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.
The problem with a place in Florida called Venice is that if you Google “Venice,” you’ll end up in Italy. Even if I search my website, I get Italy. Using the hashtag “#venicefl” helps sort that out.
That’s the thing about living in the new world, a lot of places get named after the old world. If you’re someone like me that was born here, its confusing as heck. (I never said I was bright.) It’s like when someone in Ontario Canada mentions London; or the poor souls in Paris Texas.
Hashtags aside, I took this with the original Sony A7R. By this time I owned it for over a year and was thoroughly happy with it. Now I’m on the third generation A7, but am going back with newer software. The updated software breaths new light into these old shots. This is processed with Aurora HDR 2019, and after looking at what it can do with these old photos, I’m going to be going back to have a second look at a few more.
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.
I was La Grande-Motte a couple of years ago walking around with my camera. A friend who was running some errands dropped me off for the morning. It’s a seaside resort town on the Mediterranean and in that respect has a lot of similarities to where I live in Florida. I was here in the off-season so it did not have the normal crowds.
I could be wrong but it seems like there are more sailboats in Europe than in the states. I’m no expert but I think we have more powerboats in the US. Nevertheless these long rows of docks are common in southern France.
The symmetrical leading lines of the rows reflecting on the water fascinate me. For that matter, leading lines and water always grab my attention. It’s something I’ve taken photos of over and over again. There is a good explanation for it, I’m sure.
This image is for me a study in the transformation of a scene. The photo was taken in daylight inside the old walls of Aigues-Mortes, southern France. However the photo appears to be in the evening. It’s an example of what I imagined verses what I saw.
Street signs, power lines and crowds were all removed. I worked on the tones and the light. I added the illumination of the lamps and a sunset through the portal. Finally I added shadows and some subtle shades. In reality there is very little reality in the image.
But is there reality in a novel, movie or painting? They’re all renderings of an artist. Sometimes I tire of reality and prefer the world of imagination. I am a practical guy so these explorations are a departure from the routine of daily life.