Welcome! (In Tziganie…)

It’s been a while but I’ve had a lot on my plate just recently – what with the preparations for our Marathon Photo, and a new workshop for school kids, it’s been all systems go. To top this off, the annual Welcome in Tziganie festival was this weekend – three days of gypsy music (and photographs!)

Welcome in Tziganie – 2017 – Day 3

This was one shot I was particularly pleased with – this is Stochelo Rosenberg one of the worlds top jazz manouche guitarists – he played with a group with two of my friends, Yannis Constans (guitar) and Camille Wolfrom (double bass). I wanted to try to convey the fact that the important aspect was this mans hands – I think it works.

This is the main tent set up in the ‘arena’ at Seissan – the first night was completely sold out (over 3000 people present) probably due to this man…

Welcome in Tziganie – 2017

Goran Bregovic played his only French date for this year – and was well appreciated.

A good festival this year, photographically speaking, but I can’t help feeling that a few more dancers would have helped – these kind of bands can be incredibly ‘static’ and someone like Nuria Rovira Salat would have really got everyone going. Apparently there’s a rumour that she’s being invited for next years festival…

See what I mean! This was from 2015

Nikon D7500

« You don’t actually need another camera body, but here’s one anyway » say Nikon.  Add this one to the other 14 digital reflex cameras listed on their web site – three ‘pro’ bodies, and the rest. Some would say this was more than enough – but visibly not Nikon as today they announced the D7500 – a ‘prosumer‘ body using the same 20.9 MP sensor as the professional D500

Looks like any other Nikon camera to me. It has a tilt screen and all sorts of other ‘useful’ stuff (although, strangely, only one memory card slot…) which will no doubt get the ‘fan boys’ sweating.

However there are a few very  retrograde steps too : no AI feeler for older non CPU lenses, no electrical contacts for an accessory grip, a single card slot etc. which all make me think that this is aimed for a strictly amateur market.

Whether or not all the updated gubbins is actually useful or not rather largely depends on the photographer,  but I feel sure all the forum squatters who know everything about everything (but who rarely actually make pictures) will be singing it’s praises before too long, and of course criticising all the really useless stuff that Nikon have decided not to include.

For some very strange reason the advertising blurb from Nikon makes a lot of the fact that the camera can shoot at 8 frames per second. What possible use this could be to 95% of users, I simply cannot imagine. This seems to be a trend dating back a few years now – the importance of the frame rate – but who actually uses this rubbish? Most of what we see in terms of images on the photography fora is total nonsense anyway – will shooting it faster really help?

The new body is made of a Carbon Composite which reduces weight, which I suppose is a good thing – although I sometimes have doubts about extensive use of plastics…

The release of this new model fits into the renewal sequence of the D7*** series, the D7000 – 2010, the D7100 – 2013, the D7200 – 2015, then we skip the D7300 and D7400 to arrive at the D7500.

*Prosumer – this is a model pitched to be between the ‘amateur’ and ‘pro’ range of camera bodies.

Weekend Wander

As the weather was so wonderful this weekend, we decided to do a ‘randonnée’ in the local countryside – armed with our new book of country walks we chose to visit Boular, about 30 minutes drive from Auch.

Had a lovely walk in the countryside, on the most amazingly well marked route.

We had chosen a ‘Petite Randonnée’ so our markers were in yellow – all very organised!

Here are a few images:-



It seems that there has been an increase in the number of false ‘I.Grandjean’ recently. Luckily, La Dépêche realised and made a point of underlining the fact that the most recent expo of images for the festival Welcome in Tziganie was done by THE I.Grandjean, and not one of the many fakes – phew, thank goodness they noticed.

Full ‘Pink’ Moon tonight

Well it’s all in the title really. Tonights full moon is known as the Pink Moon even though it probably won’t actually be, well, pink.

It’s known as the Pink (or Grass or Egg) moon due to the fact it coincides with the flowering of an herb called ‘Moss Pink’. In the Southern Hemisphere, where’ it’s not autumn, it’s called the Hunter’s Moon, according to EarthSky.

So, out with the tripod tonight…

And here’s what I managed:

Welcome in Tziganie 2017

The nice folks over at Welcome in Tziganie ( which I’ve photographed for the past 4 years) have decided to show a retrospective of photographs for this the 10th Edition. As it happens, the 26 images chosen were all mine…so they blown them up and printed them on huge plastic sheets which will be exhibited during the festival the weekend of the 28th-30th of April.

Until then they are on show at the Mediatheque at Seissan, and the Office de Tourisme at Masseube.

Must admit they’ve done a good job making them BIG.

I’ll be covering the festival as usual, for the fifth time this year – look out for me!!

Different viewpoints (2)

I find it interesting how one’s background or general feeling can influence how one ‘sees’ an image. Take this one, for example:

This is one of several circulating in the French press and on television at the moment. It depicts French presidential candidate François Fillon being flour bombed as he arrives for a political meeting.

I’m pretty sure there are two basic camps – the pro-Fillonists who decry the needless savagery and the anti-Fillon who are thinking « Yessss! »

I’m also pretty sure I’m in a strict minority when I find myself wondering how much it’s going to cost to clean the Nikon 24-70mm zoom lens in the foreground of this image !

Short Memories…

More news from Donald « My hair was like this when I bought it » Trump :- he’s decided to bomb the s*** out of the Shayrat airbase in western Syria from which  a chemical weapon attack had been launched by the Syrian president Bachar el-Assad a few days ago. It seems he had been ‘upset’ at news reports showing young childrens bodies, killed by sarin gas.

I think this is all very laudable etc. but I can’t help thinking that this response is several months too late – it would seem that the pictures of adults and children blown apart by bombs didn’t have any effect on the ‘people in power’, who are visibly far more worried about pissing-off Vladimir Putin than preventing a dictator wiping out his own people.

All waste of life like this is beyond comprehension, but an ‘expert’ interviewed on French television yesterday made, in my view,  a very pertinent remark – if it came to dying in less than 10 seconds in a sarin gas attack, or being blown up and being in pain for hours while awaiting treatment than might never arrive, for him at least the choice was not difficult to make.

Well that makes my life easier…

It seems I now don’t have to fret about when I can visit the United States – under new proposals, tourists from Britain and other countries visiting the US could be forced to reveal mobile phone contacts, social media passwords and financial data under “extreme vetting” practices being considered by the Trump administration, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Makes my life a lot easier – I just won’t go.

According to a report in The Guardian, US homeland security secretary John Kelly told a House homeland security committee hearing in February: “We want to say for instance, ‘What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords,’ so that we can see what they do on the internet. If they don’t want to give us that information then they don’t come.”

(Like any self respecting terrorist is going to travel with a phone full of sensitive information…)

Great – call me when you come back to your senses. Until then…bye bye.