I believe that everything a person holds most beautiful in this world lies just behind the eyes. The light within. It tells the story of the soul, its joys, its sorrows, every little thing that we find hard to say with words.

Place Stanislas and Arch Héré, jewels of Nancy

Tourists taking photos of the Arc Héré
Tourists amazed by the Arc Héré splendour

Town square of Nancy, its famous Place Stanislas

France is always a great destination for a quick get away. And as much as I like the countryside, the classic architecture of the french cities will never let you down. Place Stanislas is a great example.

Especially relevant, traffic is very bad within the city therefore I suggest you find a parking spot before entering the city and take the bus from there.

Since 1983, the architectural ensemble comprising the Place Stanislas, the extension of its axis, the Place de la Carrière, and the Place d’Alliance, has been on the list of UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites.

 

Classic architecture at it’s best

place stanislas is a magnificent display of baroque architecture
The magnificent architecture of Place Stanislas shining in the summer sun

If you are lucky to arrive on a sunny day the payoff is full. The way light comes down on the imposing architecture tapped with gold and dark black leaves a mark on the soul.

If you are like me, to droll over a few pieces of great architecture is a must. Hence the town square of Nancy will keep your eyes flooded with beauty for quite some time.

Furthermore the Basilica of Saint Nicholas de Port is within 20 min drive from the city.

 

Gate Héré is where the square begins and ends

crowd under the Héré in Place Stanislas
Crowd of tourist and locals surrounding Arc Héré

 

After having done with the architecture, tourists can spend the entire afternoon with a drink at one of the many terraces along the square. People watching is another great option.

This glamorous gate is on the north side of the Place Stanislas and leads the way to the old governor palace. Now the seat of the Lorraine region’s government, still keeps the classic charm. In addition, before you walk out this gate, most noteworthy take a look on your right hand side.

Big queue outside Amorino ice cream shop in Place Stanislas
Big queue outside Amorino ice cream shop in Place Stanislas

Follow the queue.

You’re welcome !

 

Fanny enjoys an Amorino ice cream in Place Stanislas
Fanny enjoys her favourite ice cream in Place Stanislas

Winter Waves

Snow ski  GoPro and Poiana Brasov

So this year I finally went on to properly put to a good use my GoPro 4. And the place none other than Poiana Brasov.

In february I went back home to Romania to join my family for a ski holiday. We were extremely lucky with the weather. Six days in a row with no cloud in the sky. Once there I set up the GoPro with different mounts on my body. I wasn’t sure what to expect regarding the angles and POVs. The only mount that I didn’t use is the surf one, so to attached the camera on the ski itself. I tried with the suction cup but don’t ever do that. (this is how you learn)

I have two batteries for the camera, and keep an external power bank in the backpack to charge the used battery. I use my iPhone as a monitor. The down side of this is that you can’t properly check your footage if you shoot at high frame rates. That means every night I had to check the footage on the laptop and try to do corrections to the mounts on the next day. For memory cards I use two Sandisk extreme class 10 SD cards, 32GB and 64GB which support about 3 hours of footage.

This is the video that came after six days of lovely weather, good snow on the slopes and the trial test of a great action camera. Please feel free to leave your comments or any improvement ideas below or on the youtube channel.

The ultimate photographers backpack | LowePro Tactic 450 AW

A photographer’s backpack and shelter for the gear.

  After the camera, the second most important asset is the thing to protect your gear. Every photographer or videographer knows how important it is to carry as much equipment as possible when going for a shoot. The capacity of a van mixed with a versatility of a donkey is something that I would go for. But as a compromise and for more practical reasons we are left with a wide array of backpacks to chose from.

  A photographer’s backpack is something which to me deserves respect and consideration. It can make a huge difference in a bad situation, changing the way you feel from  where I bought mine when I went to Lisbon for holiday. After a few looks through the stores and reviews on the internet I got my eyes on the LowePro Tactic 450 AW. It was on stock in store at Jessops Oxford Street so decided to pay them a visit.

Built Quality

  Being a mountain man all my life I know a good backpack, I just never owed one designed to carry photo equipment. I was a kind of love at first touch as the material, stitches and top cover made a really good impression on me. So when I got this LowePro tactic on my back instantly I felt it was built to feel comfortable for long periods of time. The backpack it self it tough and rigid. The small top compartment has a case-like layer which can stand shocks really well. The shoulder straps and the inside part of the backpack are made with a sponge-like, breathable material so that it doesn’t go uncomfortable even after long periods of time.

The inside of the backpack is very ingenious because you can change the storage area with the supplied pads.

I even take it with me on mountain trips sometimes as a normal backpack, as  this one truly is a workhorse. See in in action on a ski trip to Poiana Brasov. The material is vey dense so that when I take it with me on streets of foggy London never had a problem. And for when it rains the LowePro Tactic 450 AW comes with a rain cover that you can pull from the bottom.

Versatility

  The most important thing for me when I was looking to buy a backpack for my gear was to find one that would suite a wide array of situations. I don’t want to have a bag for every occasion. I want a backpack that is big enough for camera, lens kit, batteries, GoPro 4 at times, and even my tripod at times. And still be comfortable enough to keep it on my back for a full day. And why not, even space for a bottle of water. And maybe keys and other small possessions, but not in the same place with the gear. I know, I too thought I was crazy to think I can find something like this. But somebody had the inspiration to design the LowePro Tactic 450 AW. And after using it just a couple of times you understand that it is a product with a very specific type of customer in mind.

Value

After more than a year and a half of using the LowePro Tactic 450 AW I can only say it is worth every penny I payed for. The price of 250$ might make some of you to have second thoughts about purchasing it but when I think off all the times it kept my gear protected gives no space for second thoughts. As always, you get what you pay for.

 

Conclusion

  After a long period of time in which I’ve put my LowePro Tactic 450 AW to the test I can conclude that it is a workhorse. Not so often it happens to me for a product to leave such a good impression. I can only thank myself for not settling for less. Spacious, rough, neat look and construction plus the versatility make the LowePro Tactic 450 AW the ultimate photographer’s backpack.