Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Just another spiderweb shot I got on the Camino de Santiago. It was amazing how all these drops were captured by the webs like little diamonds.
I really do like the fog, it makes everything seem so quiet and peaceful, as if suddenly Nature went to sleep or held it's breath for a moment. Plus, nothing beats the smell of a forest after a foggy/rainy morning :)


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ride the Wave!


Just a little fun shot I did while visiting the beaches in north of the Netherlands. The wind shaped those little "sand waves" and I was lucky to find a little shell riding one of those waves.

It's funny how changing the lens on my camera changes my perspective and the look I have on the world. With the wide angle lens, I tend to look far to the horizon, seeking landscapes, buildings, dramatic scenes.. And while I have my macro lens on, I am looking down on the floor, seeking details, tiny stories in our daily lives.

Enjoy and let's surf! Hehehe.

Edit: I also added the social bookmarking widgets at the end of each post. If you like my work or any photo/post, please share it with friends and family. It helps me a lot! Thanks!

Saturday, December 5, 2009



While visiting the Eiffel tower again with a friend, I came across this monument at the end of the "Champs de Mars" (a big garden next to the tower), right in front of the military school that you see behind the monument on the photo.

It is a monument dedicated to Peace. It consists of 32 pillars with the word "peace" written in 32 different languages all over them.
I find it kind of ironic to have a peace monument right in front of a military school actually.

And just a little trivia for those interested: Do you know why that big garden is called "Champs de Mars" (field of mars)? No it has nothing to do with the planet.. It's because this area was used as a field to plant potatoes imported from the American continent. These potatoes were planted in the month Mars, hence the name. Yep... Before being a french icon, this area was a potato field :)

Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


There are 3 things in Life that make me automatically smile, return back to childhood and awesomely make my day:

1-Snowglobes (Beautiful ones and not stupid souvenirs).
2-Old Music boxes (With a beautiful tune, original, and not happy birthdays or Christmas songs).

I find something magical in these old wooden carousels. As if they had a spirit of their own. I almost sense it as an element right out of a fairy tale.
I could just stand there and watch it turn and turn with children laughing their hearts out, while the hypnotizing tune captures your soul to take you back to childhood... Weird isn't it!

So if you want to make me happy... You know what to offer for christmas!

Happy Merry-go-round!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Autumn Leaves


I want an end like autumn leaves
That gracefully depart the tree
A Life beyond the edge of branch
My season reached, a freedom's chance.

To drift upon a breeze refined
Descending toward my Life's design.
To welcome all these changes sown
From light received to splendor shown.

And when I've reached my place of rest
I hope my life, by then shines best.
As I depart this withered shell
With peaceful colors chosen well.

Photo taken in Paris, Jardin de Luxembourg .. Poem author unknown.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alkmaar II


Another shot of Alkmaar in the Netherlands. I liked this little town for its quietness, nice streets and laid back lifestyle. The building you see at the end is not a church, but a Cheese museum!
In front of it is held the famous Alkmaar cheese market.

It was also a special day as it's quite rare to have a nice blue sky in a country where it rains all the time!


Friday, November 27, 2009

La Flute


"To him no vain regrets belong
Whose soul, that finer instrument,
Gave to the world no poor lament,
But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
O lonely friend! he still will be
A potent presence, though unseen,
Steadfast, sagacious, and serene;
Seek not for him -- he is with thee."

~ Louisa May Alcott ~

(Photo taken in the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris - France).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

French Icon


When we hear "Paris", one of the first images in our head is: The "Tour Eiffel".

This 324m (1063 feet) high tower is the tallest standing structure in Paris and is the most visited single paid monument in the world. It was built in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle and was supposed to be destroyed in 1909. As it has been used by the army and by a radio station (an antenna is on the top), the city of Paris gave permission for the tower to stand longer and it later became one of the icons of the city of Love.

It is also a great idea to visit the tower at night as it is all lit up (different colors depending on the occasion). Every hour, it starts sparkling for a few minutes. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



One of the icons of the Netherlands are windmills (along with tulips, cows, canals and red light district).
There are over a 1000 windmills all over the country and where built to power a complex system of pumps to keep the water levels under control. I also learned that mill keepers would position the blades of the windmill (when in resting position) to announce important news like a birth, a death or help
Some are open to the public for visit but I did not get the chance.

