My youth... my genesis!

Self-taught and passionate, I've always sought to escape the routine by delving into what lies beyond the conventional horizon presented to us, by trying to understand how the world and the things around us work.

From early childhood, it seemed to me that the technological path was the best one, and would enable me to reach for the stars.

So, at the age of 5 or 6, I remember dismantling my toys to understand how they worked.

Then, naturally, I developed a passion for electronics, building my first radio receiver around the age of 10-11, followed by a rudimentary robot!

It was the late '70s, and I was completely fascinated by science fiction and immersed in the visual universes of Star Trek, Star Wars, Cosmos 1999, Logan's Run, etc...

By the age of 13 or 14, I was already creating small electronic circuits, doing my own printed circuit boards, soldering, etc. I even set up a small electronics workshop in my parents' garage.

At the same time, I was also interested in mechanics, dismantling and reassembling moped engines, carburetors, etc...


Around 1981, radio communication became a real passion, and I'm talking about the “CB” the Citizen Band Radio of the early 80s.

But the aim wasn't to chat with the truck driver passing by on the nearby highway; I wanted to have exotic and far-reaching contacts with people on the other side of the planet.

To achieve this, I installed an 8-meter-high antenna on my parents' house and, in a sort of "pirate" way, used the edge of the 28 MHz band in SSB with 12 or 100 watts of transmission power.

Equipped as such, I regularly made QSOs (radio contacts) with operators located all around the globe: Brazil, Canada, United States, Reunion Island... For me, being only 14-15 years old, it was an escape and an incredible thrill of freedom.

To fund my equipment, I speculated on the purchase and resale of CB Transceivers.
In fact, some 40/80/120 channel AM models had been banned in France (thanks to Mitterrand and his 22 FM channels!)...

So I managed to resell my 40-channel AM radio Transceiver for 800 francs, even though I'd got it for Christmas a few months earlier and it was only worth 400 francs at the time!
Subsequently, I made several trips to neighboring Luxembourg, where I bought "non-homologated" CB radios that couldn't be found in France anymore, and resold them "on the air" at a handsome mark-up.

I made a killing 4 or 5 times, and within a few months, I multiplied my initial investment by eight to reach over 3,500 francs!

Yaetsu FT-757GX Transceiver - 1985

In 1985, 3 years after giving up CB, I made another short attempt in the world of radio communication with...
a Yaesu FT-757GX 100W all-band transceiver, the "must-have"!


But in this early '80s, another major revolution was taking shape: microcomputing.

I plunged straight into this world of the very first microcomputers, first buying a Sinclair ZX 81 (in 1981!)...
then, in 1982, I sold all my radio equipment to acquire successively: a Commodore Vic 20, a Sharp PC-1500, ... and finally the Holy Grail: an Apple II.

Apple II europlus

- My setup in early 1985: an Apple II Europlus with 64 KB of memory. -

The goal for me was to create, so I created my first small game in 1982 for the Sharp PC-1500, and my first commercial video game called "Pleins Gaz" for the Apple II in 1986.

Around 1985-1986, I also engaged in a more "underground" computer activity, less creative but just as exciting: piracy or how to crack copy protection on Apple II floppy disks! (Okay, " cracking " was illegal... but what an intellectual challenge each time!)


Alongside these technical activities, in the early 80s I also had a great passion for off-road motorcycling.

I loved the sense of freedom provided by riding my bikes!

By twisting the throttle, I set off on adventures to explore the forests of Lorraine where I lived at the time.

From an all-terrain moped in 1980...

Motobecane 51 Mobcross

I bought a second-hand "Gitane Testi Champion 50" in late 1981,...

Gitane Elf 50

Then completely rebuilt a Gitane Elf 50 motocross from scratch, with a 50cc engine that had been "tinkered" to produce 13 horsepower at 13,000 rpm! (...and it seized/broke quite often!!)

It wasn't until I was around 19 that I finally got my full motorcycle license, and bought myself a new Honda XL 200R.

But the northern part of France where I had moved to no longer offered the terrain or the magnificent forests of Lorraine, and the passion wasn't there anymore. I gave up motorcycling for good after two years.


Despite the many activities and passions described, my entire teenage years were bathed in an irresistible desire to "break away"... to get away, to escape from everyday life, to go and see somewhere else...
(at the age of 14 and a half, I even attempted to run away for 300km on my moped).

At the age of 15-16, I had one obsession: to cross the wide-open spaces of America...
I had to wait until my 22nd birthday to fulfill this dream and cross the United States by bus on a 9,000 km journey!

Finally, for my 30th birthday, I treated myself to the most beautiful trip of all: a round-the-world trip.

