Posts Tagged ‘french’

School’s Out

October 29th, 2010

Some time ago I had was given an assignment to shoot the newest addition to the Lycee Louis Massignon French school – being the large, elegant building which now comfortably houses class rooms and a library. These were moved from their original location in a building which, due to expansion, was far outgrown.

I was given the run of the school campus and so ended up wandering around the old building where a lot of my friends here in Abu Dhabi had studied. I came across a place in transition. It was being emptied out and work had begun to refurbish the place. Some rooms were empty. Tables and chairs were stacked up in corridors. Paint was peeling off the walls. Notes and children’s drawing were still stacked up on boards in the halls and rooms. Some walls were being torn down.

It felt strange to be visiting a school that was not my own (I attended the International School of Choueifat here) and yet to feel as though the place was familiar and as though the halls and rooms should have been bigger – seen from the perspective of a small child.

Below, a selection of shots from the old school building.

It was strange to visit a place that once was so very alive with scampering children and to see it empty and quiet, yet still bearing evidence of their passing. I felt as though, if I listened carefully, I could hear their shrieks and laughter and pattering of small feet in the halls and the gentle scolding of teachers.

It makes me wonder if the traces of the past can ever be completely excised from a place – or a mind for that matter. Then I am reminded of Ovid‘s Metamorphoses. “Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.

The new builds on the old, and the old makes way for the new. It is as it should be.

Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

On another note, check out the following for:

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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Milky Way!

September 17th, 2009

The Milky Way, by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier

I came across this cool image of the entire Milky Way in a 360 degree panorama painstakingly stitched together by French photographers Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier.

They worked in the highlands of Chile with a Nikon D3 camera (with a 50 mm lens open at f5.6), in a project that extended over several months. Each exposure was six minutes long and they eventually patched together 1200 photos of the night sky into the composite above.

Brunier wanted to create photographs of space that are closer to the human experience of just going outdoors and looking up at the sky.

Check out Brunier’s website here for more information, and for an excellent zoomable view of the full 360 degree panorama in detail.

You can also see an instructional version of the panorama on a European Southern Observatory website here.


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