Tag Archives: travel

Paris Mornings

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I know what it feels like to be up early in the morning, the way the buildings are colder and stronger, the way the steam dances out of the street and off the chimneys of roofs so pure and innocent, untouched by the pollution of the day’s bullshit and congestion. I love that peaceful handoff, the glowing clock of night dimmed and sleepy passing on time to the sunrise of day. The bar flies finishing the last swig of beer, drunkenly caught between yesterday and today, already smelling of tomorrow’s disasters, hazily lost in this seamless transition that has been happening for an eternity. How small we are. How worried we get around the details of our seconds and the price of the ground we stand on. Just look at the sunrise and you will feel like one lucky soul in a moment that is already gone, floating on a place we call earth, that little blue dot among a whole universe of wonder…

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Les Costans Hotel

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I am expanding my reach in France beyond my beloved Paris these days, first with Cannes then to Normandy. When we signed up for the Origins project that sent us around the world, I was thrilled to learn we would be going to the Côtes d’Armor region of France to a charming little town called Perros-Guirec, where we would find the natural origin of the Origins ingredient Crithmum. In between shooting on the Brittany coast and culture about town, we laid our heads down in this perfect little luxury boutique hotel with its rich history of being a school, a hospital, occupied by the Germans in WWII and back to being a hotel again, where the most important thing to do is sip your wine as  you watch the sunset over the bay. Les Costans will forever remain as beautiful a memory as the roses in the garden…

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Chapter 3: GHANA

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What an experience Ghana was. Waiting for the clouds to part outside the airplane window for my first look at this new land, I was filled with so much anticipation and, to be honest, a bit of anxiety for the unknown. Though I have been to North Africa and South Africa, they are quite Westernized, so I didn’t know what to expect from the Gold Coast.

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What we found was a truly eye opening experience: a different way of life, a different-looking way of life. The locals were quite beautiful. Void of many Western fashions, it was so refreshing and inspiring to see many of the men,  women and children wearing homemade African garb in bright colors and beautiful silhouettes. In the city of Accra where we landed, many of the day-to-day items were sold via an army of human concession stands walking up and down the lanes of traffic: water, socks, fruit, gum, bleach, nuts, towels – you name it, they sold it. The women would carry these large metal bowls on their head with the supplies stacked in giant pyramids, it was truly an amazing sight. Beautiful.

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DAY 1: We drove out of Accra along the coast to discover this region of Ghana and take in some of the cultural history that has affected humanity so greatly at such sites as Elimna Castle. I felt very fortunate as I hunched through the “door of no return” looking out on the aggressive ocean waves and the horrific fate of that horizon line for so many. To be able to tie together the motherland to the ancestors that I met only a few months earlier in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, the largest import city of slaves in the West, was very humbling and culturally fascinating.

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Chapter 2: AUSTRALIA

the wonderful world of Oz

When people who follow our Instagram met up with me upon our arrival back to the States the first thing they asked was, how long was the longest leg of the trip?… let me tell you:  thanks to an unexpected train strike, it started with a 7 hour car drive from the French coast, 3 hours at the airport, 8 hour flight to Dubai, 3 hour layover, then a 14 hour flight to Sydney. Somewhere over the Indian Ocean I woke up and had absolutely zero knowledge if it was day or night, yesterday or tomorrow. So I did what I had to do – had a glass of champagne at 32,000 feet.

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Day 1: There are perks to jetlag- we found ourselves wide awake so early in the land down under we were able to enjoy the sunrise over Sydney Harbor. One of the motion cameras Kevin packed was his RED Epic which he brought along for a beautiful time-lapse, a continuation for the video from France. Choosing the equipment to bring for a project like this took a lot of thought and planning. What is mobile and light enough to carry for hours? What will give us the ‘power of nature’ beauty shots? How much can we bring before we start getting weighed down since most days are travel days? I ended up choosing to bring the Canon 5DMark III for stills at ingredient moments and most of the behind the scenes images you see here. I also brought along my Leica M which I used in “off” times just hanging around my neck ready to capture candid moments along the way. I love the Leica for this because it’s small and lightweight and unobtrusive. I choose, however, to shoot the main ingredients and stories with the Mark III because it can shoot, focus and process images much faster.

We chose a Canon C300 as our primary camera and also used it to capture audio from our lavalier mics. The C300 turned out to be a perfect companion to the Epic, especially for it’s light weight and low profile and, with Canon mounts on both, the ability to swap lenses between the two.

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After Sydney woke up before our eyes we got busy with the girls on the hunt for two more natural Origins ingredients: Peas & Bamboo. Australia provides a perfect climate for growing these two edible plants, which makes sense feeling how incredibly mild and warm it was for what would be their “winter”.

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