Scouting Locations in France is FUN!

I’ll admit it: scouting locations for my “Finding Your Artistic Voice” retreat in France is FUN!!

The South of France is truly a glorious place to explore photographic artistry, find your voice (in art AND in life), deepen your connection to your health and most of all: your most expressive, artistic YOU. Everything here supports that and I couldn’t wait to come back for the Fall installment of this workshop. New people, new stories, new images, new places!

(Click here to see the recap of the FIRST “Find Your Artist’s Voice” retreat/workshop!)

Overlooking Cannes

One really nice spot is up on a hill by a big cathedral. It overlooks Cannes Harbor in one of those “Look ma, a POSTCARD!” moments. I thought it was a fine place to kick off this chapter of “Postcards From France”. Of course, the sun was so bright I could hardly keep my eyes open as I made this first vid of the series for this trip.

NOTE: all of these videos are low res, since the internet here isn’t robust enough to upload anything wooftier. But you’ll get the idea…

Grasse!

I just love Grasse. It’s SO much fun to photograph! I had heard there was scaffolding set up in town though, so wanted to make sure our cinematic view wasn’t spoiled like rotten cheese. Plus, I wanted to test out the bus system from Cannes (read that as meaning: make sure I knew where it picked up, dropped off and didn’t smell bad.).

So Tanya Wallis and I leapt on the #600 bus that picked us up right in front of our hotel and headed up the hill.

We made a video too. Grin.

Verdict on Grasse: no scaffolds, bus smelled great and the place still ROCKS!

The Boat to Île Sainte Marguerite

Last May when I was here, I didn’t have time to take the 15 minute ferry ride to Île Sainte Marguerite. It’s a marvelous excursion and easy peasy to do. I’ve heard several people talk about it – so this time, I wondered if it would be a good place to take the group and decided to find out.

The island is home to Fort Royal, which was known to be inhabited in Roman times. It’s also where the real life “Man in the Iron Mask” was held for 30+ years in the 17th century. His cell is alot cleaner now than it was then… but you can go inside and imagine spending over 3 decades in a stone cell with a mask on your face. Suffice it to say I was happy to be outside again!

Here’s the thing:  I’m not a huge fan of boats. But to see the island, you gotta float on the boat. Ain’t no way around it. I decided making a new “Postcards” video was a great idea. Turns out, it definitely was – but ARGH! the audio on the video from my iPhone went all wonky, rendering it impossible to use.  I was going to toss the whole thing and had a very sad face.

Suddenly Tanya starts laughing in this funny out-of-context way (with a scary wicked gleam in her eye) and says “I know just the story I can tell with the bits that aren’t too bad!” She was guffawing so hard, I just had to let her create her (clearly) deranged vision, cause I couldn’t POSSIBLY have said anything TOOO “out there”! 😜

This is the result:

Verdict on Île Sainte Marguerite: We’re ON! This is an awesome place to visit! We literally had only an hour… and in that short time, unequivocally knew this would be one of the adventures the group HAD to have!

The Retreat Begins…

The moment arrived: scouting done, locations dialed in – it’s GO time!

More photos and videos to come! Time now to get back to living the experience… 😀

 

The Landscape of Life

Me Loves Options

Sometimes I don’t know if I love black and white or color better. Or… big, open space epic photographs or macro. Or… chocolate or really ripe raspberries.
Then I retrieve my senses and remember that I don’t have to choose! In this lifetime, on this planet – we get options and choices. I treasure that to my very core.

(SIDEBAR: I created this one in Macphun Software’s Tonality Pro. I love how fast it is – and how you can bring back color selectively like here, or split tone in the blink of an eye. Should I tell you that all of Macphun’s software is 40% off until Nov. 29? I think it’s fair… cause maybe you love a discount as much as I do and want the option to git one!)

BlueBoatWhiteSand

Continue reading “The Landscape of Life”

Lines, Contrast, Patterns = Monochrome

 My, What Strong Lines You Have!

This is a brand, spankin’ new photo. I haven’t posted it anywhere, except here. ‘Cause my blog gets first crack at everything. I’m partial that way.

It DID appear in a recent webinar I did on Tonality Pro for Macphun Software, because that’s how I processed it. This particular photo is just such a great example of how you can work with selective colors in Tonality Pro.

I do love this one… single shot, hand held… I found it while I was waiting for sunset at Donner Lake one evening this summer. I still remember the sound of the mosquito I was dodging at the time.

The little boat rental outfit was closed for the day… and all their boats were tied up, but this one was just as you see it. Such a classic set up – and perfect for a monochrome approach. The strong lines make it so; the verticals of the trees, the horizontal of the boat and dock… accentuated by the vertical orientation.

It’s a good thing to remember, should you wonder if a subject would make a good black and white image. Does it have strong lines, contrasts and repeating patterns? Then it’s probably a shoo-in for monochrome.

MyRedCanoe

 If You Like Learning…

On a whole other topic (but still related to learning)… remember last week when I said “Something Big is Coming?”
It starts tomorrow. I can’t give you the complete lowdown on the rundown until then, but I do get to say this much… Wow!

Yeah. Check in tomorrow… I’ll have the entire thing all laid out for ya. It’s COOL!

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Scenes From a Boat

Adventures Revisited

The great thing about not processing photos from a big trip all at once, is that you get to go back later and revisit your adventure.

Take this photo. Whilst in New Zealand last year, we took a cruise around the Milford Sound area. Went all the way to the edge of where the ocean begins. (It started to get a little rough out there – I was WAY happy when we turned around!). These boats take you up to waterfalls, right along the shore in places… and you get to see areas you’d NEVER see otherwise.
Continue reading “Scenes From a Boat”