Les Fleurs // Rennes Roundup #4

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    [Plentiful flowers by the cathedral and the park] 
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                [My delish froyo with strawberries and cookies on top from CupYou] 
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             [More pretty flowers by La Visitation] 
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                       [Marisa being one with nature] 
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                    [A little man who sells flowers by the organic store]
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    [Spring in full bloom in the Thabor]

       As weird as it is to say (or rather, type), this was my last weekend in Rennes for roughly a month! For this coming mini Easter long weekend, we are heading back to the Saint Briac beach-house to celebrate someone's birthday, and then next weekend is already spring break to the Basque Country with school, and then the islands! Being our last weekend in Rennes for a while, Marisa and I decided to walk around a ton and do our usual food place hopping. Friday night, we tried the *best* Mediterranean dinner place, and the owners were super nice, and the hummus was an absolute A+ from me. Thinking about it, we had a pretty low key night in preparation for a Saturday full of filming and exploring. Saturday, after first taking some pictures in the park, we walked leisurely in the bustling city, working to dodge the classic Rennes protests left and right. Meanwhile, we were going in on a bag of sour-gummy worms that Marisa had picked up, while reminiscing about just how quickly time is passing. Not even just in regards to our SYA experience, but to life and high-school as well. With my eye practically twitching from the sugar, we walked off the candy by going into random boutiques and boulangeries across town. 

Minus the mouth-watering froyo picture, these images were all shot on the same day, and so I'd conclude that it was a very floral promenade. During the fall and winter, the park as well as the town was rather drab, and the constant rain wasn't helping that either. I'm guessing over the past week they've added some more flowers + flower trees (?) like the ones above, and I've been loving it! I could not tell you how many pictures I took of these flowers....however, something I almost took equally as much pictures of was my cookie and coffee combo at La Kitchenette. We've been dying the try this small family owned café out for a while, and I'm glad we finally did- that cookie went above and beyond my expectations. Man, I do love a good chocolate chip cookie. Our night was finished out with a mini Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathon (which is now online!!!) and some bananas w/honey. #foodgoals

We definitely did many other things that I just can't remember, but have no fear- I've got a video in the works! I did a lot of filming this weekend, but I still am lacking some footage, so that'll be coming sometime soon! Watch this space for that and I hope you guys enjoyed these pictures!
xoxo Isabelle 

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Shadows

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Wearing:// Top: Aritzia, Pants: Boutique in Paris (Windsor Moto Pants), Cardigan: Aritzia, Shoes: Vince 

I'm not quite sure why I've never showcased these pants on the blog, considering how I've been wearing them TO DEATH lately. I've somehow amassed just about every type of pant in existence over the years, however I've never had a pair quite like these. I wore these moto-style pants often when we were prancing 'round Germany, despite lacking a belt and nearly having my JB moment come to light. I had a sort of rapper look going that I was not quite aiming for, and lets just say it was quite uncomfortable. However, these pictures are from the one weekend where I posted park pictures (belt on check), when the sun was in clear view and the French were soaking it all up. Contrary to today's windy flash-rain weather, I was able to walk around comfortably with just my go-to Aritzia cardigan- no giant winter jacket needed. I feel like I often discuss weather on the blog, however if you lived in Rennes, you would know that the weather and it's incertitude is a major topic of discussion. As the French like to say, "c'est comme ça", which means more or less, "That's just how it is". 

Unfortunately, not much has been going on lately that I can report! It's weird to think we got back from February break roughly a month ago, and this time next month it'll almost be my birthday! The thought of turning 17 in Europe is strange, because I can't exactly get my license while here and so it'll just be another birthday....however, I'll be spending it in Mallorca with my friend Marisa, so it'll be just a teensy tiny bit better than a normal birthday (I'm actually screaming on the inside). We just received our quarter grades, and while my grades are consistent and everything is going well in general, I will certainly welcome spring break with open arms. WIDE OPEN. Until then, I've got one week of school, a nice Easter long-weekend at the host beach-house, and then 4 glorious days until break! Here we go! xoxo Isabelle 

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How I Edit | Lost But Not Found

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 It's certainly no secret in the blogging world that when it comes to photography, the editing process is most important. While having a good lens and a camera savvy photographer is helpful, what happens post-camera is vital to creating a clean, quality photo. A while back, I was asked by a reader about how I take outfit photos and how I deal with my editing, and so here's the editing portion! If you guys are interested in the actual picture taking aspect, lemme know in a comment. And if you have any special editing methods, feel free to share that in the comments as well. Hope you enjoy! xx 

