My recollection of the last time I visited here in Carnon is a little spotty. I seem to remember something about fresh croissants every day.
That, and the scenery and the excellent food and, let’s not forget the wine. My memory of the trip is a string of highlights all tied together. I’ve been thinking about it lately because I’ll be heading back in a few months.
Here is another photo from Nice France. I took this as I walked around the streets above the harbor on a hot August morning.
The hill above the harbor is steep, and I remember thinking to my self that I didn’t want to get too hot first thing in the morning. So I paced myself and took slow steps, trying to avoid exertion. That was a fool’s errand because I quickly became covered in sweat no matter how slow I walked. I ended up getting ice cream for breakfast to cool down. That’s just how I roll.
Nevertheless, I prefer to walk around these little streets as opposed to the more famous beaches of Nice. Beaches I have all around me in Florida, so when in Europe, I like unique places like this; even when covered in sweat and eating ice cream.
This is a section of Nice where cruise ships dock and people come ashore on a tender. That’s what I was doing when I took this picture.
While waiting for transport to other parts of Nice, I walked up and around the narrow streets. It was in the middle of summer and hot. I remember trying to decide whether to have a beer or ice cream to cool down. My only hesitation was that it was nine in the morning so I opted for ice cream.
The famous beach is west of here, but since I live close to beaches in Florida, I visited other parts of the city including an art colony in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. As that was up on a small mountain, it was a little cooler, but still quite warm. I ended up getting a beer there, but it was midday at that point. Such are my memories of ice cream and beer.
This is a street scene along the main road through town. I was walking around taking pictures of the side streets. The buildings are painted every color of the rainbow which made it even more fun to take pictures.
Gigondas is a town in southern France known for its wine. But then, we could say that for just about every village in France.
They are sticklers for doing things the old way, and the wine from here is famous around the world. A funny little story: about a week after I returned home I was in a small store in my hometown, and they had Gigondas wine. I wasted no time bragging that I had just been there.
Nevertheless, this image is a three frame HDR that I processed in the new Aurora HDR 2019 from Skylum. I prepared it in color so that the details weren’t washed out and then, for the last step, converted it to monochrome. For me, the memories are of the textures in the walls, gardens, and walkways.
Here is a shot like the one I posted last week from the central section of old Montpellier. As with that other shot, this is from the day I wandered around taking photos of people walking the narrow streets. I could do that every day if I lived in an area like this, but I don’t so I have to take a lot while I’m there.
I processed this to make it look like the shot was at night even though it was midday. Transforming it like this is a personal preference of mine, and it creates a slightly different narrative for the image. For me, these types of images are studies in mood, lighting, and effects. I do them to satisfy my curiosity as to how far I can take a picture from its original exposure.
Aside from the processing, what makes a shot like this is the combination of the narrow streets, the curve of the leading line, high walls and the people. That’s a combination that’s generally found only in Europe. That is why I really would like to get back there more often. Maybe I can work something out. <knock on wood>
A few years ago I was wandering around the old section of Montpellier. This image is from a day when I walked around taking random photos of people walking past shops.
What’s relevant is I took this photo during the day, and the original looks much different. However, I wanted to recreate a low light look, so I’ve manipulated the lighting with photoshop and other tools, like Luminar from Skylum.
I took this when I was on vacation. However, no one likes looking at vacation photos, unless maybe they’re our own. However, I do like looking at pictures that have a sense of mystery to them. That’s what I tried to do here, create a sense of something I saw in my head but wasn’t there.
This is the Hérault river in Southern France. We stopped here for a brief rest on our way back from a visit to the mountain village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert. There are a lot of rivers running off the mountains here and many have ancient bridges or structures alongside.
Just off to the left are a set of caves that, had we not been so tired, we could have explored; something to add to the next trip I suppose.
If stopped at all the good spots for pictures I would never get anywhere. This is especially true in a new place, but even at home, I’m in the habit of scanning. Unconstrained, I could go to the store for milk and come back days later, still thirsty but with a lot of pictures. That’s why I don’t bring my camera when grocery shopping. Even though sometimes I think I should.
This is from St Paul de Vence near Nice France which is an art colony on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s an ancient village with narrow streets lined with shops and studios of every type. I snapped this of a random artist as I walked around one day.
Having spent so much time processing photos, watching an artist at an easel seems a little familiar to me. What I do with photography is different, yet I think I get into a similar mindset as say a painter or sculptor.
As I work with photos I create something new, mostly from an idea I have of the scene. Even though it’s a photograph I alter it through post processing to achieve a certain look. So, while it’s very different than using paints, my head is probably in a similar space as other types of artists.
That’s the thought that struck me as I watched this artist quietly from behind. The solitary pursuit of his vision seemed very familiar to me; so, I took a picture and started the whole process over again.