And so, until the dawn of my fifties, my life will have been punctuated by some 80 trips around the planet.

Unfortunately, recently, health problems (pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia) that are difficult to define, no longer allow me to travel as before.


I was self-taught and learned on my own everything that fascinated me in order to become the best, while disdainfully rejecting anything that did not!

In other words, school wasn't for me, but I did study electronics for 2 years at Nancy's ESR (Special School of Radioelectricy) between 1981 and 1983. But fitting into the mold wasn't my thing, and what's more, I couldn't stand the deprivation of freedom imposed on me by this high school, so I dropped out.

I did it again between 1985 and 1986 at the LTE Hi-School of Armentières city, where I followed a vocational training course in electronics and industrial computing equivalent to a high school diploma/Bachelor's degree.
With a bit of pretension (and realism!), I'd say I knew 4 times more about assembly language programming than the computer science professor!

Professional background

Between 1983 and 1984, you could meet me in an electronics store called HBN Electronic in Nancy city (France).
At the time, I was a very young salesperson for electronic components and computers.


In 1986, I independently developed my first commercial video game for the Apple II computer: Pleins Gaz (Full Throttle in french).
It was a motorcycle obstacle racing game that would be published by Froggy Software and distributed on floppy disks in all Fnac stores and Apple retailers in France.


But it wasn't until 1987 to 1992 that I really blossomed as an industrial electronics and IT technician with a small company called "ERL", based in Lomme in northern France.

Alongside the company's founder, the late Mr Hilaire Momal, I successfully carried out 31 industrial projects over a period of 5 years.

My creations mainly involved custom computers that I named "APM" (Programmable Modular Display), which I designed from scratch: conceptualization and design, printed circuit board drawings using CAD software, component assembly, programming in assembler language, and installation at industrial clients such as Renault Douai, La Française de Mécanique, La Lainière de Roubaix, etc...

My technical and electronic creativity was at its peak during those years, which are full of wonderful memories.


At the end of 1992, along with a partner (Jean-Philippe Bozek), we founded a small business focused on IT services and equipment distribution in the Lille area under the name Axiome Informatique (B.S.C.).

Starting out with just the two of us, we quickly grew to 5, 8, 17... employees... and even up to 30 employees after the 1998 takeover of a competitor called MicroData.

By 1996, we had become the region's largest Apple reseller (for businesses) and one of the leading resellers of Compaq PCs.

At first, I was the only technician and sales representative, then naturally I became technical manager, supervising a team of 5 to 8 technicians.

In 1996, I took a few months away from my company to do my first round-the-world trip.
Upon my return, I began working on an interactive CD-ROM about my journey, which would become my website,, two years later.

In 1997, during a second interlude of a few months, I also tried my hand at the job of multimedia project manager in a Grenoble-based company.
But I soon realized that managing projects that weren't my own wasn't my vocation, so I returned to my job as Technical Director at Axiome.

By late 1998, a lack of creativity and, more significantly, differences with my partners on the direction our business should take led me to leave Axiome and sell a portion of my shares.


At the same time, in the summer of 1998, I officially launched my website, where I presented my photos and travel stories.


In 1999 - 2000, it was the start-up era, I was thirsty for creativity and wanted to bring together several of my passions and convictions: Apple (with Steve Jobs back at the helm), the Mac (with the family iMac), programming, video game creation, ...

First, I worked patiently for a whole year on the creation of an animation engine for video games, which I wrote in C language and PowerPC assembler (the microprocessor used in Macintoshes at the time).
Thanks to its own internal language, my animation engine, which I named "DreamWorld Engine", was intended to serve as a technical base for creating multiple video games.

In the spring of 2000, after writing the beginning of a storyline, I created the first functional game prototype with the help of a friend, an graphic artist
With this prototype and a business plan in hand, I went out to seek investors...
Within 2-3 months I had managed to raise funds, and was even awarded the "Lauréat LMI" (Lille Métropole Initiative) for my project.

Thus, the company I named " Macrun ", a “startup” dedicated to Mac video games, was created on September 1, 2000 with my graphic designer partner (Richard Mariencourt), some investors, and the hiring of a team of 4-5 people, including Christophe Fitero and Mathieu Caramella.

Macrun team in 2001

March 2001 - the Macrun team, from left to right: Richard Soberka, Christophe Fitero, Richard Mariencourt, Mathieu Caramella.

Our first action game, which I named Captain Bumper, saw the light of day in May 2001, after 8 months of hard work by the whole team. Captain Bumper was a fun, richly colored family game, which met with some success in the Mac press and generated a few thousand online sales ( sales !... a novelty at the time!).