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       Obviously, the first thing I do once I've taken photos is put them straight onto my computer! Instead of deleting the reject pictures right on my camera, I do the "weeding through" process on my computer so that the data on my sim card doesn't get messed up. I'm not sure the actual technical explanation for that, but just try not to delete right on your DSLR. Something important to note is that I shoot in JPEG + Raw, which means that I have a camera raw and JPEG file for each picture I take. When I was in Prague with Nat Geo, I learned that shooting in Raw makes it A LOT easier to edit things like over exposure and dark shadows. This type of file essentially collects all of the data that could be known to your photo, thereby making it easy to correct the small but annoying details. If you're not really sure what I'm talking about and you're not a huge photography buff, it's totally fine to stick with JPG photos, but shooting in Raw will really help your editing game. (Here's a link that explains this better than me)

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         Once I actually have my photos on my computer, I import them into Lightroom, which is a branch off of Photoshop, but wayyyy way better. I used to use Photoshop for blog pictures (and iPhoto before that!), but I found that it made the process a lot more difficult and disorganized. On Photoshop, you can only edit one picture at a time, and once you exit the program, it's hard to go back and make more changes. Before going to Prague, we were required to download Lightroom, and I'm so glad we had to! This program is amazing in the fact that it organizes all of your pictures for you, it has tons of quick editing tools, and it's combines everything about Photoshop into a program that speeds up the otherwise interminable editing process. One thing that I love to do with my pictures besides play with the basic "Develop" adjustments is to use presets. Often, I'm displeased with my pictures, either because a) the lighting wasn't so hot or b) I'm not lookin' so hot either, and presets are sort of like a magic wand.  I've been using Julia Trotti's presets for a while now and they're probably the best out! When I had my old laptop, the majority of her presets were free and so I had all of them, but now they aren't and my old computer died, which is unfortunate. But they're definitely worth the investment if you're looking to get some new presets.  

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After I've gone through and made all of my desired edits, the exporting process is made super easy by using a "star system". On Lightroom, you have the ability to star pictures or rather "rate" them, so what I do is I rate the pictures I want to keep with a 4 or a 5, and then I filter my pictures by rating. When you get in the habit of doing this, you'll find that getting pictures edited and into a blog post is a lot quicker. You can also use this if you're editing two different sets of pictures, and use a 4 star, for example, for the good pictures for one group and then the 5 star for the other. After I've exported and named my pictures, I just upload to Flickr and I'm good to go! 

Hopefully you guys found this helpful and insightful! I think it's always interesting to see people's behind the scenes when it comes to blogging. Hope you have a good day! xoxo Isabelle 


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Printemps Teaser | Rennes Roundup #3

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      I'm not sure if this was the case everywhere, meaning across France or even across the world, but last weekend was a clear taste of spring and summer. When I was doing my daily "weather check" (aka sticking my arm out the window), I could instantly feel the warmth of the sun and I could sense the summer-like day that upon us. Just about every Saturday, I go into town with my friends, to either shop or eat, and I almost always pass through the Parc du Thabor for a shortcut. If you remember my "Rennes | First Glimpse" post from when I first got here, the Thabor had a plentiful amount of roses and other vibrant flowers that created such a beautiful landscape. Despite the Thabor being void of it's copious amount of flowers, while walking amongst the flocks of people, you could just feel the warm weather joy radiating. For the first time in months, I ditched my winter jacket for a light cardigan and my boots for slip-on sneakers. The restaurant in the park that has been closed for winter was open for business and the patio was looming with people. After walking around with my friend Marisa for awhile, we eventually sat on a bench for a few hours and quite literally soaked up the sun while people watching.

Unfortunately, this weekend the cold decided to come back and the sun went into hiding once again- however, last weekend will forever be Rennes's first taste of the quickly arriving Spring season. I swear I'll be saying this in every post until I go home to America, but I simply can't believe March is halfway over, Spring break is less than a month away, and I only have two months left. While this is a shorter photo set, I thought'd I'd share these pictures nonetheless. Last night, I got to thinking about how little time I have left, and so I am going to be a little bit more sentimental with each day that passes. Hope these pictures bring a little warmth to your day! xx Isabelle 

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Life in Color

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Wearing:// Dress: Brandy Melville, Cardigan: Aritzia, Jackets: Burberry Britt, Boots: Minelli, Hat: BDG at Urban Outfitters , Sunnies: Wildfox 

          During my time in Germany, a country once foreign to me, I was opened up to the reality that is; the world is much bigger than what meets the eye. Just throughout these past six months (crazy to say!) in France, I've been exposed to the world beyond the walls of temporary travel. It's different to spend the average 9 days visiting a new place than to actually become a part of it. Somehow, leaving America for such a prolonged amount of time has felt like a refreshing experience. Being plucked out of my comfortable environment and being forced to see the world in a different way is something completely immeasurable. I've always been a social media vicarious traveler, practically going on vacation with my favorite photographers and bloggers through Instagram. But actually going to travel and try to understand these places we obsess over on social media allows us to realize that no one has it better than others- everyone just lives differently. 

