The Beaches of Omaha

More about Les Braves

I was interested in the origins of this sculpture, so here is some data that I got from this article at Les Braves Memorial of Omaha Beach.

Les Braves is a war memorial that is located on the shores of Omaha Beach in the village of St. Laurent-sur-Mer in Normandy, France and commemorates the fallen American soldiers, of World War ll who have lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, June 6th 1944.

The memorial represents three elements: The Wings of Hope, Rise Freedom, and the Wings Of Fraternity. French sculptor Anilore Banon, created the monument in 2004, commissioned by the French government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion Of Normandy. In the center, there are seven stainless steel columns and a group of five columns that curve upwards, two columns stand upright, with the tallest reaching 30 feet. Stainless steel wings gracefully stand on both sides.

Intended only as a temporary art piece, the sculpture still stands on the shores of Omaha Beach widely due to public interest and petition. The sculpture has been described as a blend of art and nature and has been able to withstand the forces of nature surprisingly well.

Daily Photo – The Beaches of Omaha

I woke up with quite a hangover here in Omaha beach. We had spent the previous evening at Mont Saint Michel doing a rather significant amount of wine-drinking and taking photos. I still can't believe my photos there turned out so well. Anyway, we drove overnight to Omaha beach. The bus just kind of rocked me to sleep… and then when it finally stops, I know we are at a new location! So I dusted myself off and jumped outside with my camera to see this amazing sculpture.

The Beaches of Omaha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-11 08:45:04
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Collective Consciousness

I’m a big believer in the super-organism of humans coming together with tech and AI. Here’s an interview with Dan Brown about Collective Consciousness

Turning to the future, Brown said technological change and the development of artificial intelligence would transform the concept of the divine.

“We will start to find our spiritual experiences through our interconnections with each other,” he said, forecasting the emergence of “some form of global consciousness that we perceive and that becomes our divine”.

Daily Photo – The Bridge of Locks in Paris

This is Marin, the daughter of my friend Serge Ramelli with an umbrella, looking forlorn and sad during our photo walk in Paris. She's not, of course, she's just acting. But, if you were feeling forlorn and sad on a rainy day, this would definitely be the best place to be. You can come here and see all the locks that represent people's love, half of which has deteriorated into a bitter romance that would make for a great reality show. That's what she's thinking about here: a very low-quality reality show about one of those locks that did not turn out so well. Maybe a bit cynical, but, well, you know.

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-07 19:26:24
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

In the Prison

La Conciergerie

If you go to Paris, be sure this spot is on your list to visit. It doesn’t sound that interesting to visit an old prison like this, but it’s actually pretty cool. Here’s another picture of it:

She Slept In The Prison

Daily Photo – In the Prison

When I was at La Conciergerie in Paris, I stopped in a little side-room to take a photo. This was probably six years ago, but I didn't process the photo until just recently. It was a single RAW photo and I wanted to test out the new Aurora HDR. The RAW by itself looked pretty dull, and I didn't know if it had much potential, but I think it turned out pretty well!

In the Prison

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-09-17 12:46:02
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Tip for Quadcopter shots

I recommend making your HDR from a single RAW file. I no longer do multiple brackets for quadcopter shots for the simple reason that it adds more noise.

Daily Photo – The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Oh my gosh – how much do you want to go in there and eat some fresh, warm French food and drink wine? I'm sure they were all loving it… I like how the guy on the 2nd floor appears to be taking a photo of my quadcopter! I got quite a cool video (if I do say so myself), doing a vertical rise from here all the way to the spire on top of the monastery. I'll share that soon.

The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 21:04:09
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The American Cemetery in Normandy

Phone Panorama Tip

When I took this photo, I used my Google Pixel phone because I forgot to put a memory card in my Hasselblad like a big dummy! But, I think it turned out pretty great anyway. I took about 6 photos while holding the phone upright. I did a lot of overlap so that Google would automatically build a panorama on the backend. Later, when I got to the hotel, the panorama had already been made in Google Photos, so I simply downloaded it and made adjustments in Lightroom and Aurora HDR

Daily Photo – The American Cemetery in Normandy

After leaving Mont Saint Michel, our bus stopped to visit the famous Omaha beach before coming here. It was quite moving, as you might expect. The design was very interesting too. In this photo, it looks like there is a perfect grid of white crosses for as far as the eye can see. But there were many little gaps for trees and other designs. Also, if you look closely, not everything is a cross; some are stars of David.

