Showing posts with label provence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label provence. Show all posts

Friday, 28 January 2011

Weekly commented photo #4 - Parasol pines forest in dusk light

Parasol pines forest in dusk light
Parasol pines forest in dusk light

This image is now more than 10 years old as it was done on 2005/10/01.
Since this day, i've moved my office twice but one large framed print of this photograph is always on my walls and i can see it every time my eyes leave my computer screen.

In 2005, september was unusually rainy in this part of Provence.
On october 1rst we had an almost dry day and i ran in Saint Tropez to make some images of a client's garden.
At the end of afternoon while i was driving back home, some dark clouds started to take more and more room in the sky.
I decided to make a little stop in la Plaine des Maures, more to enjoy the beauty of the place than to make images but as i don't like to let my photo gears in the car, i took them with me for this little walk in the nature.

I spent about half an hour hiking in the blowing wind, camera and lenses in a belt bag and tripod on my shoulder. The ground and bush had a strong smell, red colour of the rocks was enhanced by the wetness of the preceding weeks and clouds were more and more darks.

I decided to walk back to my car before the next huge rain.
I was about half way when the wind suddenly stopped. I also stopped and looking around me i discovered this little parasol pines forest bathing in one sunray filtred by the clouds.
I just had the time to set up my tripod and make a very few images before the arrival of the storm. I ran to the car under the rain and drove back home under a weather looking more to a tropical mousson than to a provence rain.

I don't even remember the other photographs i did there this day but this one is really one of my all times favourite although there is no dramatic light, no effect and no heavy post processing.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Weekly commented photo #2 - Ferns in Provence forest

Ferns in Provence forest
Ferns in Provence forest

For this second post of my Weekly commented photo serie, i also choosed an old photo from Provence.
This one was done at the end of spring in 2004. I was living in a small village named Collobrières and had my office in Cogolin, just near Saint-Tropez. The road i took every day was a tight one through a deep forest.

One evening, while driving back home, i noticed a nice bunch of green ferns where some were starting to turn to yellow. I don't really know why they caught my attention, perharps because they were a sign of life in all this dry forest.

So during one week, i looked at them every day waiting for the colors to be really nice. One day, thinking it would be the good one i took my camera when leaving the office, drove and stopped at the ferns. Unfortunately the evening was windy in this place and i knew i wouldn't be able to catch a sharp image. The wind blowed during 2 days. The first quiet evening i could setup my tripod, try 2 or 3 compositions and finally made this photo.
The day after, while processing the images i was very happy to see that they were all very sharp. I was a bit anxious about that because i had to use some really low shutter speeds and even a little air can result in blurred photos.

We are now about seven years later and i don't remember all the technical settings but i know that this image still sells prints more than once a yaer.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Weekly commented photo #1 - Dark water in the Verne river

Dark water in the Verne river
Dark water in the Verne river

We are now back in the Massif des Maures for this first edition of my Weekly commented photo.

I made this image during our last months of life in Provence. We had a rainy spring and so the rivers still had nice water in the last days of May. If you search this blog for the Verne tag you will find many other images of this place mostly done into the river. Of course silky water and dusk light always make popular images but i also wanted to show more classic views including the river's environment.

This one was done in the late afternoon. I left the river bed a moment before dusk and climbed some overhanging rocks until i found an interesting point of view on this little valley.
I then spent a little time to search the best place for my tripod allowing this wide angle view including the rocks, the trees, the dark water and also the colorful vegetation in the foreground. The real trick was to avoid seeing the tripod legs in the viewfinder whithout falling down in the river :)

After this one i also tried some other compositions for my stock (including vertical ones), packed my equipment and went back to the river for some long exposures at dusk.

Although it's not the most spectacular, this image is one of my favourites done around the Verne river. Of course some affective reasons could be evoked : I was about to leave this wild and beautiful region and it was one of my last occasion to shoot here ...

