What can be more exciting than doing more of what you like? The new year always brings about new 'resolutions', but are you willing to achieve them? Are you even willing to go beyond that? It was time for me to affirm myself as an independant photographer, get a bit more acknowledgement, enlarge my network, widen the opportunities and get more visibility. All that while getting lucky with shots!
This officially me switching from amateur to professional. I changed 'AD photography', which was more my nickname, into my real name, 'Adrien Mauduit Photography and Film', which transcribes more professionally what I want to achieve. I have started my film portfolio on videoblocks.com, that you are welcome to visit if you need HQ clips for you on-going project. I also officially launched my online photography store where you can buy prints (paper, canvas...) or licenses of some of my best shots. I also encourage you to take a look here. However becoming professional doesn't mean I want money at all costs and won't be available to help people around me. On the contrary! You are more than ever welcome to ask for tips about photography and filming. I'm still in the process of learning, but I assume that I have now gained much experience in the domain and would be delighted to help the community in any way I can! I have received many nice messages and interesting questions over the past two year, so please indulge! It doesn't stop here: to show my willingness to aid beginners, I have started a series of online and totally free tutorials that you can watch on both my Vimeo or Youtube channels. Watch the first here:
2017 is opening new opportunities for me and gave me new thoughts and ideas. As a result I decided to improve my website by giving it a new look, that fits the name 'Adrien Mauduit Photography & Film' or AMP&F for short. On the homepage you will find a beautiful introductory video slideshow that will just speak volumes about what I like doing and what you will like seeing with just 5 slides... The down section 'WHAT'S HOT THIS MONTH' is dedicated to featured pictures, events, videos that are trending on social media. At the bottom of the page you will still find a Facebook feed from which you can like, share and comment. The blog section is still there and I added an Instagram feed for you to see directly from the homepage. The photography page has a new aesthetic and fluid look, and has been updated with the best pictures curated from my collection. You will find a new 'TUTORIALS' and 'PURCHASE' sub-section. I gave my website a generally more fluid and dynamic look, so that it is easy on the eye while still enabling you to scroll through without difficulty.
A new name also means a new logo, and here it is. Simple, beautiful and meaningful. I am in the process of changing the logo on all my pictures to create a uniform line throughout my website, and this will take a little while.
I hope this change will bring on more opportunities from the photography and film community/industry and I am very much looking forward to what the future has in store.
Nonetheless it is a triple shift job for me, as I have to deal with my kids at the school, operate the change on the website, but still be focused/on the look-out for the work that's ahead: auroras and generally clear skies.
January has been a pretty bad month for astrophotography and aurora hunting. There has been long and interminable days of waiting for the weather to shift from a constant low-cloud bank to clear. I think I can recall having 5 days of approximately decent weather so far, but decent doesn't necessarily mean the best conditions to shoot. Clear January nights bring about chilly winds, humidity in the air and due (creating undesired noise on the pictures), and a naughty veil of clouds on top of the sphere. Nevertheless as soon as the opportunity showed, I got outside with my gear and started shooting as many shots as possible, knowing that this time around, I would have plenty of time to process them. I tried shooting exclusively night panoramas with my Sony a7s, because its noise and effective-pixel performance are just unprecedented. There is just a little problem with Sony that I have difficulties solving or avoiding: even though the automatic noise-reduction function of the camera is turned off, the sensor still seems to find a way to automatically reduce noise, which causes the picture to lose detail, and that's not good for stacking. It does it on my Sony a7r2 too and is a compelling evidence that Sony sensors are very good for colors, but not that good for details when it comes to night photography. I get much accurate and detailed RAW images from my Canon 6D, which I recently added to my family. As I sent the latter to get astro-modified (I will publish an article on that when it gets back). Here comes a little gallery of shots I took over the past month:
The first month of the year hasn't been ideal either on the aurora side. Since we are at a solar minimum, the sun's activity has been pretty low and has quieted down ever since. We are now just experiencing the first sun spot in a while, which will hopefully increase in number and give powerful solar storms. Even though the NOAA had predicted several episodes of G1-G2 storming conditions, they have been hyped and overestimated way too much by social media and turned out to give only active or unsettled conditions over the last month, at least at mid-latitudes. However on January 5th, I was able to witness, record and film a somewhat unexpected aurora display. As I was out on Høve beach by minus twelve Celcius, I didn't realize that some ducks and swans were keeping me company, foraging in the shallows under the milky way and Lady aurora. Just watch the video and try to spot them (hint: they are near the shore):
To conclude this post, I am sharing two galleries. The first shows the beautiful sunsets (at least January has been good for one thing!), and especially one we haven't witnessed in a long while in Denmark: the whole sky caught on fire for ten elusive minutes, taking some blood-red hues! The other one deals with a project that I had had in a long time: space art photography. It consists of blending two panels together, the foreground and background being most of the time takes at the same location, in the same direction and same time of year, only the focal length is different. My goal was to show what the night sky would look like if Earth was some hundreds of light years closer to the core of the milky way. The next big project for me is to be able to shoot time lapse of deep-sky objects and medium-size astrophotography, showcasing the beauty of the closest galaxies! (I am not giving away the whole project ;)). In the mean time, you should probably take a stroll under the stars...Sandro and Markus Casutt, two amazing astrophotographers, have mastered this 'Cosmic art' type of astrophotography and take you on a mesmerizing deep-sky astro-journey in their mountainous valley. Take the tour here. I have no doubt that these two have something up their sleeves and will keep delivering premium quality shots for a long time, and we are not complaining about it!