Welcome to SCIP.be, the website of software architect, nature photographer and passionate world traveller Stefan Cruysberghs.
On this website I show my most beautiful images. As a photographer I cover multiple genres but I am particularly intrigued by nature and wildlife, beautiful and desolate landscapes and colorful people.
This website also contains a lot of my own articles about software development (.NET, Delphi, Web, Cloud, ...) and in addition you can download several older components and freeware applications.
Below you will find the most recent additions.
Hageland by night
After my first photoseries in 2018 this is a second series of photos of well-known and lesser-known monuments in the Hageland region (Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, Diest, Holsbeek, Tielt-Winge, Aarschot, ...) that I have photographed in recent years during the blue hour or at night. Often there was a beautiful starry sky, a full moon or the comet NEOWISE passed by. I usually use multiple lights and flashes to illuminate the subject and create some atmosphere.
At the end of September 2022, I travelled to the north of Norway with some photo friends for a week; to the beautiful island of Senja and the region around the mountain Otertinden. Autumn was at its peak and the fall colors were phenomenal. Furthermore, I was very lucky to observe fantastic northern lights three nights in a row and to take some very nice images. Here are my best images from a week of landscape photography in the far north.
Some images of the many butterflies in our garden in Scherpenheuvel. For a few years now I have been busy planting more diverse shrubs and flowers in our garden in the hope of attracting more wildlife and insects. Last summer the results were spectacular because we saw many colorful butterflies.
In the spring I was able to photograph little owls several times. They were not shy and I was therefore able to make a lot of varied images. The little owl is one of the smallest owls (21 to 27cm) in the Lowlands. The little owl is mainly nocturnal and can be found in a wide range of habitats including farmland, woodland, heathland, ...
In April 2022 I traveled to Italy with my family. We stayed in Grinzane Cavour for a week near the beautiful castle. We explored the beautiful Langhe region in Piemont with vineyards, hills, picturesque villages and many castles. Afterwards we went to Cinque Terre; 5 wonderful villages on the rugged Ligurian coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On foot and by train we explored the 5 villages and by boat we also went to Portovenere.
Spring is finally here. The first crocuses appear in our garden in Scherpenheuvel...
The buzzard is by far the most common and most striking bird of prey in our country. I was able to make some nice images of buzzards from a small hide in my home region.
New version TscExcelExport
A new version of the TscExcelExport component that supports the latest Embarcadero Delphi/RAD Studio 11 version This Delphi VCL component is an advanced, powerful but easy to use component which enables you to export all records of a dataset from Delphi to Microsoft Excel. Version 4.42 offers support for all Delphi and all Excel versions.
A small selection of photos from our family holiday in Austria's beautiful Schladming-Dachstein region. We stayed in the picturesque village of Hallstatt, made many walks in the beautiful mountains in the Schladming-Dachstein region, visited the impressive castle of Hohenwerfen and had a nice meeting with cute alpine marmots.
A small series of images from recent years of beautiful water birds in the Low Countries such as grebes, coots, avocets, ducks, terns, ... These images were made from hides, from a small boat or simply from the water's edge.
A small series of images of jumping squirrels. It wasn't that easy to get these action shots, but they do show the incredible power of these cute animals to even jump up to 6m.
Extreme close-ups of insects
This year I focused on micro photography, the superlative of macro photography. I develop my own automated macro rail with which I can make 30 to 60 images in steps of 100 to 300 microns (thousandth of a millimeter) and then merge them. This way I can make razor-sharp images of insects that want to sit still for a few minutes. Obviously, the latter is not and technically it is always quite a challenge. These are my best images of extreme close-ups of insects.
Nocturnal animals in our garden
The wildcam in our garden often registers all kinds of mammals at night, such as stone martens, hedgehogs and various types of mice. It seemed to me an exciting challenge to make some beautiful images of these nocturnal animals with my Nikon cameras. Not an easy task, however. With a laser trigger and a few flashes, with all kinds of setups and after many attempts, I managed to make a few but varied images of the stone marten and hedgehog.
