Impressions of Belle Ile

Belle Ile, France

Belle Ile, France

The island of Belle Ile in France has been a popular location for artists. Octave Penguilly L’Haridon’s 1859 painting Les Petites mouettes (“Little Gulls”) (1858, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes) depicts the island. It was praised by Maxime du Camp and Charles Baudelaire, who referred to the sense of the uncanny, as though the rocks make “a portal open to infinity…a wound of white birds, and the solitude!” During the 1870s and 1880s, French Impressionist painter Claude Monet painted the rock formations at Belle Île. Monet’s series of paintings of the rocks at Belle Île astounded the Paris art world when he first exhibited them in 1887. Most notable are the Storm, Coast at Belle-Ile and Cliffs at Belle-Ile both rendered in 1886. The first time Auguste Rodin saw the ocean off the Brittany coast he exclaimed, “It’s a Monet.” 1 CONTINUE READING…

Picture of the month: The chapel

Chapel of Etretat, Notre-Dame de la Garde, in dense fog

Notre-Dame de la Garde in dense fog

Etretat, Normandy in France on a cold and very foggy day in March 2014.

At the top of the cliff stands the stone silhouette of the chapel “Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde”, protector of fishermen. The present building replaces a brick and stone neo-Gothic chapel of the nineteenth century . The original was destroyed by the occupying forces during World War II.

 

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Long gone glory

Pier Scheveningen, The Hague, Netherlands

Pier Scheveningen, The Hague, Netherlands

A long exposure shot of the “Scheveningen Pier”, a decaying Dutch landmark…

Scheveningen, the coastal resort town of The Hague, boasts the largest pier in the Netherlands, completed in 1961. A crane, built on top of the pier’s panorama tower, provided the opportunity to make a 60-metre (200 ft) high bungee jump over the North Sea waves. The present pier is a successor of an earlier pier, which was completed in 1901 but in 1943 destroyed by the German occupation forces 1.
Unfortunately this structure is closed to the public since October 2013 because of serious safety issues and it’s future is unknown…
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I’ve been drivin’ all night

Car's headlights seen through raindrops on a windshield

I’ve been drivin’ all night…

I've been drivin' all night, my hand's wet on the wheel 
There's a voice in my head, that drives my heel 
It's my baby callin', says, "I need you here" 
And it's half past four, and I'm shifting gear...

from “Radar Love” by Golden Earring

On my way home after a photo shoot…

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Cap Fréhel

Lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, Brittany, France

Cap Fréhel

A long exposure photograph of “Cap Fréhel“, a famous cape (and lighthouse) in France. There are  a lot of people in this image, but all most of them are invisible because of the use of long exposure time. If you look carefully you can still see some “ghosts” near the right edge of the photo, just right to the old 17th century lighthouse.

Most of the time I use shorter focal lengths, or even extreme wide angle lenses, but this one was done using a 70-300mm zoom lens. I couldn’t get a nice viewpoint closer to the lighthouse and I wanted to enhance the clouds behind the building. The “compression effect” when using a longer focal length accomplished this very well.

 

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