No. 0003 - Released December 6, 2003
40 European photographers spent “Sinterklaas”, the Belgian Santa Claus Day in a one-day symposium in Brussels,
organized by the international photography community Nikonians.
“It was a mutual thing, the way a true friendship forms on the Net” starts Bo Stahlbrandt from Germany, one of the two founders
describing how he and his partner, J. Ramón Palacios from Mexico founded the internet community four years earlier. “With
15,000 members from 100 nations, there is always something going on, 24 hours a day” he said while presenting the roadmap
for 2004, with international workshops and local online chapters.
At the event, the Belgian nature photographer Philippe Clement was rewarded the “European Nikonian of the Year 2003 certificate”.
“If there is someone living the Nikonian spirit online, it is Photophil” said the founder, using the photographer’s online nickname.
One of the highlights at the event was the impressive collection of over 25 cameras, with goodies like first series Nikon F and
Nikkormats. “We have a name for this in the community”, said Luc van Nieuwenhove, the collector from Belgium while playfully
touching a 600mm monster lens, “It’s called NAS, Nikon Acquisition Syndrome”. The vast array of lenses, from special medical
Nikkors to the latest D2H pro camera, kept the crowd in awe.
Nikon Belgium’s Maarten Goosens informed the participating Nikonians about the latest advancement in digital photography and
how important it was to be able to reduce noise to improve images.
The internationally renowned photographer of sensual nudes, Pascal Baetens, held a slide show and signed his book Allegro
Sensibile. “Capturing the atmosphere of the surroundings and between you and the model is key; technology alone won’t do
that for you”, the photographer told his audience.
Several members tried out the rapid workflow of using digital cameras connected to Apple Macintosh G5’s. Digital photographs
taken during the symposium were burnt to DVD and taken back home as a sweet memory of a very special Santa Claus.
With over 15,000 members from over 100 countries, Nikonians.org is the largest Internet community for Nikon photographer’s
world-wide and it certainly is thriving.