Friday Photo Challenge On The Move

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Today’s photo challenge is about motion. Two days ago (that is right before I broke two of my toes by moving my desk to the other side of the office and dumping a huge weight on my foot!) I was visiting the St Georges area around my office. As I was fidgeting with my camera here came that man on a bicycle. I just had a chance to press the shutter release button and here he was. I think the man looks like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is almost dressed like him too. Anyway he looked like a good chap and a perfect subject for today’s challenge.

The Red Coat – Vivian Style

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I have just come back from a stroll around St Georges. At a time when art gallery owners are smoking a cig in the doorway of their shops. I couldn’t help taking a photo in Vivian Maier style after seeing that film last night. I tried a black and white version but I think the top one works best.

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Early Morning Pictures And The Early Bird Photo Challenge

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Early morning sun in the Pyrenees 

This week’s Friday photo challenge is named early bird. And God knows I’m an early bird. Yet, I have very few sunrise photos. So my selection for the challenge ended up being rather easy. No.1 is an HDR shot of the morning sun taken right from our breakfast table in the Pyrenees. I was dipping my toasts in coffee (a local tradition) when I spotted that light and decided to interrupt my early morning meal and take a picture. That’s all I could find in my recent digital photography portfolio. Yet, thinking a bit and digging into my memories I could think of a really, really early bird experience I’m bound never to forget.

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Dec 1990 shot of sunrise over Gizeh Pyramids – Canon AE1

That was way back in 1990. I was touring Egypt with friends and if you can remember, December 1990 was the time when the first Gulf War started spreading out. A few weeks later and our trip would not have been possible. We cycled, rode horses, hiked in the mountains and even slept rough in the desert of Egypt below Aswan at a time when precisely, the country was entirely deserted. We were able to visit Luxor and Karnak and there were only the 6 of us there! At the end of our trip, we visited Cairo. And obviously we wanted to see the Pyramids. With a couple of Swiss friends we woke up very early on that day, swallowed a cup of Egyptian Cardamom-flavoured coffee, jumped in a cab and found ourselves in front of the closed gates of Gizeh in the wee small hours of the morning. A few Egyptian pounds later and we were in with our cameras, waiting for the sun to rise behind the Pyramids. I had my Canon AE1-Program at the ready and shot a series of pictures, some of which were very successful. All I could salvage from my various trips and losses were these 2 pictures, which I scanned with my computer and ever so slightly processed through Lightroom.

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Dec 1990 shot of sunrise over Gizeh Pyramids – Canon AE1

Many thanks to the guys at the Friday photo challenge for giving me the opportunity to reminisce about this beautiful moment and ensure that its capture won’t be mislaid.

Flotsam or Jetsam

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Last Friday’s photo challenge is entitled “afloat” and the starting point is a balloon and if I weren’t afraid of heights, I would have taken such pictures too. Instead I went to the Alps and shot a few pictures at St Hilaire du Touvet, a world renowned area for paragliding and I can imagine those people really are afloat. 

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mont blanc

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Having said that, before feeling “afloat”, one has to take off and those people sometimes looks like giant dancing wasps …

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I also shot that short film at St Hilaire. Enjoy

Many thanks to The Dailypost for posting the Friday Photo Challenge

Blurry Pictures

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Blur is this week’s theme with the DailyPost photo challenge and this time I must admit I felt rather spoilt for choice when it came to illustrate the challenge.

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I’m used to taking pictures with a vintage 28mm 1962 Nikkor manual fixed lens and you may imagine that I’m rather often out of focus. In the above shot this is exactly what happened. I spotted a scene with that young kid coming towards me on his little bike and I took a reflex shot at close distance. There you go, I was out of focus again. I then came home and “developed” my pictures and as I was about to throw away the ones I didn’t like I found that one in the lot. Eventually I decided to keep it because, had I managed to produce a perfectly crisp photo, I don’t think it would have as successful as this shot. I think it conveys perfectly the feeling I wanted to capture of that scene on that warm Spring afternoon of last year.

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Another idea of Blur as seen from the staircase of a block of council flats in the Bel Air area in Paris.

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The rendition of the neon sign above an optician’s shop in Paris Montparnasse.

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A bunch of coloured neon signs in a restaurant in La Gaité Montparnasse.

Here’s my pick for this week’s photo challenge on Blur. Let us know what you think by clicking that Like button if you enjoyed our pictures.

Ephemeral Is The Photo Challenge

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Ephemeral was last Friday’s photo challenge and I’ve only been able to catch up with it today so here I go with a few pictures which make me think of that theme.

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Ephemeral means “lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory” and there is nothing more ephemeral than flowers and especially roses. As I have already shown pictures of roses I thought I’d choose something different and I picked my first Spring picture at the beginning of March on one of those beautiful Spring days which was so warm you’d almost feel it were Summer. In Spring, flowers like these, and mostly bluebells (very shortly) crop up and disappear very rapidly.

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Dragonflies are ephemeral too. Their adult lives – provided they can outlive their predators – do not expand beyond several months.

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Yet, most beautiful of all in my mind are the poppies one finds in our fields in Picardy (below), once the battlefields of the Somme, or in the Paris region (above). Seeing them appear amongst crops in late June or early July is such a pleasure one wished Summer itself weren’t that ephemeral. Check the Friday photo challenge by clicking this link.

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Off To A Fresh Start For The Fresh Photo Challenge

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I ended up being sort of nonplussed after discovering last week’s photo challenge about walls. Walls aren’t anything to me, I love the open air, freedom, boundless playgrounds, be it figuratively or in reality. So when I discovered this week’s “Fresh” challenge I thought to myself that it would be a chance for me to make up for a lost opportunity of sharing my work with you last week.

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Spring is fresh, flowers are fresh and the air is fresh too in April around the Albert Kahn gardens in Boulogne near Paris. 

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Flowers are blooming everywhere after three of the most dreadful Winter months ever, grey and dull, we are once again able to enjoy the sunshine and mild weather.

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And the nearby Auteuil greenhouses are fresh too and dew is showing on the leaves of its exotic flowers. So much so that I could see myself in that drop of water. 

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And soon, lavender will be flowering too, bringing its fresh scent as in this Picardy garden. Thanks to the dailypost Friday photo challenge for bringing this idea of a fresh challenge, it’s so good to be out of Winter and back into Spring. There will soon be so many roses to capture with my camera and my preferred 105mm/f:2.8 macro lens.

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