December 22, 2010

French jungle and its crocodiles


My Sunday this week consisted of the visit of "La Ferme aux Crocodiles", a place in the south of France where they raise crocodiles and a few turtles, from all over the world. This place was insane and amazing. But I was as frustrated and as thankful for all the barriers or windows that wouldn't allow me to take the photos I wanted.

Head and tailes of crocodiles

Who would have thought crocodiles look cool in photo? 

No matter how long a tree lives in the backwater it won't ever be a crocodile - African saying








Tropical Bird2

Tropical Birds


December 16, 2010

The desolated beauty of emptiness in Galicia, Spain

The following photos are the closest I could get to expressing the feeling I have whenever I am in Galicia, Spain (where my mother's family is from.) One can only be fascinated by the paradoxical feeling of isolation yet freedom while walking through those pine and eucalyptus forests that are everywhere in this part of the country.

I think you can only enjoy taking long walks in this Kingdom of Emptiness if you are okay with facing who you really are. The silence, smell and ambiance of this place forces you to take a better look at yourself, to breath in and enjoy the moment.

forest galicia spain pine trees

forest galicia spain pine trees road

Ray of light forest galicia spain pine trees road

Along with the feeling of isolation, I always felt like everything was old or abandoned there. It's a difficult thing to explain but I think it's because most houses look old to me due to the fact that their architecture is very different from the French one. Also, I used to think as a kid that only old people could be living there, probably because this place was the symbol of my grandmother, and definitely because it does feel like a place full of wisdom and history. Years later, some feelings don't change; Galicia still has this delicious desolated beauty.

House architecture galicia spain

Crooked Pine Trees, Galicia, Spain Forest of Pine Trees, Spain

Old Blue Door_m2pics

December 10, 2010

Sneak peek on my next post

Sneaky Forest
Please please, view this one on black.

My next post will contain some old photos of Galicia, Spain. I don't know when I'll do it, maybe tomorrow, or maybe next week, but in the meantime I wanted to give a small preview!

December 1, 2010

Snowed in snapshot

A quick shot of what I opened my window to this morning. Taken at 8 am. Still snowing. December 1st really is winter in France !

snow view alps window
With a black background
For the record, for some reason I take that photo every winter but I'm only sharing it this time because usually snow doesn't start this early and all this much in one night.

November 14, 2010

Ok, now what?

Ok, now what?
Better viewed with a black background, click here

November 12, 2010

Nature: a boost to your creativity

Whenever I need to sort out my thoughts or boost my inspiration, hiking always help. What helps even more is writing in the middle of nowhere. I needed to do that last week.

Writing on the top of the mountain

My view while writing.
It looks better with a black background, please view it here

Squared portrait of a horse

=> More posts with hiking photos.

Comparing seasons: one year later

It's always hard to make something out of what you see every day. However, we don't necessarily see how much time flies, until we actually see some big change. This is why I've been comparing seasons on this blog photographing the same landscape two minutes away from where I live. 

I forgot that I had to post Summer, sorry for being late on this one. But this time I gave it a bit of twist and took a panorama with my cell phone! It is funny to realize how much Summer and Spring looked alike this year.

Summer (August 2010)

Spring (May 2010)
Spring Panorama in the Alps

Winter (January 2010)

Autumn (November 2009)

Another photo comparing seasons here.

November 9, 2010

Art while hiking in the Alps

Pointing moutains

I did various little hikes last week. The particularity of the last one I did is that all along the hike you can discover sculptures out in the open from various artists. It's pretty awesome to see art in the middle of nature. What a lovely idea. 
Here are some photos of the new ones they set up lately.

Sun sculpture alps moutains

self-portrait sculpture Alps

Sunset Art sculpture

Wooden photographer sculpture alps

November 4, 2010

Photography: a philosophy of life

A few days ago, I went on a hike. After walking for 45 minutes towards my goal (reaching the top of that mountain to get a panorama) some clouds had very much killed my best buddy the sun, dissolving all the autumnal vivid colors into one dull view. Moreover my spot was filled with drunken guys who decided to be creepy and scary. Needless to say, I never took my panorama.

