Categories
Video

‘Talks with a Spy’

Talks with a Spy‘ is a YouTube channel created by Olivier Mas, a former member of France’s foreign intelligence agency, the DGSE.

Mas left the DGSE in 2017. He speaks in French. Some episodes are available with English subtitles. When he is interviewed, the questions are in English.

He covers topics such as top spy novels and films, the five best intelligence services in the world and how to recruit a source. All the episodes are first rate.

Mas also dedicates an episode to discussing how he sees Le Bureau des Légendes, my favorite spy TV series.

In addition, Mas has a book, written in French, and a website. A podcast is in the works.

If the world of espionage is of interest, this is highly recommended.

Categories
Photography

A Year of Covid

I made my first Covid image on March 14, 2020. It’s a photo of the beloved Avalon Theatre in Washington, DC. The Avalon, which opened in 1923, is the oldest operating movie house in the area. It remains closed but is offering movies for streaming during the pandemic.

Uptown Theater in Washington, DC closed during Covid-19 pandemic. © David H. Enzel, 2020.

A year later, I made this image on Capitol Hill. It shows the United States Capitol fenced off to protect our government from violent people while we all continue to wear masks to protect us from a deadly virus.

The U.S. Capitol is fenced off to prevent violence and people are masked to prevent Covid-19. © David H. Enzel, 2021

Where will we be a year from now?

Categories
Travel

Air France’s New Safety Video Shows Off the Best of France

And a quick look at how this stylish video was made:

Categories
Photography

Is There a Difference Between A Snapshot and a Photograph?

Peter Turnley is a great photographer. I admire his work. I have one his prints hanging in my home.

When I think of photographs of people, I think of posed versus unposed photographs. I prefer unposed photographs. Having said that, either posed or unposed photographs have the potential to reveal something precious and lasting about humanity.

Turnley accomplishes this way more than most photographers, whether or not his subject poses for the camera. That’s what makes his work special.

Categories
Photography

Lightroom Classic Reference Guide

Julieanne Kost of Adobe is the best Lightroom and Photoshop instructor I know. She’s just updated her free 33-page Lightroom Classic Tips, Shortcuts, and Quick Reference guide. It’s a concise PDF so it’s easy to search.

If you use Lightroom Classic this is a great resource. It’s amazing all that Lightroom can do. I don’t think any other photography software is better documented than Adobe Lightroom.

Categories
Movies

‘Ida’

Anna, a young woman training to be a nun in 1960s Poland is on the verge of taking her vows when she meets her only living relative for the first time and learns that she is Jewish and that her real name is Ida Lebenstein. Together they discover what happened to Anna/Ida’s family.

This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.

David Denby, The New Yorker

This jewel is only 82 minutes long and every moment makes good use of the viewer’s time. The story is one example of the decimation of Poland’s Jews during World War II. But in the end, this is not a film about Poland or the Holocaust – but about life.

The film, which came out in 2013, is in black and white. The places photographed are ordinary yet the cinematography is stunning. Each scene looks like a black and white photograph made by a Magnum photographer using a Leica camera. Łukasz Żal is a superb, young cinemaphotographer born in Koszalin, Poland.

Ida is played by Agata Trzebuchowska. Her character is sweet, innocent and beautiful. Her aunt Wanda – Agata Kulesza – is also a fine actress.

Pawel Pawlikowski directed the film. He was born in Warsaw in 1957. At the age of 14, Pawlikowski left Poland to live in Germany and Italy, before settling in Britain. In 2004, he directed My Summer of Love with Emily Blunt and Natalie Press.

This film touched me deeply and left me thinking for a long time about what’s important and what’s not. It is among the best films I have seen.