Going under

Flooded beach on a cold winter morning, Loire river near Orléans, France.

Flooded beach on a cold winter morning, Loire river near Orléans, France.

During last Sunday’s morning stroll, I found this scene which, I think, is graphically quite interesting. The light was beautiful, the winter-sun was quite low and shining through some branches behind me which created some interesting patterns. A long exposure of about 20 seconds was used to create the “silky water” look. Not much post-processing was done on this one, it looked very good straight out of the camera. I only removed some spots, desaturated the image and brightened up the top half.
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Going Medieval

Medieval castle of Chaumont sur Loire, France. Black and white.

Medieval castle of Chaumont sur Loire, France. Black and white.

About the castle

The Château de Chaumont is a castle in Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. The castle was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. After Pierre d’Amboise rebelled against Louis XI, the king ordered the castle’s destruction. Later in the 15th century Château de Chaumont was rebuilt by Charles I d’Amboise. Protected as a monument historique since 1840, the château was given into state ownership in 1938 and is now open to the public. (From Wikipedia)
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Red Rock

Perros Guirec, September 2012

Perros Guirec, September 2012

This is the lighthouse of “Men Ruz”(“Red Rock”) in Ploumanac’h, Brittany France. I already talked about this building in my previous post (you can check it out here if you like). In that post I rambled about how the scene reminded me of the famous computer game “Myst”.

Anyways, as I explained, it was quite difficult to take a picture without people in it. This place seems to attract a lot of tourists at anytime of the day! There were always at least two or three people “walking through my photo”. To solve this problem, I applied my preferred technique: long exposure. If you use an exposure of 15 seconds or longer, moving people (or objects) will effectively disappear. As soon as people stand still for a few seconds however, you’ll see “ghosting”, so you have to pick the moment you press the shutter very carefully. Everybody has to be moving! I guess Henri Cartier-Bresson’s concept of the “decisive moment” is also valid when using long exposures…

It was a bit awkward, but I was able to take a few nice pictures without having to wait for all the tourists to leave. I used a ND400 neutral density filter which gave me an exposure time of about 20 seconds in broad daylight. Cool! I just zapped everybody! At the moment I took this photograph, three of four people were crossing that bridge while another person was walking around the lighthouse… they’re all gone…!

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Rock don’t roll

Black and white long exposure photo rockpiles, pebbles, île Grande, France

Rock don’t roll (Rockpiles, île Grande, September 2012)

This one was taken on Île-Grande in Brittany, France during our latest trip. We walked around the island and we were pleasantly surprised: it is beautiful. There were not much tourists when we were around, but I guess there must be a lot of them during the summer months judging by the number of rock piles. These piles of rocks covered a whole beach, an impressive sight! I’m sure they’re made by people with a lot of time on their hands (tourists?) because it’s not as easy as it looks to make a stable pile. Anyways, these piles have become very typical of  Île-Grande and it yields great photos.

I went in with my ultra wide angle lens and got really close to the pile of rocks on the right. The distance between the lens and the pile was about two feet (60 cm). I used a long exposure to get those blurred clouds in the sky.

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