travel

Winter is here

This morning as I walked back from the kids’ school I stopped to look closely at the frost that developed overnight on our car’s roof. I took these images with my phone and found the structures formed by the ice crystals quite incredible!

I promised myself that if it is going to be as cold tomorrow morning I will bring out an 80 megapixel camera with a macro lens:-)

       Click on an image to view a larger version of it                                           ICE_3

ICE_2ICE_1

 

Dressed up

Last weekend we drove down to the Southbank to watch some of the pre-Christmas festivities and enjoy seeing London all dressed up.
I took a camera along as I was hoping for an opportunity to catch some of the blue hour light. These two images were taken with a Leaf Credo 60 mounted on my Arca Swiss

Click on an image to see a larger one in a new window

 

When it rains hard…

…you shoot…indoors!!!!

Last Sunday, between breakfast and brunch, I found 45 spare minutes and took the new Credo 80 to the RAF museum to see some of the cars that currently on display as part of the Bonhams classic cars auction

The Credo and the 645DF performed flawlessly, I had one of my favourite lenses, the Mamiya 150mm/ f2.8 D;

The Great North and a little Giulietta

A few shots from a recent trip to the Lake District. The weather did not disappoint and stayed grey and miserable for the duration of the trip. I found it quite nice actually as it made me go for a moody, dramatic look rather than the usual postcard like landscape images we’re so used to…

I also went with a “one camera, one lens” approach and took my trusty Arca-Swiss Rm2D with a Schneider 43mm/5.6 XL. The great thing about this tech cameras is that they are hand-holdable at very low shutter sped since they have no moving parts other than a small Copal-shutter.

Framing can be done with a variofinder but I find it just as fun and quick to do it by eye with some help of the built in spirit level.With wide-angle lenses when shooting landscapes, focus is usually set to infinity and for close range you just dial it back a bit.

I’ve been spoilt for choice of digital backs and this time I opted for two: A Leaf Aptus-II 10 and a Phase One IQ140; The former, with its unique 14:9 sensor shape is fantastic for great landscapes and in my view produces the best colours of any digital camera.

The latter, with its built-in spirit level and with Live View, is great for shorter distances where I could not use to full coverage of the lens. The Live View (similar to what we now have on the Leaf Credo) makes it really easy to frame and to focus on closer subjects like waterfalls and trees in the foreground

Earlier this week I had an email from my friend Steffen Jahn; he said he was coming to London for a car shoot and since this was only a few days after the launch of the new Leaf Credo, he wanted to know if I’ve got one that he ca try…It just happens that one of the prototypes came from the factory just a few days earlier. So of course I jumped on the opportunity to spend a day with one of the best car photographers (and a great guy as well!

I took a few “behind the scenes” photos with my iPhone, hopefully the tell a little bit about what se were doing:-)

More of Steffen’s work is available on his website

The Leaf Story

I wrote a small article for a friend’s blog about the history of this incredible company I’ve been working for for the last 12 years, here it is enjoy:

From Science to Art: The Story of Leaf

Been travelling A LOT lately and am currently in Auckland, New Zealand after a week in Australia and before heading for Hong-Kong…a very hectic schedule but I’m really enjoying it and I promise to write some more and of course post some photos as soon as I’m back home in a week’s time.

Brave or stupid?

10:30 pm, Lisbon centre Metro station, 4 adults and 4 children (the youngest at 4 years of age) boarding the train;

Train was quite empty but after I was already standing inside I felt someone standing too close to me on the left. I quickly reach for my pocket and realise the wallet is NOT THERE!

A quick look and there are two guys there in their 20’s, both about my height, leaving the train. I turned and grabbed one of the guys’ t-shirt with my right hand and with my left hand I hit his neck from the front and pushed him out, keeping my left knee behind him so he fell backwards and dropped the wallet on the floor as I was still strangling him.

His mate reached for the wallet, so I kicked his shin as hard as i could with my right foot…he dropped his mobile phone…I tried to kick it away but at that point I turned back to the train to see where everybody was. The driver stopped the train as my friend was holding the door open and my wife had stepped out and picked up the wallet. The two guys where already running away.

I could probably catch them as they had to jump the barriers and they were moving rather slowly but I think that was the point where the instinct stopped working and the brain has kicked in:

My family was safe (though a bit shocked) and I have my wallet, so I just got back on the train and we went back to the hotel, 3 of the children were crying and started asking questions about the thieves

When we put them in bed, my son (will be 4 next week) asked me “what if I dream about what you did to the thieves?” I told him that he has to focus on the dolphins that he is going to see today when we go to the oceanarium.

