Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Monday, 31 May 2010

The living mimosa tree and 5 sites to discover

The living mimosa tree
The living mimosa tree

A few technical words about the image for peoples interested in this kind of things : It's a long (about one minute) exposure of some mimosa branches done with a Hoya ND 400 filter. And a little note for first time reader : if you click on the image, your browser will open a large view in an other window.

The five sites to discover :
It's a long time since i've published the last of my 5td (five to discover) post.
Here are 5 sites about photography i strongly recommend :

Guy Tal and Ian Plant are two very talented and creative landscape photographers and they both write interesting thing about photography. Jon Conforth is also a stunning landscape and travel photographer.
If you like beautiful nature and landscapes images, you will have some great time browsing their galeries.

Flak Photo is a webmag dedicated to contemporary photography with a very simple an beautiful layout. A nice way to discover the work of some emerging photographers.

Luceo Images showcases the work of 6 contemporary photographers and also helps emerging photographers through the Luceo Student Project Award.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A golden abstract with some yellow wicker branches

Yellow wicker branches
Yellow wicker branches

My wife loves to make baskets and other wicker works. Yesterday we spent the day in the north of Provence, harvesting branches with a man who is cultivating this nice tree. It was a cold day but we did a beautiful harvest.

About this image, the blur was done with focusing just in front of the lens, keeping the subject out of focus.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Natural art

Natural art
This is a photo of a small piece of wood which was receiving the last sunrays in the dark hole of an old chestnut tree trunk.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Springtime in Provence

Provence springtime landscape
Springtime landscape in La Plaine des Maures

I'm late ... this shot is two years old and this blog was not ever borned.
La Plaine des Maures is a protected natural area. These ponds appear and disapear very quickly with rain and dryness and their neighbourhood are some biodiversity kingdoms.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Dark forest revisited

In 2007 december, i made a few pictures while walking threw a wild and natural forest, a few kilometers far from my home. I knew this place for years and years but it was the first time i went there to make photos. I remember this day. It was cold, it was dark and i was tired ... But i love some of the images i could bring back.

So, soon in january, i came back on this path by an other cold day. It was an other day, with other light and other colors and i took a very few images. The two posted here are the most similars to the initial ones. I also have one or two with more green made where the forest was less dark, perharps i'll show them in a future post.

About coming back :
I often like to come back. The most i know the place, the most i can find the best lights, the best points of view, the best atmosphère. That's not always true and sometimes improvisation gives the best results and i make my best pictures the first time, when i just discover one new place.
I think there is no absolute rules about photography but coming back to a nice natural place is always a pleasure for me.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Dark forest

Wild forest path
This end of year, i'm busy with moving my office to avoid to spend too much time on the road. So i've a very few time for landscape photography and try to stay in my home area.
Last week i went on a small footpath in the deep forest around the Chartreuse de la Verne.
This monastery is very famous and receives around 30 000 visitors each year but the forest around is still wild and untouched.

Forest path

The path is just like a tunnel under the trees and the sky can rarely be seen.
As you can see on the photos, this forest has a very natural looking : dead trees and branches are falling, nothing grows on the ground because of the very low light.

Dark forest

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Provence waterfall photographProvence waterfall

Last week, after a few raining days, i spent some time in a little canyon to make some waterfalls images. A few years ago, these canyons always had some running water but now they are often dry.

The one i choose was narrow, deep and covered by autumn forest.
I had to walk about one hour in a wild and sharp vegetation to find the scene i was looking for : A stream running between mossy rocks and a little waterfall.
The place was very dark so it was not difficult to obtain the silky water effect but i had just a few time to make my photos. I rapidly found two or three dry and almost flat places to put my tripod and took a few shots. Shutter speed was between 15 and 30 sec for all of them.
Next, i put the tripod legs (and mines) in the water to try some more impressive photos. I didn't kept the corresponding images because running water made vibrating tripod and the shots were not as sharp as i wanted. It was just a try ...

Just after the night was there and i came back with my head lamp. Back home, i started to sort and process my raw files (about 20) and kept 5.

Just one technical thing :
A few years ago, long exposure often gave noisy digital images. Now at ISO 100, the Nikon D200 gives excellent results with 30 seconds exposure, even after 20 shots.

Autumn stream in ProvenceAutumn stream in Provence

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Autumn forest fires

Provence forest just after a forest fireBurnt cork trees in Provence, just after a forest fire

Last week, the weather was very bad near everywhere in France excepted around the Mediterranean sea. Here in Provence we had one week of sunny weather but with a very crazy wind.
Yesterday, a big forest fire started with a very strong mistral.
In this part of Provence, forest fires are very common during the hot summer months and also in september but they are very unusual in november.
Perharps i should say until now they where unsual in november.
Summer dryness becomes stronger and stronger every year and windy periods also seem to increase ...

Here, the forest is mainly made by pine trees, chestnut trees, cork trees and the ground is often covered with bush.
With the fire, bush and pine trees burn likes matches, cork trees leaves also burn but the tree can resit because of its bark. Chestnut industry is still a little alive here and so the ground around the trees is often very clean and chestnut trees are often saved.

About the photos :
In 2003, we had a huge forest fire during days and days. I made many pictures of the burnt forest just after the fire and also one year later for an organisation working for environment protection. The two photos shown where taken in 2003 and 2004, others are visible here and here.

