Granny’s Great Adventure, part I

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May 9th 2014, the day my grandmother (or ‘oma’ in dutch) stept foot in an airplane for the very first time in her life. She turned eighty earlier this year and my mom decided to treat her on a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. For oma anyway.

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Oma dedicated her life raising her eight children and taking care of her husband. Life has been hard I can imagine for this incredible lady. My mother felt it was time for her to take a well-deserved vacation in the south of France. At my place!

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So I was happy to pick them up at the airport (where I took these photo’s) and show oma where I live for the first time. She had never been in any of the places I have lived, because I always live abroad. Oma had a great time discovering all the new things in her trip, like the architecture, the scenery and the culture.

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We took a “train” ride through the old city center of Montpellier. There was a dutch voice on the tape for oma so she learned about the history of the city.

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The sun disappeared behind a thick cluster of clouds that afternoon. Which was a pity because we were showing oma where my boy works, on the beach.

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Relaxing on our balcony on the end of the day :)

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On day two we took oma to a place called Saint Jean du Gard, where there is this old train station and these old trains that took us through the beautiful mountains..

oma 15 oma 14 oma 21 oma 24Oh, and there was this stand with funny straw-hats! ;) All excited I took oma to the hat stand to try on a few, it was great fun!oma 16

Stay tuned for part 2!

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On the move: Airport méditerranée

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Airports are so interesting! There are always people with incredible stories, ceilings with interesting lighting, overpriced parking.. ;)

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These photographs are entries for the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: On the move.

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If you liked this post you probably like:

Out and about: Sète

Back from the Ardeche

Monument

On the table challenge

 

le Pont du Gard

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The impressive ‘Gard Bridge’ is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) long and was build by the Romans to transport water from a fresh water spring in Uzès to the city Nîmes.

pontdugard 01pontdugard08The river you can see in the picture above is the “Gard”, it originates in Cévennes and mouths into the “Rhône” river.

pontdugard 04 pontdugard 03On the left bank of the rivers you can spot three enormous olive trees with a great history. They have been planted in the year 908 in Spain, in 1985 the three olive trees have been moved to continue their story with a view on the Pont du Gard.

pontdugard 07 pontdugard 061985 is also the year that the bridge has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

pontdugard 09Before visiting I never noticed it was on our 5€ bills all along!

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P.S. You still have until upcoming weekend to enter the ‘signs’ Photo Challenge.

Keep up to date with my blog and get news on upcoming posts via Coralynx’ Facebook page.

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If you liked this post you’ll probably like:

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Coralynx’ Photo Challenge: Signs

This monday it is time to announce a new Challenge! I challenge you and myself to provoke creativity and to look at the world around you in another way then usually. Look at the signs. That’s the theme most of you voted for in the poll.

Signs are everywhere.

We use sign language when we speak, shops use signs to draw our attention, restaurants do too. Signs are on the side of the road, in our horoscope.. Or there to inform us about the spices we can purchase on the produce market in Nice, France:

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To enter this contest:

For wordpress users: Include your signs photograph in a post and use a “ping back”  to this post.

For those who don’t have a wordpress blog: Upload your photo anywhere else on the internet (example: TinyPic.com) and post the URL in a comment on this post.

You have one week..

I will share my signs photographs upcoming weekend with the photographs of the contestants. Remember, it’s all about having fun and expanding horizons!
Good luck,

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Please take a quick moment to fill in my Reader Survey, thank you!

Back from the Ardèche

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I am taking you to the Ardèche today, a region in France very popular for family vacations. I used to work here and the past few days a went back to meet up with some friends. I admit I fell of the face of the earth for about a week.. No internet, no cell-phone.. It was quite lovely to be honest. Life in the Ardèche is like going back into time when we didn’t complicate our days with modern technology.

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Spring time to me means staying outside for balcony wine-drinking, hiking, lunch and barbecuing! I must admit that these are photo’s of last year but I just loved this day so much that I have to share this with you!

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Happy weekend to you all!

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Photo’s are entries for this week’s Spring! photo challenge.

If you like this post take a look at these:
Monument: a photo challenge
“Family Portrait” 
Results: on the table challenge

 

Alter ego

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”
-Bill Watterson

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I saw these people staring at their reflection while I was strolling down the ‘Promenade du Peyrou” in the center of Montpellier. I was wondering what they were thinking whilst looking at their alter-ego. I’d like to think that when times get rough our second self keeps it’s head above water to get us through the difficult moments.

