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Felt Like A Stranger

Jean-Paul Sartre Grave

This is a follow up to a story I shared with you last year. If you don’t remember the story of an early morning scramble around Pairs, you can read it here. This image was a somewhat surreal discovery for me. I was hungry and tired as I made my way back from the Eiffel Tower, and accidentally stumbled upon one of the most frequented cemeteries in France, Cimetière du Montparnasse. It is a hauntingly huge cemetery. Due to time constraints, I only had about 20 minutes to explore it. Good thing they have burial index. I quickly scanned the registry. To my surprise, I discovered a favored author my mine, Jean-Paul Sartre, was buried around the corner. It felt odd taking a photo of his grave. As you can see, there are flowers and small memorials scattered around it. I’m not sure how Sartre would have felt about that. He probably would have rather you read his work than visit. I guess I was experiencing the irony in mourning the death of an existentialist. I left the cemetery with his laughter quietly shoeing me along…..Probably because I was kicked out for using a tripod, but that’s another story.

Continue for Capture/Processing Notes…


Bagage Claim HDR

About 5 minutes had passed since my friends disappeared through the sliding doors behind me. They were off to check for our luggage on the other side. I decided I would hang back in the event this was our baggage claim. Charles de Gaulle airport isn’t the easiest place to navigate when you are delirious from jet lag. That and I don’t speak French. The only French speaker on our team had disappeared with everyone else. After another couple minutes, I decided I had some time to make some images. Why not? I had been left alone staring at this baggage claim for the last 10 minutes. I spent the next 15 minutes in a photography induced meditation. Good thing for me the Gendarmerie identified my as a tourist. I could have easily been taken to a dark back room, leaving only my tripod and a trail of lens caps for my friends to find me. Finally, the rest of the team returned. Apparently the doors they exited through were one-way. The team had to circle back. Which, after I made the same trip, wasn’t an easy task.

Workshop: I am still putting the finishing touches on a workshop. The goal is to keep it as inexpensive as I can, and make it as rewarding as possible. In its current state the idea will be to include both field work via a photo-walk, followed by a discussion and lab in the private room at a local wine bar. Wine, cheese, and photography…what could be better than that? I will keep you posted as the details unfold. I have started a discussion over on Facebook. You can find it here. Feel free to join in if you would like to attend. I am looking for content you would like covered as well as some dates that will work for you (sometime in April). If you aren’t one of the 1 in 14 in the world on Facebook, feel free to leave a comment here.

Correction From Yesterday: Longs Peak is not the tallest mountain in Colorado. It is actually Mt. Elbert is. Thanks everyone for the corrections. Still, Longs Peak is a great hike and I encourage you to give it a try!

Continue for Capture/Processing Notes…

Breakfast In The Dungeon

We barely had any time in Paris. We arrived on the train in from Bordeaux around noon, leaving us just enough time to watch the final laps of the Tour de France along the Champs Elysees. If I didn’t get out and shoot, I wasn’t going to be able to live with myself. I knew I had to get out, even if it was only for an hour or so. We had a bit of time the next morning before our flight left, so I decided to set my alarm for 6:00am and schedule up a taxi to pick me up at 6:30. My plan was to have the taxi drop me off at the Eiffel Tower, make the tourist images that are required by all photographers visiting Paris, then follow my pre-planned walking route back to the Hotel. That was going to give me 3 hours of nothing but uninterrupted image making while Paris slowly awoke from its slumber. Images and their respective stories will follow in subsequent posts. This image was the final one of my walk. I had arrived back at the hotel, where I had met up with ‘pops’ who had just finished breakfast. I was starving after walking around for 3 hours with camera gear. I followed him down a winding staircase into what seemed to be the dungeon of the small hotel we were staying at. The walls were lined with century old bricks and a small archway led me into the dining area. What a place to have a breakfast! Beats the heck out of the Best Westerns here in the states. It felt as if I had just pulled up a chair to share a croissant with history itself. Too bad I didn’t have much time to talk, I had to catch our Taxi to the airport in 10 minutes!!!

Continue for Capture/Processing Notes…

No Permit


I’m not totally sure that a permit was required to use a tripod in France, but I’m pretty sure that was what was being requested as I was asked to leave the subway. I understood ‘no good’ and ‘Gendamerie‘ well enough to know I should probably leave before I was the defendant in an international incident. Tripod restrictions weren’t limited to the subway either. I was also escorted away from Jean-Paul Sartre’s grave. I really felt like a Stranger.

Capture Notes:

Nikon D700
Nikkor 17-35 2.8 AFS
Gitzo Traveler
Lexar UDMA Film

Aperture f/9.0
Focal Length 35 mm
ISO Speed 200

Processing Notes:

Capture – 9 images @ 1ev
Photomatix – HDR/Tonemapping
Nik Color Efex Pro – Pro Contrast
Nik Color Efex Pro – Glamour Glow
Nik Color Efex Pro – Tonal Contrast
Sized for web