mardi, novembre 17, 2015

TGV photo taking

In Sept, when we went to the open house for clubs and associations to sign up tennis lessons and karate lessons for the boys, I walked around to look at the other offers.

There was a photography club. I decided to sign up for their discovery classes. 7 lessons spanned over 10 months for 10€. I had been to 2 lessons and learnt how to use the aperture mode and the shutter speed mode of my camera.

During my trip in Florence, I focused mainly on using the aperture mode. To improve my skill with the shutter speed mode, the trainer organised a date to take photos of the TGV, the fast speed train that could reach 300km/h. There was a TGV track just 10 minutes drive away. We gathered at a car park on a foggy sunday morning and walked 100m to reach the best spot to have a clear view.

The trainer advised us on the settings to use and we waited patiently for the TGV. I had my lucky shots with the first train. Below are 2 of my best shots. Subsequent shooting of two other TGVs did not give good results. 

If the sun had cleared the fog away, the pictures would turn out clearer. But well, I am proud of my photos given that I am just a novice. 

At the end of the course, we were encouraged to submit photos for a competition titled 'Colors'. I have no idea what to present. All colorful ideas are welcome!

dimanche, novembre 15, 2015

Paris attack

At 8am yesterday, our new dining table arrived. I had just woke up and was writing the cheque to pay the delivery guy while asking 'Why did you arrive so early? Wasn't it plan for 9am?'. He replied 'We have deliveries to make in Paris and it is a complicated day.' Seb and I asked 'Why?'. The delivery guy told us to watch TV. There were several terrorists attacks on Friday night. We have no TV at home. I switched on my mobile phone and saw many messages from concerned friends and family in Singapore asking if we were alright. I was shocked. I cried though I had not seen the news yet. My worse nightmare had happened. Innocent people were killed and injured by terrorists in Paris.

I spent a good half an hour assuring friends and family we were okay on social media. Then I started to read the news on internet. Public areas were closed. However, I had to drive a friend who had injured herself to work nearby Paris that evening. I told Seb we would be careful. After all, we won't be in central Paris. I called up Denise. I was supposed to bring her son's bicycle to her tomorrow when visiting Palais de Decouvert in Paris. We decided to avoid Paris with the kids for the moment.
Since I had to wait 2.5 hours for my friend to knock off from work, I suggested to bring the bicycle to Denise. She agreed. In the end, we met up for dinner before dropping the bicycle at her place in Paris. When we were deciding what to have for dinner, Denise asked if I preferred to eat out or do take away. I told her I preferred to eat in a restaurant. Doing take away to her place and having to find parking in Paris was such a chore. She asked if I was not scare. I had not thought about it. What she asked was justifiable. Just the night before, diners were killed randomly. Though we felt safe in Boulogne-Billancourt, it was so near Paris and crazy people could be anywhere. We both agreed that we should not live our lives in fear. We had a good catch up over dinner. We talked a bit about the Paris attack. She used to go to one of the attacked restaurants often as she had lived in that area.

There are atrocities acts happening in this world. Not just in Paris on friday the 13th. Still, this hits so near home. I used to live nearby the Stade de France where three suicide bombers killed themselves. We have to pray for world peace. Not just for Paris. My next fear is division in this country where people mistrust Muslims. Not all muslims are terrorists. And I doubt this would be the last attack. This is a difficult period for France.