BCN / X-Pro3 / Classic Negative

X-Pro3 / XF35mmF1.4

Back in October I flew to Barcelona with my friend Gabriel for a 73 hrs layover, the idea was to let go of work a little bit, shoot image and skate a little bit.
I ended up skating a lot and shooting a little bit, which, was fine as it got me moving and remembered me how intense skating is on your body.

Now flying with your best friend has it’s perks but also gets you mean looks from the other passengers, but really, wouldn’t you do the same for your friend or wouldn’t you appreciate it if it was you? Anyways I digress. We land at the airport and I move along with the crew to the shuttle. The in-charge shows us footage from the day before at the airport… Crazy riots. I don’t know what to expect when we get out… We get outside and all we can see is police with AKs posted at doors, crazy stuff. We get into the shuttle and to the hotel, all is normal. Gab decided to take a nap until dinner time as he worked all night, I only have 73 hours here so I head out to re-discover Barcelona (I’ve already been but about 10 years ago)

Came back to the hotel around 5pm to get Gab, we then headed out for dinner.
We hop in a cab an head to this place Gab and Omar knew and really liked. Tapas, sounds great right? I thought so too. We get there, crazy line to get in, we sit at the ”bar” area to wait. Gab and Omar order drinks, I don’t drink so i’m good I’ll just wait. The guy behind the bar decides though that I want water, i’m like ”aight cool”. I then see a water bottle and right before I can say ”nooooo” I hear the seal break and in my mind i’m just like ”There goes 5 Euros…” and I was right. We order food and nothing seems really appealing to me… ordered shrimps and potatoes… tiny portions, high prices. that was disappointing but life goes on. Omar’s friend who’s originally from Montreal but moved to Barcelona was with us and at some point went out for a smoke.
When he came back he was like ”WTF the streets a burning and people are running in all directions” we were like really!? But just kept eating and chatting. We finally came outside the restaurant…

We didn’t expect this to be honest, we were all kind of nervous, in an other country in the middle of a riot it was definitely getting the adrenaline going.
We stayed on the sidewalk close by the restaurant’s door in case we would need to find shelter. After about 10 minutes we got a little bit more (maybe a little bit too much) confident and started walking towards the fire. I was mindful to not get inside the crowds as I didn’t was to be mistaken for a protester having a camera in hand. Walking through the streets you could see down the road all the fires at every street corners, it was quite impressive.

Now this is where you realize how the media amplify stuff, we were right in the middle of it and never I was scared for my life or witnessed any violence towards people, what we saw on the news were isolated cases. For sure police eventually had to push people and people might’ve gotten hurt but what I mean is that it wasn’t dangerous being there. Obviously don’t walk right into it if you don’t need to but to give you an idea people were eating on the terrasses while it was happening, drinking their wine as if nothing was going on. finding a cab to get back to the hotel was a bit of a challenge but we got out of the epicenter and we were able to find one and get back just fine.

The next day we headed out to skate and shoot a little bit. Skated down the beach was definitely a good feeling. Using google map was a pain, we spent the entire day looking for MACBA (famous skate spot in Barcelona). We went the wrong direction a couple times but that led us to discover cool places so it’s all good. Got to bring out my skateboarding skills and feel again how it hurts to skate haha.

On our last day we went out downtown for dinner, around 10:30pm they got a call saying we needed to go back to the hotel for 11pm as we got transferred to a different hotel for our safety and to increase our chance to get to the airport the next morning. At that point we didn’t even know if we were able to get to the airport to fly back home as a general strike was planned and the airport was targeted for a riot. we were kind of bummed that we needed to go back and cut the night short. We hopped in a cab and headed back hoping to make it in time as the streets were about to be blocked with garbage in fire like every night at 11pm. We ended up making it and transferred to a hotel in the suburbs.

We woke up around 9am and decided to go out an explore the surroundings as we didn’t have much time since the shuttle would pick us up at 11am.
We got to the hotel pretty late the night before so we didn’t really see what it looked like. as we go out to the balcony we witnessed an incredible view.
We had to get out. Go dressed and went out for a coffee and sandwich.
This place (Sitges) was beautiful and we kind of hoped our flight would get delayed to the next day.

11 am came and we got into the shuttle, got close to the airport and we could see thousands of people marching towards the airport… We finally got to the airport and everything was fine, the airport just seemed very… empty. Got to the door and… it opened ! I was kind of relieved as I needed to get back home for work but most importantly I was missing my love. Flew back home safely to a bumpish flight. The trip was short, filled with action and amazing.