Where is Don Quijote when you need him?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alkmaar - Netherlands


Alkmaar.. A beautiful little town north of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
I came to visit a friend (howdy Eva!) who lives here and we got the chance to walk around, along the "canals", the windmills, the small neighborhoods with their little gardens, the red light district at night (oh baby!) and all the little shops here and there.

A very lovely town where I could almost see myself living in!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is Hope gone?



Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.
Even when everything seems to be going down the drain, even when you feel like you are in the gutter, it's always a cycle where things will turn out to be good if you continue believing.

Obstacles and problems are needed for our growth.

"I will love the Light for it shows me the way, yet I shall endure the Darkness for it shows me the stars"
~ Og Mandino ~

Monday, November 9, 2009



On a foggy morning, I encountered many beautiful spiderwebs covered with dew.

I began to wonder: Those little tiny spiders spend their time building these webs and it can be destroyed the next morning because of water droplets, just like a flood.
And yet... They still continue weaving a web the next day, and again, and again.. Because these spiders know their purpose. They know why they are here, they know that no matter what, they need to weave a web in order to capture their meal.

They do not sit and weep because their efforts have been destroyed, they do not give up.
We humans tend to give up too soon, too often. And we often ask ourselves: What is my purpose? I have to find my purpose..

"Do not look for your purpose.... Be it! "

Saturday, November 7, 2009



Barcelona is truly a beautiful city with an amazing atmosphere.
One of the places I loved is "Montjuic", the "Hill of the Jews". Located on a Hill in the city, it overlooks Barcelona in all its glory.
There is a beautiful fortress located on top of it (see pic) that served for many inglorious purposes during the war. It was a prison for political prisoners as well as the site of many shady executions.

Later it served as the site of the International Exposition in 1929. It also hosted the Spanish Grand Prix, an Olympic Stadium, a National Museum of Art de Catalunya, a botanical garden and a cemetery.

It's really a place to visit when in Barcelona, and chill in the many parks located there overlooking the city.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning Treasure


The most beautiful things in Life can be found right in front of us, at our feet. And yet, we insist on looking for beauty elsewhere, on the other side of the fence where we can hardly reach.

I spent a good few days of the Camino on the ground, focusing my attention on details, capturing little moments of life, of Nature. I left my wide angle lens in my bag and concentrated only on macro photography.

One of my favorite pastimes was taking photos of droplets hanging on spider webs or clovers.
Speaking of clovers, I heard a beautiful story on the way:
"Most people know what 4 leaf clovers represent: Luck. It is very hard to find and yet most people look for it. In Korea, 3-leaf clovers also represent Happiness! So... too many people spend their time looking for Luck while being surrounded by fields of happiness at their feet..." That leaves a lot to ponder! (Thanks a lot Eun Ju).

Enjoy the present moment, open your eyes, look for details and be happy.

"There is no way to Happiness... Happiness IS the way"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mind Fog


While traveling, people tend to fall out of their routine, and experience the NOW, enjoy the present moment.

The mind stops the endless and useless chattering that blocks us and nothing matters anymore. The only plans made are the daily plans.

This is when, after a long period of time the mind fog starts to clear up and you actually start enjoying and LIVING instead of planning the future or remembering the past.

This shot was taken in Barcelona, along the beach. It’s a long exposure (25 seconds) and makes the sea look like a creamy foggy substance.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Town of Cee


Usually, most pilgrims end the Camino de Santiago in the town of Santiago de Compostella, in front of the Cathedral where supposedly lie the remains of St. James.
But the Camino doesn't really end here, it continues up to Finisterra, the "end of the World" where they say a shepherd found the body of St. James. It is also called the "Pagan route", as it was a pilgrimage route way before Christianity.

On my first Camino, I stopped in Santiago due to lack of time. On my second pilgrimage, I decided to go all the way to Finisterra.. And I did not regret it.
The way is really beautiful with amazing sceneries along the Atlantic Ocean and many towns perched on the hills, bathing under a beautiful sun.

This is the town of Cee, about 12km before "point 0", the end of the world. It's a fairly quiet and peaceful town with many fishermen of course.

For all who walk on the St. James way, my advice would be: Go all the way to Finisterra, it's only 3 more days walk and it's an amazing place to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Villafranca del Bierzo


It's a very enchanting feeling when you start walking early in the morning in the fog and suddenly when it all clears up on top of a small hill with Nature offering you a beautiful view.

