What is Miriam currently wearing?

One day I got a phone call from a former workmate asking if I’d be interested in taking photos for her fashion blog. I was kind of blown away because most of my photography had been just a personal hobby and passion. Of course I tried to do something more with it a couple of years ago with my 2013 photo project and book without thinking too much about where it would go – it was just fun to do! While I’ve only sold a couple of books (so far), what was more rewarding was to realize that by getting other people involved with project encouraged someone else to follow their passion.

Miriam, one of the models in the November theme, started her fashion blog called ‘Currently Wearing – Chic with a positive attitude‘ which has been hugely popular within the Swiss fashion world and she even has a large and dedicated following on Instagram.

This ethical outfit now on Currently Wearing (direct link in bio). Hat and jumpsuit via @amafillech

A photo posted by Miri Ramp (@currently_wearing) on

While most of my photo gear is a mix of digital and film rangefinders and SLRs, I was glad to test out Miriam and her husband’s gear (the regular photographer) even if it was only for 15 minutes. I don’t own a Nikon so it was a pleasure to shoot with their Nikon D3200 and especially fun was taking the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1-1.8G lens for a spin. I used my favorite shooting mode on these DSLRs which is Aperature Priority where I can choose my aperture setting (blurry backgrounds anyone?) while the camera picks up on the shutter speed.

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If you’re interested in mix high-street fashion with luxury and vintage accessories from Swiss and African designers that’s unique, or as Miriam calls it “Afropean”, check out http://currentlywearing.com/.

Visiting ‘TOM’ in Lausanne

Every four years one city/country hosts the spirit of the Olympics. Probably not as well known is the fact that the International Olympic Committee lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, and with it the Olympic Museum, probably one of the best museums I’ve visited in Switzerland. A visit to the museum had been on my wish list since moving to Switzerland, but the museum was closed for renovations for a year or so and had only reopened in late 2013. I’m glad I waited because the exhibitions are engaging, the history is fascinating, and the images are inspiring.

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Yes hosting the Olympic Games has a high price tag and there are pros and cons to it, but when practically the whole world comes together to celebrate “Citius – Altius – Fortius” or “Faster – Higher – Stronger” (the Olympic motto) in an act of peace, it’s a wonderful thing. Pierre de Coubertin, the Frenchman who revived the Olympic Movement in the late 19th century following a ban by the Romans in 393 A.D. for being a “pagan cult”, adopted these three Latin words from the Dominican priest Henri Didon who first expressed the words in the opening ceremony of a school sports event in 1881. For Coubertin, it expresses the aspirations of the Olympic Movement not only in its athletic and technical sense but also from a moral and educational perspective. Want to know more about the history of the Olympics and can’t make it to Lausanne? Check out this interactive Olympic Journey!

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What better way to end the day visiting the museum than to visit the store and TOM’s cafe. Why “TOM”? I asked myself that during the whole visit and didn’t get it till we ordered lunch – TOM = “The Olympic Museum”… I guess I should have paid more attention. The cafe not only has a good selection of food (served until 230pm), but also has a great view of Lake Geneva and plenty of memorabilia from all the Olympics… now only if they would sell the place mats.

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Above foodie photo taken from this guy below who took a spin on a swing before getting to the museum.

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No snow = no skiing

You can’t be in Switzerland without going skiing. That’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past few months, but when it hasn’t snowed for over 5 weeks, it’s hardly tempting to go up to the mountains. But then again there are other reasons to get out to the mountains… three things come to mind – fresh air, surreal scenery, and exercise. The weather has been fantastic – the sun has been shining for the last few weeks and the temperatures have been bearable for outdoor exploration. So a couple weeks back we decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a hike around Saint Cergues, about an hour by train away from Geneva. It was nice to experience mountain-life in Switzerland, but it’s still winter and most of our 4-hour walk was trying to maneuver around icy paths and slippery slopes.

It’s interesting to hear people going for hikes or roaming the mountains quite often (i.e. randonnÚe in French). With well-marked trails, books, and maps to help the beginner to advance hiker, it’s worth a trip to the countryside… a very different experience than in Canada where outdoor life is more untamed.

Winter’s early arrival

Geneva is covered in snow. Starting last weekend and continuing to today, Geneva is being blanketed with snow. From yesterday’s prediction of 20cm to today’s latest dump, there’s probably about 50cm on the ground. As people keep telling me, it’s abnormal for Geneva, which sits in a valley, to get such a big dump of snow, especially early on in the winter season. An “Orange” alert was declared, bus and tram routes and schedules were disrupted, and the Geneva airport was closed till 2pm today. On top of that, more snow is expected. I spent most of my evening last night walking home because traffic was at a standstill – after a couple of failed attempts at riding the bus and tram, it was just easier to walk. At some point in the next couple of days the alert will be gone, but the snow (and slush) will still cover the streets… will Geneva, its sidewalks and streets be ready for ice and the havoc it brings? Aside from the craziness from snow and ice, I love the fact that it’s beautiful (and quiet) in the city… dress warmly and a snow-covered urban landscape is a joy to walk through.

Winters can be beautiful

It’s amazing how winter can be beautiful. The last couple of weekends in Geneva have been an absolute treat… the sun was shining and the temperature was balmy. With an average of 16C, the weekends were warmer than normal and that meant people were out walking, drinking, running, shopping, etc. – any way to get out to soak up the sunshine before the grey and dreary Geneva winter starts. It was as though the weekends were holding back the cold and rainy weather that we have been getting during the weekdays. Last weekend was especially excellent and I was happy to join a tour to go and visit the town of Annecy, about an hour train/bus ride south of Geneva into France. Other than the rude waitress at the train station and a small shouting match in French between our eccentric organizer and some locals, the day was a highlight so far in my 2-month stay in Switzerland.

You can find the photos of my trip to Annecy, France here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=573322&id=861805383&l=8c7102beab

RGB… and all the colors in between

Fall (aka autumn) is a beautiful time of the year… colors are changing, temperatures are dipping, and the air smells different. It’s been a while since I’ve really experienced a fall, and the up-coming winter for that matter. The hardest part of it all is trying to get accustomed to the cold weather – in the past five years the closest I’ve come to living in a cold climate was three weeks in Canada last March. But overall, the season is amazing especially in a place like Geneva. This quiet yet unique Swiss city sits in valley, along a lake and surrounded by mountains – some of which are starting get dusted with snow.

I live close to the Parc des Bastions, Geneva’s first botanical park, and it was busy with people a couple of weekends ago playing over-sized chess and checkers.

In wine country – Lavaux, roughly an hour north of Geneva past Lausanne, is a UNESCO world heritage site with amazing views from its vineyard terraces.

An amazing sunset after an unusually warm day from behind the Jet d’Eau, one of Geneva’s most famous landmarks.