Friday, May 6, 2011

Another lens from Monsieur Avognan

I have posted before about my co-worker, Monsieur Avognan, our french teacher who became interested in photography after seeing portraits that I’d taken of the students for our bulletin board displays. I am our school’s unofficial photographer and was more than happy to share my knowledge with someone who was eager to learn (and who could maybe help out someday).

Here’s the prior post:

People continue to amaze me

Avognan bought another lens over the weekend, and he delivered it to my desk for my inspection this morning. And oh, my gosh – it’s really cool.

It’s the Nikon 14-24mm wide angle and I took it outside and was able to get the entire school building from end to end. It’s quite a long school.

Nikon AF-S Zoom 14-24mm f2.8 lens


DSC_0142 Pump Me Up! - Nelly Nero copy 2

But back to Avognan, who is a joy to work with every single day.

He’s originally from the Ivory Coast of Africa, where he was forced as a child to speak the French language. He remembers growing up in a small cottage where spies would come around at night and out those who were secretly speaking their native tongue.  I asked him if he minded speaking French now, and he loves it, he says. He enjoys what he does for a living.

He competed in track & field at both the 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics for the Ivory Coast.


DSC_0150 Pump Me Up! - Nelly Nero copy 2

Avognan loves sharing, and I’ve decided to just accept this fact and to be as careful as I can with the lenses he lends me. He told me today that if it weren’t for me, he’d never have gotten into photography and for this, I am truly glad. I love walking by his classroom because his outside wall is covered with exceptional photographs of our students who he coaches in soccer and cross country.


DSC_0145 Pump Me Up! - Nelly Nero copy 2

At the end of the day, Avognan came to my desk and asked me to take his photo with the wide angle lens. I told him that I thought my 50mm would be the better choice for a  portrait. So I took one with the 17-24mm wide angle, and the photo below with the 50mm.

Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens


DSC_0177 copy 2

Merci, Monsieur, de toujours partager.

(Thank you, Monsieur, for always sharing.)

: : :

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .
123 Signature

39 comments:

Ellen said...

Sometimes the kindness of others is amazing.

Country Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annette W. said...

Wow. It's a shame I had to learn so much through this post that I didn't learn six years ago as a coworker!

Beautiful pictures.

Country Girl said...

That's one of the reasons that I love working in the main office. I get to see all of you from each division, the lower, middle and upper schools. Hi, Annette ~ miss ya.

~ k

Michelle said...

What a story; thanks for sharing!

{ T G L } said...

How cool that you could inspire another to take up photography!

My husband actually did the same thing with me. Well... actually... back in 2006, my mother gave me my first digital camera - a compact camera. I loved it. My husband wasn't much interested initially but surely, he started taking photos.

Then I encouraged him to get a proper camera, a DSLR (Nikon D60) and then his photography really took off. I also enjoyed using the DSLR but didn't get much of a chance. He enjoyed using it so much that he got a more advanced camera and gifted me his Nikon D60 a few weeks ago. And that's how my photography blog got started. Am still learning but thoroughly enjoying it!

My apologies for this random braindump :)

TGL

Jennifurla said...

What a handsome devil! It always nice when people share their knowledge and dont keep it all to themselves!

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This was such a great post!I agree what a blessing for you to have shared your knowledge with him.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

A wonderfully generous man, see there are good people in the world.

I love this.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Love this. All of it.

Laura~peach~ said...

what a beautiful school and great co worker!
love the pics as always...

Low Tide High Style said...

What an amazing life Monsieur Avognan has led! And how wonderful that you helped him discover a love of photography...you seem to have that affect on people! ;-)

Kat :)

wayne15575 said...

Kate, I'm curious as to why in the last building photo they would have a balcony under a window.

Love the portrait of the gentleman.

BUSH BABE said...

Great smile - and how wonderful to have inspired him to get behind a camera too! I get a buzz when people tell me the same thing...

