Rhapsody in GNU

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Thursday, February 11 2010

Viking

Several people have (independently) started to call me "viking", apparently because of my long braided hair and my growing beard. That gave me the idea to try and shoot a self portrait that would emphasize this image. Here is what I came up with in a very short session:

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I must say I like the idea. I'll probably try and refine it one of these days.

Tuesday, January 12 2010

Prohibition

Don't walk on the ice

The sign reads "Don't walk on the ice".

It's been a very cold winter this year and I'm beginning to feel very bad about having to cancel my trip to Finland. Maybe I should sell an organ or two to finance it? Oh well, hopefully it'll be a good (i.e. cold) winter again next year.

What's it like where you live?

Tuesday, December 22 2009

As promised

As promised, here are pictures from my (not so) recent trips to

England

Cambridge cityscape

and Finland.

Suomen Joutsen

Sorry to say I haven't got enough time to write captions. Maybe later?

Enjoy

Monday, December 21 2009

Favs

If you own a digital camera, you know about their biggest flaw: one takes too many pictures with them and then has trouble doing anything meaningful with that s**tload of files. I don't know of any magical way to deal with this, but I do know it's a bit easier to deal with that amount in data in small batches. Well, I've recently done just that with some old pictures and I've taken the opportunity to make a selection of my current favourites.

Lighthouse in Santander

These are just a quick selection of shots among the ones I have already sorted. I may decide to remove some of them from that selection or add others, based on how I feel about them after seeing them for a few weeks/months. Because the fact is I've put all of these in a slideshow I use as a screensaver and consequently get to see them fairly often. Also, I've got another 10k files to go through and might find a favourite or two among those.

For the record, this selection of 40 pictures is taken from a full collection of 2945 sorted and tagged pictures, themselves taken out of many thousands of pictures actually shot. How's that for editing? Yeah, I know, I should be even more ruthless in my editing and get the selection down to about 20. Oh well, some day...

Until then, enjoy your holiday season!

P.S.: I see I haven't even told you I was back in Paris. I've decided to get an apartment here and this one I'll keep a bit longer than the previous ones. 2 or 3 years, maybe ;)

Friday, August 7 2009

Back in Franche-Comté

I've recently spent a week in Cambridge, UK
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and a bit over two weeks in Finland
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with two longish stops in Paris. I'm now back in my home region of Franche-Comté, unsure of where I'll be going next. Maybe I'll move to Paris again. In the meantime, I've started to go through the 2600+ pictures I brought back from my recent trips and hopefully I'll have a bit more to show you than those four I've included in this post.

Saturday, May 16 2009

La nuit américaine

Been playing a bit in a nearby park yesterday evening with a lighting technique known in French as "nuit américaine", which translates literally as "American night" but is really, and much more prosaically, known in English as "day for night".

The idea is to use artificial lighting to take a picture in broad daylight but make it look like as if it was taking at night. As an example, both of these pictures were taken in the exact same daylight:

To think there was a time when I absolutely, definitively refused to even think of using a flash head. Now that I know a lot more about what can be done with those, I wouldn't wanna get caught dead without one in my camera bag.

Wednesday, May 13 2009

Patagonia

I can't believe I've just done what I have just done.

I've just reserved a spot on a photography workshop in Patagonia. Talk about doing crazy things...

That's in about a year and a half, which gives me just barely enough time to brush up on my photography skills, so as to make the most of the workshop.

I still can't realize I've actually done it. Well, what's done is done. Better go back to practicing, now.

Friday, April 24 2009

New kid in town

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'nuff said

Sunday, March 29 2009

Migration

I've just migrated the blog to a new server, upgrading the blog engine along the way. That's why the theme has changed and I don't intend on keeping the current one very long. Now to see whether life will let me update it soon or not.

Hopefully, the migration will have fixed comments, which I'm told didn't work in the previous installation.

As for the pictures from Japan I've promised to publish, don't worry, you'll get them.

Thursday, January 8 2009

Snowy new year

新年明けましておめでとう! (shin-nen akemashite omedetō! Happy New Year!)

New Year's Eve was pretty uneventful for me, as it was supposed to be. A very nice and informal dinner with a Japanese family followed by the hatsumōde (a visit to the shrine, to pray for a good year). The hatsumōde is not very remarkable, so I didn't bother trying to photograph it. Just imagine the biggest crowd of the year going to the shrine to pray in the usual way and buy amulets and predictions written on small pieces of paper. In the middle of the night.

