Happy 2013!

Happy new year to all!
Here is the image I had chosen for my paper New year cards. I have taken it during my trip to British Columbia in September 2011. There was already snow during my stay there. I called this image “Symetries” for obvious reasons (I think) but it also had another appeal to me: move your mouse over the image to see what I had seen in it 😉

Smiling Cloud

Happy 2012!

For all of you who did not receive my paper postcard for the new year, here is the picture that I used.
Taken at the end of 2010 as I have not yet seen snow here in Belgium this winter…
You may have already seen a black and white version of this image in one of my previous posts.
I like the abstract shapes in this image. Before they notice the tree leaves at the bottom of the image, many people do not have any sense of scale and can only wonder what this could be. I hope you like it.

Natural patterns in the snow, just before sunset, close to La Hulpe, Belgium

Happy 2012 to you all !!!

Washington – British Columbia – Alberta teaser

A few weeks ago, I spent two weeks around the state of Washington and visiting the South-West of Canada, British Columbia and Alberta. I am busy with sorting and selecting my pictures taken during this trip. When they will be ready, you will be able to see them in my galleries, of course.
In the meantime, as a teaser, here is a picture taken at sunrise in one of the most iconic places in Banff National Park: Moraine Lake.

Sunrise at Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Black & White snow patterns

With the winter 2010-2011 coming to a close, I wanted to show a few last pictures with snow before spring settled in. Here are a few images taken this winter, all of them converted to black and white from RAW files.

Natural patterns in the snow, close to La Hulpe, BelgiumNatural patterns in the snow, close to La Hulpe, BelgiumNatural patterns in the snow, close to La Hulpe, BelgiumArtificial patterns in the snow, created by skiers in Les Arcs, France

The first three ones were taken not far away from where I live with my Canon EOS reflex digital camera – nothing special there. The last one, taken during my ski holiday in Les Arcs (France), is a special case: this picture has been taken with my Canon Powershot A630 compact digital camera and was also converted from RAW to black and white. Wait a minute ! Many of you will probably think that I must be wrong: a Powershot A630 does not take RAW pictures !

Indeed, that is what I thought also until a few months ago when I discovered CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit), a very potent and versatile (and free !) firmware update for many Canon compact digital cameras (Point & Shoot cameras).
Continue Reading…

Happy New Year !

For all of you who did not receive the paper version of my greetings card, here is the picture that I had chosen to illustrate it.
This was taken on a snowy early October 2009 morning in in the Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California. These mule deers (Odocoileus hemionus) were posing very patiently for me. You may have seen this picture already in my California-Oregon photo trip.

Mule deers (Odocoileus hemionus) on a snowy early October morning in the Lava Beds National Monument, Northern California

Sunrise at the Baraque Michel

After almost a week of very difficult driving due to the continuous snowfall here in Belgium, I managed to reach the Hautes Fagnes in time for the sunrise. It took me almost two hours to get there and I was almost too late to catch the best light. I barely had the time to jump out of my car, run (well… as best as I could) in the deep snow to a few hundred of meters away from the road to take the pictures of the sunrise. I had no snowshoes and it was impossible to get very far from the road without them so I will need to be better prepared next time !

Sunrise at the Baraque MichelSunrise at the Baraque MichelFrost at sunrise - Baraque MichelThe Fischbach chapel - Baraque MichelThe Fischbach chapel - Baraque Michel

Dreaming of a White Christmas

The first 3 weeks of December have been very snowy here in Belgium. Statistics up to two days ago show that this month will probably be an exceptional December. While an average December sees 4.1 days of snow for the whole month, the first 21 days of December this year have already seen 15 days with snowfalls in Brussels ! It has only happened once since 1901 and the first official weather records in Belgium. And snow is continuing to fall… Already more than 70 cm (almost 2.5 ft) of accumulated snow in the Hautes Fagnes, much less (about 20 cm) around Brussels. But even with these 20 cm of snow, it is chaos on the roads 🙂

I have had a little bit of time to enjoy the snow and take some pictures in the park of the La Hulpe Castle (Solvay Domain). Not too difficult to reach for me, even in these weather conditions. Here are a few pictures from two separate visits.

Groups of 3 trees are a recurrent theme in the parkThe castle of La Hulpe in the snowLone pine tree in a white worldBeautiful patterns created by snow and wind on the ice

And 3 days later, after another shower of wet snow, everything looked like covered in icing sugar. I lost track of my bearing while wandering in the Forest of Soignes and even managed to get completely lost in all the white around me !

Early morning at the entrance of the park of the La Hulpe castleI have been thinking of taking this picture for a long time and finally decided it was time to give it a try. A hill just behind me makes it impossible to get back enough for one shot embracing the whole tree. This image is made of 11 pictures stitched together.Snow covering everything converts a familiar wood into a fantastic universeEven the tall beech trees of the Forest of Soignes are transformed by the snow. So much transformed that I got lost in it !