The Spying Glass

This is a page devoted to some of my favourite photos and some of my thoughts. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment about anything, and if you happen to like any of the photos, please tell me. Compliments are always welcome!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Top Gear

This was my first attempt at a panning shot. I took it using the Kodak DX6490 about a year and a half ago. By no means is it perfect, but I was so pleased with it the day I took it that I have decided to post it anyway!!

I also just found out how to create links to my favourite posts. This probably won't be one of them, but if you get a chance, have a look at a couple. Some of them were posted right at the beginning when there was nobody visiting my blog!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Other Side Of France


These two pictures were taken last November during the riots that plagued the suburbs of the big French cities. I won't bother delving into such a sensitive political issue, let's just say that the atmosphere in France at the time was peculiar, and there was a noticeable amount of tension in the streets. I took these photos on the day that the riots spread (for the first time) into the centre of one of the major cities (that city being Lyon). It all happened because of an unecessarily large police presence on Place Bellecour, the main square in the centre of the city. It started as a stand-off between the Police Nationale and a few groups of gathering youths. Progressively, more and more police started showing up and at the same time, more and more teenagers. Soon the youths started to jeer at the police and that is when I took these pictures. Soon after this, the CRS (the French riot squad) arrived and I, along with many other, was swept away by the Police Nationale and kept away from the ensuing scenes of chaos.
For anyone who is interested in seeing what life is like for the yougsters that were involved in these riots, I cannot recommend the film 'La Haine' highly enough.

To change the subject, this is the first time I've tried colour separation/isolation. It's not a great effort, but it is something I'm going to try again!! And I'm sorry that I can't visit your sites every day at the moment. I'm at a really busy time in my life and I barely have time to breathe. I'll check in as often as possible.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New Age Photographer

This was another photo I found in the archive from last summer. I took it because it has become such a familiar site. Lots of tourists now don't bother taking cameras, just their mobile phones! Although the picture quality is never going to be great, I prefer to see people doing this than filming everything with those Godforsaken camcorders. And in a way, the launch of camera phones and digital cameras has sown the seeds for a new crop of photographers, many of whom might not have thought about photography as a hobby or an interest before.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lollipop Girl

I didn't know what to post today, so I delved into some of the photos I took last summer and I found this. As you can see, it's just a simple candid of my girlfriend getting the last of her ice cream off the stick. But I thought I'd post it because it reminds me of summertime and it was a very summer-like day in Lyon today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rooftops

This is a view of the rooftops in Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). It is probably my favourite area of the city. It is full of winding cobbled streets, beautiful churches, wonderful restaurants and bars, and some great shops. Apparently, it used to be the roughest area of the city until the Mayor (in the late 80s) cleaned it up and got rid of the lingering crime element that plagued the district. It worked a treat because it is now one of the main tourist attractions of the city.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Lion King

I took this in Antwerp zoo in Belgium. I usually hate zoos, and hardly ever go because they depress me so much, but I decided to go into this one as my father was with me and he had visited it before and said it was worth a look. There were the usual distressing sites that you get in most zoos (I won't bother going into details), but the Lions' enclosure was excellent. Really big and spacious. This particular Lion was the only male. It was about 5 in the evening and he was the only one outside. The females and young were obviously being fed because I could here the noises coming from behind the door at the back of the enclosure. The females inside must have been calling out to the male and he was getting really frustrated. He just kept pacing up and down the enclosure and making a very unusual sound. One I'd never heard before. It wasn't really a roar, more like a roar split up into several small ones. He would shake his head from side to side while doing it. The noise was so loud that it was almost unbearable. It was an impressive display and I was so glad I caught it. I took a load of shots of him, but with the falling light, this was the only one that came out well enough to post. It's not a very good picture, but it's one I wanted to share nonetheless.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Rice Farmer

This was a farmer in the Longji rice terraces. He and his wife had this little wooden hut up in the hills, and as my girlfriend and I had somehow become separated from our mountain guide, they made us come in and wait (it was pouring with rain). His wife gave us towels and made us soup, and we sat there and talked for what seemed like hours (my girlfriend translating of course!). When the rain finally subsided, he came outside with me to smoke a cigarette. We had a mutually incomprehensible conversation, but I loved it. He let me take a few pictures of him, and this was one of them. I really didn't want to leave, but he told my girlfriend that it would start getting dark soon. He directed her to where we needed to go, and we left. It was a heartwrenching moment, even though we'd only met them an hour before.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Daz ( http://www.infinityimages.blogspot.com ) for all his help and advice on how to use the amazing adobe photoshop package effectively. He knows it inside and out and is full of useful tips.
 
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