Showing posts with label wcp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wcp. Show all posts

Friday, 30 December 2011

Weekly commented photo # 52 - Winter dusk on Annecy lake

Long exposure photograph of Annecy lake by a winter dusk
Winter dusk on Annecy lake

So that's the last week of 2011 and my Weekly Commented Photo project reaches its end (you can read a short introduction here).
It was a bit fun but not really easy for me french speaking photographer to find every friday some english words to put under a photo. At least, it was a good exercise :)

I went to Annecy on last friday expecting to find some snow on the mountains around the lake. As you can devine i was a little disapointed and i just found one or two interesting views at dusk time when the christmas light started.
A little time before i took this photo, the place was overcrowded by tourists. I don't know why but they all nicely disapeared in a few minutes.

The image was done with a soft and light GND filter. The exposure was 30 seconds long.

See you next year !

Friday, 23 December 2011

Weekly commented photo # 51 - First snow

Photograph of a rural landscape after the first snow in Haute Savoie - France
First snow on the rural landscape around my home

Three weeks later than in 2010, the first snows came here during the last week end.
Not huge snowfalls but enough to paint most of the landscape in white.
This image is from monday, i had no other correct photographic opportunities since these days. The rain came back and i couldn't left my office to go to the mountains because the end of year is filled with administratives obligations and clients relationships. So i spent most of the week on the phone and behind the computers.

The good news are i received the confirmation that i was hired for photographing many wood made buildings in 2012 and the biggest french producer of chestnut cream also bought seven of my stock images about chestnuts and chestnut trees.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Weekly commented photo # 50 - End of autumn at Barbennaz waterfall

Photograph of Barbennaz waterfall at the end of autumn. Haute Savoie - France

Last year we had some huge snow falls and big colds at the end of november but as i said in a recent post, this year we spend the end of autumn under a countinous rain.

Fortunately we had two days of nice weather during the last week end.
Nice weather but no stunning conditions for serious landscape photography. No leaves on the trees, deep mud in the fields and forests and no beautiful white snow on the surrounding mountains.
So i decided to take once more the way to Fornant river running in the forest under my home.

After all that rain the water was running strongly. I spent a short time walking the muddy path along the river just looking at the stream. From the top of a little rock i devined a kind of passage going through dead trees and drift woods to a little canyon i had never explored before. So i left the path and walked to the canyon entrance where i had to go in the water to make 2 or 3 images possibly interesting.

After that refreshing stop, i went back to the path and walked to its end : at Barbennaz waterfall.

I first went just near the waterfall but was imedaitely soaked by the water spray. So i moved back to the place you can see on the image where i spent about half an hour before darkness, trying different compositions and different shutter speeds.

The photo posted here was the last i did there. For people interested in technical details, exposure time was around 3 seconds and i used a 2 stops soft GND filter to protect the upper part of the waterfall from over exposure. I also did the same image image without any filter but i really prefer this one. Last try : i took five bracketed exposure for a future HDR processing but they are still waiting.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Weekly commented photo # 49 - Mediterranean dusk at Gigaro beach

Photo of the mediterranean sea at Gigaro beach near Saint Tropez
Mediterranean dusk at Gigaro beach

This end of autumn is rainy and from a photographer's point of view, the landscape all around is not really exciting. I only made a few images in the past week and spent most of my time working on files from the preceding months. I'm also negociating with a TV channel which want to buy some of my photos but doesn't seems ready for the price i ask :).

So, this morning i was wandering about which image to feature here today when i receive an order from my french website for a print of the above photo.

I was a little surprised because that's an old image and because there is another one just near in the gallery that i find most beautiful. But after all a sale is a sale and one more time i was happy not to post only my own favourite images but all the "correct" ones.

Gigaro beach is a famous place in Saint Tropez area but i've just a few images from there. I think you can now retrieve most of them on this blog through this link.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Weekly commented photo # 48 - Powerful stream in Provence hills

Image of a powerful stream running through Provence hills
Boulin stream meets the Verne river

An image from my last year in Provence.
I've spent about 15 years living in Massif des Maures and the last year was certainly the most productive in term of river and stream photography.
It's possibly because i wanted to make the most images that i could of these places i loved and also because in 2010 the conditions were exceptionally good for such photos.

