July 29, 2012

Take one last look

July 29, 2012

I've been taking one last long look at the beautiful countryside that is the corner of France (and edge of Switzerland) that we live in. In less than a week we move back to upstate New York.

The picture above has been on my list for a while now, maybe not that particular vineyard, though this hill has stood out to me for some time, but one like it. I'm pleased that for a few minutes while I was out the sun and clouds played a little, and gave me this wonderful dance across the fields, and that the sunflowers are blooming beautifully this summer.

I'll keep my eyes open, but we lose a little of our mobility this week, and I imagine it'll get pretty hectic making sure we're completely ready to leave. I'm glad I took some time to look around yesterday and make a few more pictures. I'd like to do some documentary of the move itself, we'll see how it goes.

Oh, and one more thing. I'm getting ready to make the jump to self-hosting this blog at my own domain. I'm posting both there and here, sort of "preview mode." If you'd like to check it out, it's at justing-pictures.com/blog. I'm haven't completely settled in yet. Some things are still undecided, like whether to keep the pictures on flickr or on my blog too, or both. A few tasks to work on still, and I'll make a bigger announcement when I to transition.

July 23, 2012


July 23, 2012

A few things completed yesterday, came full circle.

We saw that the donkeys next door had two new foals, a dark one and a light one, a prefect matched set for their mothers.

We saw the cows across the rue come in for the night, and the bull make a display (pictured above). The herd had two calves also, a very new one and one a couple of months old. We've seen the cows go out a few times, but had never seen them come in. It was a good show, the fermier encourages his dog to go (a lot of 'Allez! Allez!'-ing) and he rounds them up to come in. Of course, they mostly know the drill and already the leader is coming in when she sees him. The fermier uses his staff a little, mostly display, to keep the cows in order and on the move.

The horses also had a foal. Normally there are three, but yesterday only one horse and one baby.

We had been wondering where all the animals had gone lately. They have been reshuffled for calving time.

July 21, 2012


July 21, 2012

The goods have to get from the sponsors to the crowds somehow.

After the first few cars/floats passed, I started trying to get pictures of the throwing of the goods. I had a few misses, but more successes than I thought I would. It was one of the things that made it a lot of fun!

I think this lady spends some time at raves, or DJ'ing parties:

Using the force:

Jambon'ing it up for the camera:

The Magician:

I have a few more pictures, and a big set of less good shots than these and yesterday's post that I'll make public on flickr tomorrow. Here is all my TdF "coverage".

July 20, 2012

Le Caravane

July 20, 2012

Le Tour is nearing the finish, it's looking good for the Brits this time, the first time for them in tour history. There are lots of pictures of the cyclists around, but I didn't find as many of the publicite caravane.

Before the lead riders and peloton come by, there is a parade to warm up the crowd. They really know how to get everyone excited, they pass out lots of water and party favors. There is entertainment and more water. Did I mention that they give out water and spray the crowd down with a fine mist of water?

I don't feature any pictures of water today, but there are lots of pictures of the caravane.

I have another theme for a post tomorrow. Today's pics are a selection of the more fun ones that I saw. I'm trying to get most of these processed before the tour finishes, I probably won't be able to revisit them until later this winter. I'm expecting a very busy fall, both with work and with lots of other photographic opportunities.

That's not quite right, the yellow and green on the Le Coq Sportif van didn't look so faded before I exported it! I'll have to figure that out.

I suppose its not so difficult to get good shots in a situation like this, there was tons of color and lots of action! I had a great time taking all of these pictures!

These are all from last Wednesday, stage 10 of the tour.

July 11, 2012

Le Tour

July 11, 2012

Winner of Stage 10 of the 2012 Tour de France was Thomas Voeckler for team Europecar. The stage was 194 km through relatively flat and mountainous terrain from M√Ęcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.

Bellegarde is only about 30 minutes from where we work, so going here was a no brainer.

This was the first serious mountain stage with the Col du Grand Colombier in the Jura mountains. It really spread the riders out, more than I've seen in previous stages this year. There were eleven (!) groups of riders that went by.

More to come of this festive event, both the riders and the caravan before. This year I was ready for the spectacle and got some good shots of the entertainment caravan that proceeds the actual race proper.

July 10, 2012


July 10, 2012

24 days to go....

July 7, 2012

Old Windows

July 7, 2012

Just a couple of pics from Annecy a couple of weeks back. I really liked the old windows, and olde-tymey glass that they put in them. I don't think it's possible that any of the glass is "original".

It was difficult to capture the window panes themselves, I tried a few different things, but wasn't super successful. These seemed to be the best of what I tried.

By the way, these pictures are from inside the Chateau d'Annecy, the 12th century (through the 16th) home of the Counts of Geneva. Incidentally, that link is fine, but I prefer the machine translation of the French language wiki page, it's got a lot more details (as long as you can tolerate the idiosyncrasies of the translators skill level).

July 3, 2012

A few more from Annecy

July 3, 2012

Athletes migrate to the start line for the swim. The water was a confortable temperature, and luckily it wasn't a scorching hot day. Saturday it had been almost 30 (~90F), but Sunday was a much cooler 19 (mid 60s).

Fans gather on the shore, some had signs to cheer on there favorite competitor (probably spouse, or special someone).

Swimmers pass under the famous Pont des Amours into the river Thiou.

Swimmers make their way down the canal toward the exit.

The swimmers bottleneck around the corner of the canal as they approach the exit. It was much less crowded just off the top of the frame, of course you have two swing a much wider arc.

Athletes are helped out of the water, up the stone steps and immediately into the transition area.

Photographically speaking, I think I enjoyed the swim the best. It was very crowded (many athletes), somewhat unusual and in a very nice location. You can see people biking and running a lot of places, but not so often do you see a thousand people (there were ~1100 athletes competing) in wetsuits with funny colored hats at such a close distance. I'm not sure when the next time will be that I will have such good access to the swimmers as this. It was really great!

Two things I would have liked to be different: 1) a longer lens, possibly the 70-300, and a wider lens for that corner (it was a real maelstrom in there!). 2) Being able to get more usable images at higher ISO would have really helped in this situation. It was kind of dark that day (a good thing for the athletes), but it meant I really had to jack up the ISO.

Also, I'm still learning how to get the white balance right. Sometimes it can be very difficult to judge what the right color should be. In those cases that I can't seem to make an improvement, I trust the camera settings. Some of the images above look like they were taken on different days, but they were all taken within about one hour of each other.

July 1, 2012

Annecy Triathlon

July 1, 2012

Thats a lot of swimmers!

Gettin' kind close in there!

Just a ton of bikes!

More pictures of this great event to come. Both Alessandra (the athlete!) and I (the photographer) can report that the Annecy triathlon is very well put together! A+!