This summer I went three times to the Belgian Ardennes to an observation hut on the Plateau des Tailles to photograph wild animals. I was able to take a varied series of images of the wild boars. A small group of young pigs often showed up before sunset. The big family with heavy boars and sows and also young squeakers only came at dusk or when it was already dark.
At the end of July 2020, the peak time was to see Comet NEOWISE with its luminous tail in the starry sky. I then went to the Maagdentoren in our city Scherpenheuvel-Zichem to take some pictures. I tried to illuminate the tower in different ways with a pocket and LED lamp. Now we will have to wait 6,800 years until we can observe the comet again. A day later my images were shown during the news on the regional television station ROB tv.
In June 2020, Vlaanderen Vakantieland (Flemish Tourist organisation) launched a campaign to promote tourism in Flanders again with the title 'We missed you' and the hashtag #welcomeback. They used a series of beautiful images, including one of me from the castle of Horst
A small selection of photos of our family vacation through the beautiful Slovenia. First we visited Salzburg in Austria . Afterwards we drove to the south of Slovenia and visited the karst formations of Rakov Škocjan and Lake Cerknica. I was able to photograph wild bears there. After this we went to the Adriatic coast with the impressive caves of Postojna and Škocjan, the castle of Predjama and the picturesque coastal town of Piran. Finally we went to the Julian Alps with the Triglav NP and the beautiful lakes of Bled and Bohinj, Velika Planina and we also visited the capital Ljubliana.
Sunrise at the heathlands
The end of August is always a good time for landscape photographers. In the morning there is often atmospheric fog and the heather is in full bloom in our regions. This is a small selection of photos of sunrises on the flowering heathlands. A few photos are made this year in the beautiful nature reserve the Teut in Zonhoven. The other images are from past years in Gerhagen (Tessenderlo), Veerle heide(Veerle-Laakdal), Averbode heide (Scherpenheuvel), 's Hertogenheide (Aarschot) and Blekerheide (Lommel).
Viajes National Geographic
In July 2019, a nice article about Madagascar was published in the Viajes (Travel) magazine of National Geographic in Spain that included a photo of mine. I took this photo of a ring-tailed lemur with a baby on her back in 2014 in Isalo National Park in southern Madagascar.
Photos of our short trip to Ethiopia. First we travelled through the Rift Valley and we enjoyed the thousands of flamingos and endangered hartebeests. Than we travelled to the Bale Mountains. There we could spot the mountain nyala and the Menelik bushbuck and at the Sanetti Plateau at an altitude of 3000 to 4000 meters we could observe Africa's most endangered carnivore; the Ethiopian wolf. Then we descended to the subtropical Harenna forest. In Debre Zeit I photographed many colorful birds and we visited the Jemme River Gorge to watch the gelada baboons.
National Geographic finalist
My photo of the Saint Joseph chapel in Sint-Pieters-Rode in the snow was one of the finalists of the prestigious National Geographic photo contest 2018 in October 2018.
Hageland by night
A series of photographs of famous and less well-known monuments in the Hageland region (Scherpenheuvel, Diest, Bekkevoort, Holsbeek, Tielt-Winge) photographed during the blue hour or later at night. Often there was a beautiful starry sky and usually I use several lamps to illuminate the subject.
In the international WildlifePhoto contest 2017 (organized by the famous wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas) two of my photos were shortlisted and finally my photo of Altai Mountains was selected as runner-up (2nd or 3th place). Even my photo of the sunrise at the heathland in Lommel was highly commended. Both photos will be displayed on a large outdoor screen in New York in March 2018.
WWF - Photo book
The newest WWF book 'Beeldverhalen' is available in the bookstores since this week and offers you the most amazing and unique photographs from nature. Every year the World Wildlife Fund organizes a photo competition together with Frans Lanting. Out of the 13,000 photos submitted, the 170 best were selected. Three of my photographs are also published in this book.
Nature in Limburg
In November 2017 I was invited to the opening of the photo salon of photo club Renovat in Sint-Truiden and the proclamation of the photo contest 'Nature in Limburg'. It turned out that I won the first prize of this contest with my photo of the Blekerheide in Lommel. Thanks Limburg province and photo club Renovat for the great price!