This was one of those foggy days when you could hardly see 10m ahead of you. I was walking with a Korean friend and chatting about happiness.. This is when it all started to clear up and a beautiful rainbow appeared just to answer her question.. Yes, we all should remain happy.

Villafranca del Bierzo is a small town on the Camino de Santiago, a very beautiful place to live in, not big, not small. It is surrounded by vineyards and beautiful green mountains.

Definitely a place I'd like to visit again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fisterra, the End of the World ~ Spain


Finisterra (or Fisterra in Galician) is the furthest western tip of Spain, before the Atlantic Ocean. It comes from Fin (end) and Terra (Earth) and was actually thought to be the end of the world (the world used to be flat, remember?).

Finisterra is also the end of the Camino de Santiago (St. James way) and the Camino Pagano (Pagan way, older than the Camino de Santiago itself). It's such an emotional moment to reach the last milestone with "0.00 km" written on it, after walking more than 900km from France.

The ritual and traditions say that, upon reaching the Fisterra, you should watch the sunset, pray and burn all your belongings to symbolize purification and a new start. The sunset over the ocean was dramatically amazing and I was lucky to have such a beautiful weather in a region known for being rainy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spanish Fields


Not far from Castrojeriz, one of the most beautiful fields I came accross.
It was also one of the most beautiful days I had, in excellent company, taking our time, walking slowly and enjoying the scenery while my beautiful companion was picking wild flowers every now and then.

It was about half the Camino, and this is when we started switching to a slower pace and forgetting about the goal..

It was the journey that was important.

PS: On another note, I will be leaving the country on Saturday and will be traveling around for a while. I will try updating as much as I can (I WILL have new photos for sure, every day) if I find an internet spot I can use.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pebble Garden


One of the most magical places on the Camino de Santiago was "The Garden of Pebbles".

It was really a tough day: pain in the knees, the right ankle, blisters.. We had just stopped for a quick meal in Ventosa and I desperately wanted to reach the next town to finally rest. That's when we stumbled upon this place with hundreds of small "pebble towers" everywhere.

All these pebbles put there by pilgrims over the course of the years, with all their prayers made this place almost a holy place. It was peaceful, relaxing, and full of comforting energy. We just had to stop for a while and immerse in it.

We finally ended up camping not far away instead of reaching the next town. The stormy sky granted us a beautiful sunset over the ice-capped mountains.

Buen Camino!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Galician mountains


After walking for about 10 days on a flat "plateau" between Burgos and Leon on the Camino de Santiago, we finally reach the Galician mountains. It is a welcomed change to go back uphill and downhill again with so much to see and so many colors around after the endless flat fields of wheat and long dirt roads.
It is like being reborn after the mental challenge of crossing the "Meseta". They say that here begins the Spiritual part of the Camino.

Being an overcast day during the climb, I was able to capture the amazing landscapes without harsh shadows and blinding light. The colors were softened and appeared truly magnificent. I was the first time I would see purple mountains!

Personally, this part of the Camino is one of my favorites, walking up to O'Cebreiro and looking back to see all the road you have walked for the past 3 weeks is simply amazing.

Buen Camino!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pilgrim's Path


"Education must remove hatred between the pilgrims on the various roads to God. There is only one God, one Goal, one Law, one Truth, one Religion and one Reason"

~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba ~

The most amazing experience on the Camino de Santiago is encountering pilgrims. Many people from various nationalities, horizons, religions and color walk this long dirt road.
All carry a personal reason, nobody walks 800km just for fun... But all are here because they seek something in common: They all seek a Truth.

The pilgrim walks on this long road with many others. Although surrounded, he is still walking alone with himself. It is a journey of self-discovery, listening to his own soul, away from the hectic and chaotic life outside the Camino.
He walks towards the same city, the same Goal. He could take a different path, a different road, a different means of transport. And no matter his color or religion, he will still reach the same destination as all others.
The pilgrim is not judged by his social status. He may be a CEO or a farmer, he still walks on the same level as anyone else, sleeps in the same bed as all other pilgrims before him have slept and shares the same food.
The Camino reminds us we are humans after all, stripped naked from our status. We all have the same doubts, fears and all seek the same Goal.

