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Alpha Profile: How Hobbyist Photographer Stefaan Hoste Got Into Macro

Stefaan Hoste’s story on his Alpha Universe profile reads, “I currently work in the graphic industry as a desktop publisher. In January 2020 I finished a five-year training as a photographer. My portfolio thesis was a series of black and white images of forests. Architecture, landscape and macro are the domains that I want to focus on.” We connected with Stefaan to learn more about him, his photography and why he switched to Sony Alpha cameras and lenses. Read more about him below and visit his profile for more.


Photo by Stefaan Hoste. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/400-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400

Career Snapshot

My first job was in a print shop at the end of the 80s. I had studied graphic design and could start as a desktop publisher. At that time I wasn't really into photography, nothing more than taking holiday photos outside. In my job I didn't come into contact with photography. Then in 2003 I got my first digital camera. It was just a consumer camera, nothing professional. And so I entered the fascinating digital world. A world so different from the world with 35mm negatives. Also a world where the number of images grew exponentially. Most of the images were landscape images that I made on my holiday and used to fill my photo books.

In 2015, I began to train as a photographer in Ghent. This training brought me into contact with the various intriguing worlds of photography such as architecture, portrait, landscape and macro. This is where my portfolio thesis was a series of black and white images of forests. In January 2020, I graduated as a photographer and my interest in macro photography has only grown in recent years.


Photo by Stefaan Hoste. Sony α7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/4-sec., f/14, ISO 100

Why I Made The Switch To Sony

After I bought a Canon 300D in 2003 I upgraded to the 70D, but during my training as a photographer I started to realize that the Canon camera could not meet the high expectations I had of my images. And so I came to a point where I asked myself the question: What is a good professional camera for the images I want to make? 

After some research, reviews and experiences of other photographers, I ended up at Sony. I think Sony has a big lead in technology. What specifically attracted me was how the camera deals with low light (dynamic range) situations and the high resolution of the sensor. I made the switch at the end of 2018. At that time, other brands were not as strong on the market with full-frame system cameras. The size and weight of the bodies is also a very strong point. So I bought the α7R III together with the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. Even today I am still impressed by how sharp and detailed the images can be. Six months ago I bought the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. With this lens the beautiful world of macro photography has opened up. The nature nearby can be so overwhelming and impressive when you look through the lens. The details you can show to the viewers are just fantastic.


Photo by Stefaan Hoste. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/80-sec., f/4.5, ISO 250

Go-To Sony Gear

My current Sony gear is limited, but of very high quality. For the body, I have an α7R III and for my macro photography I use the excellent Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G lens. That lens is like no other. It's super sharp and fits very well in the hand. I always use a tripod. In macro photography the technique of focus stacking is extremely useful (see more about my approach to focus stacking macro shots HERE). That is why I take several photos one after the other with manual focus and combine the photos in Photoshop. My bag also contains the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master, which is a beautiful lens and of very high quality that is perfect for landscape and architecture.


Photo by Stefaan Hoste. Sony α7R III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/50-sec., f/6.3, ISO 400

What Photography Means To Me

Through my photography I let the viewer look at a world they would otherwise not stop at or barely even look at with the naked eye. With macro photography you can show very small things, especially if you print and present them in a large format. In this way I try to present the overwhelming macro world in a big way. At the moment photography is a hobby when I need to step outside the hectic world.

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