Daily Inspiration #387 by Roeland Selleslachs

Dear Mr. Huff,

Please find attached a few images meant for the Daily Inspiration, a fantastic way in my opinion to keep a fresh view on photography. At first I’d like to thank you for the massive amount of time you must be spending to maintain this website and its related contents.

The reason I am posting these images is because of the ongoing tendency to replace our DSLR’s with more compact cameras like (here it is again) the Fujifilm X-E1. While I totally agree with this, myself being on the virge of doing the same, I would nevertheless like to express that my current camera, the Canon eos 5D classic never kept me from experiencing photography the way it is most enjoyable. The reason to go more compact for me is purely practical, travelling lighter and being less visible. Perhaps one of those ‘compacts’ will show me wrong anytime soon, altering my shooting style as well.

The images are shot with the canon 17-40L f:4 mounted on the 5D, converted from RAW using DxO 7. The only editing I did was turning the image into B&W and playing with the tone curve to get maximum contrast from the RAW file.

Carousel (Florence) 4 sec f:16


Elder man (Madrid) 1/160 sec f:10


Chapel (France) 1/250 sec f:8



Many thanks!

Roeland Selleslachs




  1. Beautiful images – for me, they work as they are, but to each one his own… Btw, some years ago I had for some months a Minolta Dimage superzoom. It gave me very beautiful images, but being as bulk as a DSRL I started to bring it with me every time a little less… The first “serious” compact cameras saved my photographic hobby. Now I’m the happy owner of an MFT system (with the occasional Mamiya medium format camera 😉 ).

  2. James, you did not at all, I tried to explain why some of my images are not inspiring other people, like you mentioned before. Composition of elements within an image is often subject to the personal aproach of the photographer, I believe. Mentioning the rules wasn’t meant to frame you as a particular type of photographer. By deliberately opposing rules some of my images are more prone not to be appreciated by others. Could you please give me an idea of how you would compose this image?

    Steve thanks for info.

    • Hi Roeland, that’s a difficult request without knowing the land contours etc, but I guess if I was there I’d go for something even more minimalist.
      Maybe use only one element and isolate it towards a corner (no, not at the thirds intersection..)).

      Google ‘The Prairie’ by Laura Gilpin and see where she placed the young woman to emphasise the loneliness of the vast prairie.

      Not sure, but allowing a little more of the lower section of the chapel/trees to be seen at the same time.

      The ‘danger’ is a cliched shot – there are plenty of the minimalist snow genre, or the Tuscany one tree/villa high POV to last for quite awhile.

      With the two elements on either side, I found I was not looking at any lonely wasteland but instead flicking my eyes from side to side. Too busy, if that’s possible in such a place!

      (Mmm, at the larger magnification I still found the softness, but it might be my gear..)

      • Hi James, the reason I wanted both elements framed is because they add to the timeless character of the scene. As I mentioned, it was on purpose that I framed it this way but I recognize the temptation to sweep it to one side and leave an empty space, indeed willing to risk a cliché image. Many really good images are composed this way but this one I felt had to be different but that’s just my taste. Getting the bottom parts in view was impossible because of the sloping hill they were on and because of the huge load of snow in front 🙂
        I’ll check the raw file for sharpness again as you got me scared here :)) The 17-40L isn’t the sharpest lens around but at f:8 it should be ok.

        thx for commenting

    • PStuart, I’m affraid the 5D hasn’t got enough resolution for that as it’s only 12,7 mp. With a d800 that could surely be an option to be considered

  3. Thx for posting Steve and thx for the comments folks. I must say the chapel pic looks a bit soft on my screen as well although I am sure the raw file itself is razorsharp. I suspect screen resolution or resizing to be the reason for this so thx for blowing that whistle James. Putting the items on opposite sides of the frame however was entirely intentional just to express the striking emptyness of the scene. Photographing to me means fun and testing boundaries. I often violate “the rules” while remaining conscious about them at the same time. I do slip and stumble like my baby son in pursuit of satisfying images, as satisfaction is my main goal.

    • Hi Roeland, I had no idea I was advocating any “rules” with my comment. I’m not a big fan of such directives. What did you have in mind?

  4. Horses for courses as the saying goes. I don’t want to miss neither my 1Dx as workhorse nor my M8.2 for its compactness and wonderful rangefinder style of shooting.

    Fantastic photos, inspirational indeed in their simplicity. Thank you!

    • Wolfgang, how does the M8.2 suit you quality-wise? I could be tempted to search for a used one as I can’t afford an M9. Main purpose for an M8.2 would be streetshots. I am looking for a high quality compact camera with buttons and dials instead of menu’s.



  5. The Chapel shot has the elements (chapel, trees) to become something very good, but I’m not inspired by its composition with the two items plonked at each end of the frame.

    Additionally, both important elements seem out of focus. Considering the rest of the sky and snow is almost featureless, having those elements standing out in their winter sharpness would have helped a little.

    • Just realized the 3rd picture was the whole picture. I thought my internet slowed down and I was waiting for it to finish loading.

    • I would politely disagree. I cant speak to the sharpness (looks fine on my monitor), but I like the composition. Having the two elements of interest at either end gives context to the vast flatness of the snowy field. Sort of Fargo-ish but the soft, subtle tones in the sky make the mood much more peaceful for me. I’d love to see a large print.

  6. The chapel photo is absolutely beautiful. I like the first one as well, but I think it could be further improved by burning some of the bright flagstones and a good crop.

  7. Nice images, good contrasty B&W which is the way I like it. The 5D can make some great images. But I am a OMD guy using ZM Zeiss lenses. A killer combo.

  8. It is fascinating how each one of us finds a different reason to switchover to smaller cameras; yes, the DSLRs are bulky but there a niche that they fill well–the flexibility of approach, the quickness of shooting and images which are not too far of from what I get from my Leica. Yes there are differences but then are different needs as well. I acquired my Leica 20 years ago and today I happily shoot with my Monochrom and M9 (waiting for M) but I cannot imagine giving up my 800E; a DSLR complements well the artisan inside you if not the artist that reaches a zenith of emotion just by holding a Monochrom with FLE. It just smells better.

  9. Roeland,

    I love my 5D MkII, it is a wonderful tool for photography! Your Chapel photo is the one that speaks to me. Beautiful in its simplicity. Thanks for sharing! Tom

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