Posts Tagged ‘france’

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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Quasimodo

November 10th, 2010

I made this photograph in Paris, France, in the open space overlooking the river Seine in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

I found the inscription on the tombstone-like slab rather funny. For starters, there’s the play on the English-language “RIP” (Rest in Peace). There’s also the reference to Quasimodo‘s hump in the phrase “roule ta bosse”, which basically means “live an adventurous life”, but which translates literally as “roll your hump”. The amorous pigeons strutting about on the slab completed the comedy.

On another note, check these out:

  • The Big Picture‘s hard-hitting photo reportage on Haiti, ten months after disaster struck;
  • here, a father and his autistic son bond and grapple with the problems of autism through photography;
  • here a photoessay on a photojournalist’s experiences following, and bonding with, soldiers in the field (in Afghanistan);
  • here a post by travel photographer Gavin Gough on the importance (and the ease) of establishing a rapport with people before shooting their portraits, complete with some striking portraits; and
  • here awe-inspiring images of the Great Migrations of animals from around the world;

More coming soon!

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The Morning After the Storm

October 31st, 2010

I took these pictures one fine morning in Antibes, France, in April of this year.

The above shot is a mini-panorama , combined from 3 images. That means that the two birds in the centre of the shot are actually the same bird, just shot moments apart.

On another note – today check out these tutorials:

Also, click here for some excellent shots from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, brought to you by Lens, the photography blog of The New York Times.

Click here for some cool shots from Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide, brought to you by The Boston Globe‘s The Big Picture. Speaking of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – if you’ve been wondering about all the Facebook status updates by the females of the species and being the suggestive “I like it on the floor” or similar, prepare to be enlightened: click here and here.

More coming soon!

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The Norman Coast in Winter

October 12th, 2010

Earlier this year I spent a day in the seaside resort town of Deauville, in France. I got the chance to visit the place a little, and spent a short time on Deauville’s famous beach – which, owing to the time of year and the weather, was largely deserted.

It was cold, with a biting wind that threatened to sweep my little cousins off their feet. Dark clouds roiled above, constantly threatening to unleash a torrential downpour. And, in point of fact, the heavens did open up hard a number of times during the course of the day, for periods ranging anywhere from a few minutes to a good few hours.

My cousins, about to be carried away by the wind.

The deserted public changing rooms.

The view onto the English Channel (aka “La Manche”).

More coming soon!

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The Award

October 3rd, 2010

Hey guys! I’m back!

Well, I’ve been back home for a few days, but they’ve been rather… full … for lack of a better word, hence the prolonged absence.

Today, I’d like to share something truly very special.

That there is my father’s brand-spanking-new award.

My father has just been promoted to Commendatore (Commander) of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic)! The Order of Merit is the highest ranking honour of the Italian Republic. This award was signed by Giorgio Napoletano, Italy’s current President, and countersigned by Romano Prodi.

Some years ago Italy awarded him with the Knighthood (so basically he now skipped the rank of Ufficiale and went straight to Commander). He’s also been awarded with Knighthoods of the National Orders of Merit by both the French and the Spanish.

All for civil services rendered to all three states over a highly distinguished and extraordinary career.

You can see two of the medals in the Still Life gallery on my main website, pictured together with a very old portrait of my mother.

Few people can claim to have received any of these National Orders of Merit, and fewer still can claim to have been awarded all of them. He’s a great man (and clearly that is not just my opinion). It’s refreshing when all the effort and work he’s put in over the years is recognised and appreciated.

I took this picture over the weekend, lighting the award with two studio stobes fitted with softboxes.

More coming soon (though is still likely to be somewhat erratic – bear with me)!

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The Lone Oak

September 18th, 2010

Not far from my uncle’s farm in Normandy, France, lies a wide open field, at the far end of which lies a splendid forest, dark and deep. I would occasionally go for a walk in the forest – and on one occasion a mushroom hunt with the family.

On the way there and back I would pass a lone oak, standing resilient, proud and strong in the middle of the field.

I was inexorably and inexplicably drawn to that oak. So one rainy, overcast day I grabbed my gear and squelched my muddy way to the field to snap a frame or two.

Here is one of the results.

This is likely to be the last post for a week or so as I’ll be travelling and with limited access to the ‘net.

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The Juignettes Church

September 12th, 2010

I was in the car, passing this church in Juignettes in Normandy, France, when the sun came out from behind a cloud.

I had to stop and make a picture.

More coming soon!

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Silhouettes

September 8th, 2010

There’s something very particular about silhouettes. They can help convey so much mood, drama and mystery.

Here is a small selection of silhouettes taken in places as diverse as London, Brussels and Normandy, France.

Above is a the equestrian statue of Godfrey de Bouillon which stands in the Royal Square in Brussels. The statue was made by Eugène Simonis, and inaugurated on August 24, 1848.

Above is the British Machine Gun Corps Memorial (also knows as The Boy David), which can today be found in the central section of Hyde Park Corner in London.

I couldn’t help but wonder about the link between machine guns and the German Zweihander/Greatsword (Yes, I know. But hey, I’m into swords).

One of the 48 statues representing the Medieval guilds of 16th century Brussels and which can be found atop neo-gothic columns surrounding the Place du Petit Sablon. The Place du Petit Sablon was built in built in 1890, and is a beautiful tree-lined park in central Brussels.

A statue atop a fountain in Hyde Park.

A kite caught in a tree on a beautiful day in Normandy, France.

Pigeon on the rails. Seen in Hyde Park.

More coming soon!

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High Winds

September 3rd, 2010

Early this year France, and Europe in general, seemed to be repeatedly hit with high winds. On a number of occasions, there were fears of winds in excess of 100 kilometers per hour. Take a look here and here for examples of some of the media coverage of one of those occasions.

I happened to be in Paris during some of those periods. Each time, the media worked up a frenzy announcing the winds.  These winds seemed to grow with the coming of night to die out by the morning, leaving behind only some evidence of its passing in the big city.

Below are a few pictures I made of the damage caused by the high winds and which I happened to come across on one of my wandering walks one early March morning.

I enjoyed the rays of light stretching out from the broken glass.

Humpty Dumpty had a big fall. Well, had a minor topple, really.

Seems the winds had a bone or two to pick with scooters…

More coming soon!

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The White Feather

August 30th, 2010

I came across this single white feather in a forest in Normandy, France when out hunting for mushrooms earlier this year.

It seemed to shine with it’s own light, a small sliver of virgin white emerging from the damp, dark forest floor. I lit it with my SB900 speedlight.

I had wondered about the feeling my choice of image for this post conveyed. It felt like I was looking for an idea and words that were only just out of reach.

This morning though, I have no doubts about the picture. I find it surprisingly fitting.

I was woken in the night to learn that a friend and colleague, who has served 19 years with my firm, had passed away suddenly from a heart attack. He was only 46, and leaves behind a wife and five young children. And a lot of dumbstruck family, friends and co-workers.

Another light has gone out. And the world looks that little bit darker.

And that feather seems to be gathering greater, and certainly a very different, meaning in the circumstances. Though I don’t know if I can tell you why or what that is…

He will be missed. But not forgotten. And in that way, never truly lost.

More coming soon.

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