Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Photography in the Languedoc
There's barely a day goes by that I don't wax lyrical about the stunning photographic opportunities that present themselves down here in the Languedoc. Why just from my window alone throughout the changing seasons I'm always rushing to capture the moments as they present themselves. Landscapes ranging from fields of sunflowers and poppies, vineyards that have their own individual character through the seasons. In the winter they present themselves as wizened black Lowry type figures going on to become full and lush with grapes and then turning into a magnificent display of vibrant deep hues of reds and yellows. There are lakes, valleys, sites of historical interest, bustling colourful markets, all quintessential images of rural France. Is it any wonder I never get bored ?
On Sunday we pootled along the lanes to the onion fields. In front of us along the road stretched a line of nuns from the local Monastère de Prouille, which incidentally has been struck twice by lightening and survived. Their habits stretched out behind them as they strode out purposely along the road. It was a marvellous photographic shot with the undulating countryside dipping gently in the distance. A professional photographer would have captured the moment. I didn't.
We pulled up at the field. Exciting stuff. Rows and rows of glistening red onions that had already been harvested, these were the one's that were simply going to be ploughed back into the ground. My feet sunk into the fine warm soil, I'm still in flip flops you see, I suppose I could have equally been on a soft sandy Mediterranean beach. My fingers dug deep, easing out beauties and filling my finger nails with rich soil. In the distance a line of children ran alongside the vines, their laughter filling the air.
When we got home as well as laying out our onions in wooden trays we sat and looked at our days shots. There was one of me bending down deep in concentration at my task. 'Old peasant woman collecting onions' His Lordship said. The next frame came up on the screen. 'An even older peasant man collecting onions' I retorted.
Pays to be quick don't you think ?
Much later on I chased the sunset.