Posts Tagged ‘camino de santiago’

AUB Alumni Art Expo

February 19th, 2013

Last week, on 15th and 16th February, the American University of Beirut (AUB) held its first ever Alumni Art Expo. It brought together work by over 60 established and emerging artists - painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic and jewelry designers – from among AUB’s alums.

I was privileged to participate in the exhibition, with two of my two photographs being showcased. The two photos are below.

King Jimmy

 

This portrait was taken two years ago in a tiny village in Northern Spain, along the Camino de Santiago. It is of one of the people dearest to me. An extraordinary heart. And a man’s man. I captured this photograph some days after I’d first met him, when our friendship was still in its budding stages. There was just something about the way he stood, cigarette dangling, that seemed to call to the photographer in me. When I raised the camera to my eye and he looked up, it all just seemed to come together. Click.

The Little Light in the Dark

This photograph I’ve featured on my blog before, but here it is again anyway. This picture is special to me for many reasons (see here). Among them also is the sense of wonder I always get when I look at it. The clear blue of the water. The rising steam (the water was at a gloriously warm 40 degrees Celcius, while outside it was just 3 or 4). The light. The fact that my wonderful wife, all wrapped up in layer upon layer, had insisted on going out and exploring – on foot – the lake Myvatn area in Iceland, despite a raging fever…

Here is a review of the exhibition by lOrient-le-Jour newspaper (sorry guys, it’s in French). I’m particularly stunned and honored that the newspaper pointed to me as being one of two photographers it found of particular interest. 

You can find out more about the exhibition at AUB’s website here.

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One Year Later

May 20th, 2011

I know it’s been a bit light of late, but well… Today marks the second of two very special first anniversaries this week.

On the 20th of May 2010, along with a small group of friends, I hit Fisterra (or Finisterre). My Camino was over. My 900km trek – spanning 36 days of walking and totaling some 39 days – had come to a close.

On the 16th of May 2010, my 33rd day of walking, I entered Santiago de Compostella.

So this week I’ve been remembering so many of my wonderful experiences on the Camino and thinking of the family I made along the way. Not that a day has gone by without my thinking of the people who made it so magical.

Above, our Camino Family. Or a small part of it, at any rate.

There are many ways to enter Santiago. You can enter it on horseback, shortly after dawn:

You can enter it by bike, like these three matching ladies and their matching bikes here:

Or you could enter it on foot, which is what I did.

However you enter the city, you will be overcome with emotion. You will stop, in awe or shock or both, in the square in front of the cathedral. Perhaps you will stand in silence. Perhaps you will cry, because you can’t believe it’s over and because it is.

However after those first few moments pass, and you start meeting up with people you’ve met on the Camino, they will make way for joy.

On the 18th of May I departed Santiago and began my Camino to Finisterre. I was lucky. I walked with friends. That first night, I came across this entry written by a friend in a diary at an albergue in the town of Negreira. Brought tears to my eyes.

In the distance to the left is Cape Finisterre. The End of the World:

Our little family of pilgrims made their way to our agreed meeting point at the cliffs at the end of the cape, where we prepared for sunset.

After the sun had set, we set fire to the wooden dummy, dressed up as a pilgrim in clothes abandoned by pilgrims. We each tossed something into the fire. A symbol of our lack of attachment to material things, or of a promise to abandon a habit… As many reasons as there were people.

We have all since scattered to the four corners of the globe. And though I am quite bad at staying in touch, I have not forgotten. I miss you all.

Tonight I will be thankful, and I will celebrate.

More coming soon!

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Time Flies

April 14th, 2011

Time flies. It really does. Today marks one year since I took my first steps on the Camino de Santiago from St. Jean de Pied de Port in Southern France.

Memories of this extraordinary time have been flooding back at me of late. This is probably due to three things.

The first is that two dear friends are leaving this very day to start their own pilgrimages on the Camino. One of them is going for the second time.

The second is that I recently had the opportunity to watch The Way, an absolutely beautiful and moving independent movie by father-son duo Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, which follows an American father who travels to St. Jean to recover the body of his son who died on the Camino and decides to walk it in memory of his son.

The third, last but not least, is a small package which arrived in the mail just a few days ago. A prototype of a DVD project begun by Alexander Ruediger, a friend I made on the Camino and who turns out to be something of a celebrity in his native Austria.

I’m overjoyed to have had the chance to collaborate with him on the production of this beautiful DVD which offers impressions of the sights and sounds of the Camino de Santiago. I contributed a number of pictures to the project. I can tell you, I was so excited to see my pictures featured both on the cover of and on a DVD!

The DVD will be launching soon. You can find out more on www.camino-chillout.com. Unfortunately, my German is about as bad as my Chinese, so I can’t understand much of what’s featured on the website… Hehe.

More coming soon!

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Greyhound at Play

September 10th, 2010

I’ve recently fallen in love with greyhounds.

Now, I’ve always had a thing for dogs. But greyhounds are special. They’re sleek and beautiful to watch in action. They’re gentle, quiet (read also lazy) and sensitive creatures with a heart for mischief.

I came across a number of greyhounds during my Camino, and I got see just how special this breed of dog is thanks to a member of my Camino family, King Jimmy.

So, a few days ago I was perusing my archives and came across these shots, made in a park in Brussels earlier this year.

Hail to the King.

More coming soon!

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The Road

April 18th, 2010

Some time ago I decided to do Saint James’ Way, also known as Le Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle, Il Camino de Santiago, etc…

I decided to follow the Camino Frances – as in, that part of the Way that starts in France (at the foot of the Pyrenees to end in Santiago. It’s an 800 km trek on foot.

By the time you read this, I’ll have started it some days back and likely well on my way, somewhere down the road.

That means that I won’t be posting anything new for a little while as I’m not taking my laptop with me. But I do intend to come back with a few good pictures (and stories) to share with you.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this picture, which I made in Brussels.

This age-old symbol of the sun, a menhir, was offered by the Xunta de Galicia to the city of Brussels and dedicated to the Anonymous Pilgrim. It was erected at the site of the city’s traditional assembly and departure point for pilgrims embarking on the Way of Saint James.

I propped up my flash on my backpack – which I set on the floor some distance from the menhir to camera left. I then exposed for the sky and snapped away.

Catch you soon!

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