I took this picture on June 20th. The two people in the photo are colleagues, Juliette a French colleague and Xavier another Belgian working in France.
We were early for a Paris based meeting, and decided to have a coffee on a terrace.
I'll confess that I tricked this photo. The expressions on their faces I caught in the first photo.
But an ugly truck turning in the side road behind Xavier blocked the further view of the road.
I took a second photo, but Juliette had discovered what I was doing and was smiling at me.
Hartwarming, but not what I was looking for, I was looking for serious business commitment.
So I cut the top half of Juliette out of the first photo and blended her in the second one.
And so you know the dark secret of this photo. Not a habit of mine, I dare say.
Hi, just got back from 3 days Valkenburg. Valkenburg is a small town in the south west of the Netherlands, very close Maastricht and the German, Belgian and Luxemburg borders. It is well known for it's subterranean marl caves. Exploitation of the caves has stopped now, but it has left a maze of 70 kilometers of tunnels. The exploitation actually started during the Roman occupation of the Netherlands, the Romans finding marlstone a great building material.
While we were there we took a trip to Gemany's Phantasialand, their version of Disneyland.
This flower girl charmed me with her smile.
Should have used a little flash to lighten up her face a bit, but I didn't get a second chance, there were a lot of people there.
And so a period of 6 months has come to an end.
I ended my fulltime mission in France yesterday.
Will have to go back and visit from time to time but as of today I'm back in Brussels.
Don't worry, I went for another walk in Paris the evening before yesterday. I still have some photos in stock.
It is somewhat faster than just a bicycle, of course.
When I got out of the metro station Bir-Hakeim on the morning of July 14 (independence day in France) I was surprised by about a hundred motorised policemen 'flying' by. Fortunately it takes a minute or so for them to do that and I had my camera dangling from my neck.
Managed to get 'the' tower in the composition. Difficult shot, because the sun was pooring down on the scene.
I guess they had just participated in the parade on the Champs Elysée.
A lot of people seem to live with a mobile comunications device stuck to their hand. They use it in the most unapropriate places or at the most unsuited times/events.
I've been walking around with 3 mobile devices that can ring the past months.
You should let them ring from time to time. Like when you are taking a photo.
A simple photo of a time when the weather was more to our liking.
Last Thursday, to be exact, just two days ago.
A simple shot really, but I was standing by the seafront, waiting for my optician to open, and saw this shrimp fisher passing by. Not a spectacular or special shot, but then I noticed that I was more or less in line with the recognition point in the shape of a banana.
Made me think of the Harry Belafonte song: day-o, daaayyy-ooo
Had an 8 am appointment with my eye doctor yesterday, wanted a perscription for some new specs. He is very busy.
I recognized his new assistant as a young woman I had photographed during the Paulusfeesten.
She remembered me too.
As I was in the centre of town that early, I strolled round the market.
It was very sunny and hot. I wonder if these products will sell?
What I like about the Paulusfeesten is the variety in the offer.
Not just rock or pop music and street artists, but also classical music from all over the world.
Like here Xia Hua playing the guzheng. The instrument is harp-like, only laying. It has 21 or 23 strings, I didn't count :-)
Perhaps I should tell you something of the history of the Paulusfeesten?
This year was the 33rd edition, which is not as good as the Gentse Feesten, 162nd edition this year, I believe.
I was shocked to read the description in the newspaper «Mini Copy of the Gentse Feesten ».
That was never the idea.
It all started back in 1970, when regulars at the pub « Het Kroegske » made their friend Sonny's wish come true by organising a Christmas celebration on his birthday: August 16.
They had a real Christmas tree, decorations, and a few artists performed some numbers.
Het Kroegske and the area in general has always been known for its artist public.
The exercise was repeated every year from then onwards, and in 1973 the first formal edition of the Paulusfeesten was organized.
I missed the Christmas element this year, but I remember a few years ago that on the last night they had snow cannons installed in the main festivities area and made it snow.
