg

I'm pleased that you like it. I've been back for over three weeks now.. Just started training again. Before I left I went on a huge motorbike trip through the most remote areas of Guizhou province and picked up and moved here almost the next day, then went on a long road trip to visit family on the East Coast a week after, so it's taken me a while to recover! Hopefully I'll find some training partners before long. I'll begin job-hunting on the morrow!
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:35 am

Nazgarn wrote:Absolutely beautiful photos, and love reading your posts here as well.

For 11 years you have lived out many people's dream! All the best with the teaching, hope you have many students :)

Thank you, but if you knew all of the details you could imagine that I lived out many people's nightmares as well.. Still, having survived it all, I have no regrets. ;D
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:36 am

Bao wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:
Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:Damn, those pics impress the hell out of me. Self-taught, you say? Well done! What are you shooting with? I love the landscapes and people, especially that shot of your teacher on the top page. Very cool.

Good luck. The webpage layout is very nicely done. I hope you get a steady and enthusiastic group together.

I'm glad you liked them, but I really, really wish that I had time to take more.. The days were extremely long and the weather, people and animals didn't always cooperate, but I made the best of it.. :)

One third of the work is using your photographer's eye to spot a good composition or getting lucky. The second third is taking the photo with the correct exposure settings (which means understanding those settings). Finally, the last third is post-processing it in Photoshop. Photoshop can only make a good photo great or a great photo amazing. It can't make a shitty photo into a masterpiece. The trick is to edit the photos to look more like what your eyes saw and not overdo it.

Notice that only one third of the above process depends on the camera. About a fourth of the photos were taken with a cheap Panasonic bridge camera and the rest were taken with an entry-level Canon DSLR and cheap lenses. There were also several that were taken with a cheap Fujifilm camera. If I bought a new camera now it would probably be a Canon 200D, which when paired with my excellent, but cheap 24mm pancake lense would be a great, light travel camera.

Still, you can take great photos with just about any camera in good light and good light is usually what you strive to shoot in. Make sure that your camera can shoot in RAW mode so that you can get detail out of the highlight and shadows. Another secret ingredient is using a polarising filtre to get nice colours and reduce glare. Before I went back to China in 2011 I borrowed all the books on photography that I could find at the library and learned the basics, then started to practise. Over time I learned new tricks and improved my post processing and the rest is history.. 8-)

That shot of my teacher and that shot of me on the first page were the only photos not taken by me! :P


Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

My pleasure. It's really not that hard. Everything takes time and practise to get right.
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby Bao on Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:18 am

MaartenSFS wrote:My pleasure. It's really not that hard. Everything takes time and practise to get right.


In preparation to apply to a film school (yes I got in...) I took a photo course. A long time ago and very basic. This was before the digital cameras, so used film and developed the photos by ourselves. Nice to have done that, but I still don’t think I learned very much at all, not about framing, not about lenses. So I believe that every photographer need to really experiment a lot to get it right.

BTW, if you haven’t watched them already, there are a couple of very interesting short documentaries on the YouTube about Kubrick, one only about his lenses and one about the photo in Barry Lyndon. Very fascinating stuff. He got special lenses from NASA and also let create his own lenses to be able to completely control the light and setting as he wanted.

MaartenSFS wrote: ... if you knew all of the details you could imagine that I lived out many people's nightmares as well.. Still, having survived it all, I have no regrets. ;D


I can imagine that you have some extremely interesting stories to tell... Even if you think I have been annoying occasionally, ;D I would love to buy you a beer some time in the future and listen to all of your stories. (This RSF is a very rich place this many people worth to meet and listen to.)

I’ve gone through a few things, though minor things compared to many others. But that’s why I have that quote below “Storms make oaks take deeper root.” If you (general “you” obviously) have a strong focus and learn how to handle all kinds of people around you can accomplish many things in life. (You might go much further than you have thought, especially when you fought and felt low...)
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby Greg J on Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:22 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:
Hopefully I'll find some training partners before long. I'll begin job-hunting on the morrow!



Good luck with the job search. I just sent you a PM re: training partners.

Best,
Greg
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:52 am

Bao wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:My pleasure. It's really not that hard. Everything takes time and practise to get right.


In preparation to apply to a film school (yes I got in...) I took a photo course. A long time ago and very basic. This was before the digital cameras, so used film and developed the photos by ourselves. Nice to have done that, but I still don’t think I learned very much at all, not about framing, not about lenses. So I believe that every photographer need to really experiment a lot to get it right.

BTW, if you haven’t watched them already, there are a couple of very interesting short documentaries on the YouTube about Kubrick, one only about his lenses and one about the photo in Barry Lyndon. Very fascinating stuff. He got special lenses from NASA and also let create his own lenses to be able to completely control the light and setting as he wanted.

MaartenSFS wrote: ... if you knew all of the details you could imagine that I lived out many people's nightmares as well.. Still, having survived it all, I have no regrets. ;D


I can imagine that you have some extremely interesting stories to tell... Even if you think I have been annoying occasionally, ;D I would love to buy you a beer some time in the future and listen to all of your stories. (This RSF is a very rich place this many people worth to meet and listen to.)

I’ve gone through a few things, though minor things compared to many others. But that’s why I have that quote below “Storms make oaks take deeper root.” If you (general “you” obviously) have a strong focus and learn how to handle all kinds of people around you can accomplish many things in life. (You might go much further than you have thought, especially when you fought and felt low...)

I'll have a look at Kubrick's videos. That sounds interesting. I have enjoyed a lot of his films. I think that to be good at photography you really need to be inspired by what you see around you. A lot of people only feel that way when on vacation, but there can be lots of worthwhile subjects in your own area as well. Even in China it wasn't always easy to stay inspired, especially when I was so busy with studying Gongfu.

Haha, no hard feelings.. I'm sure that I've annoyed plenty of people as well. I do have lots of stories to tell, but I don't drink alcohol.. A nice glass of fruit juice will do, though. ;D I absolutely feel that living over there made me a lot stronger. I miss it already...
Last edited by MaartenSFS on Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:54 am

Greg J wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:
Hopefully I'll find some training partners before long. I'll begin job-hunting on the morrow!



Good luck with the job search. I just sent you a PM re: training partners.

Best,
Greg

Thank you. I think I'll need all the luck I can get. I just tried finding people to talk to at MSU this morning but they all told me to search online.. What has this world come to???
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby symmetry on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:19 pm

Hi Maarten, where are you located in Michigan?
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:49 pm

I live near Lansing.
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby Michael on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:25 am

Great name! ;D ;)
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby taiwandeutscher on Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:52 am

Sounds Bavarian, southern Germany!
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby Giles on Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:32 am

Guys, it's obviously in China. Shao Lin, Tai Ping, Lan Sing...
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Re: Updated My Webpage..

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:01 pm

Err...
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