This is how I [blog] roll

Since I started blogging, I have never shared with you how I was keeping up with all the news. I have basically 2 tools:

  1. As Greg recently reported in “The holy trinity of blogging”, WordPress is an amazing tool in itself. If you like, comment or follow I will always visit and most likely like, comment or follow back. I find it easier to connect with people on WordPress that have enabled the social features.
  2. To WordPress Reader, I prefer a RSS Reader. In the past I used Google Reader, but since his unfortunate death, I have moved on and now uses NewsBlur. I currently have more than 100 feeds that I defined as Photography but it’s only one of my categories (read I have way more feeds :D)

I use Newsblur daily, WordPress Reader almost weekly and time to time twitter, instagram or tumblr as a complement.

I have 2 rules I follow:

  • I will follow you if you post great material (tutorial, pictures, interesting opinions…) on a regular basis (as my number of feeds is unlimited I’m pretty loose on the regular definition..The better the material the looser I will be). Most of the time I will follow on WordPress first and if I keep coming back, I will add you as a RSS feed to be sure to not miss anything you post
  • I will not follow people that don’t post original content. If you post pictures, I’m looking for your pictures not somebody’s else. If you happen to post somebody’s work on occasion, I will look for the credits.

If you need help with RSS feeds don’t hesitate to contact me, I truly believe it is a world changing tool.

If you believe I should follow you too (or someone you know), don’t hesitate to leave a link in the comments and I promise I will visit it.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Bane Wants Candy

I’m looking to do more composites in the future and I thought that the below picture was an interesting starting point as there is some kind of an empty space on the right side.

People at the Fete ParadisoI wondered who she could face and thought that Bane was a good opposite.


Here’s the Bane I used for the composite.

Here’s the final result.

Bane-Wants-CandyI think Bane could have been bigger but I think it could have made him less human. My main goal today was to do a quick selection and integration and I learned some actions I will most likely reuse. After all my last “composite” was this one. My biggest issue though was the difference of focus (she’s softer than he his) but I didn’t manage to find an easy solution. I guess that the best is to plan for the composite in advance.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Liebster Award: My First Nomination!

Don’t think I have ever been nominated to anything before, so I’d like to thank Jenn from Overcoming the Odds a lot for this!

Liebster Award

Here’s the rules for this awesome honor:

1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Here are the 10 questions from Jenn and my answers.

  1. If one movie could describe your life – what is it? What are the elements of this movie that remind you of yourself? I don’t think that there is today a movie that would describe my life and if there was I’m pretty sure it would be a very ordinary movie. I wish it was a blend of Dance with the Wolves for the loner discovering the beauty of the unknown, Fight Club for the split between what I see and what happens and Blade Runner as I want to see myself as a “Badass”.
  2. What are your biggest pet peeves and how do you react when faced with them? I have some issues with people that are never on time for meetings. It is a courtesy for everyone involved. If I’m faced with such people and am the leader I will adjust my starting time with their usual delay 😉
  3. What is your favorite day of the year and why? What do you do on that day that makes it special? The 17th of October as it is my wife’s birthday. I’m very lucky to be with her and I try to make her day special by going to fancy restaurants, gifts and a written letter usually.
  4. What is your biggest dream you are still striving for? I would love to spend more time with the wife and travel more. It may be cliche but with all the places we want to visit, it may be easier to take a sabbatical and a do trip around the world.
  5. If you could travel back in time – what era would you want to live in or experience? Why? I always wonder with these questions if we retain our knowledge we have today. Can you imagine if you could travel to Middle Age with all your science? You may look like a warlock or witch because you know how to make a match or understand electricity or predict an eclipse. I would love the European Renaissance (if I was among the nobles) to meet the famous artists. If I had to pick one time, I may choose the Rush to the West and bring along some kevlar with me. I would love the idea to discover a land and make it mine.
  6. Who is it that inspires you the most – famous, or close, anybody – and what is your message for them? Celine, my wife. I love you and owe you more than I will be able to repay you.
  7. What would you do if you came face to face with a person you’ve always wanted to meet – living or passed? Who is that person and what would you say? I’m going to exclude dead people and fictional ones as there is 0% chance they will stumble upon that post and invite me to meet them. I’ve already met with Morgan Spurlock thanks to Lyly from Choup and Lyly and it was an incredible experience. I think I’d love to meet the Dalai Lama, ask him if I can take a portrait and the meaning of life.
  8. Describe your motivations in blogging and how they have changed – if at all. Long ago I was blogging with Celine to keep a trace of our roadtrips around the USA. Nowadays I blog with photography in mind. I’d like my pictures to be seen (and why not sold) and some of interesting links to be seen by more people. I realized after 8 Long Exposures or so that I was basically only writing for myself, so I changed my posting and only post when I feel like.
  9. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? What makes you so? I am an introvert and I don’t think anyone could tell you otherwise. I love empty landscapes, silence and could spend days at home with the wife and cats without anyone else.
  10. What’s your favorite weather condition? I prefer cold to warm weather as I think it’s easier to adjust to cold. I like a little rain as it keeps me quiet and thinking but I prefer snow above all. I don’t like it when it snows as the snowflakes and wind don’t make for a good combination in NYC, but I do like when the white snow is there. It’s pure and peaceful but you know it won’t last.