Insiders still have the habit of wishing each other a merry Christmas on August 16.
One still pleasures the organiser Iwein Scheer remembering the true meaning, his dear friend Sonny passed away 4 years ago.
Last night yesterday.
Good weather, good music, good beer, good company...
Met of lot of people, which is good.
Took some photos, also good.
Try to do even better next year.
Tried to catch the fun during the last act on the stage on 'Het Pauluspleintje'.
Which is actually a virtual place: it doesn't exist on the map. But 85 % of Oostende knows where it is :-)
Total Inversion is the name of the grunge act that won an award during the summer festival Theater aan Zee.
Aged about 14 this formation.
They were invited to bring their act on the stage on the Pauluspleintje yesterday.
They managed to warm us up.
The lights were very good, so I tried hard to get a shot with the right effects.
I took a picture of this marching guard on the site of the royal palace in Copenhagen.
I only noticed something special about it when I got home and looked at the picture on screen.
Conclusion: I should take more time in future.
But then as I said: this guard was marching and the place was full of Chinese tourists who were marching beside the guard to have their picture taken. It used to be the Japanese. I had to be quick.
So the day before yesterday saw the kick off of our yearly Paulusfeesten here in Oostende.
Is it a mini version of the Gentse Feesten that lasts until August 16.
Top of the bill yesterday were Les Truttes, a great musical and visual act that brings 70s disco in their own style. Great entertainment.
More photos on : http://pieterbie.fotopic.net
Still need to finish my kitchen. I have a friend who is also an amateur photographer who runs his own grocers store. My wife is very fond of 4 pictures of fruit he has hanging in his store.
So I decided to try my hand at it too. Did so yesterday. Used the wall of my kichten as a background. The top layer of paint that will colour the wall still has to go on, you see. I used the milk glass panels that will cover the wall from the worktop up as bottom for the shots so that I could get the right reflection using a strong light source from high up.
Still need to process the other photos, I'll post the end result when I'm finished.
But this piece of orange has been chosen by my boss to be a part of the 4 pictures that will make up the collage with 4 frames.
I know MJ has some fruit experience so tips are very welcome.
Why am I posting this picture of le Stade de France?
I wanted a good picture of this modern day sports temple, I've spent quite a few weeks in a hotel on the other side of the street. I took the pictures for this composition from my hotel room window. It is very difficult to get a picture of this building. When you get the exposure on the building right, the sky is burnt in. When you get the sky right, the building is black.
So I took two pictures and blended them. The result is not perfect, but I'm not unsatisfied.
Had a lot of trouble matching the two images. In the mean time I have learnt that is is better to mount your camera on a tripod and use bracketing. I still have a lot to learn.
I'm off to Denmark tomorrow morning nice and early, don't know if I'll find time to post the next couple of days.
I'm back on Tuesday evening.
Happy snapping and surfing!
This shot I took in Paris when my wife and youngest son came to see me recently.
As it was very hot and my son was getting tired, we took a ride on an open top buss. Gives you a different view of Paris.
I enjoyed the architectural ornaments that tend to stay out of site when one is at ground level.
Some of them, like this one, awakened my sense of humour. It is as if the two are having some sort of stressed conversation.
The annoying thing about Montmatre and in particular la Place du Tertre is that the artists keep on bugging you to have your portrait done. Hell, I don't want a portrait of myself.
Now the girl who is having her portrait done here has high potential. But why didn't she take more care of her hair before? She has a great face, but my God, that hair is a disaster area. But then I'm sure the artist will fix that. And she doesn't even need a photoshop license to do so. So this technique does have its charms.
Missed a day yesterday. Had a late meeting and was glad to get out of the office. Realised that I had forgotten to post when I arrived at my hotel. But I'm staying at a low budget Campanile this week without internet.
Another shot from the top if the Eifel tower. L'Arc de Triomphe this time.
No, Sidney, not from my Paris office, my office is actually in the Banlieu of Paris @ Saint-Denis. Not the place to be unless you like violent and ugly street photos.