Titan Project – Different Breed

Back in August I was fortunate enough to work on an other project for Fujifilm Japan with Patrick Laroque. Now this wasn’t the first project Patrick and I worked on, we’ve done about 4 to date, from the first ever project I did for the X100F with him to this one, Patrick and I always clicked and seen eye to eye on the vison and direction of each projects.

From the first talk I’ve had with Billy he came up with the idea or the ‘’Technology overload’’ which I really loved from the start. We always have chats to brainstorm about the general idea, scenes and mood. We then move to a meeting between the 3 of us to kind of put Patrick up to speed and brainstorm further more. We wanted to film in Toronto to have a bit of a change of scenery and utilize Dundas and Yonge square as it has very bright LED Ad panels, kind of a mini time square, perfect for the opening scene.

Next step buy plane tickets and book hotel rooms.

I am not the type to make story boards, I guess i’m not organized when it comes to making videos… I have a general vison and kind of go with the flow but every time we are on se filming I start to get anxious about the quality of the frames and scenes. On previous projects I remember getting more confident as we shot and being like
”oh this shot looked so good” but on this one I remember always doubting and clips captured. We only had 2 days to film everything and the 2nd was looking to be a gray rainy day. I remember telling Patrick how I didn’t see it and he kept saying ‘’Don’t worry man we got this’’. The other part that gave me anxiety was that we weren’t sure about the format of the video; we didn’t want to redo a ‘’Precious’’ and we didn’t want to do the same style as the GF50mm video either and we definitely didn’t want to do an ‘’infomercial’’ video. I remember Patrick saying ‘’what if we do a video with no music and no narration’’ I just didn’t see it. I decided to forget about it and just focus on capturing scenes.

Once I got back to my room I decided to review the footage I had and started taking screen shots and putting word Under them to our share notes so that Patrick could start writing a narrative and help me visualize the final video. Patrick was stocked on the scenes so that gave me a boost.

The last day was very dull and grey and we walked toward our 2nd planned destination, the market in Chinatown. We got there and obviously it was kind of empty since it wasn’t really a nice day plus is was a Tuesday morning. We still filmed around got some nice scenes (some even made it to the Shibuya X Summit) and then it got to pouring rain. We went in a nice little restaurant in hopes that the rain would calm down a bit. After lunch it was still pouring so I called an Uber to Eaton center so we could do something until it would stop raining or time to head to the airport. While waiting for the Uber We manage to get some nice shots both stills and videos so that was a win.

We finally headed to the airport, our flight got delayed, then about 2 hours later our plane was there, we got in got ready to take off then oups, gotta go back, the plane is broken. I am kind of nervous to fly so you can imaging how many thoughts went through my head… didn’t feel like hoping back in a plane… anyways got on an other plane and… I’m still here, breathing.

Next Morning was editing time, my favorite part. Edited the spinning intro and I though it looked great, confidence boost. From there I usually go and don’t stop until the first draft is complete. I then at 2:53 am sent the first draft to Patrick, he was obviously sleeping. The bulk of the work was done but I still needed the voice over.

Patrick was still in renovations so he couldn’t have it done right away, it was killing me, I have a hard time leaving things unfinished once it’s started as I know I will have a hard time jumping back into it. But I did wait and I finished the video…

There it is.

It’s been a while…

My last post was about 2 years ago, did I stop shooting? No.
I’ve been working, travelling, shooting and living; mostly working though.
I recently bought myself a brand new iPad Air 2019 since I realized how great it could be to shoot images and edit them on the go.
While going through the app store I came across the WordPress app and it got back to me, I used to run a website / blog.
Downloaded the app, logged in and saw my posts… Flashback. 

Starting to post again might just give me that extra push to commit back to photo projects and let me dive back into what i’m most passionate about: Photography.
Now my passion never left me, I spend every minute on/off work looking, watching and doing things that relates to photography.
The missing piece is actually getting my ass off Youtube, stop watching people shoot and talk photography and go out and do it myself.
2 weeks ago, Gab and I went to Spain (Post to come) and it kind of got me back into shooting out in the streets ( and to skate again ).

I’m right in the middle of a show season, working both week and weekends so my boss told me to take days off during the week (Thanks Billy), so I decided to go out and shoot with my longtime friend Gabriel in my old neighborhood.
Street photography used to be most of what I was shooting but, now it’s been a while since I’ve actually gone out to shoot some.

Now there is no thread to this sequence of image, just pure randomness and fun.
Today was refreshing, I felt joy, excitement and freedom.
I might do it again 😉

GFX 50s + Godox TT685

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My GFX was on loan for a good while and now that I have it back and my Godox Flashes and trigger are up to date, it was time for some fun!
Driving 10 minutes from my house into the fields with my best bud Gabriel.
He’s usually the one I call when I want to go out and shoot portraits.