Here are my 10 nominees, hoping that they have not been tagged already. I tried to use WordPress as much as I could. I just realized that most of the people I follow have way more than 200 followers so I will have to remove that condition unfortunately. I wanted to share what I read and people that were active. I do apologize for the ones I left out of this list. I hope I will be able to correct this in the future.

  1. Celine Ruffino’s Blog : My lovely wife with her amazing pictures.
  2. Greg Urbano : A photography blog that I discovered recently
  3. Feet From Shore: Yael is a spanish photographer that lives on the West Coast. I really like her pictures and her texts are inspiring
  4. Morgane Byloos Photography: Great pictures and a lot of challenges to participate to.
  5. Dina’s City Wildlife: Lots of nature shots and birds.
  6. NikitaVdV: Nikita shots often big cats and does great commercial work in my opinion. Wish her the best.
  7. Jmn Artsy: I discovered Janina with Celine while running PhotoblogChallenges. She has usually strong point of views.
  8. SFoxWriting’s blog: Steven is from London and very active on his blog. It can range from pictures to poems to articles to polls. I read it daily
  9. Louise Fryer Photography: I love her moody shots.
  10. I showed you: I started the list with my wife and I’m going to end it up with my dear friend Christine.

Here are the 10 questions I wish I could get an answer to.

  1. Did you make any resolution for the new year? If so can you share some with us?
  2. If your secret identity were to never be revealed, would you be a hero or a villain? Why? (bonus question what would be your Hero/Villain name?)
  3. Are you close or distant to your family? Do you wish it was different?
  4. What is your favorite time of the day? Why?
  5. Coke or Pepsi?
  6. Cats or Dogs?
  7. What is your most cherished memory?
  8. Do you wish upon a star? If yes what do you usually wish for?
  9. What is the place in the world you’d like to go to (or back to)? Why?
  10. What is the question you wish I had asked? How would you have answered it?

Hope you will answer back to this nomination!

By Sebastien Grobelny

Welcome 2014!

First and foremost, I wanted to wish you, dear reader, an Happy New Year. May your wish come true and your endeavors be successful. May you and your loved ones stay healthy.

