Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Photography quote of the week


“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

~ Elliott Erwitt ~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



I have spent this year the best vacation and "adventure" so far. Going trekking for a few days in the middle of Nowhere in one of the most magical countries in the World, Iceland, was pure bliss.

I went there with 2 of my friends for (originally) a 10 days hike. We ended up doing just 6 days.. Why rush when you can go slower and enjoy the scenery?

With our 30 Kg backpacks, we headed from Gullfoss towards the Glacier North-West.
While our first day was quite nice and sunny, it very fast became colder and windier with loads of rain.
On our path, we every day stopped by some shelters that are used by shepherds during wintertime. Most of these shelters had minimum accommodation, bunk beds, sometimes gas (for heating) and leftover food (often expired).

Each shelter we stopped was better equiped and cleaner thn the previous one.
After a long day under the rain and facing wind, we stopped at this shelter overlooking a large field of moss and surrounded by mountains. It was truly a beautiful scene.

We spent the night there and in the morning, tried to heat the place by using logs. unfortunately, the chimney was clogged, resulting in a lot of smoke inside the room!

But the Sun decided to shine at that moment and I jumped on the occasion to take the shot!

I shot this at 1/13 sec, f/8 and ISO 100. The photo was then processed in Photomatix, tonemapped and adjusted in Photoshop for contrast.

I wanted it to have an old abandoned and dirty look with the rays shining through the window as a sign of hope and renewal.

That day as indeed a very beautiful day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Tower


First of all, Hope you'll excuse me for this week absence. Had many things to attend to and had no time to update.

This summer, I went on a trip to one of the most beautiful countries in the world: Ireland.
I spent the first few days of my trip wandering around in Dublin. It's an old nice city full of Life (can't say that Irish people don't know how to live ;) ).
I also liked the monuments all around the place, you never get bored walking and shooting everything around.

I went visiting the Trinity College with one of my friends. Once there, equipped with my Wide angle lens, I just wanted to take nice dramatic shots of the old buildings around.

It is amazing how sometimes getting up close and filling the frame with just one part of a building can change the whole perspective.
This shot is actually the corner of one building. It's not even a tower! But by filling the frame and using my wide angle lens, I was able to give it a dramatic Tower look.

I shot this at 1/250 sec, f/10 and ISO 400. The photo was then tone-mapped in Photomatix and processed in Photoshop to give it a dramatic and menacing look.
I also played a little with dodge/burn to highlight and darken parts of the photo.

So next time you are wandering around town, go up close with your camera, take parts of buildings and fill the frame, you might have some good surprises !

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Photography Quote of the week

"The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope".

~~Robert Adams ~~

Saturday, November 8, 2008



There are some classic shots in photography that you always end up wanting to try them yourself too. The "Ring shadow on a book" is a classic one and this one is my interpretation.

I shot this photo in my earlier days of photography. It is mostly popular amongst the "female viewers", probably because it is a "romantic" shot (or maybe it's because the guys don't want to admit it haha).
When I first came accross this shot on the internet, I liked the idea of it so I tried to experiment and do the shot myself one boring day. I used my old engagement ring (it's still useful apparently, even after break-up hehe) and a french dictionary.
I positionned the ring on the page with the definition of "Aimer" which means "to love" to give it a nice touch.
Only natural lighting was used, with sunlight coming through my window.

I shot this at 1/250 sec, f/5 and ISO 200. I chose the take the photo diagonally to give it more "dynamism".
The photo was later post-processed to adjust the colors and the contrast to make the "heart-shadow" pop out a bit more.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about the outcome. First I am happy because It turned out the way I wanted it to be and it is different from what you usually see on internet. But I am upset because I did not pay attention enough to the framing (The word "Aimer" is cut..). Also I think I have overdone it while postprocessing because it is a bit darker than I wanted it to be. I guess I'll have to work on it once more at least for the colors!
This has taught me valuable lessons as to always pay attention to the framing and look at the four corners of the image before pressing that shutter.