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See ya.

Across The Globe.

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Shot by Gabriel

For two years we (My girlfriend, Childhood friend Gabriel, his girlfriend and me) were supposed to go on a trip to Portugal. Gabriel works for Air Canada so we fly standby for really (I mean really really) cheap.
But flying stand by has it’s downside, you have to get on a flight that has empty seats and it could be challenging at time.
So a week before the leaving date, we look at the flights for Portugal.
All open to go but very tight for the return date. Gabriel and his girlfriend we working on the 22nd, 23rd so we had to come back to Montreal for that date.
We looked for other destination, Madrid was open, Berlin was trickier but was an option.
Then Gabriel said: ”Why don’t we go to Japan?”
For me the 13 hrs flight was a big turn off and in my head it would give us about 5 days so I was like… ”No”. So Madrid and Berlin was the choices and we were getting close to the departure date. We changed our money to euros.

Gabriel then came to my place the same day so we could look up everything and finalize our choice. We looked again at Tokyo and how many days we would get flying there.
We realized it would give us 7 days… That’s when my mind changed.
I was all hyped and it would only cost us 30$ more that Europe. So we settle for Tokyo. right after changing our money to euros!
I got to admit after Gabriel left I was thinking about the 13 hrs flight going and back and I was stressing. I love flying but being trapped for 13 hrs straight was bugging me.

The next day (Two days before departure) I had to do a round trip to Quebec city. I was thinking about the flight and realized I had a wedding to edit, that would keep me occupied for a few hours. Then on the way back I would edit my shots from the trip, I was hyped up and ready so I messaged Gabriel: ”Japan?”. he responded with:

”Yessir  13705243_10210543436881053_1470024574_n  13695743_10209582304931572_517604474_n ”

Then the same night we face time to finalize everything and he tells me he has a pass he will use that makes us pay what he pays and if there is seats we are automatically upgraded to first class… IT IS ON!

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We got to Japan and it was so humid, hot and raining. We knew it was going to rain but we didn’t really care since it ain’t a ”sunny, beach” destination but let me tell you it was HEAVY especially after a 13 hrs flight but we were in Japan!
We took the subway from Haneda to Asakusa and our first cultural shock kicked in when the subway stopped at the first station… Complete silence… you could hear a fly passing by.

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For the first night we stayed in Asakusa where our hostel was located. Walking around in the unnamed streets. An other shock hit us: The streets are so clean you could lick them.

 

Now this trip wasn’t a ”photography trip”, we were going on vacation to enjoy and visit not to take photos but I had to. So I was just snapping shots as we walked around trying to balance vacation/photos. I brought the X-Pro2 as my main camera and the X70 as a backup. After the first day I couldn’t stand my bag anymore so I went and bought a fanny pack to bring the X70 only with me. I ended up using the X70 for 90% of the trip.

Breakfest in Japan is different I guess… on the menu there was rice, beef and pork.
We also saw a meal that was kind of close to what we are used to with a sausage and egg but still rice and soup. I was fine with it. I love rice!

 

Finding your way around Tokyo is a real challenge. Gabriel and Lilla had they data plan so we thought we would use google map to find our way around but it seems that our data plan somehow didn’t like Japan because it kept turning around and it was a pain to use. We had to try to find by ourselves or ask.
Which brings me to an other shock: Japanese people are extremely nice.
We were looking for a Uniqlo (my new favorite store, we went to about 5 different ones in japan and brought unique stuff back :D) and the GPS wouldn’t get us there.
Annie then asked a random guy on the street, business dude going on the opposite direction. He tried to explain but his English wasn’t exactly on point plus the streets are so random it would’ve been hard even if he spoke perfect English. So he says ”Ok, follow me”. He then brought us about 5 blocks away to the store and just smiled, bowed as we said  thank you and left.

Tokyo is by far the safest place I’ve ever been to. I forgot things in stores / restaurants and people ran to give me back my stuff. Also an other interesting thing is that there a almost no cars in Tokyo. Everybody is walking, riding a bike or taking the subway.
The subway is an other amazing thing, it covers every possible places in Tokyo and has so many stations, it’s overwhelming at first. By the end of the trip we were starting to find our way around.

We visited the touristic attractions like the Tokyo tower, Skytree and Shibuya but also went to random places to walk around and shop. We also visited the Fujifilm Square in Roppongi which was awesome.

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Shot by Gabriel

The trip was unplanned but amazing. Lots of great memories and goodies brought back.
I will leave you guys on my favorite images from the trip.