The American Cemetery in Normandy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-11 10:18:37
  • CameraPixel
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture2
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Eze from Above

Passport Exclusive Unboxing the Fuji

Fuji was nice enough to send me the FUJI X-T2 to use at Burning Man along with a few lenses. I used it’s little brother last year and absolutely loved it. Here’s a link to the FUJI review showing off some of the shots I got with it. Below, if you’re a Passport Member, you can see me unboxing the new one!

Getting to Eze

The best way to get to Eze, if you don’t have a car, is simply to Uber there from nearby Naples. It’s a short ride, and you get dropped off at the base of the medieval town. You can wander up into it (not toooo far uphill), stroll through the streets, shop, then find a cute little restaurant and have wine and cheese and ice cream. It’s a great day-trip I recommend!

Fuji X-T2 Unboxing and a super inappropriate joke…

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Daily Photo – Eze from Above

This little mountaintop town in France is one of my favorites. I first went here about 20 years ago with my dad. My dad used to do lots of car racing all over the world. He did those 24-hour races for Porsche – raced at Le Mans, Daytona 24hr, Nürburgring, Silverstone, etc. While there, he found lots of cool little spots like this. So it was fun to return now that I am really into photography and try to capture some of its beauty.

Eze from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-01 17:01:52
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Floating over Mont St. Michel

New Passport Video – 10 minute tour of my new studio in 360!

What? You’re not a Passport Member yet? If you sign up, you get all kinds of goodies, including today’s video. I recently had my studio professionally re-done. I’ve just hung up a few photos. Come join me and see. Remember since it’s a 360 video, you can just drag it around to see in any direction.

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Daily Photo – Floating over Mont St. Michel

This was my second time to this amazing place in Normandy, but my first time with the drone. So I decided to make the most of it and was hoping karma would bring me a good sunset, and it did! 🙂 I alternated between taking photos and making videos. This amazing light did not last that long, so I did my best to get as many shots as possible. For a Zen guy, I was in a little bit of a panic mode!

Floating over Mont St. Michel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 21:06:29
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Breakfast Mimosas in Nice

New Technique!

I used kind of a new experimental technique with this photo… still trying to come up with something repeatable. When I do, I’ll be sure to share it here 🙂

Daily Photo – Breakfast Mimosas in Nice

This photo is kind of like yesterday's, eh? It's actually on the same coast, and the place we stopped just after leaving Barcelona. This is Nice, France. Our bus pulled in and stopped for breakfast. So I jumped on the net and Googled “Rooftop Restaurants in Nice” – always a great search! I do this in every city to find great places to take photos… Google is really smart now too because it tells you whether or not the place is open or not.

Breakfast Mimosas in Nice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-01 11:18:44
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Monet’s Garden in Giverny

Time to Re-Arrange my Portfolio!

I’ve not taken the time in the last 6 months to swap out my favorite portfolio images. I try to get in there every 3 months or so, but I’ve been too busy. I do very much enjoy the process. Most of you know that I keep my portfolio over on Smugmug – they’ve been great and are still the best.

If you go see my portfolio there, you may notice the top 100 photos or so will be changing in the next few days as I endeavor to re-arrange. I always advise this for photographers of all levels. Go in every few months and see if you have any new photos that get into your top 100!

Daily Photo – Monet's Garden in Giverny

When our bus pulled out of Paris on the way to Normandy, we decided to stop in Giverny and the home of Claude Monet. Since Monet is one of my favorite painters, I wanted to do my humble best to capture his garden pond and lilypads in all their glory!

Monet's Garden in Giverny

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 11:45:52
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

Karma Story

I’m a big believer in Karma, and when it doesn’t work out at all, I always find it humorous. Some of you may know I’m a beekeeper… I have about five hives and occasionally there are bees around the house or even in the house. One morning, I was making my coffee in the dark kitchen and I saw a bee slowly crawling across our countertop. Usually bees do this when they are exhausted and about to die. It was a pitiful thing, so I went to go get some honey and I put a bit on the end of a knife, and slid the knife close to the bee’s head. The bee was excited and crawled up to start getting some much-needed calories so it could fly back. I was holding my coffee, watching this whole thing happen, and thinking about what great karma I have, and then I spilled my coffee down my stomach and crotch! haha… just goes to show you to have good karma but not give yourself credit for it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

We had an amazing day in Mont Saint Michel. It was much too short, and I want to go back again to explore more… but I was happy to escape with a few shots! Here's one that I took right before I was about to give up and walk back to our bus. I was about to pack up my tripod but then turned around to see a bus coming toward Mont Saint Michel. I quickly set everything up to get a long exposure right as soon as the bus passed, hoping it would give some dreamy light streaks towards the old monastery.

Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 22:02:27
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time64
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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