If some are interested by some technical informations, here are a few ones :
  • Nikon D200.
  • Sigma 10-20 at 10 mm.
  • Manfrotto tripod.
  • Remote controler.
  • Exposure : 0.7 second at f14.
  • No filter.
  • NEF file processed with Silkypix.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Flow in the Verne river and 5 sites to discover

Flow in the Verne river
Flow in the Verne river

It's an image from our last months of life in Provence done the same day than this one but a few hours later. I had ever left my place in the middle of ther river bed and was walking back to the path climbing the hills to my car when i stopped on some rocks hoverlooking the water with a nice perspective. I started with a few "normal" images and finally did this one with my Hoya ND 400 filter.

The 5 sites to discover :
They are the 5 very nice websites of 5 amazing nature and landscapes photographers.
If you don't know them, have a look you won't waste your time :)

Friday, 9 July 2010

A view of Toulon and some personal news

Morning light on Toulon
Morning light on Toulon

This image is a little more than one year old and she waited until today to be processed. That's not my usual workflow but sometimes i like to keep the raw images untouched, look at them from time to time and one day process them.

Now an important thing : In 2 weeks we are going to leave Provence and go to live in the Alps. I won't explain all the reasons here but that's an old project and we are very happy (and busy) with that.
So this post is probably the last one here before a while. Until July 24 i'll keep my current DSL connection here but i'm not sure to find some time for another post. We will arrive in the new house on July 25 but nobody really knows when my new connection will be up. I can hope it won't take more than 10 days ...

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Place Massillon in Hyères - Provence

Place Massillon in Hyères - Provence
Place Massillon in Hyères - Provence

This evening, after a full day of computer work in the heat of a Provence summer, i needed a little of fresh air. Usually i feel better in the wilderness of our forest but i was thinking about this image for a long time so i decided to drive to Hyères.
Don't ask me why. I'm really not a city guy. I leave there for about 15 years and i've done just a very few images of the cities and villages around. Now that i'm about to leave Provence i start ...

So, i drove to Hyères, i went to this place because it's quaint and beautiful and because i was sure that dusk would be the best time. In the morning there is no shadow on the ground but the sun is just in front of you. In the afternoon, the shadow is shorter but really darker ...

Arrived there i wondered a little bit about how to deal with the contrast. I finally decided tu use a 2 stop soft GND plus my Hoya ND 400 filter to blur the peoples. The GND worked perfectly to balance light and shadows and the long exposure (80s) produced the wanted effect : quiet persons are not recognizable and peoples crossing rapidly the place are not on the photo :)

Sea, Rocks and Sun

Sea, rocks and sun at le Pradet in Provence
Sea, rocks and sun at le Pradet in Provence

Mediterranean colors enhanced by a long exposure in full day light.
A one year old image just added to my RedBubble shop.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Verne monastery in Provence hills

The Verne monastery in Provence
The Chartreuse de la Verne in Provence

If you use the search box of this blog, you will probably find some other images of this monastery. As you can devine from its name, it's located in the hills above the valley of the Verne river i show in many previous posts.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Mediterranean rock detail

Detail of a mediterranean rock in the sun
Detail of a mediterranean rock in the sun

It's a one year old image from past summer. I went really soon to the sea on one place i didn't know very well. Arriving i hiked a long time in the rocks, looking for a good place, took a few seascapes, walked in the rocks and when the sun was too high for good job i decided to come back and on my way i found some nice orange rocks sunbathing in the morning light. After this closeup i came back home where i left the images sleeping on my hard drives until last night where i found this one and a few seascapes no too disapointing.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The old barns

Old Barns in the Alpes de Haute Provence
Old Barns in the Alpes de Haute Provence

During my last drive through the Alpes de Haute Provence, i was not so far from Manosque when i saw these old barns in a very rural landscape under the warm light of an almost raining afternoon.

I'm always amazed when i see some photographs or paintings of American or Canadian old barns. They are usually more pretty and impressive than these ones but that kind of view is rare enough in our country to make me stop on my road.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Some new images of the Verne river

Waterfall on Boulin stream just before it's junction with the Verne river
Waterfall on Boulin stream
just before it's junction with the Verne river

In my last post about this place i was saying that i would probably not return there this year because of the low water level at the end of spring ...