It also reminds us we are all beings of Love. That even the most expensive gadget can not compete with the pleasure of sharing a simple "bocadillo" with another hungry pilgrim, or a comforting smile that gives strength to a tired person, or just the tears of joy when hugging a complete stranger in front of the gates of the Cathedral of Santiago.

The Camino pulls you back on Earth, with everyone else. And teaches you that we all have the same path, same destination, same goal, walking under the comforting shadow of one God/Universe.

Buen Camino peregrino!

"For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in a stream of stars - pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across the eternal seas of space and time".

~ Henry Beston ~

Saturday, August 22, 2009

French Camino


This picture was taken on the first day of my Camino. It's located on the french side, before the spanish border, near St Jean Pied-de-Port.

It's quite a big change for me to travel from the UAE's chaotic skyscrapers and desert landscapes to the green mountains of the Pyrenees. I just feel connected to the mountains: I am a mountain person I guess.

We started walking late on the first day, not knowing that most pilgrims stop walking around 4~5pm. I guess that's why we were most of the time walking alone.
Reaching the top of the mountain (from 200m to 1400m high in 5hours), we had to stop and camp in the freezing cold, misty and windy weather. The first night was rough but we had such a splendid view from the top in the morning, with an ocean of clouds at our feet. It was worth it!

For those interested, here's a wallpaper version of the same photo uncropped for you to enjoy: 1024x664 , 1280x830 resolutions (click on the "Download button on the top).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alto del Perdon ~ Spain


Alto del Perdon ... The Mount of Forgiveness.

As the pilgrim walks out of Pamplona (Spain), a hill stands on his way, defying him/her, with many giant windmills crowding its peak.
It is a very windy place, and a long winding climb. The path is not very steep but feels tiring.. Maybe the weight of unforgiven sins on our shoulders?
Once the top of the hill is reached, he is welcomed by these statues representing pilgrims, braving the wind to continue their chosen path. It gives him hope and strength to carry on. Many have passed here before him and many will in the future. As he looks west towards his goal, a splendid view of the hilly region of Navarra stretches to the horizon.

Before he continues his journey towards the small town of Puente la Reina, his next stop for the night, he takes a moment to connect with the spirit of the place and reads the engraved words:

Donde se cruza
El Camino del Viento
Con el de las Estrellas

Where meets
The Path of the Wind
With the Path of the Stars

Buen Camino!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



A simple yet beautiful Irish landscape. No wonder they call it the "Emerald Isle"!

I met once a half-drunk Irish guy in a bar in Galway. He smiled at me and said: "Feckin weather ay? Sorry for you tourists". I smiled back and said: "Well, on the contrary! Beautiful weather! That's why your island is so green and amazing!". I guess he loved it :D

This was taken from O'Connor's pass, on the way to Dingle on the west coast.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Bridge to Summer


I like to take long walks along a river on a calm Sunday morning, while everyone else is asleep.
This shot was taken in Perigueux - France, while having a walk with my brother.
Oddly enough, it does look like it was taken in autumn but it actually is winter (it was in January).
The foreground leaves were a bit more orange but I changed the hue to red to make them pop out.
It's a Bridge to Summer, the foreground looks like autumn but in the background, you can see it's sunny and the grass is green. It's a magic bridge I tell ya!

Thursday, August 13, 2009



This was taken in the city of Killarney - Ireland, near the castle Ross in the Killarney National Park.
It was a beautiful place to visit, long walks and not many tourists. I spotted these boats just sitting idle there as if stranded for a long while. There was an algae bloom on the lake and nobody wished to ride the boats for a little tour.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Burgos Cathedral


I love to take frontal wide-angle shots of imposing buildings!
This was taken last May while doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path in Spain. It's the Cathedral of Burgos, a Gothic-style construction that began in 1221 and dedicated to the Virgin mary. It was declared a "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO in 1984.
It is quite an imposing and magnificent cathedral, in the old part of the city of Burgos. I did not have the chance to visit the inside of it (they were closing).
Definitely I will be visiting again on my next Camino!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stairway to Hell


Classic but always good to have in your collection!
This was taken in a friend's building in the UAE. The ramp around the stairway is kind of low so I had to be extra careful not to lean over to much and reach Hell faster than I should... Tone mapped and changed the color to give it a spooky atmosphere!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hungry in Ireland?


