Archive for October, 2010

A monochrome walk to the park

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Catie and I are trying to restructure our schedules to do more of our work in the evening so that we have more time during the day to go out and enjoy Lyon. (I can put my weather-related Minnesotan pride aside for a minute and admit that the nights are getting a little cold for casually strolling about the city.) As part of that effort (and to celebrate the start of the weekend and the end of Catie’s second month of French classes, as well as to make the most of a strikingly warm day) Catie and I decided to walk up to Parc de la Tête d’Or again.

Catie brought her Kindle and I brought my camera, armed this time with just my trusty old 70-200mm lens. I felt pretty photographically frustrated from the get-go, I’m not sure whether from the fact that I hadn’t used that “trusty old” lens (or any zoom lens) in quite a while or just because I was in a creative funk. To try and give myself a positive spark, I decided to spend the day shooting in black and white. I like approaching the world in monochrome. It always seems to result in a different style of images, and it lets me focus on what is certainly the most important aspect of photography – the light.

So, I consider this group of images to be an experiment (and perhaps the sequel to my day photographing workers across the world in Bangladesh). I tried to experiment with my post-processing a bit as well, sticking with the original out-of-camera black and white JPG’s as much as possible. Maybe that’s why I was able to get them imported, selected, processed, and posted in less than 24 hours!

Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 29, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 29, 2010.

Day trip to Pérouges

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

After being sick for the better part of a week, I managed to get out of the apartment and into the mercifully-not-too-awful cold to make a second attempt at visiting the small medieval town of Pérouges. We tried to take the train again, but we found out last minute that it was cancelled, so we were directed to a replacement bus. We successfully (found and) rode that bus for about an hour until we arrived at Meximieux, a small city from which Pérouges is only a pleasant fifteen or twenty minute walk.

I didn’t know much about our destination before we got there, except that (as I mentioned before) it is a small medieval town, and it is completely surrounded by a wall. (Clearly, this was reason enough to visit in my opinion – perhaps related to my obsession with a certain board game.) It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful place to spend the afternoon, and I am considering going back to spend another since my available light started to fizzle by the end of our stay (and it was so dazzlingly brilliant nearer our arrival). It helps that the bus ticket is also delightfully cheap – only 10 euros round trip!

Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 23, 2010)

Photos taken in Pérouges, France on October 23, 2010.

Les rives de Saone

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Last Tuesday, Catie and I had planned to go with a small group of friends to Pérouges, a small Medieval walled town about an hour’s drive northeast of Lyon. Unfortunately, the trains (and subways, and trams, and busses it seemed like) were shut down due to the strikes currently going on in France (contesting a motion to shift the retirement age from 60 to 62). Things have actually gotten pretty intense here at times (as can be read in news articles and especially seen on YouTube), but Catie and I have avoided almost all of the rustle. In any case, we could not make it out to Pérouges, so instead we all decided to spend the afternoon walking up the Saône all the way to Ile Barbe, which happens to be the only inhabited island in all of Lyon. We were able to walk almost the whole way directly along the river, and the journey really was lovely with Autumn in full force.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

Boulangeries, pâtisseries, and new friends

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I know I shouldn’t think about it, but I am already getting sad that in a few weeks, I’ll have to leave France and head back to Minnesota. I know that going back when I am (a bit earlier than Catie) is probably a good idea in the long run, as it will give me some time to focus in on nothing but computer programming and getting potential graduate school applications together, but I am going to miss Lyon. I haven’t been here long, and I know that my experience of the city and culture so far is probably minuscule relative to everything both have to offer, but it was enough to firmly plant a French bug inside of me. I love having the rivers Rhone and Saone so intimately (and quietly) a part of my daily life, and always being able to admire the Fourviere Basilica in the distance no matter where I am, and hardly ever walking thirty feet without tripping over another pâtisserie or boulangerie luring me in with their fresh pastries and baked bread. And on top of all that, I feel like Catie and I were just starting to get to know some new friends here, too.

Ah, the wanderer’s life… I will try not to lament the loss involved in my upcoming displacement, and focus instead on making the most of the time I have left here and getting excited about what is ahead. And maybe I will get another tartelette aux framboises to make myself feel better in the meantime. (Believe me, they are every bit as delicious as they look.)

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

An update: I want THIS dog

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Recently, I wrote about the self-imposed canine-less torture of Catie’s and my nomadic lifestyle. It seems that the universe is a regular reader of my blog (and that the universe may be a bit of a cruel tease), as just a few days later Catie and I stumbled upon the most beautiful sweet fluffy white Golden Retriever I have ever met.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.

I was taking a photo of a combination lock on an iron gate (as I often do), and I heard Catie from twenty feet off say very calmly but authoritatively, “Dan, I found a Golden Retriever”. I immediately suspected feared foul play, and responded very sternly, “Catie, do not screw with me. Are you lying?” She was not! There was a very excited dog sitting on a stone ledge next to an old building, wagging its tail and staring at the both of us.

I didn’t stop petting that dog for a good twenty five minutes, despite our walking buddies being long gone and even Catie giving up on me (trying not to let the group dissolve permanently). I have no idea whose dog it is, what its name is, or why it was tied up where it was, but I do know that I loved it with all my heart. It was sooo fluffy! (All-time professionalism high for this blog right there, I think.)

Once Catie came back for a third time and finally successfully dragged me away from the new love of my French life, and after she watched me give no less than four desperate adoring glances back to that dog, she said that the next time I look back at her lovingly at the airport before leaving, she isn’t going to feel so special. I told her that on the contrary, she should know now that she should feel especially so.

Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 19, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 19, 2010.