Here you can see a reflection photo which I really enjoyed from blogster Nguyen-Kan from Depth of Feelings.

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Vote on you subject of choice for the next photo challenge.

Take a quick moment to take my reader survey.


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“Family portrait”

Family are those who chose to have you.
Friends are family you chose to have.

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I am grateful for the days spent with my ‘family’ from Saint Martin and all others that made this weekend unforgettable. Stephanie, Cedric, Cedric, Sebastien, Fanny, Swann and my Fabrice.
-petit clin d’oeil a Imane et Seb. 

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If you liked this post you’ll probably like:

A breath of fresh air
Opportunity knocks?
Not just a smile
Out and about, Sète

 

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Rooftops of Arles

“Who else has walked here, on the top of the Roman Arena?” I ask myself.

When I wander in old cities like Arles I can’t help imagining how life was back then, when this city was new. All the love stories and tragedy that must have taken place underneath these rooftops..

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This city in the French provence is so alluring with it’s pale sky and colorful housing. No wonder why van Gogh went here to get inspired. In 1888 he wrote to his brother:

Because I have never had such a chance, nature here being so extraordinarily beautiful. Everywhere and all over the vault of heaven is a marvellous blue, and the sun sheds a radiance of pale sulphur, and it is soft and as lovely as the combination of heavenly blues and yellows in a Van der Meer of Delft. I cannot paint it as beautifully as that, but it absorbs me so much that I let myself go, never thinking of a single rule.

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Out and about, Sète

Once upon a sunday afternoon, in a land far far away from trouble and stress, a family enjoyed the soft spring season sun.

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Sunday was the last day in the south of France for my parents and we decided to make it unforgettable! + it was my mom’s birthday!

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I had prepared some lovely picnic foods on saturday night and sunday morning. All I had left to do was put on a flowery spring-outfit and hop in the car. (Without forgetting to bring the family!)

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We’ve found this beautiful spot on the water near the historic town of Sète.

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There is such joy in spending quality time with quality people.

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Hey! I managed to get photographed a couple of times!

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It certainly isn’t a punishment living on France’s south coast. Don’t worry, I will take you all with me on my discoveries and aventures.. To be continued! ;)

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Mailbox

Have you seen the “mailbox” tab yet?

I received some wonderful cards and letters this week. Makes me feel so special! How do you guys feel about hand-written letters and cards? Romantic and fun or too much of a hassle?

Please share your experiences here. If you like I can send you a card to remind you of that
‘s wonderful- ‘s marvelous feeling you get when you find a real card in your mailbox.
Yes I will, I am just that crazy! 

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Recap of March!

Thank you all for this amazing month of March. For me it has been a month of ups and downs, high and lows. Living in a new city, in a new home has been exciting but at some times very scary also.
I have been looking for a job since I moved here and this has been very difficult on me. There are so many others looking for work and depending on social security here in France. Being new here and not having any friends yet I have been feeling a bit lonely, but things are looking up! I found a small part-time job to keep me occupied and meet .. People! Yay! Ok, it’s no dream job but celebrate for me okay? And for my birthday too! (26th)

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Here is what you liked most this month:

Bokeh for dummies (like me)
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I ♥︎ animals
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Faces of Montpellier
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Not just a smile

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Food photography by Ira Leoni
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Into the wild

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On instagram:

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I reached over 10,000 views this month!

Results: on the table challenge.

This is my kitchen table’s personal diary. See what has happend in it’s life this week:

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This last photo reflects my sunday. A little messy, but a great time around the kitchen table with my parents who are in France to see me for two whole weeks!

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Not just a smile

The best subjects for your portrait photography are your friends. I believe my friends are the most beautiful people in the world, flaws and all. They will not just give you a smile for your snapshot, you are the one able to capture a whole lot more. This is Imane, not just her smile.

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Les meilleurs sujets pour ta photographie de portraits sont tes amis. Je crois pleinement que mes amis sont les plus belles personnes sur terre, imperfections incluses. Ils te montreront pas seulement un sourire pour ta photo, tu est la personne qui pourra capturer une image avec beaucoup plus que ça. Voici Imane, pas seulement son sourire. 