While driving along the West coast of Ireland, near Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher, I stumbled upon this sign in the middle of NOWHERE! That was really odd. There was nothing on the horizon on either side of the road.
I actually was hungry and thinking of having a meal.. Is that what they call visualization?

Irish people really have a great sense of humor!

In case you are very curious, the sign was actually followed by another one "Need Rest?" a few kilometers further which pointed to a hostel near the cliffs.

I'm gonna go grab a bite now...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Twin Guardians


This shot was taken in France, about 5 kilometers right before the Spanish border, while walking on the Camino de Santiago.
It was foggy, cold and windy. I captured this shot and wanted to give it a spooky "Sleepy Hollow" mood. Can you hear the headless horseman behind you? Run!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

David vs. Goliath


A big stone formation on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. We had to trespass on private land to be able to go see the cliffs away from the touristic spots. It was so windy but such an amazing view!
My friend seems so tiny next to this rock.. You'll get crushed buddy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Golden Lifestyle


Furniture found in the Emirates Palace, an extravagant 5-star palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Everything inside is golden, light is dim.. You actually think you are in a pharaonic burial chamber instead of a hotel. It was supposed to be a "Conferance Palace" but it ended up being unused and became a hotel.
I personally find it a huge waste of money.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Tunnel's End


An old shot I took in a pedestrian underpass in Abu Dhabi (UAE). It was about 2am, that's why it's empty. Had the leisure to set up my tripod and take a few shots without any disturbance!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Don't gamble with Time


A conceptual shot I did a while back. I like to use the concept of Time in my shots.
I think the title explains it all. Don't even try, Time always wins!

[Edit]: On a side note, I will be going on a short one-week holiday tomorrow so I won't be able to update the blog. I will however return with many more shots to share! Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



Such a beautiful lively and artistic city! This is Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. It was taken from the top of a church on a hill, Hallgrímskirkja. I fell in love with that city, friendly people, many art galleries. I sure hope they will rise again from the economic downturn!
Takk fyrir Island!

Monday, July 13, 2009

"LOST again" + some updates


Yep, that's Ducktor Jeckyll again! This time he has lost his bathtub and finds himself in the middle of the desert! Poor Duckie..

In other news, I chose this photo for one reason: I do NOT want to end up like him.
In 2 months, I am leaving my current job and Life and going on a World adventure, trying to make my way as a freelance photographer.
I you are interested in learning more about my travel, and follow me during my adventures, please visit my other blog: The World Trail. I'd be glad to have some people interested in what I'll do hehe.

And finally, I have also updated my website and the gallery looks a bit better and more "pro". What do you think?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Forceful Retirement


Taken in Galway - Ireland. A beautiful city with a beautiful walk next to the port.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Sun Voyager


The Sun Voyager (1971).

A sculpture by Jon Gunnar Arnason representing a viking ship in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. I find it rather interesting and stylish! I also got the chance to see it at night, with northern lights dancing above it. Such a magical view!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Alternate Reality 2


Photographing puddles are fun!
I wonder.. Are those puddles a temporary mirror to another parallel dimension of our world? Are those people on the other side wondering the same thing?
In case people aren't able to figure out this photo. It's a puddle reflecting the buildings behind, and turned upside down!
Sometimes the simplest effect can play tricks and illusions on our minds.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rio I


The Camino had a huge variety of landscapes. From mountains, to valleys, rivers, forests, and flat land with fields..
This picture was taken (if I remember well) after Hospital del Orbego. Following a nice little river with so many varieties of birds singing a beautiful symphony!
I was working on it in color, but when, out of curiosity, I tested in monochrome.. I felt it had much more emotions and impact. I loved working on that sky. It almost looked like a painting!
I guess it's always a good idea to test different settings while working on photos, see how they look with different "White balances" and in monochrome.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ducktor Jeckyll


Yes I am in love with rubber duckies and I have many wandering around my room!
Was bored that night and wanted to do a fun shot.

Wonder what does Ducktor Jeckyll turn to if he finds the right potion...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Queen's Rest


Ah... Ireland ! Such a beautiful country..
This was taken in Carrowmore, Europe's oldest megalithic burial ground found till today if I remember well. They say Queen Maeve is buried here.
I wish I had used my tripod to get a much longer exposure with those dramatic clouds. Guess I'll have to go visit again on a rainy day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tour Eiffel


How can anyone visit Paris and not take a shot of the Tour Eiffel?
I was in Paris to visit some friends last winter, I wanted to take a shot of it of course but was bored of the usual angle everyone takes from. Fortunately for me, it was cloudy, getting dark and the tower had just been lit up so I had this nice dramatic shot of it. The shot was hardly processed (sharpness, curves and frame), so the colors are natural.

