Instagram: Best images of March 2019

Clouds and rain, and an occasional glimpse of the sun, peeping in the dark sky from behind a few, or sometimes many, clouds. It’s not always the brightest and most sunny days with wide open azure blue skies that are the most photographically interesting days.
Even though I too love those sunny days with blue skies, and they can be great photographic backgrounds for certain photoshoots or subjects, some clouds in the sky do add a lot to many landscape photos. Clouds can be a second landscape in the sky of a landscape photo. They can add color, they can add drama, and they can add mysticism to any photo.
So adding some clouds to your photo can really add to your picture. So one less reason not to take out your photography gear on one of those many days that the azure blue in the sky is partially hidden.
But what about rain? Rain sucks, right? Well… yeah, sometimes. But sometimes the rain will be of an incredible help!

Another principle that can enhance your photography tremendously is “Reflection”. Adding a reflection to your photograph will almost always (see google.com for reflections gone wrong) enhance it.
Reflections can be found in many places. It can of course be a reflection in a mirror, but it can also be a reflection in a window, or the shiny surface of a piano or a table. Or the hood of a car, or the mirroring of sunglasses. Reflections are also often used in movie scenes and series, and once you start looking for them yourself for your photography, you will also start noticing them when watching tv or a movie.
One of the most common reflections that you can come across, nearly every day, or even many times a day, are of course reflections on water surfaces. So how welcome can rain be if you want to go out and photograph? Very welcome, if it is of course only showers, and not a constant downpour of liters of water, preventing you to even take out your camera.

But on a day like this one, when this picture was taken, I welcome the clouds, and I thank the rain, because it has created a dramatic backdrop, and to have that reflected in the puddles after the rain like this, did result in a picture that has made it into the top 3 of images on all my social media accounts in March, and onto number one on Instagram.

Does that mean that all it takes to have a killer photo is to just take a picture of clouds and a reflecting puddle? Yes and no.

Basically, you have to look around a bit for a good puddle, large enough to reflect what you want, and it has to reflect everything you want clearly enough. To obtain that, you often have to change your point of view dramatically. For this particular picture, I had to go down on my knees and elbows (yes indeed, on the wet ground), and go deep enough to reflect just enough, and not too much, in order to keep out the distracting lamp posts and traffic signs.

At this particular time, I only had my iPhone 8 plus and my GoPro Hero 3 with me. I took photos with both, but have only edited the iPhone ones yet.
I shot this particular picture using the Procamera HDR setting, and underexposed a bit, to add extra colordepth. In Lightroom postprocessing, the colors were enhanced slightly using the saturation slider.

500px Best Images of March 2019

This is a picture that was taken in the same series as one the winner of Instagram of last month (https://beheydt.be/en/best-pictures-of-february-2019/), it was from the same walk, and also taken with the iPhone 8 Plus and Procamera. The main difference here is that, instead of using the branch that goes into the water as a leading line, I’ve walked a bit further through the bushes on the waterside, until I had reached this place. All kinds of branches of old trees are sticking out of the water here, creating a more than interesting foreground to an otherwise only average picture.

Having an interesting foreground in your picture is almost always a very important part in a good photography composition. So always be on the lookout for anything that can serve as a foreground. And if you don’t really find anything that looks interesting, or can be used in an interesting way, see if you can find anything that reflects (see the best images of instagram of this month).

This photo too was taken with the iPhone 8 Plus and Procamera. I have taken several pictures there with the Fujifilm too, but not this one.

As you can guess, I used the Procamera HDR setting to take the picture, and underexposed a tad. In Lightroom postprocessing, I’ve upped the color saturation a bit.

Reflected sticks by Bjorn Beheydt on 500px.com

Eyeem: Best Images of March 2019

The same way it often… You need to get out for some business as usual things, such as bringing the kids, or picking up dog food, or driving to the railway station. So you grab the Fujifilm that is ready in the bag in the hall, next to the door. And nothing happens. You see not even the slightest photogenic subject. The clouds are in front of the setting sun. There’s cars with screaming advertisements on them in front of that nice architectural building you pass by, and the horses that you often photograph are suddenly grazing on other meadows. So no pictures taken.
But then, those other days, when it is the same business as usual, but you’re in a hurry, because there is a lot of business, as usual. And you don’t grab your camerabag, even though it is ready next to the door. But remember yesterday? And the day before? And last week? You took it, and there was nothing to photograph it seemed. And you are in such a hurry already, you don’t even have time to consider if you would or wouldn’t take it. So you leave without it.

But luckily not without the iPhone.

Because especially on those days, when you don’t bring your camera, the sun sets more beautifully as ever before. And there they are, enjoying the sunset while grazing, your beloved horses. And in the distance is that totally architectural impressive building, without cars in front of it. And you didn’t bring your camera. I truly believe that the camera and the umbrella were invented by the same person, George Eastman.
But hey, luckily we didn’t leave without the iPhone! So out comes the Iphone 8 Plus again. Power up the Procamera HDR setting, and off we shoot!

Some postprocessing was done using Lightroom for iOS, added some contrast, brightened some shadows, and upped the color saturation. A tad. Not too much, this time.

Top Stock photography Image of March 2019

Winter, it is not often considered to be the nicest of seasons. Especially not by people who easily feel cold, or by people who like taking photographs.
However, the winter period does have its advantages! Hot chocolate milk being one of them. But also photographically speaking. Some of my best images of landscapes were taken during wintertime. I know, the chances of having nice weather are much less during wintertime, but, when the sun is out, it is not that high up in the sky (in our part of the world that is, in Belgium), and it rises and sets much sooner. “Yeah, so?”, I hear you say.
Well, this means that:

  • You don’t need to get up at 5 am to shoot a sunrise
  • You don’t need to stay up until 10 pm to shoot a sunset
  • You have “golden hour” much longer throughout the day

This picture takes advantage of that winterthing. I was driving one of the kids home from music class, and as it was 5:30 pm something, the sun was already setting. So when you see the sun like this, and you spot a tree out in the field that could be a nice subject, what do you do? Indeed, you yell “hold on” to the kids, grab your iPhone 6 (because you were in that much of a hurry that you didn’t take the time to grab the Fujifilm) and jump out of the car.

The picture was taken with the iPhone 6 at that time, using the Procamera HDR setting. Slightly underexposed.
Postprocessing was done in Enlight, which I was still using mostly at that time.
I submitted it to the different stock photography agencies around the time that I had taken it, which is about 2 years ago now. It had never sold before, but for some reason, last month, it started selling. First on Shutterstock, for a fairly nice amount (+10$), and later in March it also got sold on Colourbox.

Stock photography: Best image of March 2019: Rural sunset in the countryside with the sun setting and showing behind a lonely bare tree in the field with a dusty sand road underneath a clear blue sky
Rural sunset in the countryside with the sun setting and showing behind a lonely bare tree in the field with a dusty sand road underneath a clear blue sky

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