Abbaye de Vauclair

Abbaye de Vauclair Imperiale. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

I’m pretty sure everyone reading this blog has been impacted, one way or the other, by the pandemic. It seems to have taken over our lives, and one cannot switch on a TV, read the news, or log into any social media platform without this thing popping up everywhere. Not to mention how our daily lives have changed in a matter of days. At present we’re stuck in mandatory quarantine because a student in one of my classes tested positive last week. So things changed rather abruptly over the weekend.

However, other than having to field more queries than ever, my work hasn’t changed that much. Sure, I’m now delivering classes using Zoom and holding most meetings with Hangouts Meet, but otherwise the change wasn’t huge. I used to work from home whenever I could (i.e. on the days I could dedicate to research, when I had no meetings), so our study was already set up nicely. And I sure don’t miss the traffic every time I had to get myself to the office.

Leisure days, however, are a different matter. Readers of this blog will have realised that I like to spend my leisure time outside: climbing features most heavily in this, though I also enjoy countryside walks, photography (of the kind where there’s usually no people), etc. So for yesterday’s national holiday I had to get a bit creative. There’s only so much Netflix I can watch.

In the morning I took the chance to shoot a beer bottle that had been waiting for me for a few months now. I’d normally use my strobes, but that gear lives down in our garage, which I cannot access without technically breaking quarantine (there is no interior access). So I did without and worked with natural light instead. And lots of reflector boards. The tricky bit, in this case, was to get the lighting right on the reflective-gold lettering and logo. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out how this could be done.

[For the curious, the bottle is for an abbey beer sold by the Lidl chain, one which I must say tasted great.]


  1. Oh dang, not being able to get out must suck. I sincerely hope that you haven’t caught the dreaded virus. I won’t make a guess about the light and the gold letters because I’ve not ever made a photo like this… I think. I sure have had a beer like that though! 😉

    • It’s tough, but it’s only for a few more days, as long as we stay symptom free. I’m only hoping that once the quarantine is over we won’t have the outdoors out of bounds. I honestly can’t see the harm in people from the same household going out for a walk or a climb (as long as it’s somewhere well known to them, and they don’t take risks). Thanks for the wishes! (And yeah, abbey beers are the best…)

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