Nature Photographer of the Year
In November 2017 my photo of a “Funny sifaka” was one of the finalists and finally highly commended (top 5) in the category Comedy in the international photo contest Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. The photos of the finalists were exposed during the Nature Talks Photo Festival in Ede (Netherlands) on November 11th and 12th. Afterwards these images will be exposed in several museums, public places and companies.
National Geographic block calendar
The new National Geographic block calendar for 2018 has been released. The National Geographic editors gave a photo assignment each month and asked the enthusiastic Flemish and Dutch photographers to submit their images and 365 images have been selected for the calendar. The result is a versatile palette of beautiful images, from places around the world, special people and impressive natural phenomena. I am very pleased that 7 of my photos were selected.
Publication of my photo 'Castelo Branco' in the luxury photo book of the prestigious international photo contest Trierenberg from Austria. Around 40 000 photographs were submitted. I photographed the tower of the Castelo Branco at the end of the blue hour with some fog at the high hilltop. I used some flash lights to illuminate the insides of the tower. The Miradouro do Castelo Branco is a viewpoint at the main island São Miguel of the Azores.
Some months ago I had a great encounter with some red fox cubs (vulpes vulpes). Fox kits are always very cute and playful when they are around their brothers and sisters. These foxes weren't shy at all and I was able to lay down to get a nice viewpoint and photograph them near the water and in the sand dunes.
AA Traveller magazine
In the June issue of the South African AA Traveler magazine one of my photos was published. For the cover photo of the 'hiking heaven's edge' article, they used my picture of a sunset in the Simien Mountains. The article tells about the breathtaking and unique landscapes in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia and the rare gelada baboons that live there.
First price Joker photo contest
The Belgian travel agency Joker organizes a photo contest every year. A lot of beautiful travel photos were submitted at the end of 2016. A public prize was awarded and the jury selected 7 of the most stunning photos. I received the first price with my photograph of a chameleon catching an insect in Madagascar.
Customized tasks in VSTS builds
The Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) have a totally new way of creating build definitions. There are many available tasks right out of the box. In this article I will cover some techniques how to customize the build process. I will show you how to implement PowerShell scripts and work with environment variables and arguments, how to load custom C# .NET assemblies and how to create extensions and upload them to VSTS.
Photos of our journey through south India. We began our a journey with a houseboat trip on the tropical backwaters of Kerala. Afterwards we went to the Western Ghats mountains with beautiful and rolling tea plantations and the 'hill stations'. We spotted the endangered and rare lion-tailed macaque monkeys and around 120 species of birds. We also went three days on safari in Kabini and we saw lots of monkeys, deer, elephants, crocodiles, flying foxes and a tigress. Then we visited the palaces in Mysore and the beautifully refined temples in Halebidu en Belur. We also visited the wonderful site of Hampi with beautiful temples and palaces. We ended our trip on the beach in Goa at the Indian Ocean.
Photos of our journey through the fascinating Madagascar. Very special on the ‘Red Island’ are the unique endemic animals such as lemurs, sifakas, chameleons, geckos, lizards, frogs, birds, ... Moreover there are varied landscapes such as dense rainforests, dry forests, savanna, huge baobab trees, tropical beaches with palm trees, rice terraces, unique rock formations and canyons ... The country has many colorful people and everywhere you can still see traditional ox carts, old cycle and pulled rickshaws, dugout canoes, ...
Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad
On October 2nd the Belgian newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' published a nice article in the paper and digital edition about my seven photos that have been published in the block calendar of National Geographic 2016.
Belgian newspaper dS
On October 1st the Belgian newspaper 'De Standaard' published a great article about my photography and journeys and the seven pictures that have been published in the block calendar of National Geographic.
Digital Photographer magazine
My photo of a flying hummingbird has been published on the cover of the Digital Photographer Magazine, a popular magazine for enthusiastic to semi-pro shooters in the UK. The magazine is also distributed in many other countries. I photographed this flying male green violetear in the cloud forest in Costa Rica.
The Daily Mail - Tiger attack
Publication of my article with accompanying photos of a tiger attack in India at the website of online edition of The Daily Mail (UK). The Daily Mail Online has over 11 million visitors daily. I shot these unique wildlife photos of a tiger at Tadoba national park in central India.