Love me a good wide-angle lense... I believe you can take interesting portraits with them (if not all that flattering!). Except the photographer ends up halfway up the subjects nose...
:-)
BB

Country Girl said...

Wayne, I believe it's just for aesthetic purposes only.

~ C.G.

Dyche Designs said...

Beautiful post. I just purchased a 10-22mm wide angle lens which arrived a couple of days ago. I'm excited to get some cool shots with it. Can't wait.

Nurse Nancy said...

How wonderful...he is special like you :)

Daryl said...

Delightful.

Country Gal said...

Papa and I thought it was great when we met that we both love and do photography. WOW ! pricy lens ! nice though awesome shot, my Nikon 18-55 mm does the same type of shot.Betwwen Papa and I we have to many lenses lol but we could maybe get another now hehe ! Its great that your photography has inspired others. If I dont have a camera in my grasp I feel naked now . Have a wonderful day !

The Weaver of Grass said...

He looks such a lovely, gentle man.
Best wishes to him.

Snappy Di said...

Lovely to work with such a wonderful person. So nice that you inspired him to get involved with photography. It's such a great hobby and past time for anyone.

Sharing is caring.

Di

beth said...

how lucky are to work with someone who sounds truly amazing !!!

and i have that lens and often forget to use it. i haven't had the best luck shooting people with it as it tends to distort them {i know there must be a trick i just haven't learned yet} but for landscapes or your incredible school, it's an amazing lens :)

The Japanese Redneck said...

Good portait of him. He has a sweet smile.

Looks like he's found a great teacher to help him too.

Happy Mother's day.

Georgianna said...

How lovely of you to inspire him to learn photography and how lovely of him to share his new toys, er, equipment.

He seems a really marvelous person and the school is fortunate to have him. Wonderful portrait of him, btw!

Cloudia said...

Jolly Aloha from Waikiki


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Kacey said...

Oh, I love me some wide, wide angle lens shots!! Nice lens. You did a great job on the portrait too. Glad he shares his love of photography...and his lenses with you. Beautiful story and photos.

Mental P Mama said...

I'm feeling a bit of envy....

Bluebird49 said...

I thought maybe you were going to show both portrait shots, since you used both lenses.:)

This is a great portrait of a true friend, and a gentleman who has apparently experienced more that most of the rest of us in his lifetime. You have a great job, and I'll bet you have a lot of friends there.

Oliag said...

I could use a Mr Avognan in my life! He is a dear:)

Lili said...

Awww, that is such a cool story Kate. And what an absolute sweetheart the Monsieur is. xo ~Lili

JaneK said...

thanks for introducing us to such a wonderful person. Isn't life wonderful? We touch someone's life with something we do, then before we know it, we are touched by their life!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Amazing shots.. I have a wide angle also.. I think I better dust it off.
Its wonderful when you work with people you enjoy.

Amy said...

Wow, what a great co-worker! I love people with a "story" to tell about their lives. Sounds like your co-worker took a big step moving away from the Ivory coast and using his skills to become a teacher and on top of all that LOVING what he does....unfortunately today I am not sure many teachers actually LOVE what they do, which is sad...passion can be one of the greatest tools in teaching!

Kay said...

What a wonderful, caring, and warm hearted co-worker you have there.
His smile is infectious. Love the picture of the school, end to end..and his portrait picture is precious.Thanks for sharing.

Lisa RedWillow said...

Kate thanks for stopping by.. I love your new hearder. Its stunning. Have a wonderful Sunday.
I think you inspire me more ..:)
and Im grateful

Mary said...

What a generous and talented co-worker! And he sounds like a fabulous teacher and a great friend, too.

Love that 14-24mm! :)

mrs mediocrity said...

What a great story. One of the things I miss working from home is meeting fun and interesting people that become friends.
P.S. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Kerri said...

What a wonderful caring person! You BOTH are :)

Happy Mother's Day!!

Carolynn said...

What a sweetheart! *Air kisses*

Love the shirt & tie, too.