Aaahh Paris!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back on track with some changes!

Hello everyone!

As I have mentionned in my last post a while ago, I went to walk on the Camino de Santiago (St. James path) in Spain for a full month. It was an amazing, thrilling and enlightening adventure and an incredible human experience. I could only advice anyone to do it, even small stretches as it is really a fantastic experience.

I will probably talk about it later, for now, I am still split with my body back "home" and my spirit still on the Camino.

Walking a full month made me realize also many things about myself and the direction I would like to have in my Life. I have taken a few "life-changing" decisions since my return and new goals are awaiting me on my new chosen path. This too I will talk about a bit later as soon as it all clears up in my head.

As for this blog, It has been inactive for quite some time and I apologize. Between my travels, and my unmotivated state (pre-Camino), I did not have the full strenght to post updates and talk about photography.
So after thinking a bit, I guess I will be changing the way I post in here:
From now on, I will be posting much more regularely (at least 4 times a week) new photos but I will not be writing long lenghty posts about the way I took the photo and how I worked on it.
Instead, I will just be posting short descriptions concerning the photo with useful information if any.
This will help me save some time and focus a bit more on my other projects which will be interesting to follow too!

But no worries, any question about the technique or technical details will be answered. I will still gladly share my knowledge with anyone who is willing to ask!

I am sorry for this sudden change but at least I would be updating more frequently.

Thank you all for following!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Latest News + Pilgrimage

It's been a while I haven't been very active here.. Too many stuff around that made me lose motivation and inspiration.. Sorry for all those following :(

I guess I'll gain it back very fast now!

So in 2 days, I've decided to go with a friend of mine to do the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage in Spain, starting from France.

A month long walk of ~800km.

I've always dreamt of doing that. Walking is essential for me, a part of me. I'm a Walker!
And walking during a month is a great way to actually get reconnected with your inner-self, which I definitely need... That will be my "theme" for the road actually: "Forgive all my past mistakes, befriend myself and carry on with Life".

Hope this will be a beautiful and enlightening challenge.

Also, if anyone wants to send me a wish/prayer/thought, I would be glad to carry it with me for you on this road. I have all the space in the world for your beautiful dreams, wishes, prayers..

See you all in a month with a new Peace of Mind and many many photos of the path!

Peace and Buen Camino!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Find Reality


"To the desert go prophets and hermits, through the desert go pilgrims and exiles.
Here, the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality"

~ Paul Shepard ~

I have always found the desert to be a mystical place. It is serene, quiet and relaxing. Silence reigns like a void enabling us to hear those important voices inside ourselves.

Almost every weekend during "winter" time when I still lived in the UAE, I escaped the chaos of big cities with a few friends to find peace and refuge in the surrounding deserts.
Either camping or just desert crossing, it's always relaxing for the soul... and Fun!

I also love photographing the desert. There is something about all those forms, dunes and harsh shadows that make it very pleasing to the eye. Call me crazy but I also find all the curves kind of.. sensual and feminine.

Shooting in the desert is quite tricky. The sand here is made of very fine grains. With a slight wind blowing all the time, it's not an easy task to keep your camera clean, not to mention your eyes, ears and mouth... And the best moments to take pictures are at dawn or evening because of the light, sun angle and temperature!

Since I started traveling, it is probably one of the rare things I miss from the UAE. From desert to jungle... what a change!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Eglise St André


While in France, I had the occasion to visit a few towns around Paris. One of the cities I actually enjoyed (despite what my friend says about it *wink* ) is Reims, located North-East of Paris and hometown of the Champagne!

I had a lot of time to just walk around and snap some pictures. Apart from the famous Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral, particularly impressive, I was attracted by the beauty of this catholic church next to my friend's house: Eglise St-André.

This church was built in 1859 (ended in 1865). It was heavily damaged by bombs during the first World War and was later rebuilt. Parts of the damaged building and bell can still be seen next to the entrance though.
One unusual aspect of this church is that it faces South, unlike most catholic churches facing East to symbolize the resurrection of the Christ. I have not found out why South.