"Aimer", a beautiful word.. so go out and spread some love to the people around you, it's free and makes you feel great!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beach Gossip


I guess this has to be the only "People" photograph I have in my portfolio.

I am more a Nature / Landscape photographer but would love to try portraiture and people shots too.

So by now you should all know I live in a warm country where we can go camp all year long (except for summer, too hot). Many friends also like to come from abroad to visit us and take advantage of the weather!

One of our friends had 2 of her best friends coming over from the US. They reached the country at night. We directly picked them up from the airport and headed to the beach for camping, what a way to start a holiday! Funniest of all is that we reached the camping spot at Sunrise!!

It is not always easy to take well exposed shots during daytime, especially when the sun shines like crazy. I know the rule for well exposed shots which is f/16 and shutter= 1/ISO (If your ISO is 100, it's 1/100 sec) but I didn't know that by that time ;)

While my friends were talking together and catching up about the latest events, I sneaked behind without their knowledge and shot this at 1/250 sec, f/9 and ISO 100. I liked the way it was composed as it was not even intentional!
I processed the picture in PS just to add some contrast and adjust the colors, I also added a slight bright vignetting to put the focus on the center of the photo.

After I finished, It really looked like three old friends gossiping together on the beach, hence the title.

I just love candid shots!

Sunday, November 2, 2008



Since childhood, there were 2 countries I always dreamt of visiting.
For my 30th birthday, It was time I realized those dreams... So I went on holiday to Ireland and Iceland.

Iceland had always attracted me, something magical and mysterious about that lost volcanic island in the middle of the ocean, with a spine-chilling name.. The Land of Ice.
Stories of vikings, geysers, volcanoes and northern lights always kept fascinating me. I had never thought that the country would actually look so beautiful!

Despite the name, "Iceland" is not covered with Ice and is not having freezing temperatures all year long. Iceland is actually quite green, with vast desolate and wild landscapes. No trees in here, you'll find mainly moss.

Iceland has also many famous touristic sites to visit. One of them is this waterfall, Gullfoss.

This majestic waterfall, one of the biggest in Iceland is part of the popular "golden circle" tour.

I wanted to capture the strength of this waterfall, together with the low clouds giving it a dramatic feel.
I shot this at 1/80 sec, f/11 and ISO 100. I did not have much choice for the composition.
I processed then the RAW file into a pseudo-hdr and tonemapped it with photomatix.

You should definitely visit that magical island once in your lifetime.


Saturday, November 1, 2008



"In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the Heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair"

Howard Thurman

Sitting alone on the cold sand, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, I was contemplating the Moon ruling the nightsky before leaving its place to the Sun's splendor. All was so quiet, so peaceful. And, for a moment, as I closed my eyes, all seemed so .... still.

I felt like capturing that feeling, like a piece of frozen time. A very relaxing moment for the soul.
Can that be possible through a picture? I tried.

Thanks to my handy tripod, I placed my camera right in front of the shore, included the moon in the composition and took a looooong stare with my camera.
I shot this at f/8, a 32 second exposure and ISO 400. I chose a higher ISO than normal because I wanted to have time to experiment many shots and the waves were getting closer and closer.. Also originally, I was thinking of converting my photo to black & white, so noise would give it an original old touch (like grain).

The long exposure was to smooth the Ocean and give it a still "creamy" flat look. Also it was quite dark so I needed to capture the light/colors of the sky.

I processed slightly to shot in PS to add some contrast and saturation and crop the final shot to make it more "square-ish".

The final result was better in color than in monochrome as the blend of colors really mix well together. I think I kind of succeeded to reflect the feeling I had during that moment, a frozen piece of time. Staring at this photo really relaxes me.

Hope you share that feeling with me.

Photography quote of the week

"To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of Nature and Humanity which live or are latent in all things."

~ Ansel Adams ~
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