Hum, ... conditions were good for photographers but not for everyone. The stream you can see above is dry most of the time and really unlikely to run in june. The day before i made this image we had some flash floods killing around twenty people and destroying one of the big cities of the department.

In the natural area where we were living it was just an impressively strong rain. Probaly the strongest i've ever seen even in tropical areas. Our village was crossed by a river which is usually quiet but this day it was noisy and carrying some big trunks just broken by the tempest in the forest.

The day after, the weather was really nice and i went at dawn to the Verne river expecting some interesting views.
Curiously, the place looked quiet and really untouched by the recent floods. The only unusual thing was this strong water running in this little stream.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Weekly commented photo # 47 - Autumn in Cheran Canyon

Long exposure photograph of autumn along the Cheran river in Massif des Bauges natural Park - France
Autumn in Chéran Canyon

When i went to Chéran river two weeks ago, i made an image very close to this one.
It was not the best time of the day and i was thinking too much to scout this new place so i did a little composition mistake.

Back to the office and editing the images, i looked at the file and decided to delete it and to re-make the photo with better conditions if possible.

I returned last week but it was in the early morning and this image needs to be done in the late afternoon.

So, i returned once more this afternoon. Arrived in the canyon, i ran directly to the right place and started by a few shots with normal exposures around 0.5 seconds.
Looking at my camera LCD, i found the water movements and the sky reflections unsightly and decided to make a very long exposure with my Hoya ND 400 filter. The result is the image posted above and for people interested in such details, the exposure was a little more than 200 seconds long.

After that, i walked a little along the river, did some photos of the water running between the rocks and about one hour later, i went back to my initial place under the very low light of the autumn dusk.
Without any filter, i could do two or three more images with exposures around one minute. After a close look on my computer display, i really think that my favourite is the first one done with the Hoya ND 400, just after my arrival.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Weekly commented photo # 46 - Autumn morning along Cheran river

HDR photograph of an autumn morning along Cheran river in Massif des Bauges Natural Park
Autumn morning along Chéran river

I spent most of the week preparing the house for winter.
No blogging and almost no photography. I just took some time today in the early morning to return to Chéran canyon.

The drive before dawn to Massif des Bauges natural park was a little longer than usual because of the frosty roads and the path to river was more slippy than last week.

I started by some other images of the little waterfall posted here last friday but with a shorter exposure to give more details in the falling water.

After that, i climbed some rocks to pass over the waterfall. I wanted to explore more deeply the upper part of the river but i discovered it was not possible without a little and cold bath. Not prepared to this kind of game, i decided to stay a little time just on the top of the waterfall where i made the today image.

This one is the result of an HDR work done from 7 exposures and tonemapped with Picturenaut and Photomatix. I also have another one done with a strong GND filter but the left side of the image is really dark and i prefer the HDR one.

As i couldn't go higher i went back to the lower river bed, walked a little to another waterfall i noticed last week, did a few more photos and walked back to my car when the sun started to be really too high in the sky.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Weekly commented photo # 45 - Autumn waterfall in Cheran river, Massif des Bauges Natural Park

Photograph of an autumn waterfall on Chéran river in Massif des Bauges Natural Park
Autumn waterfall on Chéran river

I spent yesterday afternoon in Massif des Bauges natural park scouting for some new spots along Chéran river.

I didn't want to return to the place i visited at springtime and then i went deeper and lower in the canyon.
After about one hour drive from home, i left my car at the end of a tiny rural road, crossed meadows and woods and finally found a steep slippy path going to the river bed.

Since we had no serious rain for a long time, i had a few hesitations before leaving home because i wasn't sure to find enough water for interesting photography.
Once on the place i was very happy that the water level was so low because if it would have been higher i couldn't have walk in the canyon.

So, i started to hike on the wet and mossy rocks, stopping from time to time to make some images of the river running in its lower bed.
After some times rambling once on the rocks, once in the woods i arrived to this little but powerful waterfall.

