Archive for April, 2011

Hi there!

I hope you have spent some very nice Easter days!…We did not know holidays, but we were happily busy shooting for a client around Switzerland, and enjoying some nice photographic weather around….

Now, as Spring season is there in all its glory, we take advantage to announce the detailed information (french only!) of our next workshop is there!

Focusing on the great photographic opportunities of Spring, our next workshop “Eau et Forêts – La Magie du Printemps” will be held during the 21th and 22th of May in the natural reserve of the Hérisson waterfalls and the region of the 7 lakes in the french Jura region. At just 1.5 hours from Lausanne, a real paradise of water, forests, lakes and canyons truly well-preserved will offer us the possibility to learn and capture the very spirit of Spring in all its beauty.

The workshop will span two full days. We will be spending the night at the nice Auberge of Hérisson, right at the hotspot of the natural sites, at just some minutes from the waterfalls and between some of the most photogenic lakes of the region.

Our workshop includes tuition, on-the site support of myself and Anca Minican, accommodation, gastronomical dinner (hey, we are in France!) and breakfast. It also comprises a virtual feedback course held online some days after the workshop, when we will comment some of the images taken by the participants.

Click here to download the full PDF with information about the details, cost, itinerary and useful information!

Languages: French mainly, but also English and Spanish, depending on the participants profiles (as the vast majority of teaching is made in an individual way with each of the participants)

See you on the trail and great light to you all!

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What is a forest? Is it a tag put on our mind by books and teachers during our childhood? Or is it a mass of shapes, textures, lines and colours of living creatures?

One of the main barriers to “see” are the “tags” or structures embedded in our minds. When we are kids, we tend to live in a “visual” world, where imagination runs wild and we think in terms of images, rather than words. Years of education come later, and words, structured ideas and preconceptions add a new layer to the way we see and understand the world. What as a kid was the foot of an elephant, now has become the trunk of a tree. What was a green shape later becomes a “mere” tree top…

As photographers, and as artists in general, it is our responsibility to regain that fresh way of seeing the world, of understanding it. Only by doing that, can we really stop looking around, and start really seeing. And only when we see, we can use what we see to tell others what we feel…As simple as that.

This morning the day dawned quite cloudy, and before starting to work I decided to go for a walk in a nearby forest. Before entering the woods, I decided I would face the “subject matter” by forgetting completely about it. I would not think in terms of “forest” or “trees”, and I would focus solely on the formal elements of the subject and its graphical possibilities. An hour an a half later, I came out with the card plenty of quite weird images. By no means they were masterpieces, in fact I will surely erase them, but they had forced me to look at the subject with different eyes. Exercises like this might not yield everytime the image of a lifetime, but they are some of the most useful trips to exercise the eye, connect with the subject and, why not, have a lot of fun!

Thanks for reading and great light to you all ;-)

Note: All images have been made “in-camera” and under no effect of psychotropic substances of any kind…Click on the images to see them bigger!

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My Time Machine

I must apologize since in the last two weeks I have abandoned a bit my blog. In fact, I have been really busy working on my first Time Machine. I underestimated the complexity of the thing, and so it got me more time than expected…, but oh boy, it was really worth!

During the first weeks, I was messing around with the controls and fine tuning some features.  I then met the Romans, traveled to the Viking era and even had the chance to see a few T-Rex fighting against a herd of Tryceratops. Too bad I realized the batteries of my Nikon D3x died every time during the trip (i think due to some gamma rays radiation), and unfortunately I could not take a single image of my first excursions.  The other day however, I picked up my film panoramic camera (with no batteries at all) and decided to push a little bit more the levers of my Time Machine. A few more turns to the years wheel and there I went back to the origins of the Earth, some billions of years ago…

After a few minutes of spinning and buzzing, my balcony in front of the swiss Alps turned into the edge of a cliff, facing one of the most spectacular places I could imagine. A young land of lava, water and still forming atmosphere appeared in front of my eyes. Primeval wilderness of a young Planet, with humans still 4 billion years away.  Luckily enough, I arrived just as dawn was breaking, and I had time to step down the Time Machine and set the tripod (i have included a drawer thing in the Time Machine specially for my Gitzo). After a few minutes, the Sun (amazing to think it was the same we see today) set ablaze the clouds with fiery colours, creating some striking reflections on the river down the valley and inundating with magic light an untouched and wild land. For me, it was the sheer visual metaphor of the Genesis of our planet. A dramatic and memorable moment of raw natural beauty.

After I exposed a few rolls of film, I decided to go back home. Dinner would be served in some 4 billion years and I did not want to miss that!

A day later, I run to the laboratory to get my film developed, and after having to lie a bit (I said I had taken the images in Iceland!! :)), I got my images. Luckily, the X-rays (normally used in Time Machines for security reasons) had not affected the emulsion, and there I had a nicely exposed image of the Genesis of our Planet.

I intend to repeat some other trips into the origins of the Earth these next weeks, and in fact unveil a major update of some of the best images in my website in a week or two. Meanwhile, thanks for reading and I hope you liked the posted image. By the way, where you see that lava stack in the foreground of the image there is now a bus stop of the line 7, linking Pully to Lausanne. I think I will miss dinner from now on quite often…

(click on the image to see it bigger!!)

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