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On the Way To and Back from Takatsuki

As a personal challenge and for some cross-training towards the Sanjurokumine Mountain race in less than two weeks, I rode my bicycle to w*rk in Takatsuki, about 26km one way. Of course, you know me, I had some of my camera gear with me, in part for Kameraoke 6, and here some shots from the journey. The last one is a B/W conversion with quite a bit of post-production done in Aperture 2.


Kameraoke 6

You have less than two weeks to enter Kameraoke 6 and record pictures of the six senses! Having woken up at some ungodly hour and not being able to fall asleep, I decided to take the first train to Sumaurakoen station to explore a sea platform I thought could be a good location for long exposures. As I was paying my access (What? ¥200? At least it's cheaper than ¥1,200, what fishers need to shell out), I noticed beautiful colors in the sky, but they sadly disappeared as I was making my way along the wharf. Oh well, the colors weren't the main purpose of my visit, although they could become it on a future visit. I looked around and found some great angles to shoot. I may end up using one of the shots under the theme 6th sense. Here's an view of the ensemble. As T-800 said: "I'll be back."


OEFF Wednesday

Today was the last day of the festival. After little sleep, I went back to the Hotel Elsereine. Fatigue started to really affect some volunteers, but not to the point of giving inadequate service. One of the most interesting thing was seeing Thierry Faber reaction to the attention he was getting; he is 'only' a film editor, he is not used to the spotlights, but I feel he wouldn't mind getting more! I think most remaining guests and volunteers probably went out for dinner but I declined, having some editing of my own to do tonight for their website, needing to wake up early tomorrow morning, and most importantly, wanting to see my son for more than a few minutes!

Well, I hope you enjoy my posts and you should be able to see some pictures on the OEFF website in the near future. The picture below is of the Kindergarten program where children learned about cinema through animation, getting the chance to do some stop-animation; since it was for children of all ages, I joined, too!

OEFF Tuesday

Sorry, no time to write much, but Tuesday I only got the chance to attend a party in the evening. The guest of honor was the lovely Natalia Verbeke. Wish you were there!


OEFF Monday

Because of regular w*rk, I didn't spend the whole day at the festival today. I went around noon to take pictures during the rehearsal of Cuore, an old Italian silent film to which two pianists played music. After see the rehearsal, I really envied those who could see the whole program. Live music with films is quite an enjoyable experience.

After w*rk, I came back to Hotel Elsereine to attend an Italian aperitivo, with most guests and many spectators present. All enjoyed the hors-d'œuvres and the drinks flowed freely. I met another Québécois, talked with many of the guests and volunteers, and just had a merry ol' time.

OEFF Sunday

On Sunday I covered the events held at the Hotel Elsereine from morning to evening. With different sponsors offering free stuff (free alcoholic drinks before the evening showing), kids events, a symposium, showings with guest Q&A and signing sessions, it certainly was a busy day! But it was all good, friendly (but physically cold!) volunteers helping. I got to the see Ireland's The Guard, which was a pretty funny 'odd paired cops' movie, with philosopher gangsters. It will be shown again this week, don't miss your chance.

OEFF Finland Day and Party

On Saturday I attended the Finland section of the OEFF at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art. The museum, designed my Ando Tadao, is a must-visit. I'll have to go back another day to visit the collections. Mikko Koivumaa of the Embassy of Finland was in attendance and proved a very friendly conversationalist, especially when we talked about the Montreal Canadiens, of whom he knew quite a bit (he was a fan of Patrick Roy since early).

Two movies were presented, Twisted Roots and Forbidden Fruits, which sadly not so many people came to see. The following party in the museum's restaurant proved more popular, with close to 60 people in attendance. Attracted by Finnish food, the people came out and had a good time, Mr. Koivumaa's open disposition helping. A great day all around.


OEFF Opening Gala

Friday the OEFF kicked off with the Japanese premiere of Wim Wenders' 3D Pina. Sadly I couldn't join the projection, but I didn't join the opening gala after at Hotel Elséreine in Umeda (very beautiful, great food and attentive staff, by the way). Most guests were in attendance (one missed his flight!) and the evening was filled with encounters with new and old faces. I was pretty tired after a long morning jog, but the atmosphere kept me up.

Today I'm off to the Hyogo Prefectural Museum to cover the events around the theme of Finland: two films, followed by a Finnish dinner party. Should be good!


Pina 3D Behind the Scenes

The OEFF has started and since last week you can take a look at the behind the scene pictures of Pina 3D taken by Donata Wenders (wife of Wim Wenders). Great multimedia exhibition held at E-ma, don't miss it if you are in Umeda!


FAM: Final Lesson

Today concluded the first edition of the FAM course (From Auto to Manual Master Mode) with my guinea pigs. We focused on chasing the light from different angles and worked with light modifiers like reflectors and filters. They all learned a lot, we all had a great time, they gave me positive feedback and insightful ideas to improve it, I had them use some the stuff I have and maybe encouraged them to buy some stuff (mostly a polarized filter), so really, there's not much more we could ask for. We finished at a small restaurant by the river where we enjoyed some cold drinks and nice food, including deep-fried boar and deer (maybe would have been better grilled to preserve the taste, but it was good nonetheless)!

Here are some shots I took during the day. Enjoy!

Waiting for the guys at the station (JR Takedao)

Nathan using the rail to get his shot

This lesson was about seeing the light, at the end of the tunnel or not 

While getting our refreshments, beautiful sunset skies



The thing I like best about photography is exploration (one of my favorite songs, although not directly related to photography). Of course I haven't been shooting seriously for 20 years, but so far there are still so many things to learn and discover, it's grand. In this way, it mirrors life itself.

The good old creative question 'what if?' is at the center of this process. Sometimes it involves new equipment, but more often it's just using the equipment you already have and trying out new things in new ways.

Anyways, here are three shots (the effects are all in-camera) I took this week that go in that direction. I hope you like them.

Osaka European Film Festival 2011

Well, it's that again, friends, for the Osaka European Film Festival. Once more, don't miss the chance to see quality and challenging movies that are unlikely to make it to the theaters here, except for a few ones. I'll be on location to take pictures as usual, I hope to see you there.


Back From Montreal

At the end of last month I spent two back home in Montreal to present my baby to my parents; they were happy to see and hug him, but they didn't change any diapers. Luckily people other than my biological parents did! It was a great trip, mostly took family pictures, but also some for an eventual Kansai Scene article on my hometown. By the way, in this month's edition of the magazine, I have my Rokko Trail feature: check it out!

I leave you with two abstract shot at a cottage by lake Lyster. Enjoy!