It was more than 5 pm. The light started to be very low, i had no headlamp and i knew that walking back the river bed in the darkness wouldn't be a very good idea.
So i decided to stop the exploration here. I made two photos of the waterfall, this one and a vertical one and then started to walk back to my car.

As the light became lower and lower, i was a little nervous about finding and climbing the little path i used to get down.
Fortunately, halfway i found an other one larger and more comfortable climbing through the forest and leading to the road where i left my car.

Note : I've just uploaded 22 photos of autumn around the Rhône river on my french website. Some typical landscape works and some more abstract images.
You can have a look here.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Weekly commented photo # 44 - Autumn impression

Abstract photograph of some autumn leaves blended by camera movement during the exposure
Autumn impression

As you may have noticed, with the autumn cames to me the mood for creating some abstract images.
I can't explain exactly why but that's certainly because i spent many and many hours in summer to some long and early drives to Haut Jura Natural Park.

At the end of september i needed something more tranquil and decided to work on the beautiful fall colours in the forest and trees around my home.
Of course i couldn't resist to a few visit to Valserine forest but most of the time i could work without taking my car.

Spending a long time photographing only a very small and close area can become boring if you stuck with classical scenes and don't try something different.
So i started to think in terms of colours, textures and shapes, blending them with moving my camera during the exposure or with multi exposures.

As usual, the more you practice, the more the things become interesting.
With the time i started to devine which subject and which movements are the most likely to give the result i expect. Although sometimes the final image is still a total surprise but that's one of the pleasures of photography.

This photo was created yesterday evening in a little wood between my home and Fornant river.
I got a few other ones with such colours and textures and two or three with some trunk silhouettes nicely swiped by the camera movements.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Weekly commented photo # 43 - Autumn mist in Valserine forest

HDR photograph of a misty morning in Valserine forest

Last week end we went to visit some friends living in Haut Jura Natural Park. The main purpose of such times is obviously not photography but they live in a really beautiful place, just a few steps from Valserine forest and i can't imagine going there without a camera.

My friend is a wood sculptor and we spent the saturday evening looking at his recent work, at my images, commenting each others ...
On sunday morning we both woke up early. He went to his workshop and i took my camera for a little walk in the forest.

It was a nice, quiet misty morning. I had spent the night speaking with a good friend and i was walking alone in an amazing natural forest. So it was a very beautiful moment.

As you may know, its difficult to have a really free mind and instead of contemplating the amazing forest around me, i was looking for autumn colours.
So i probably missed a lot a photo opportunities before i told me you're in a pine forest and their autumn colours are green not orange.

Then i started to look around me differently, to breath the morning mist and finally seated on an old mossy tree stump. After this short stop i continued my walk during a least two hours and got a few nice images.
This one is the result of a light tonemapping done with Picturenaut on a HDR image produced from 7 exposures.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Weekly commented photo # 42 - Autumn sky

Abstract photograph of autumn trees
Autumn sky

At the end of last week, i spent two afternoons on the top of a little rocky hill just over our village.
It offers a nice overview on the surrounding landscape and for strategic reasons, it was chosen one thousand year ago to build a castle.
Today we can only see two or three parts of some impressive big walls. You can have a look at this image posted about one year ago to have a better idea of the place.

When i went there last week, i was most interested in the autumn trees, mostly lime trees, than by the old stones.
Fall colours were particularly beautiful in the early evening light but as often, the place was really windy. Although i could get a few nice classical autumn scenes during the short times with no wind, many images were ruined by non aesthetics blurred leaves.
So, i decided to go for more abstract images like my Autumn in the forest posted a few days ago or like this one.