My point with this anecdote is that with photography, you either get patient or move on. There's no Grey areas in this (no pun intended). You have to experiment and you have to keep doing it.  But most of all, you have be willing to accept that you are going to be frustrated 90% of the time. Because photography by its essence is trying to freeze what one second later won't exist anymore which implies a lot of missed moments of good imagery. It is about catching a light that is constantly changing on you, most of the time way faster than you can keep up. Hence, it is a constant run against time and the perfect proof that nothing lasts. So if you missed one instant, there's nothing you can do to get it back. It's over and you didn't take a picture of it.
Thus, photography is doing everything you can to grab as much information on your sensor as you can, the best way you can. Just like with life, you have to do with what you have, at the moment you have it. For to be a good photographer, more than patience you need to learn how to remain in the now. However you must be open enough to project your instincts onto the next seconds in order to get that one moment you've been waiting for, longing for. Keeping your eye on the future goal while remaining in the present moment is a life lesson and a photography rule. You can't always have what you want to appear the way you want it on your viewfinder, so you have to constantly adapt yourself to the scene you are trying to immortalize. Therefore, photography is about waiting but not waiting in vain. It is knowing what you want and be prepared to snap it when it comes. IF it comes.

For all those reasons photography is the art of letting go... letting go of what could have been and letting go of what you wanted it to be. The art of accepting what's in front of you and making the best of it because that is all you have and you have no control over it. How many times were you annoyed by someone in the street ruining the one scene you wanted to see happen? How many times were you disappointed when your photos appearing on your computer screen didn't match what you had imagined? Letting go is an art. Patience is a quality. Master both and you’ll be a good photographer. At least, that is what I aim for. After all, it’s not the photos we take that we like, it’s the art of taking them. It’s the art of BEING what we love and loving what we do and therefore are.

Photography is a philosophy of life. The "writing with light" that it is, is the closest I get to feeling fulfilled. It's my own personal life coach to never forget to cherish the present moment.

So yes I might not have had that wonderful panorama I wanted, but instead I managed to take a photo of a horse that I like. Because no matter how much I don't find photographies of horses appealing, this is the moment I wanted to remember during this bad day.

Lonely horse

November 2, 2010

The little girl's tantrum

The little girl tantrum crying b&w

Best viewed with a black background like here.

October 4, 2010

London part 6: Panorama and randomness

Until next time I go visit the pretty capital, these are the last photographies I wanted to share about London. Way more photos have been posted previously, follow the link.

Panorama london Tate Modern Museum

The photo above is the quickest panorama I ever shot - in something like 6 seconds from the Tate Modern Museum. I like that it looks like an old school postal card thanks to the reflections on the window.

Andy Warhol Street Art London

Carnaby Street sign London

Carnaby Street London

Self-portrait shop window reflection sale

Last, but not least, piece of randomness: the first time that I actually saw pelicans!

Pelicans in a London park

Ps: I love this short-movie and it was shot in London so I thought I would post it too. Copyright by Paul Mignot.


October 3, 2010

Create away and object the rules: what photography is to me.

Camden lock

I remember taking this photo. I remember hating that I didn't have the time (nor the desire) to walk closer to make this photo work properly. To make it perfect. You know this lame frustration that comes from the fear of not having done it right, not perfect enough - the one thing not to do if you want to block your creative process. Dali said "Don't fear perfection, you will never reach it" - wise words to live by.

Well, one year later, you know what? I actually love that this photo is not perfect. When I took it, I thought "this is déjà-vu, don't even bother". And I didn't, I mean look at the photo. Later on that day when I saw it on my computer screen, I thought that if there were to be one photo in the whole album I would not share, this would be it. So why am I doing it now? to make a statement about this pressure that comes along in the so-called artist world and to simply say "screw this, it might not original but I don't want to censor myself, at least it's a wink at my dorky personality and my love for books". Because yes, sometimes we tend to forget that it is our blog... of course people will judge, will comment,  a few will love, but in the end the harshest judge will forever be yourself.

September 29, 2010

The Karl Lagerfeld photography exhibition [Paris]

(Copyright Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel)
Last Friday, I went to see the Karl Lagerfeld exhibition entitled "Parcours de Travail" at La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. The talented Karl was not the only one showing in this museum - I especially enjoyed the intense portraits of Koos Breukel and the amazing self-portraits of Kimiko Yoshida (photos below respectively).

However, don't you hate when you are not allowed to take photos in exhibitions? I do. Nevertheless, the frustration became unbearable, and despite the staff repeatedly telling me not to take photos, I had to snap away a few things. Especially the photo below:  the reflection of the neon-like-Karl in his photography, matching perfectly the eye of the model...
I almost thought I was going to get kicked out of the museum twice, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Of course all photos in this post are taken with my compact camera for more discretion.

Karl Lagerfeld exhibition maison européenne de la photographie paris

Two more stolen photos from the museum.

Karl Langerfeld Handwriting

galerie karl lagerfeld entrance exhibition candles

Finally just for fun, here is another version of Karl I played with because a. less quality is lost with black and white files on the Internet and b. I'm bored.

Karl Lagerfeld photo black and white