Later at night my daughter (she’s 6) woke up crying so I took here to our bed and she woke up a few more times and she’s now, in here imaginary world, decided that the police has already caught the “baddies” and threw them in jail, we’re just hoping that today’s outings and activities will make them forget everything (we also hope that there ARE dolphins at the oceanarium…)

The whole scene took not more than 10 seconds maybe and had a happy ending. In retrospect it could have had many different endings and I suppose that the transport police  will be able to pull out the CCTV footage from the train/ station and to see the theives’ faces. I only remember a white t-shirt, dark hair and an unshaved face (the red marks I have on my arm support that). The other guy (I think) was wearing a denim jacket and his phone was white

Amazingly, they still managed to check inside the wallet and to pick the few notes that were in there, leaving everything else untouched. I once had a wallet stolen from our house and I remember what a nightmare it was to cancel all the credit cards, get new driving licences and figuring out what other stuff was missing (cash, business cards, receipts etc…). Maybe this memory was the thing that drove me to act the way I did????

Luckily the thieves were just opportunistic kids and they did not carry any weapons, they’re probably also not used to such a reaction…

The moral? Hmmm….to begin with, I should not have left the wallet in my pocket…saying that, I was also carrying a rucksack loaded with cameras and some other stuff as well…

When you travel with children, especially in urban areas, your mind and eyes are constantly busy looking after them and you can easily get mugged, again I guess that we were just lucky last night and since we only have one day left here, we are going to enjoy it and not worry about the incident…

I’ve been Portugal many times but only for business, it’s a beautiful country and we had a wonderful holiday. I have a new camera with me and I took many pictures of mountain and coastal landscapes, little villages, churches, cityscapes and people. I’ll post time in the next days/ weeks

Safe travels everyone!!!!

 

Just 24 hours left

It’s amazing how time flies…I’ve started this journey less than 4 months ago, when I registered for the Oxford-Cambridge BHF ride and started training for it

Tomorrow, Sunday, July 31st 2011 at 08:00 I’ll be setting off from Oxford and am planning to finish the course in 6:30 hrs inc. 2 stops

I’ve trained hard for this; I’ve ridden 600-700 km every month, getting up at silly hours so I can get the miles in before the kids wake up for school and on the weekends I did some big rides, none of them was as long as tomorrow’s 88 miles but I think I’m ready

Le Tour de France took place in July, a great motivation booster if judging by the 850km I’ve done so far…the long days obviously helped as I could get 40-50 km done before 8am or after 6pm

Speaking of Le Tour, a friend shared a video link with me via Facebook, which I think is a must see for every cycling fan as it shows how hard these men really are:

       

I would like to take this opportunity and to thank everyone who have donated through my BHF fundraising page it means a lot to me and of course to all the other thousands of people who suffer from one heart disease or the other and who enjoy the BHF’s work

 

I’d also like to thank my wife Yael and our children Arielle and Omri for supporting me and for putting up with the long hours I’ve spent away on the weekends:-) They will be cheering me up on the start and finish lines tomorrow!

I will post again tomorrow PM after we get back from Cambridge with some photos. Remember than donation are accepted 3 months after the even and that every penny counts!!!!

 

 

Auteuil, Paris

This week my business travel brought me to Paris, the city of lights

I was planing to take some photos of the Eiffel Tower, like a real tourist, but the time constraints did not allow that and I only managed a quick shot of it with the iPhone as I went for a late evening 4Km run along the Seine, just as it was giving its 5 minute display

On the following day, I was at the Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil in Paris:
This image was shot with a Leaf Aptus-II 12R on an Arca-Swiss Rm2d and a Schneider 43mm/ f5.6 wide angle lens

I used the same technique that I’ve described in my LuLa article a few weeks ago after my trip to Berlin
It is made out of 2 vertical frames, created by shifting the back Right/ Left  and stitching them in Photoshop
The light was perfect and the details on these 120 yr old greenhouses are abdolutely mind boggling!
I will post a few more frames when I get a chance. You can click on the image to see a larger version

July 31st, the day of my Ox-Cam ride is approaching fast. My plan for this weekend was to do another 100km ride but the weather seems to think otherwise and there are some thunder showers expected. However since I am so committed to this goal, I am going to brave it, take a rain coat and hope it doesn’t get too cold!!!

I urge you once again to go to my fundraising page and to put some money in for the BHF. They help me and they help thousands of others who suffer from heart disease!!! Please feel free to share this with you friends, colleagues and family members, thank you!!!