Photography is an itch that won’t go away…

No matter how much you scratch…

North Africa, circa 1961

I think that I really got into photography when I first did my stint in the French Army. I was sent overseas, and I found it difficult to describe what my fellow grunts and I went through during that time. Fortunately, I had the foresight to purchase a small camera before my departure, and the few snapshots I managed to take while in North Africa, better described how we pulled through during that year.

It was a small, unsophisticated point-and-click camera, but it was just perfect for its purpose. Most of the time I would not have the luxury to make any adjustments (and there were none) before taking a picture. I quickly grabbed the camera from under my fatigues, snapped a rapid shot, put the camera back under my jacket, and kept going.

The bug that I caught during that period changed my life forever.
Today, six decades after this period, I am still madly photographing everything everywhere. With a better camera of course, but still driven by that uncurable bug.

I am not a professional photographer and I know very little about the technical aspect of that art.

“Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.” Martin Parr

It is for that reason that recently, I bought a compact, extremely sophisticated camera. The Lumix DC-ZS200D is a little marvel that can do almost anything… providing that you set it properly. But again, when I take “candid” shots I don’t have the time (or the knowledge) to instruct my camera on what to do. It is for that reason that I mainly shoot in “Intelligent” mode. When taking a shot, I let the camera decide what’s best and I am pretty sure that most of the time it knows exactly what to do.

This does not mean that I did not bother at all with the instruction manual. I went through its 307 pages, probably without understanding half of them. My philosophy is “learn as you go”. I will go back to the manual each time I have a question.

It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

 Exactly, thank you, Henri. Eye, heart, and head. A good shot has an extremely brief lifetime. It lasts a fraction of a second, and you must be ready and quick to pull the trigger if you want to capture it. The camera is important, but above all, you are the boss. It is your eyes and your quick reaction that makes a good picture. Let technology do the rest.


Dreaming of a sister

I always dreamed of having a sister… For I often heard that “sisters make the best friends in the world.” Regardless of one’s marital status, everybody needs a bestie, a confidant with whom you could share secrets, confidences, gossip…

Life is notoriously unfair. You seldom get what you wish for… and there is very little that you can do about it… But wait a minute… «Impossible n’est pas français,» Napoleon said it, and I have to believe it.

A few decades ago, a lonely soul looking for a mate, decided to do something about his/her predicament and started an Online Dating Site. It was much pooh-poohed at the outset, but today it is used by every Tom, Dick, and Harriet. Never laugh at impossible things because today everything is possible. Who would have ever thought that man could fly?

Why then not start an outfit that would cater to people looking for family substitutes? A brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, or grandparents? It would benefit everybody… And I am even willing to bet that these substitutes would often work better than the originals. No hurt feelings, no jealousies, no inheritance problems…

Husbands come and go; children come and eventually, they go. Friends grow up and move away. But the one thing that’s never lost is your sister.” Gail Sheeny

Yes, I could definitely use (or be used) by an artificial sister.

Today, nothing is impossible. You have to believe it. Presently you can get a new nose, new boobs, a sex change… with nobody none the wiser. Even absurd ideas can come true. Who would ever have thought that a “pet rock”, “bikinis” or a Trump candidacy could be successful ventures?

So how would it work? Elementary, my dear Watson! It would operate like a dating site. You would meticulously specify what you are looking for, and Artificial Intelligence would deliver the perfect candidate for the job.

Now, it is understood that there would never be any hanky-panky. Everybody would comprehend his/her role and play strictly by the rules. This new partner would be your “consigliere”, a friend who would serve as a confidential advisor to resolve family problems.

How does that sound? Far-fetched? Implausible? Ridiculous? Do not judge, and you will not be judged, and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon and you will be pardoned.”

If you think that you are sister material, please let me know and apply for the job.

Thank you for your attention.


LPM Select Doubles

Yesterday, after weeks and weeks of torrential rain, the sky kind of cleared up and allowed us to hold a long overdue tournament. Forty (40) people showed up for this Select Doubles event and by 9:30 am things got underway.

At this point, I would like to recognize Ann Krilanovich for the tremendous job she has done in promoting our sport. Yesterday she brought along fresh-faced Bek Smith to our field, another one of her countless recruits, and she deserves to be acknowledged for her contribution to our common good. Ann, we salute you.

Since my shooting days are over, I secured a few weeks ago the partnership of Bernard Passemar for this tournament, and I felt confident that with his assistance we would do well.

As usual, I brought my cameras, but left the large one in the trunk of my car, to be used in the afternoon, after our elimination from the tournament.

Three games were played in the morning and even though the field was still wet and rather difficult to handle, we managed to win 2 games out of 3.

In the afternoon, we found ourselves in the Concours and managed to win our 3rd game of the day. So far, Bernard and I played rather well, and I felt that we could retire honorably from this tournament even if we lost the next game.

But the capricious Gods on Mount Olympus saw it differently. They allowed us to win another game, and another game until we reached the Finals. So far, we stood with 5 wins out of 6 under our belts, and regardless of the final results we were content.

In the Finals, we faced two heavyweights, Louis Toulon, and Ed Porto and I thought that it would be a challenging game, especially when we played on a different (still very wet) surface.

The game started rather poorly for us, and at one time, our opponents were leading 6 to 2. But we didn’t lose faith and managed to rally. Bernard played extremely well and managed some great defensive shots.

At this time, I didn’t have much of a chance to take many pictures, but I managed a few between games. When we started playing against Louis and Ed, I gave my camera to Tamara and asked her to fill my shoes. Photograph the action I told her and make me look good regardless of what you see. Capisce?
So the last phase of the tournament was photographed by the One and Only Tamara.

Ultimately, we lost the final game 8 to 13, but by all accounts, we lost honorably. By 6:30 pm it was all over, and Tamara dragged me to the car and put me to bed where I slumbered for approximately 10 hours.


1st place: Louis Toulon & Ed Porto
2nd place : Bernard Passemar & Alain Efron
3rd place : Peter Wellington & Adair Hastings


1st place: Tim Wetzel & Holly Sammons
2nd place: Noël Marcovecchio & Shama
3rd place: Ted Bissell & Mike O’Leary


Click on “My photos” to watch the pictures

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