Hello from a french guy living in Seattle.


seattle WA
Hi there!

discovered that awesome website a few weeks ago. i was trying to find more informations on the Ricoh GRD IV and found Paul Giguere's article about the Ricoh GR line and general history of Ricoh cameras. great article.

my main job is to take care of concept designs for video games, and i have been doing so since 1996. (Alone in the dark 4, Prince of Persia - Warrior within, Assassin's Creed, Cold Fear, Rage, and now Halo4 at Microsoft's Studio "343Industries"). i also did a LOT of book covers for sci-fi and Fantasy novels throughout the years, for France, Canada, and the US market.
but i also have a renewed passion for photography, and it's eating up a lot of my spare time. started with film around 1990. but dropped everything until 2007. the passion came back with digital, and never left.

i shoot with a lot of cameras, but with time, i am more attracted to smaller bodies. my main camera was a canon 5dmkII. but i bought a Leixa x1 in 2010. and i finally switched to the Leica m9 not long ago.
(other cameras i used include a rebel xsi, a pana lx3, a canon g10)

more here:
Flickr: sparth's Photostream

i'm having the Ricoh grd IV on pre order, can't wait to give this one a try!

Nicolas - Sparth


Bring Jack back!
Houston, Texas
Welcome aboard Nicolas!

Sounds like you have one of my dream jobs, to work in the video game industry! Although I've recently slowed down quite a bit on playing games. Old age I suppose!

Looking forward to seeing your pics!


Hall of Famer
Welcome! Your photography is incredible, I wish I had all day to just go through it all!

After looking through your flickr account I was gonna ask if you could tell us something more about your thoughts regarding photography etcetera, but I see your website is doing a fine job of that already :smile: I'll definitely keep an eye on it!

Could you tell us something about your post processing? Love the moody yet clear and detailed look in many of your photos!


betwixt and between
Nicolas, welcome to Serious Compacts and thanks so much for jumping right in with your introduction, too. You've laid the groundwork so, now, please make yourself at home.:D

I, too, just took a peak at your photographs and can't wait to sit down and take my time to enjoy more. You have an eye for light!

Looking forward to your involvement here - perhaps you'd like to join in this week's Weekly Challenge?


seattle WA
Thanks for the warm welcome!

Armanius: thanks :)
actually i've been slowing down on games these last years, to the point where in only play on my ipad! same here, reached forty not too long ago, and i'm definitely not much of a gamer anymore. i have three children, and they play while i take care of them hehe. too busy!

bilzmale, Olli: thanks!

bartjeej: thanks for the kind words. oh i can definitely try to explain a bit more compared to what is on my website. :) my post process was mostly based on Canon's DPP software and then going straight into cs4 or cs5. over a period of a year, i improved my DPP presets a lot. however i started switching to photoshop cs5 100% last year, because i was fed up of having a workflow so connected to two programs, instead of only one.
so now i process in ACR within cs5, mostly for noise and initial parameters etc. i often extract multiple files out of a single RAW file. then i do the final passes within cs5.

i often use a mix of levels, color balance, hue/saturation passes, that i apply via the use of adjustment layers.
very slight dodge and burn process too, but not too often either.
for sharpness, i usually have a pass of smart sharpen applied to low res jpegs.

as usual, i try not to crop my shots whenever possible. especially since i switched to the m9 at the beginning of september, but i wasn't cropping much on the leica x1 either.
on the 5dmkII it was a different matter. there's so much information in the files that you feel sometimes compelled to shoot with the cropping intention in mind, it's such a totally different way to shoot.

concerning the lenses, i've been shooting a lot with telephoto lenses around 2009 and 2010. Canon only. 100-400L, 70-200 f4L, 300mm f4L, 300mm 2,8L, 135mm f2L. but i also have shorter focal lenghts like the 85mm 1.2 as well as the nifty fifty of course.
However, i started going back to the 35mm and 50mm type of shooting at the end of 2010. and i must say i enjoy every minute of it. did a lof ot shooting with the Leica x1. such a great small system. it's having its flaws, mostly slow AF, but the results are mindblowing. here's the gallery for the x1: Leica x1
i am definitely getting more into the smaller systems and smaller compacts. the x1 first, then the m9. i also had a small pana lx3 but my wife stole it from me. had a canon g10, but i'll be honest i wasn't too excited about it. low ISO shot were so terrible, it prevented me from expressing myself the way i wanted with the camera.
and as i was saying earlier, i pre ordered the Ricoh grd IV. it may sound weird getting a small sensor camera after having bought an m9. and it's a paradox, but i've been as much excited receiving the ricoh compared to the m9! but i like putting myself in danger i'd say. small sensor, less DR, no DOF. but something just keeps me going back to the Ricoh files and shots. the gritty impactful aspect of the shots coming from the grd series, it's just fascinating!

christilou: thank you :)

BBW: thanks! i will definitely check the weekly challenge :)
SC looks like a great place, and a very logical one too. compact cameras is a GREAT way to go compared to the SLR world. it makes so much sense, without denying what larger cameras can bring to the table of course.
a great "raison d'etre" for SC, that's a sure fact!

krugorg, AzPete, BruPri: many thanks :)