In the summer of 2001, I went to New York, to the MacWorld Expo, to find distributors and markets for our game...
I succeeded in signing a distribution contract with Casady & Greene, a California-based publisher, which marketed our Captain Bumper in CD-ROM cases in the United States, including stores like Walmart.

Unfortunately, after the September 11 attacks in 2001, sales of Captain Bumper were divided by 4 or 5, and became insufficient to finance the development of a second game, called "Djiiran".

At the end of 2002, following the bursting of the "Internet bubble", I had to close the MacRun company of which I was manager, without having been able to finish our second game.

Note: in 2023, 22 years after the initial release, I re-released Captain Bumper 2.0 !
It's the same game, still for Mac, but completely rewritten and updated technically and graphically.
Captain Bumper 2.0 is now sold by Apple on the Mac App Store.
As for Macrun, it's no longer a company but just a trademark I own.


In 2003, with a friend (Marc Vermant) and a former Apple salesman (Gauthier Paris), we founded the company Prestimedia.

The idea was to outsource repetitive and tedious tasks such as image cropping to a team in Romania.

But, once again, I didn't feel at home in this supervisory role that lacked any creativity, so I left the venture after 9 months and sold my shares.

NB: a few years later, Prestimedia enjoyed great success, becoming the French leader in interactive catalogs.


2004 - it was time to throw myself wholeheartedly into one of my main passions: photography.

On the one hand, I'd had my website online since 1998, which had a good visibility, and on the other hand, I was starting to sell my photographs from time to time and doing corporate photographic reports.

Leveraging my computer skills, I first optimized the referencing of my website in order to increase its audience, then I added new travel stories.

By 2004, was reaching 25,000 page views per day, which, thanks to advertising (Hi-Media, Adverline, and Google Adsense, which had just appeared), provided me with some income !

So I continued to manage my website, reaching new heights around 2009-2011, when was receiving 11,000 to 13,000 unique visitors a day, who were reading up to 120,000 pages!!!! (yes, per day!)

Thanks to the good audience of my website, I reached professionals, agencies, etc., in search of images, enabling me to regularly sell my travel photos.

At the same time, around 2006-2007, I developed my corporate photographic reports business, initially alone, from 2009 with my partner and associate Karine.

Together, we created the brand", and produced dozens of photographic reports (events, architecture, portraits, etc.)... for well-known French clients such as: Vinci, GrDF, Groupe Accord, Crédit du Nord, French Nuclear Safety Authority, EPF NPDC, etc... etc....

In 2011, in addition to my corporate reporting activities, I signed an exclusive contract with Hemis agency, the French leader in tourism photography.

Since then, Hemis has been marketing my travel photographs to renowned clients such as Guide du Routard, Michelin Guides, specialized press, books, etc.
(yes!... maybe you have seen my photos on the cover of some Guide du Routard or Michelin Green Guides!).


In 2015, I made perhaps the most serious professional mistake of my life by re-taking part-time management of Prestimedia, a company I had co-founded in 2003, but of which I was no longer a shareholder.

Managing numerous administrative, legal, and human problems that were not my responsibility... while continuing my photographic reports in parallel... all this led me straight into a wall: stress, overwork, exhaustion, failing health... after 18 months, I threw in the towel.

Therefore, from 2017, I had to calm down the frenzy of my professional activities as my health was at stake. Fortunately, I continue to receive some royalties from the sale of my images through Hemis Agency.

Since then, I've continued to manage my own affairs calmly and serenely and rarely conduct photo reports.

In 2023, I even created a new company and re-released my old video game: Captain Bumper 2.0 !


People who met me with my backpack at the other end of the world found it hard to believe that I could have children...

Well, I do! Today, as young adults, my children Claire and Antoine are the essence of my life!



I've done two round-the-world trips, one in 1996 heading East, and the other in 2006 going West.

During my first round-the-world trip, when crossing the "International Date Line" in the Pacific, I lived the same day twice!

Conversely, on my second trip westward, there's a day I'd never experienced!

Richard Soberka - round the world trip 1996

May 3, 1996 - The peak of my first around-the-world tour, and the summit of Ayers Rock in Australia!


Since 2007, I have been creating series of photographs of the city of Lille (France) for Editions Editor to produce postcards.

Since then, nearly one third of the postcards sold in Lille, at Furet du Nord, by tobacconists, and in souvenir shops are made from my photos!

Later, I did the same for other cities north of Paris: Amiens, Laon, Arras, Le Touquet, Calais, Valenciennes, etc. Since 2016, there are even "magnets."

Look at the back of the postcards from Lille still on sale today. If they are published by Editions Editor, you will probably see: © R. Soberka -

In total, Editions Editor has produced more than a hundred different postcards from my photos!

