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March 27, 2017

March 24, 2017

What is your escapist fantasy?



I am always amazed about how different people are when I ask them for their escapist fantasies.
- In the US, I am often shocked by the number of people that tell me "I want to retire next to a golf course", for example. - In much of southern europe and parts of Asia, I get a lot of "I want to spend more time with my grandchildren". - And then, there are all those people whose fantasies relate to shopping: "I want a sports car", "I want to inject silicon to parts of my body", "I want a flat on Trump Tower" etc And yours? What is your escapist fantasy?

March 17, 2017

Gold in the snow: the blooms of Winter Jasmine



Just when you need it the most, in the middle of snowstorms and glacial weather, the slender but tough Winter Jasmine, explodes with a shower of golden blossoms.

Let's take a look at this perennial garden favorite!

March 10, 2017

Frogs & Herons: their viewpoint in 360° video



This time of the year, little Alpine streams get crowded with frogs emerging from hibernation. Herons, hungry from the long winter, are having a feast.

So for my "Lesson #3 in 360° video", I decided to try to film from a frog & heron perspective: the camera would glide along the stream's surface, hop from stone to stone (like a frog) & then take off to a branch (like a heron).

Here are the things I learned:
- to do this, I had to use a selfie stick
- by using a selfie stick on a 360° camera in a gliding motion, I would be, of course, visible during the entire video (but a viewer could, of course, change their perspective to avoid seeing me)
- by distancing myself from the camera, its microphone would be dominated by the sounds of the gargling stream (the Ricoh Theta S does not permit an external mike)
- this means that if I wanted narration, I would have to edit it in later, with a video editor
- when I did, however, it "broke" the 360°-ness of the video, turning it into this weird thing: https://youtu.be/P8dHKr5SRkQ