If Autumn in the forest was done with a long lens and moving rapidly the camera during the exposure, i used a really different method for this Autumn sky.
I took a wide angle lens, put the camera on my tripod looking up to the sky through the leaves, selected the multi exposures mode and took three shoots rotating slightly the tripod head between each.
I just had to work a little on contrast when i processed the raw file to give this final image.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Weekly commented photo # 41 - Autumn in the garden

Abstract photograph of autumn cherry leaves and green grass
Autumn in the garden

Yesterday in the end of afternoon i went to my garden with the idea of making photos for my stock of the red cherry leaves fallen in the green grass.
I spent a few time trying to find beautiful compositions but after a few minutes i was bored just with the idea of such common images. That's not in my habit but that was my mind yesterday.

So i left the tripod and started to play with motion blur, just looking for nice colours and shapes.
With this kind of images, it's impossible to devine at shooting time what the final photo will exactly look. Many details can only be seen when processing the raw files on a serious display and may ruin an image you first imagine to be a keeper.

So, as usual in such case, i did many and many images, changing shutter speed, focus and the kind of movements i was giving to the camera. I also tried to blend some really blur photos with in camera multi-exposures. It gave some beautiful, colorful and very abstract images.

The photo posted above is the result of a single exposure. The blurred and textured effects are not due to any software manipulations but only to camera shake and a very slightly out of focus subject.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Weekly commented photo # 40 - Lonely tree in a misty rural landscape

Photograph of a lonely tree in a misty rural landscape
Lonely tree in a misty rural landscape

This is an autumn image without the usual autumn colours. Nuts are still on the walnut tree and this one is still mostly green.

The photo was done in Arcine, just near the village.
I stopped there while i was on the road to go to the Rhône valley for images of the autumn forest along the river. The valley is a few kilometers behind this tree and was lost in a deep fog when i arrived.

I noticed this misty scene around the tree while driving but followed my initial idea and went to the Rhône. Seeing there wouldn't be any good photographic opportunities near the river before at least one hour, i drove back to this field where the fog was a little lighter.

I did a few compositions turning around the tree with a wide angle lens and some soft GND filters. After that i walked back to my car that was parked a little above the field and then tried some other images from the road with a longer lens.
While i was walking, the mist became deeper and deeper and when i arrived on the road, there was so much fog between the tree and i that my autofocus couldn't work.

I switched the camera to manual focusing and did a few images before driving back to the river where i had to wait about half an hour for the fog to disappear and make photos like this one.

About the last images of the walnut tree i made from the road, they nicely show the tree silhouette in the mist but i still hesitate about how to process them. Will i keep the very soft silhouette or will i try to get something more detailed ?

Friday, 30 September 2011

Weekly commented photo # 39 : The syncline fold and its waterfall

Picture of a waterfall falling along the cliff of a syncline fold
Chapeau de gendarme syncline fold and waterfall

This is the place around Septmoncel about which i wrote a few words one week ago.
Its name means "Policeman's hat" and comes from its shape.

I discovered it in july with ugly weather and pouring rain. The waterfall was very very impressive and i was a little disappointed when i came back in september and found a very low water level despite the rain we had in the weeks before.

I found a kind of little path in the green vegetation you can see under the cliff and made a small serie of images of the entire waterfall plus some closeups i find more interesting.

The photo you can see here was done from the road. I didn't found any other composition to include all the fold with its waterfall.
The light in this end of afternoon was very nice but contrast between highlights on the cliff and shadows in the vegetation was huge. I could have wait a little more but i would have lost the sunrays lighting the rocks.

That's obvioulsy not the kind of images where GND filters give their best results and so i went for the HDR solution.

Five exposures where used.
NEF files where converted to 48 bits TIFs using SilkyPix.
TIF files where blended to a real HDR file with Picturenaut.
A first tonemapped image was then produced with Picturenaut and a second one was done by tonemapping the HDR file with Photomatix.
These two tonemapped files where then blended to give the final image you can see here.

I know that many magazines (and some famous ones) claim that they don't publish composite images including HDR ones. I think that's to avoid too much fakes in the photojournalism world.
I can understand their choice but on the other side when i compare this HDR photo with the best single exposure i've done from this scene i'm forced to recognized that the HDR file has a really better quality ...

