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FEBRUARY 20, 2022


It's very easy to become imbalanced in life. Usually, one or two things are enough - workload, relationships, the usual stuff. One of the legs you stand on becomes instable, and the rest follows. This semester has been just that - uni consuming a lot of time and destabilizing the rest with it. Less yoga, less photography, less running, less time for myself. The best medicine in this case are micro holidays. I don't need long, a day is enough. Just to breathe some different air, see some different looking squirrels. Here's the story of such a day.

The university here in Toulouse has a very active sports department, and this time around they organized a snowshoe hike. While I love snowshoe hiking, group sporting activities usually bum me out. I signed up anyway, just because I needed to get out, needed a day off, and finally wanted to see the Pyrenees. It turned out to be a good decision. We went to the Plateau de Beille, a relatively well known winter sport venue. Down at the parking spaces it looked horrible, busses full of children and many, many cars. However, once you left all the children's sports behind, it became very chill - only snowshoe hikers and cross-country skiers, and not too many of them. It wasn't a difficult hike, and not really towards a peak. We went up and down around the plateau, and got slightly below 2000masl. The Pyrenees are really impressive, very wild and mighty, and I loved being in mountains away from the Alps.

The group turned out to be a gold mine. I knew two nice people, and I met a couple more. The weather was similarly amazing, and I  think I recharged a lot of direly needed Vitamin D on that day. The sun down here in the South has a lot of power - most of the time, I hiked just in a t-shirt and a windbreaker. I knew it was going to be very bright and I wanted to take portraits of people, so I packed some Portra 160, and shot it at 80 ASA. This was the perfect choice. It achieved exactly that softness and that warmth that I love, while having the crispness and tangibility that adventure photography needs. Portra 160 is simply my favorite, with that and 800 I'm set for life. I'm really happy with the images I brought home - I feel like they belong in some sort of travel journal or something.

Sometimes, it's hard to get out of a rut. I hadn't really taken any good photos this year, and any attempts at writing had failed spectacularly (you can see some leftover clumsiness in this post). I'm patient enough by now that I don't let these creative downturns bother me too much - but it is nice to see it turn around. Since this day, I've read more, exercised more, felt more light and balanced. We need these days off, and I forget often enough.

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