I was really happy with this shot. I got a nice, dramatic, haunting shot with a lot of details despite the annoying light rain (and the cars on the front).

"Faith is an act of a finite being who is grasped by, and turned to, the infinite."

~~ Paul Tillich ~~

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Love wins


This is one of my latest shots. I got the idea while looking for inspiration on the net and wanted to try my own shot.

Valentine is approaching and everything is starting to turn red and all romantic. Although I don't like that holiday, I thought it would be a good idea to get a shot with hearts and lots of love for the occasion. This is a gift to everyone :)

We all go through difficult times in our Life. It's all a cycle, ups and downs.
In these difficult moments, it's hard to keep the courage to continue and not just give up to the problems. I personally have found that the unique and best way to keep on fighting is simply to be full of Love.
It is such a simple word yet so powerful and full of meaning. Often misunderstood too: It has become kind of a taboo word. Love is not just "to love your partner", it is found everywhere, in everything. My Life's Quest is to seek pure Love and become one with it.

After running all around my house to find a deck of cards, I used this setup to give it a feel of "gambling". The cards were of course carefully chose, the coins and bill carefully placed. I used available lighting with no flash to shoot this with my 50mm macro lens.

I shot it at 1/8 sec, f/3.5 and ISO 100. I chose a small aperture to throw the background out of focus. The RAW file was then processed in Lightroom and PS to convert it into Mono and leave only the hearts in color. I chose to do this to emphasize and draw the viewer on the hearts and upside down numbers.
In case you did not notice (as a friend asked me), the cards were not randomly chosen. It is supposed to spell "LOVE". (no photoshopping required).

The title I gave to it is "Love wins", because no matter what, no matter how tough the problems, no matter what cards you have in your hand, it is Love that always wins.

Cheesy maybe, but so true :)

May every day be a valentine's day for all!

(This photo is dedicated to a good friend of mine, Serena.. Big hugs to you!).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's get wet!


In summer 2008, I offered myself a trip to Ireland in order to celebrate my 30th birthday. A few friends joined me and we decided to visit the west coast of the island from Killorglin (attending the Puck Fair) to Sligo.

On one of the chilly days, with a storm lurking behind the mountains, we decided to stop and have a swim in the ocean.
We found a little path down to an empty beach north of Dingle before reaching O'Connor Pass.

The beach was empty, apart from a few solitary joggers. There was a very light rain and the huge clouds were rolling fast to strike us.
I walked around trying to find a nice spot for a shot. I found this fence surrounding a section of the beach. I just had time to test a few shots before the rain drops became bigger. I had to put my camera away.

I guess we had no choice but to get wet! Either swim or get caught in the storm.

Well, at least I got a cool shot!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Words can kill


Have you ever been told some things that ended up hurting you?

I came up with the idea of this conceptual shot while remembering the harsh words I have been told by someone close to me. Those words really hurt me deeply from inside and left scars that took many years to heal.

We often forget the power of words. Blows can leave physical marks that could take a few days to disappear but words strike you from inside and might take years to heal.
We all have hears stories of teenagers being bullied in schools, parents being harsj with their children, upset friends unleashing their anger over those close to them.. Ugly, useless, Fat, Stupid... those words can really change a person.

To convey this feeling, I wanted to show the violence of the words by using what characterizes violence the most: Blood.
I used a fountain pen and some fake blood and carefully composed the shot. I actually tried many versions before choosing this one. Originally I wanted to add some words on the paper but ended up removing them. The sharpness and blood dripping from the pen shows that words can be used as weapons.

I took this indoor, on a white sheet of paper with an external flash bouncing on the wall.
I shot this at 1/15s, ISO 200 and f/5.6 (I don't know why I chose to shoot at such slow shutterspeed! Have to be more careful).
I then processed the photo a bit in Photoshop to adjust the levels/curves and add the frame/title.

I was glad to see that this photo reached many people as it was a daily feature on DeviantArt.
Be careful people, words are weapons sharper than steel.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long absence

Hello everyone!

Happy belated New Year and best wishes for a 2009 full of Love, Health, Laughter, Joy, Abundance and Dreams.

Sorry for the long absence and lack of update. I have been kept busy during December and went on holiday to France.

I am back on track now and ready to post new photos very soon.

Thank you for following and have a great time!

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