But last week we had some impressive flash floods killing more than 20 peoples in our department. Fortunately, the huge forest were we live seems to have some very good natural protections and although some huge amounts of rain nothing realy bad came in our area.
That said, at least it puts some water in the rivers. So this morning i woke up before 5 am and went to the place where the Boulin stream joins the Verne river.
Climbing at 6 am on little cliffs covered by wet moss is always an amazing experience when you wear rubber boots but nothing went wrong and i could make a few interesting and i guess rare images before 8 am.

I love this place because it's wild and unknown and probably also because my inconscient knows that these little streams and rivers are the life sources of our country : A few kilometers far from these little waterfalls, the Verne river is "closed" by a dam and it's lake is the main source of drinking water for the Saint-Tropez area ...

Junction between Boulin stream and Verne river
Junction between Boulin stream and Verne river

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Notre Dame de Pitié

Notre Dame de Pitié at Collobrières in Provence
Notre Dame de Pitié at Collobrières in Provence

This little chapel is about 100 meters far from my home.
I've ever posted another HDR view of its interior some years ago, this one is really more quiet :)

For people interested in the technical side of photography, the final image was obtained by tonemapping the same HDR file once with Photomatix and once with Picturenaut. The 2 resulting TIF files were then blended.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Rural landscape under the clouds near Manosque in Provence

Rural landscape under the clouds
Rural landscape under the clouds

I spent a few days in the Alpes de Hautes Provence region about one week ago.
On sunday i was driving back home across a very rural countryside and decided to stop on a little path to catch some of these cereal fields under the storm light.

I also stopped a few kilometers after this place when i saw some realy old barns. I'll probably post one or two images here next week.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Back to the Verne river

Dusk light on the Verne river - Provence
Dusk light on the Verne river - Provence

About one week ago i decided to come back to the Verne river and see if it could do some interesting dusk images.

I arrived on the place a few time before the real dusk, started to make some shots from some rocks overhanging the river (you'll probably see them one day) and when the light started to be low i went to the middle of the river bed where i could install my tripod on a little rock.

I took my most wide lens, choose my GND filters and after a few test shots decided to wait a little bit. So i looked in my back and was seduced by the scene of the dark river running through the rocks. So i changed my lens for a longer one, moved the tripod a little on the rock and took this image.
After that i just had the time to remount the wide angle plus filters for the dusk shot and climb back to my car with my head lamp.

This image of the river running through the rocks is not the one i was looking for when i came there but now i really like it. I would have liked to go back one more time for some more prepared images of this scene but didn't had any occasion at the right time and in this end of spring, the water level decrease strongly every day ... So i think i'll have to keep this one :)

The Verne river running through the rocks
The Verne river running through the rocks

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Evening light on Collobrières village

Evening light on Collobrières village - Provence
Evening light on Collobrières village - Provence

This image perfectly illustrates the adventure life of a landscape photograper.
About one week ago, i was washing my hands in the bathroom when i saw the light.
I opened the window, installed my tripod, took my camera and made this one :)

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.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Dawn time in the forest

Dawn on the forest of the Massif des Maures - Provence
Dawn on the forest of the Massif des Maures - Provence

The caption gives the location, what could i add more ?

I just really love this image,i don't know why. Perharps it's because of the moments i lived there. Alone in the wind, breathing the forest and waiting that the clouds and rising sun give their most beautiful show.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The forest under the clouds

The forest under the clouds - Massif des Maures
The forest under the clouds - Massif des Maures"

A morning view of the Provence forest in the Massif des Maures.
Taken a very few hours after dawn the light was changing every second.

This one was done from 3 exposures with Photomatix.
Some other with a most impressive sky but no HDR should come in a few days.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Place Rouget de l'Isle

Place Rouget de l'Isle in Collobrières - Provence
Place Rouget de l'Isle in Collobrières - Provence

For the peoples interested in technical things :

This image was created from 3 exposures blended into one real HDR image with Picturenaut.
A first tonemapping was done also with Picturenaut and then the HDR file was also tonemapped with Photomatix.
The 2 tonemapped images were then blended to give the final result.

The most difficult thing is to wait for the wind to stop :)

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Verne river at spring

The Verne river by a cloudy springtime day
The Verne river by a cloudy springtime day

Yesterday was the first non raining day for about one week.
I spent the afternoon hiking i this little river in the hills around our home.
Was a good test to see if my rubber boots were still waterproofed :)
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