Hacked and moving

Wind rooster

Move

One is my move from Dendermonde to Sart-Risbart, a little village next to the E411 just below Louvain-la-neuve.

The move and the renovations before the move have taken up all my free time lately, which also means I haven’t been taking photos like I would like, but hopefully that will change in the coming time.

Also my move doesn’t mean I’m leaving behind all my clients, definitely not, I’m just expanding my horizon with a possible extra set of clients.

Hacked

The other is the reason why this site is in a horrible condition for the moment.

The last couple of months, this site and others that I’m maintaining have been subject of continuous attacks by spammers and black hat hackers.

It got that bad, that one of my sites even got warnings from google. No matter what I tried, I was fighting a loosing battle. It seemed that the hackers had fought a way in one of my websites and were so able to access all my other sites as well.

So I decided to move my websites away from wordpress and use a static site generator, his name is Hugo. This means that everything on this site is plain HTML and Javascript and I’m generating the pages on my own computer. A welcome extra is that the site loads a lot faster.

The transition went very smooth, but because of the hacking most of my photos have been deleted (by myself by accident), I’m slowly finding all the photos and will add them back in the next couple of days. As you guessed however it is a monks work, so it takes time, to do it by hand.

To avoid this issue in the future, my source-files are now on dropbox and my site is also available as a repository on github. That way I always have several backups of my website and it’s contents and I can even rebuild and deploy a previous version, so that I always have a working site online.

[BIFFF] Predator

My subjects today are a bit frightening.

Predator cosplay

Predator Alexandre Lartaux

Failing is hard

First of all, I have to say, that I don’t really know what I want to achieve with this post. It’s something that has been bothering me for some time and I’m writing it here to get it of my chest.

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The following is my personal experience. When I made the choice to become freelancer I would have never expected that it would have this big of a effect on me. In that period I have had my fair share of past dues, bailiffs, notifications of foreclosure of my things, phone calls from the bank. It has been that bad that in July 2013 I was 2 days from bankrupt.

Do I tell you this, because I want your pity, no not at all. The reasons were plenty, by myself aswel outside factors. But what I want to tell is more how these things have impacted my life in more ways than I could imagine.

During the last 6 years, I lived in a constant state of stress, let me give you some exampels.

  • Every time I went to the mailbox, I expected the worst
  • Every car that stopped in the street, I feared it was a bailiff
  • With every telephone I had the fear of needing to find a new excuse why I didn’t pay yet.
  • Every time I came home, I checked the door for scratch marks of the locksmith, because the bailiff passed to write up my things
  • Every doorbell, I hid my important things
  • Every time I checked my account, I wondered what to pay first
  • Every moment of the day I was looking for creative solutions to pay something and still being able to live

That are only the small things, I had learned to hate and evade the question: “How are you doing?”. I didn’t want anybody to know that it wasn’t well, not that anybody wanted to hear that anyway. So I kept the charade going

But I wasn’t sleeping anymore, I stopped eating, I only drank water. I had small panic attacks. I hope for some good luck and started playing on the lottery, against my better judgement. I hoped for accounting mistakes from my clients, I stopped taking phone calls from unknown numbers

I hoped that hiding would solve my problems, but actually I was slowly killing myself, mentally and physically. I supposed it was part of the entrepreneur experience, as nobody was talking about it. Even those admitting to failure on the Fail conferences, never talked about the negative effects, only about getting up after you fall. So I must have been exaggerating.

One day I decided to stop hiding and just told everybody that asked, no it’s not well. As I made the click, it seemed that all felt in place. When the day came that I almost payed off all of my debts, it thought great, from now on it will be all better.

However, with my debt, I also lost my drive. I do realise I’m still not safe but I’m tired, I can’t go at 250% anymore. I’m still doing 90%, but that feels like standing still. I’m tired, empty, broken. I’m still passionate about photography and my jobs, but all other work is too much.

At least that is the feeling I’m having for the last months. So when yesterday, on the Failing Forward conference I heard every speaker talk about failure as a stepping stone to success, I had a bad taste with all that. Failing is not only a stepping stone, but also very tiresome and hard. You only get hit by it afterwards. You only know what it took, the moment you get up again.

By the way I still expect the worst, I’m still a bit anxious when opening the mailbox, going to the door or arriving home.

[PitsLamp-short] Portrait I.

It’s been a while, in the last 6 months lots of stuff happened in work, social and personal life. All of which stopped me from updating, all excuses I know, so here is a recent photo to make it up.

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Earlier this year, I got to test a sony A7 camera and I kinda fell in love with it. So after a busy summer, I purchased one and I also got some adaptors to use the vast collection of old lenses I have laying around. I tested this out in my studio last night and did a short portrait session with I.

Polaroid photo booth: The broken circle breakdown

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Sunday night the Belgian film, The broken circle breakdown, was nominated and in running to receive an oscar. In Ghent the film festival of ghent organised a party in the Sandton Grand hotel Reylof to watch the award ceremony live on a big screen with the cast, Prince Laurent of Belgium and some more VIPS.

They’ve asked “In a moment”, the photo booth collective of me and my colleague Stijn Vandenbussche to setup a polaroid photo booth at the event. Stijn could not make it because he is currently enjoying carnival in Rio, so I asked my former intern Ilja to help me out. We set up the studio and shot polaroids during the whole evening. Below you can find some impressions of the evening and in this video which aired on cafe corsari, a belgian national television program, you can see me at work around the 2min45sec mark.

If you want to book us for a photo booth, go check out the website of inamoment.be

Polaroid photo booth drying line

Polaroid photo booth: picking your photo

Polaroid photo booth: Photographer

Polaroid photo booth: setup

Pitsmobiel

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Those that have met me during the last 5 year have probably seen the “Pitsmobiel”. It was a black Citroën Berlingo, as it was a lease for 5 year, the lease ended yesterday. I already received my new “Pitsmobiel” a Ford Focus last saturday, so I decided to do a little photoshoot.

I asked my intern/assistant Ilja to stay till dark and with some more help, we created this photo with only 5 speedlights and a long exposure.

Paris in the rain

Paris

View from Montmartre in Paris

Tourist view

Tourists watching the view in the rain in Paris

Metro

Metro de Paris

[snapshot] 22˚ halo around the moon

22˚ halo around the moon in Aalst

Last night while I was experimenting with long exposures on film, I noticed a halo around the moon. I thought this to be a fairly unique phenomena so I rushed to get my digital camera.

It turned out to be a 22˚ halo around the moon, something that occurs more regularly, but I did never notice it before. You can read more about it on wikipedia

Anyway as I took the photos, I thought I’d share them with you.

22˚ halo around the moon in Aalst

Archive – 2008

landscape 2008

Last 2 weeks I had an intern over here and while we were browsing through my archives, he noticed I have a lot of pictures I never published. So I decided to post some images from my archives. This will be a regular feature, some images may be reposts.

In the first post I’ll post some landscapes from 2008.

Panorama

Sunset over the sea

landscape 2008

landscape 2008

landscape 2008

Let me know if you like these in the comments or through the various social media.

Concentration and emotions

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During my job today for Lotto at Super prestige cyclocross in Gavere I had the chance to photograph some of the cyclists. I love the difference in concentration and emotions, I managed to capture on such a short time.

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