And just at Furet du Nord in Lille, up to 80,000 of "my postcards" are sold each year!

postcards of Lille by Richard Soberka

Examples of postcards from Lille!


I appeared as an extra in the film "To Kill a Priest" by Agnieszka Holland, featuring Christophe Lambert, Ed Harris, Tim Roth, released in theaters in 1988.

My extra role was modest, visible briefly at the film's start (at 7 min 20 sec), being roughly handled by the police after a tank passes.

The shooting happened in Roubaix - France in November 1987 and lasted through the night, producing only 3 or 4 shots lasting a few dozen seconds!

It was an enlightening experience that taught me the reality of filmmaking: patience!

Outdoor action scenes lasting 3 or 4 minutes in the film took a whole night, about 8 hours, redoing each scene 8 or 9 times!

Richard Soberka as an extra in the film To Kill a Priest

Roubaix (France), November 1987, on the set of the film "To Kill a Priest" wearing costume clothes and a faux fur hat for extras! (And frozen feet all night in fake dry ice snow!)


In 1983, with some buddies, we formed a rock band called Dioxine.

I named the group in reference to the 1976 Seveso disaster involving the toxic chemical dioxin.

After a few covers of songs by The Clash, The Rolling Stones and Les Stocks, we composed our own music in a Southern rock style.

Not being much of a musician, I was mainly in charge of the technical side and the mixing. However, on certain tracks, I played a few notes on a Korg MS-20 synthesizer, and there were even times when I took on the bass or drums in the absence of some friends.

I loved the emotions stirred by collaborative creation; the sense of doing something together was an absolutely fantastic experience!

Concert Dioxine Laxou 1984

Dioxine concert on June 23, 1984 - Laxou Champ le Boeuf (France), featuring:
Bruno (bass), Olivier (vocals), Serge (guitar), Me (synthesizer - mixing), Pierre (guitar), Philippe (drums)


I am a cat enthusiast!

By observing them, I have learned to understand their state of mind at every moment.

I admire their way of being, their autonomy, their freedom, and sometimes even their detachment.

From the age of 8 to 21, I was accompanied in my life by Kity, a little female tabby that I found in a bush when she was only 3 or 4 weeks old.

For the anecdote: one day, when I was about 9 years old, the neighbor's dog, a "bulldog", lunged at me...
In a flash, Kity, split the lawn that separated us by about twenty meters, and leaped onto the dog attacking me.
In a whirlwind worthy of a cartoon, and with unheard-of violence, Kity lacerated the Bulldog's mouth, which had to retreat, he was knocked out!
There was blood everywhere on the path; the Bulldog kept many scars but never attacked me again.

I don't know if all cats would have defended their young master, but I had a special relationship with Kity.

My cat Kity in 1985

Kity in 1985, at the age of 11... she disappeared 2 years later.


As a professional photographer, I encountered several French celebrities, mostly journalists and politicians, such as Stéphane Berne, Xavier Bertrand, Jean-Pierre Foucault, Marine Le Pen, François Baroin, Eric Jean-Jean, Elisabeth Martichou, etc...

It's always enriching to see how public figures are in reality...

Of all the people I met, it was journalist Marie Drucker who impressed me most with her detachment from ego and the beauty of her soul

In a more technical context, I was fortunate to meet Jordan Mechner, the creator of the "Prince of Persia" game series, Karateka, and incredible an all-around New York artist.


In 1989, I personally designed and created, on behalf of the Lille Metro (TCC at the time), a control and IEEE-448 interface rack that I named IRX. It was used to control professional Revox tape recorders.

A friend, Michel Pollet, developed the control software, enabling audio messages' digitization and broadcast from a Macintosh IICX computer.

So, if you took the Metro in Lille (France) between 1989 and 1998, the audio messages and music played in the stations were controlled by my electronic equipment!


Around the age of 12, I managed to convince my parents to buy me a semi-automatic air pistol (a Colt 45 M1911 replica) with double mechanical cocking, capable of firing steel balls or 4.5mm pellets.

I spent many Wednesdays practicing target shooting, shooting bottles in a wasteland and handling my Colt with agility!

Later I also got an air rifle, a Chinese B3, with insane power: I could pierce wooden planks, and make greats hits on 14x14 cm targets at a distance of 50 meters!

One day in June 1979, there was a regional air rifle shooting competition at an Ardennes club.

Even though I wasn't part of the club, I was invited by a member.

Despite never having set foot in a shooting range before, I tied for first place in the junior category (I was only 13 years old) and had my photo in the newspaper!

Richard Soberka shooting competition in 1979