It’s this time of year again.

The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

I don’t usually retouch my pictures even though there is a very useful feature in Lightroom which makes it possible for you to export them into Photoshop and then reimport them into Lightroom. It won’t destroy the original, it will create a new copy and you will then be able to keep both copies just in case you want to start all over again. 

Antibes - French Riviera ) Dec 2016

I took the picture above in Antibes two weeks ago. It was so balmy it was unbelievable. Freezing temperature in Paris, and lower 70s over there. A dream.  


What wasn’t a dream though was all these details I hated in that picture. I loved the lady moving fast on the lefthand side, I hated all the posts and signs. So I took them away (at least the more annoying ones). I left the manhole cover in the foreground because it didn’t bother me that much. It is obviously debatable whether one should or not do that. Traffic signs are a constant of our Cityscapes. I only wish sometimes they weren’t so ugly. Well, if you agree or disagree, just leave a comment.

 Heol is a solar powered vehicle designed by Team Ecosolar Breizh and made in Brittany (Breizh means Brittany). Heol means “Sun” in Breton (in Welsh it means “road” so it’s only normal that Heol is made for the road). Jean-Marc Goachet – a native from Brest (don’t laugh!) and a good friend of mine – is one of the two pilots.

 Heol was made to race … Unfortunately, in 2013, the team went all the way to Australia and was sent off from the race (Bridgestone Power Challenge that is). The reason for this is a bit hard to swallow: their batteries were declared non compliant because they were homemade. I would have thought that everything in a car like this should have been home made but I am wrong. But they shall not be deterred and they will be on the starting line in October 2015 … with standard batteries this time.

Jean Marc is getting into the cockpit. A difficult process as none of the solar cells must be trodden upon.

 Close up of the cockpit with its makeshift roll cage

The homemade battery is amazing. All the pieces and celles have been engineered manually. A rubber band is keeping the battery in place. A shame they were disqualified for that particular reason.

The boy in the bubble

A Samsung Android tablet is used for the meters.

Jean Marc in the cockpit

I had forgotten about this photo. Two days ago, I was talking business with a client in a café and we were both watching my screen, this picture being part of my screen’s background images; then comes the waiter interrupting us and saying “forgive my saying so, Sir, but this picture is beautiful!” That guy did made my day.
Monaco: Stainless steel ball in a pond in Monaco. No tampering. March 2014.

Dampierre is a beautiful yet somewhat decrepit chateau (background) 20km South West of Paris. At the end of the private Park I found that folly in an even sorrier state which makes for interesting photos anyway. Here they are.

Grass is growing inside the folly, the windows are shattered, the 18th century wood panelling is broken and the wooden floor has been broken down to pieces.

A subtle HDR process was applied to that picture in order to highlight details both from the outside and the inside with constant light and image quality. One can see the murals very well in that shot. This must have been a beautiful building in its heyday.

At least, this place is keeping ducks happy.