Friday, 23 September 2011

Weekly commented photo # 38 : Cascading water near Septmoncel in Haut Jura Natural Park

Image of a little stream cascading in the forest of Haut Jura Natural Park
Cascading water in Jura forest

In july, our visit to the famous Hérisson waterfalls was shortened by the arrival of huge rains. We left the place at dawn and drove back home.
While on the mountain road between Saint Claude and Septmoncel i noticed a big waterfall on a spectacular syncline fold. The weather was really too bad and the rain too strong for a valuable photographic stop.

On wednesday, we had a beautiful autumn day and i decided to come back to this area and make images of this waterfall and geological particularity.
I arrived on the place in the end of afternoon under a beautiful light but i had two deceptions.
  • The waterfall was really less impressive than under the rain.
  • Access to its bottom was quite impossible.
I started to make some images from the road and finally found a kind of little path between the rock and green vegetation with which i could bring me a little closer.
My motivation was not really high because of the very few water falling from the cliff and after a few more shots i packed my gear and went back to my car with the idea to explore some other places in the area.

I stopped a little more closer to Septmoncel village where i could see from the road a stream cascading in the deep forest.
After a short trip along the stream i found this little place where i could make three or four images like this one. The light was low enough to give some long exposures (many seconds) without any filter.
After that i tried to explore the forest and stream a little more but night was falling and i rapidly came back to my car for a two hours long drive to home.
I expect to return there soon and hope the decidous trees will take their autumn colors for my come back.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Weekly commented photo # 37 - Mist and sun on Jura landscape

Photograph of a misty landscape in Jura mountains
Misty morning on Jura forest and meadows

On tuesday, i woke up before dawn, saw the starry sky enlightened by the moon and took my car for a drive to Haut Jura Natural Park.
I was expecting to be there for some beautiful pink dawn hues over the green meadows around Lajoux.

I arrived in Lajoux just at dawn time but the fog was really too strong and i had absolutely no visibility on the surrounding landscapes. I drove a little more turning around the village without finding any view on anything. I took some new roads but without seeing anything i can't call it exploration ...

After a few hesitations i decided to take once more the road to Bellecombe.
It seemed to be a good idea : while i was driving the heavy fog became a nice and light mist.

Just before arriving on the plateau where i took the rainy landscape posted one week ago, i noticed that the first sun rays were trying to pass over the mountains creating some nice backlit effects on the trees and mist.

I found a place to leave my car, took my gear and literally ran on a little hilltop hoverhanging Bellecombe plateau.
There, with a long lens i could make a little serie of images like this one. The serie ended when the mist was totally cleared by the sun.

Then, i packed my camera, put my tripod on my shoulder and started to hike the hills, with some little stops from time to time to make some of my first photographs of Jura landscapes under the sun.
I continued the walk untill i was pushed out of the meadows by a huge herd of cows.

Before driving back home, i returned around Lajoux to explore the little roads i took for the first time some hours before.
I was too late for photography but i certainly found some nice places for my next times here.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Weekly commented photo # 36 - Rain on the green meadows around Bellecombe in Jura mountains

Photo of the green meadows of Jura mountains under the rain
Rain on the green meadows around Bellecombe in Jura

If you're one of my usual readers, you know that i now live not too far from Haut Jura Natural Park.
This park covers some parts of two french departments : Ain and Jura.
It's a beautiful large natural area with forests, mountain meadows, rivers and waterfalls.

So, that's a perfect place for photography but the weather there is really wet and rainy. I've started to work on a portfolio about the park some months ago but it looks it will be a very long time ongoing work.
I went there many and many times, coming back without any images because of the pouring rain.

Two days ago, i left home before dawn to drive once more to Bellecombe plateau. The most i was advancing on the road, the most the sky was cloudy ...

Arrived in Bellecombe i left my car in a hidden place so that it couldn't be on my images and started to hike the meadows.
Sky was cloudy, the atmosphere was wet, the grass was wet (and so my feet). Some people were working on fences, wearing shorts and rubber boots.

I made my first images with a long lens from a "remote high hill" but left this place rapidly because i could'nt avoid to include some of the numerous electric lines in my compositions. That's a good exercise but i also wanted some less perturbated photos.