    When we went to Berlin, as I mentioned in my Berlin photo diary, I was completely smitten by the East Side Gallery. Each mural evoking an individual message from the artist, walking along the wall felt like a small fish in a big pond kind of deal. However, once I stumbled upon this mural, those feelings of inferiority were lifted, and the moment felt eternal. Sporting my new Brandy Melville trapeze dress and my wanna-be-grunge beanie, I was practically shivering -in style- whilst trying to soak up everything about this artwork. Every inch of this mural had a new idea to be uncovered, including that of the "around the world" picture that I put above. Being able to say I spent nine months abroad in what once seemed like a "magical" Europe but what is now somewhere where I've left my mark is something beyond what I ever expected. 

      I'm not exactly sure where that sort of reflection came from, but I guess that's what happens when you're sick! Just the other day, I was thinking about how I hadn't been hit with the cold or the flu this winter unlike my many classmates, and then it came my way yesterday. Being my typical self, I went to school to do a quick quiz and then headed back to my unmade bed, which I left waiting for me. Isn't that genius? In the mean time, I'll probably get caught up with The Bachelor and The Fosters while drinking some green tea, and then search for things to do over spring break! Hint: The Islands of Spain...I'll be back with a new post very soon! Happy Wednesday! 

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Strasbourg & Germany Video Diary

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        Hey guys! In addition to the photo diaries I consistently post after trips, sometimes I like to take a swing at videos- and Germany was one of those times! While I was busy taking photos, I didn't pay too much attention to capturing good video, so sorry if it is a bit all over the place! Nonetheless, I hope you like this video of my time in Strasbourg, Munich, and Berlin. I had a ton of fun discovering Germany, a country I had never been to, and this video captures some of the things I saw! If you want more in depth coverage of my trip, check out my recent photo diaries for more. Make sure you watch in HD and enjoy!

Strasbourg Photo Diary: http://bit.ly/1AQ8dph 

Munich Photo Diary: http://bit.ly/1E1NaVk

Berlin Photo Diary: http://bit.ly/1zZhYRJ 


                
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Berlin

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[The Reichstag building]
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["Berlin!" at the East Side Gallery]
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[A giraffe doing it's thang at the Berlin Zoo]
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[Posing it up at the American Sector at Checkpoint Charlie]
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[Midday by the TV Tower] 
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["Get Human" at the East Side Gallery- love these colors!]
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[With Heather and Olivia at the Brandenburg Gate]
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[Famous mural entitled "The Kiss" at the East Side Galley]
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[Bubble fun outside the Berlin International Community Church]
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         [A French mural at the East Side Gallery- "Art in the street, for each and for all"] 

     Despite having been in Berlin for the longest of all 3 cities we visited, I returned home only to have a small amount of pictures from this wonderful city. I'm not sure if it was because we were in and out of a lot of museums, I was busy looking around, or if I was simply trying to soak it all up, but it just sort of happened all so quickly. Compared to Munich, Berlin was a lot more spread out and had more of a spice to it. 

Walking around, you could feel a sort of "Berlin touch" to it that Munich seemed to lack. We began our Berlin adventures with a trip to the Holocaust Memorial, which was a series of large stone blocks that alternated sizes. And just beside it is the US Embassy, so as usual, we all got a bit too excited to see an American flag. After spending awhile exploring the area, we went by the Jewish Museum, which had a very perplexing set up in the architecture of it. In addition, the historical information was also presented in more of a light hearted manner. That same day, we continued on to the Brandenburg Gate, where we got a quick picture and proceeded to run over to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts, where I fulfilled my hazelnut coffee fix. The last thing we did that day was a trip to Checkpoint Charlie, where we made friends with the strange Polish guard. Plus, there were some more American Flags- meaning, we were yet again excited. Over the next few days, we spread things out a bit more, including seeing the Reichstag, attempting to climb the TV Tower but having no luck, and the East Side Gallery. Of the many things we did, many of which I didn't mention, the East Side Gallery was my favorite. Seeing the Berlin Wall has been something that has interested me for a long time, and this gallery combines the wall with art. As I walked along the wall, I couldn't stop beaming as I looked at the varied murals, all of which had their own messages that the artists had hoped to express. In addition to a unique photo op, the East Side Gallery is a funky place to walk around and take inspiration from. 

This post sadly concludes my photo diaries from Germany (with a video on the way). It's hard to believe that Winter break passed so quickly; yet we're all already talking about Spring break! Insanity. It's also crazy to think that it's already March, and all of the new students for next year have been notified of their acceptances. I've been messaging some new students about their concerns and it's weird to think that was me last year! Plus, senior year is creeping up on me awfully fast, and I'm not a fan. Well, I'm off to write an essay for Art History and then tackle some other projects that await me! xoxo 

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