It’s been a while since Part 1 of this photo journal, but I’m finally getting around to rounding it out. Here are ten more studies of photos that almost – but didn’t quite – make the mark … but are still quite a sight!
The shots below are all from 2010, when I spent a few days in July traveling around the French province of Aveyron, thanks to a wonderful tip from a friend.
Wildflowers at Najac
This one is all about the color, since the good department of Aveyron apparently spared nothing from its palette in this little corner. A little better framing and focus might have improved the photo, but overall I am quite happy with it.
Through the ruins at Najac
This shot was actually taken with a very high zoom from the catwalk on the other side of the interior courtyard of the chateau. I am of two minds on the photograph itself - on one hand, I love the effect, and the depth of field seems perfect. On the other hand, the misalignment and partially out-of-frame content leaves a mild sense of incompleteness. What I can not tell is if that is a good thing or a bad thing! What the photo lacks in symmetry it may make up for in intrigue.
La Bastide des Fonts, near Cornus
Atop the ridge, this panorama is absolutely breathtaking. As a photo, it utterly and completely escaped me - and not for want of trying (I have a couple dozen failed versions in the reject bin). Try as I might, I was not able to capture the depth of the distance or the literal depth of the scarp and valley. The panoramic view worth capturing extends at least another photo frame to the left. By attempting to scrunch too much into the frame, I also sacrificed some lens distortion of the church itself. As a result, the photo only hints at the real majesty of this beautiful scene.
Atop the chateau at Belcastel
Belcastel is one of the many official "most beautiful villages in France" to be found in Aveyron. While the chateau has been significantly reworked and restored it is nonetheless unbelievably idyllic. This photo looks down upon the old village and church. I think the framing and symmetry work well, but I wasn't able to keep the backlighting from washing out.
Grasses in southeast Aveyron
These grasses had an absolutely beautiful, feather-like texture. Capturing their flagellations in the strong breeze was beyond my skill at the time, but could have made for a very nice photograph, one I really regret not capturing. Now I at least know enough about shutter speeds to tinker around next time!
Another texture capture (I am really drawn to textures ... hopefully that is not a sign of low level schizophrenia). The colors in this photograph struck me as very well balanced and contrasted, with colors leaning to the earthy side in both the trees and sky. As a feature of interest, it was also intriguing that this tree had not yet bloomed in late June.
Along Le Cernon, near La Bastide-Pradines
I stopped the car on first sight of this house because of its amazing, well, green-ness. I think the photo did it justice.
I would have been remiss had I not captured at least one of the beautiful cerulean shades from the bastides and villages of Aveyron. During my drive through southern France and then down to Costa Brava in Spain it seemed that each town (or at least region) had picked an "official" shade of blue. This photo captures how vibrantly the "town colors" jump out when contrasted against grey masonry.
Open for business?
I loved this photo as much for the Moulin Rouge-esque font, as for the very uncertainty answer to the question: "Is this hotel open and functioning, or derelict?" My guess is the former (the upstairs shutters seem too neatly arranged partially ajar).
There is no way I could match the most breathtaking photos of the graceful Milau Viaduct (be still my erstwhile civil engineering heart!), but hopefully this photo at least captures the spirit of how this beautiful structure blends with the landscape, treading "lightly" upon the valley and exhibiting a "paper thin" presence. Go to images.google.com and search for "Milau Viaduct" for the real eye-poppers.