In the summer of 2012 I was shooting the city of Hasselt’s new commercial campaign. From small details in the museums to city-wide views, it was a fun assignment, testing my creativity in many ways. A year later I saw my pictures popping up in the craziest places: magazines, newspapers, maps and more. But it is one of the key-images that turned out to be the most interesting to create. 

On a sunny afternoon I got a call from a familiar number: the council of tourism’s office. They found an image of me online that they would love to buy as their next key-image in promoting the city. 

‘Oh, sure, which one is it?’

– ’The one with the little glass of Jenever, where the skyline is reflected. You posted it on Instagram a few months ago.’

Oh dear. It was indeed a random snap after doing an interview, where our gracious host offered us a drink, and I noticed the reflection. 

2011 12 05 1323098779

So, they want to use an Instagram to blow up to billboard-sized images… . A quick visit later I explained that it just wasn’t possible to use a small image like that for the big use that they wanted it to. The only other option was to reshoot it. So we went for that. The first challenge was to see if the depth of field on an image like that was actually possible without Photoshop, because of the huge differences in Sensor sizes. (The bigger the sensor, the less depth of field (which we love). But in this case, we wanted a LOT to be in focus.


Another problem was the location. It was taken from a private balcony and the deadline was tight. So a few calls later we got a go-ahead, while checking the weather-reports a date was chosen. The 29th of august was the date. We chose around 2-3 pm to get a harsher light, so we could still have a shadow on the glass.

We shot many variants, including on a 70-200 and 105 macro lens (which would completely blur the background). In the end I shot it on a 24-70, zoomed to 70 on the D800. ISO was 100, and f/22 to get as much depth of field as possible. The problem of course is,  (We did not lose any quality because of the complete stopping down). The final result had an edit on Aperture with Instagram-like presets to get the colours as much as right as possible as chosen together with the client. 

(However, in my opinion these did not print as well as they could, so this week I did a re-edit and delivered them to the client.) Edited in Lightroom 5, VSCO Kodak E200.

800 2253

And here is the image in full use:

800 7301

KDF 5467