So i walked a little more and the rain started. Looking at the sky i thought it could stop or at least, not become too strong. Effectively it remained a nice little rain during about half an hour.
I could walk a little more and make images of the forests and landscapes without any noticeable problem but suddenly the rain became stronger and then i knew it wouldn't stop before a while.

This image is the last i could do before packing all my gear and running back to my car which was a few kilometers far.
If you're interested in such details, i can add that the photo was done with a 35mm lens and a Hitech 0.6 soft GND filter.

Driving back home, the weather became better and i could stop in Valserine valley to make a few images of the forest wearing its first autumn coulours.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Weekly commented photo # 35 - Magic mushroom in Valserine forest

Magic mushroom in Valserine forest
Magic mushroom in Valserine forest

It was a few weeks ago. I was walking in the wet Valserine forest looking for photogenic trees.

Just after crossing a little stream coming from the mountains, my eyes were cought by some unexpected colours on an old tree stump.
Usuallay, these old cutted trunks are black and covered with green moss with sometimes plants and little trees growing on them.

On this one, there were two or three of these colorful mushrooms in the middle of the wood and green moss.
I hesitated a short moment. That's not the kind of shot i usually do, i wanted to explore the forest more deeply and i had no lens longer than 70mm.

A little change in our habitudes and projects is not a bad thing so i finally decided to give it a try.
Approaching the mushroom with my tripod was not so easy and i had to turn the column to its horizontal position. I focused manually on the front of the mushroom and took a few shots using mirror lockup and a remote controller expecting to get a least one sharp image.

I also did another image with a wider composition, you can see it here on my french website. Perharps i'll show it at a larger size on this blog one of these days.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Weekly commented photo # 34 - Trees, snow and mist in a rural landscape

Trees, snow and mist in a rural landscape
Trees, snow and mist in a rural landscape

Here in Haute Savoie we had an unusual winter.
The snow started to fall strongly at the end of november until the first days of december. After that the weather was really cold until january and then winter was gone and spring started.

On december 2, just after the snow falls i woke up early and took my gear for a walk in the misty rural landscape around my home.

I first took a few images in a strong mist that you can see here on my french website.
I was still turning around in this field, trying to find interesting point of views and taking care of leaving the most important places free of footprints when the mist became lighter.
If i remember well i just did this image before walking back home. It's certainly less ethereal and "beautiful" than the other ones of the serie but i really love the simple composition and how it shows the wet and cold atmosphere.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Weekly commented photo # 33 : Blowing sunflowers in Provence

Sunflowers in Alpes de Haute Provence
Sunflowers in Alpes de Haute Provence

For the beginning of the year, i post a weekly commented photo every friday on this blog. When i know in advance i won't be online on friday, i prepare a scheduled post.
Last week, all was ok until thursday but in the evening i had a call for an unexpected and urgent work which kept me far from any computer on friday. A good thing for the business but not for the blog. So this week, you should have 2 wcp posts :)

This image was sleeping in my stock for about 2 years until it was licensed on past tuesday. It was done in july 2009 while i was making images of the rural Provence landscapes around Mane and the Prieuré de Salagon.

In the early morning after a serie of classic sunflowers fields and closeups and before the light was too strong i decided to try something a little different.
I choosed a field of nicely oriented flowers, took a long lens and started to take photos, panning my camera during the exposure.

Peoples are often surprised when i say i usually use a tripod for such images but i find it really helpful to lock movements in all directions but one. It also helps to keep an "almost same" composition when i make multiple tries for the same image.

When you move your camera during the exposure, you can't really control what comes in the frame. You can get annoying objects, too important shadows, burned highlights and many other unwanted things. So making multiple tries is certainly the most reliable method to get a correct image. I usually make the first review in the field on the camera back screen to delete the obviously failed images and the final selection is done in the office after examination and comparison of every file.

An advantage of digital photography for such images is that you can make as much tries as you want without wasting your expensive film. But don't think making a huge amount of images is free neither cheap. Reviewing, editing, storing, publishing is really time consuming and when you're self employer your time is probably one of your highest cost.
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