Celine and I came back  in one piece from our long trip around France (3684km in 4 driving days). We are sick but very happy to have made the journey and discovered the families and the past of each other. We came back as one of the last flights before the snow storm shut down the airports. We scrambled a bit with the luggage: we came in with just one big suitcase slightly under 20kg but came back with close to 46kg due to all various gifts we got. Among the photography gifts in no particular order:

  • Celine’s mother printed and framed 4 of our pictures. This one and this one from Celine and this one and this one from me. Thank you Adeline, can’t wait to hang these!
  • For my birthday, Celine offered me the 1.4x extender. Can’t wait to try it!
  • My father’s old equipment. The sound of the mechanics is astounding, I can’t wait to put a roll in it.
  • Arts and photography books for all year long 😉

I wish the best to Celine for this new year and highly believe in her. I hope you will find your way love! I’m glad and proud of your choice of letting PhotoblogChallenges go and hope people will flock to your new site! I hope you will get more time to expand your photographic horizon and do stuff you love.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Once more with feelings – Manhattan skyline

I was pretty proud of my recent picture of the Manhattan skyline below.

Manhattan Skyline… and thenI had an interesting discussion with Celine about the role of an editor (thank you!). I tried to apply her directions and comments to a new version. Let me know what you think about it.

Manhattan Skyline - HDR - Cinematic By Sebastien Grobelny

Winner Winner

4PM  Update: For the first time ever I am one of the spotlight from Aminus! I had spotlight colors in the past (but not for a long time) but never a spotlight spotlight! \o/

I’m no rock star and am not ready to sell my soul in order to gain a following.
I hope that by posting quality posts often enough, people will be compelled to come back on a regular basis and over time will provide feedback and comments to what they loved or hated, what they would like to see.
One thing I do though is use all the tools at my disposal to try to drive traffic here.
As such I recently discovered and have to admit I love the idea.
You register there and your pictures are displayed in their feed if you did the proper set up. People then can vote for your pictures. I discovered a lot of great pictures already and I try to vote as often as I can.
I just won the photo of the day on the 10/08 with the shot below from Monument Valley.

Monument Valley during golden hourCeline topped that “win” in a hurry by winning her first ribbon ever on DPChallenge with this gorgeous picture of our cat Pixie. Congrats love!

Pixie by Celine Ruffino

Update of 4PM : For the first time ever I was part of the spotlight from Aminus!

By Sebastien Grobelny

Into Darkness with a poll!

It may come as a shock to some of you, but I’ve never seen a Star Trek episode growing up. I was more a Star Wars child and even though I watched shows like Stargate and Babylon-5, I’ve never watched a Star Trek episode. Sure, I knew who Spock and Kirk were, what the Enterprise looked like, that the Klingon were the bad guys but not much more.
I discovered Star Trek very recently with the J.J.Abrams movies and enjoyed it.

Below is a video of how the last title sequence was designed.

And you, are you more Star Wars or Star Trek? (If you have the opportunity I suggest you have a look at Fanboys.)

RC Pilot

For some time I have this toy in my Amazon wish list:

It’s been a long time since I had an RC car and I never piloted a flying object. This one is very appealing to me because it can be controlled from iOS or Android while shooting videos and taking pictures.

I feel very small though compared to the players below. Enjoy!

Free as a bird

Do you remember the first job you ever wanted to do? I don’t think I ever wanted to be a cop or fireman. I wanted to be “like dad”, then an engineer when I understood better what he was doing (but still didn’t know how many types of engineer there were). Some people imagined me as a banker, others a priest but before all that, I wanted to work with birds.
I had books with pictures of the birds. I could recognize a couple of birds and their eggs.

Small or big, to fly is to be free.

Hope you will enjoy this video from Earth Unplugged

Toy Story

Anthropomorphism is giving human attributes to everything that is not a human being.”

Have you ever looked at a wall socket and thought it was smiling at you?
Seen a face in a cloud?
Heard your pets thoughts?
Attempted to check if Toy Story was fiction or reality?
Do not worry, you’re not alone.

Santlov is bringing the concept to a new level and if you ever wondered what Joker does in his down time or  what does a trooper eat, you should like his site. Can wait for Robot Chicken tonight!

Special thoughts for Celine : you should love this guy!

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