What was more remarkable was what followed: I spent my first days of 2009 in the Nagano prefecture and more specifically in a ryokan (旅館, "traditional" Japanese inn). That was one of the most important things on my todo-list. Most ryokan are higher-end accommodation, usually in an old wooden building and almost always with tatami rooms. Add to that two usually excellent meals and either a sentō (銭湯, Japanese-style bath) or, even better, an onsen (温泉, hot spring) and you get what many consider to be the quintessential Japanese experience. Ours, korakukan jigokudani (後楽館地獄谷), was a definitely very welcoming one, if a bit on the rustic side. Set away from everything else (but the snow monkey park, which I'll mention again later in this post), on a forested hill. Being the Nagano prefecture in the winter, the whole area was covered in snow, giving a bit of a fairy tale feeling to the place. And here is the proof (the last one is the view from our room):

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The staff was very friendly, the room big and cozy and it was so delightful to go bathe in the onsen, surrounded by snow-covered nature. The food was really nice too, varied and tasty. We even got to taste cricket. Believe it or not, it's crunchy ;)

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One disappointment was not to have bathed with the monkeys. For yes, they sometimes come to the outdoor onsen. Unfortunately, they didn't while we were there, though they did at other times during our stay. We did get to see them, though. First on our way to the ryokan, then from our room and finally in their park. You see, jigokudani is famous for its snow monkeys, which you can go and see in a small park that's not much more than a small outdoor onsen reserved for the monkeys. They're the only ones bathing there but they're certainly not alone:

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However they don't seem to mind too much:

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Or do they?

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Stay tuned for more pictures from Japan!

Tuesday, December 30 2008

2 weeks

Can you believe it's already been two weeks since I've arrived here? Oh but maybe you didn't know. Maybe you don't even know where "here" is. Well, lemme give you a hint:

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No, this is not the Eiffel Tower and I'm not in Paris. What about this?

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Yes! You guessed right! This is the Tokyo Tower and I'm in... Japan! Now, you're going to ask me what I've been these past two weeks. Well... not so much really. Really? Yes, really. That is, if you don't count the hours spent walking the streets of Tokyo (mostly),

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eating (not that much, but the food has been good)

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and window shopping (too much, but they have so many beautiful things to see!).

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I've got some more to tell and show you, but the weather is beautiful, so...

Talk to you soon!

Monday, August 18 2008

Working...

No time to work on this website these days. Can't even find the time to work on my photography...

And why can't I do my work? Because I've gotta work! That's right, I've recently started a new job, that should keep me busy for 3 months. Long enough to put so much needed money on my bank account. But in the meantime, the fun stuff has got to wait. Oh well, c'est la vie, is it not?

To help you wait, here is one of my works in progress:

Sasha

And this is a recent shot, straight from the camera:

River Seine

Monday, July 28 2008

Stairs of Barcelona

Was in Northern Spain in the spring of 2006 and I've finally started to go through the pictures I took back then. Here are two examples of stairs I've found in Barcelona (yes, I like stairs). stairs in Barcelona 1stairs in Barcelona 2

Sunday, July 20 2008

LOL

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City Lights

Don't you find the lights of a city at night to be fascinating? I've been playing a bit with them and the result is a gallery I've titled, simply enough, City Lights. DSC_3090.thumb.jpg

Saturday, July 12 2008

Flamenco, metal and photos

Oops, nothing new since the reopening a month ago doesn't make for a good restart.

So, let's open the festivities with a bit of music. A friend of mine, who knows I like both flamenco and metal, has pointed me to a band called Flametal. They play, you guessed it, a mix of flamenco and metal. I didn't think metal could still surprise me ;)

In other news, I've started to put some order in my old photographs, so expect to see a few new ones online soon. I just wonder what I'll be using to share them. I've been playing with the gallery plugin for dotclear but am not fully satisfied with it. On the other hand, gallery, which I was using before, doesn't suit me either. Maybe I'll have to get my hands dirty and write a patch for one or the other...

Tuesday, June 10 2008

Ashes to flesh

The Phoenix is reborn and the Rhapsody in GNU is sung again!

I've finally found time to resurrect this website. Everything comes to those who can wait. And as I've started working on my photography again, I'll have some content to post ;-)

So, welcome aboard for this new journey!

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