Burnt forest one year after the forest fireBurnt cork trees in Provence, one year after the forest fire

Friday, 2 November 2007

Africa in Provence

Provence landscape photographProvence landscape : La Plaine des Maures after the rain

Provence has always been a hot country but from a few years, summers seem to be more and more dry.
In 2007, from june to october we had no cloud and no rain. In the middle of the month, whe had 2 days of strong rain. Just when the sun came back, i went with my wife and daughter in La Plaine des Maures guessing i could make some nice landscape photographs.
The place was wonderful with many little rivers and ponds borned with the rain.
I always love (and often go) making photos here. This place is also named Little Africa with a red rocky ground covered by bush and some evergreen parasol pines forests.

My 3 yo daughter spent her time bathing in some ponds while i was hiking and shooting around. The photo above is one of my favorites from this day with the little river running in the grass burnt by the summer dryness.

Fine art prints are available for sale in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

I can't tell why but i love this photo

rural landscape in the french alpsRural landscape in the Oule valley
Paysage rural dans la vallée de l'Oule

Last week, i went in the south of the french Alps to make some autumn mountains landscapes.
On saturday, after two shooting days in other places i moved to the Oule valley. In the second part of the morning, i sarted to hike the hills to find a nice point of view for afternoon photography. After a few hours i thought i had the good place. In the middle of a field on a big hill i had a very nice view on the other side of the valley with great mountains covered whith autumn forest. Guessing the light would be nice on these mountains at the end of afternoon i left the place and returned to the van for a little lunch.
At 5pm, i came back on my hill and after a litlle wait the light became very nice on the mountains and i started making photos.
A little time after one cloud came just over the valley. The cloud itself was not a problem but its shadow was very disturbing on the forests ...
I decided to wait that the cloud leaves this place and looked all around to see if it was the only one. Looking behind me, i saw on the top of the hill this fence and yellow grass shining in the sun. I left my place, climbed the hill with my tripod and camera and made two or three photos of the fence and field. My prefered is this one with the fence and rocky mountain in the opposite corners.
To make it, i installed my tripod just near the first fence stick and used a wide angle lens.
Two things were a little tricky to manage :
  • The focusing point because i needed a great depth of field and wanted the wood stick to be perfectly sharp. It was so near my lens that if i had focused on it the depth of field would have been to short for the rest of the scene. If had focused too far of it, it wouldn't have been very sharp ... In such a situation, you can't rely on a DSLR viewfinder to see if the foreground is really as sharp as you want. The only solution is trying to use the hyperfocal and guess it will do the job ...
  • The good moment : The day was a little windy making the grass moving. Because of the depth of field i had to shut down the lens and so the shutter speed was very slow. I had to wait an instant with absolutely no wind, focusing done, finger on the shutter release.
Three days after, back at the office i started to process my raw files and "falled in love" with this picture. I found everything perfect : nice colors, shining grass, stick sharpness and no disturbing blur due to the wind.
That's not the kind of landscapes i usualy do, that's not the photo i had plan to make in this valley but i love it !

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Autum colors in the provence vineyard

Around my village, there are forests and vineyards. I take many vines photos that you can see on my french website.

In september, i was hiking in "La Plaine des Maures" looking for a good place and waiting for the best place for some landscape photography when i discovered a big vineyard field like an oasis in this little desert.

Most of the vine's leaves were still green but some of them started to wear their autumn colors. So i spent some times playing with them and my camera.

The image in this post is my prefered from this day. I choose this square format because it features the most colorful leaves.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Monday, 23 April 2007

Lac des Escarcets

panoramic photography

The "Lac des Escarcets" is part of a protected wilderness area in Provence, not so far from where i live.
I went there the first time 15 years ago by a rainy day and never returned for all this time.
I went back for hiking without any camera in January 2007 and the beauty of this place decided me to return for taking photos.

So, during the first quarter of 2007 i came back a few times, exploring for points of view and trying to catch the best lights. This area shows a nice diversity with rocky beaches, rivers under the trees, birds etc ...

lake landscape lake landscape

Monday, 16 April 2007

Shooting method and digital workflow

landscape and nature photography
I always have in mind a few places to go.
Depending of weather and of my envy, when i think conditions are good i take my equipment and go.
I usually carry one DSLR with 3 or 4 lenses and one tripod.
Tripod is one of the most useful part of the landscape photographer equipement. Mines are always lights and small (when folded) so i can always have one with me.

When the light is the best its rarely strong, for landscapes i very often shot at f:14 or smaller aperture to ensure a great deep of field. The consequence is a low shutter speed and the tripod is sometime not enough and i don't hesitate to use a remote control or the camera self timer with mirror locking.

Back to the office, starts the post processing session.
  • Renaming, sorting, examining and selecting files to keep.
  • Processing raw keepers with SilkyPix.
  • Further adjustments with Picture Window Pro.
  • Backup.

panoramic lake landscape

Provence landscape photography

Provence landscapes are mostly lavender fields, seascapes and famous villages.
I prefer exploring and shooting some less knowns wild and wonderful natural areas with forests, cliffs, canyons, rivers and lakes.
landscape photography landscape photography
landscape photography nature photography

I spend a lot of time walking and hiking in this nature, trying to find the best point of view, estimating when the light will be the best... When i think it's ok, i come back for shooting.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...