Photo challenge: Cloudporn

I dare you to join me in this new project to challenge your own creativity. The goal is to get better in what we do and look through our camera lens in a new perspective every week, to search for something we normally wouldn’t pay attention to.

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
-Molière

So please all of you who are aspiring to be a better photographer, beginner or a professional.. Join me this week to look at the sky as you have never done before.

Write the URL of your photograph in a comment below to join, you have all week!

Some inspiration:

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Don’t get overwhelmed, these are professional photographs. (Click on them to see the original posts.) Mine won’t be as good as these ones but it’s important to try. Let’s have some fun.
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Bokeh for dummies (like me)

It is totally possible to achieve amazing Bokeh-shots with basic equipment. Here is how!

“What is bokeh?”
My answer: A dreamy touch to a photograph.
Official answer: The word “bokeh”  is Japanese in origin and refers to blur or a blurry quality, and in photography it is a very recognizable technique.

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“How to achieve bokeh in my pictures?”
Every photographer will answer you with the equipment you will need to achieve the best bokeh. I will help you to work around the lack of equipment, all you need is any basic DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera. I use a Nikon D3100.

If you have several lenses and one of them has a big aperture you should totally go for that lens. That is what the pro’s will tell you ;)
Aperture: identify on your camera screen by the “f/” and the number behind it. The smaller the number the bigger the aperture. I know that is confusing. This image will explain it:

aperture

The smaller the number, the wider the aperture.

A standard lens will have a maximum aperture of about f/4.0.
The ideal for great bokeh is a lens with a maximum between f/1.8 and f/3.0.
But don’t worry. I took the photo’s in this post with (a Nikkor 55-200mm zoom which has) a maximum aperture of f/4.0 

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“What does aperture do?”
A wide aperture will create a ‘Depth Of Field”. It will focus on a small part of the capture, and anything in the background of even the foreground will be blurry. Creating an effect of depth.

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“How do I start?”
It’s quite simple, you just need to grab your DSLR and experiment and have fun. Put your camera in Manual setting, this is very important to get to know your equipment and achieve a signature look. Something that doesn’t look standard or regular.
Setting your camera to a wide Aperture means that lot’s of light can come in in a short time. Apart from your aperture there are other settings in Manual you need to look out for, like shutter speed.

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“Shutter speed?”
Shutter speed is simply the amount of time your shutter is open to let the light in and take your picture. Outdoors in the sun you need a short shutter speed, indoors on a cloudy day you will need a longer shutter speed.

And this is where aperture comes in: While shooting Bokeh your aperture is wide and you can choose a short shutter speed, try some different ones and experiment with it. Is your picture too dark? Set a slightly longer shutter speed.

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Tips for shooting Bokeh with a standard lens (f/4.0)

  • The closer you are to your subject, the better. With my 55-200 lens I was actually quite far away, but it was the closest my lens could focus on the subject.
  • The more space there is between your subject and it’s background the blurrier your bokeh will be.
  • Set aperture to maximum (lowest numerical number)

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Now just get out of the house and experiment with this new information. You don’t need an incredible environment to take incredible photographs. I live in the city and have these small pieces of land next to our building with just enough trees and flowers. A small city-garden or park will do.
Look at this:

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This is where I took my pictures, not as dreamy now is it?  (You can even see my apartment with the yellow balcony on the top floor!) Just zoom in, that’s the trick!

Oh! And don’t forget to Edit. I don’t know any photographers who don’t edit their photo’s. I edit with Camerabag, an application for Macbook. I just love it!

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I hope I have cleared up the bokeh situation for you, send me your feedback and of course your bokeh shots! Just leave me a link or tag me in your tweet with your bokeh.

Happy shooting!

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A breath of fresh air

I felt it was time to go out and explore today. I live in Montpellier for oficially six weeks now, and I haven’t seen much of the city and it’s surroundings yet. There is this beach about twenty minutes driving from my new home.. It is called Carnon Plage. Even when it’s grey outside and the cold wind is blowing the sand in the air this is still a beautiful place to walk around breathing in some fresh Mediterranean air. I had already been there once but didn’t bring my camera, so I took some pictures with my iPhone and started to thinking about going back there to take some real photographs. Here they are.

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the net

free wifi
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Let me know what you think!

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