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Back from Provence & Lyon - susan001's trip report with photos

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Jul 10th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Back from Provence & Lyon - susan001's trip report with photos

Hello, all,
I joined a photography workshop in Lyon and Provence, and subsequently traveled on my own to Avignon, Aix and day-toured the villages of the Luberon. I was carrying lots of gear (a camera, 3 lenses, my laptop, a tripod), and taking public transportation after the workshop was over, so needed to keep the overall trip somewhat less extensive than I would have liked. Given the lack of sleep experienced during the workshop, however, I was actually glad to come home and rest! Here's the report:

June 23 -- Arrived at my hotel in Lyon early evening, and took a stroll around. I’m always struck by the cultural differences between Los Angeles and just about anywhere in Europe.

June 24 - Today I wandered around Lyon taking photos, visited Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, enjoyed a salad Lyonnaise, and later that evening, met up with my small photography workshop group. It turned out to be a fun group of 8 plus our instructor, a well-known pro and author of several best-selling books.

After meeting for drinks and then dinner, we set out for the river’s edge where we photographed the Notre Dame cathedral (Lyon) all lit up in evening. It was quite an experience, as prior to this, I had never before used a tripod. I bought one just 2 weeks before leaving for France. Fortunately, participants were willing to help me out with the nuances of the tripod, and two of them even lent me special filters for night photography.

We were out there until 11:30 pm (and were slated to meet the next morning at 6:30 am).

June 25 - This morning we photographed the same cathedral setting, only in early morning light (you will see the evening and morning shots in my gallery); next, we set off for across the bridge to old Lyon. Our instructor took us to some interesting architectural spots where he elaborated on composition and HDR technique (which I had already experimented with in previous months).

That afternoon, we drove to a Botanical gardens in Lyon to work on macro photography. I was extremely disappointed that I had left my macro lens at the hotel, but managed to get one or two decent shots with my telephoto lens.

That evening after dinner, we set out to photograph a large ornamental fountain with sculpture, in evening light. You will see the results in my photo album of Lyon:

http://www.pbase.com/scbowen/lyon
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Jul 10th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Susan, your photos are fabulous!!!

Oh, how I wish we could get raspberries like that in Texas!
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Jul 10th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Thank you so much, Swisshiker.
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Jul 10th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Susan: A lot of effort on your part, and it sounds sort of like Photography bootcamp. but your photos are well worth it. more please!!
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Jul 10th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Thank you, taconitraveler. There were some fairly advanced people taking this workshop. Pre-requisite was at least a basic working knowledge of exposure, which I had learned from his books.

I probably should add that nearly half of these photos were taken, hand-held, before the workshop started.
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Jul 10th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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Your pictures are a feast for the eyes! Fabulous job! A perfect hobby: you have fun taking pictures and provide joy by showing them. Thank you for sharing!
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Jul 10th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Thank you so much Viajero.

June 26 - This morning at 6:15 am, we met in the lobby for our photography excursion to the Beaujolais wine region. Someone in the class reported to us that Michael Jackson had died.

After taking several detours off the main road -- winding, narrow roads through vineyards --we ended up in this most remote, beautiful setting -- a photographer’s paradise. See photo link, below:

http://www.pbase.com/scbowen/beaujolais_region

After what seemed like an hour at this site, we moved to another location, and then on to village for coffee and pastries. We were first directed to a boulangerie, where I bought a quiche (which they heated) and a pain au chocolat. We took our pastries to a local cafe, where I had cafe au lait. The man behind the counter was so delightful. The pastries were out of this world!

We got back to our hotel in Lyon with just enough time to pack up and check out before moving on to our hotel in Greoux les Bains, near the lavender fields on the Valensole Plateau, for two nights.

To be continued....
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Jul 10th, 2009, 03:34 PM
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Exquisite photography, thank you! EJ
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Jul 10th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Thanks so much, elsiejune.
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Jul 10th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Your photos are fabulous, Susan! The second group was particularly amazing! I can't wait to see your pictures from the Valensole Plateau!

We were in St. Remy when we heard that Michael Jackson had died....
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Jul 10th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Thanks so much, Kansas. I'm working on other galleries now!
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Jul 10th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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Yes, they are worth the praise, thank you.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 07:46 AM
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Thank you, cigalechanta.

June 26 (cont'd) - By 12 noon, we were on our way to Geoux Les Bains in Provence. We had two rented SUVs for the fairly long haul (about 3 hours). We arrived at our hotel, only to find that there had been some sort of reservation mix-up and that 4 of us (including me) would be staying at a different hotel right on the main street, in town.

It was a fairly basic room, but the man behind the counter, who seemed to run the entire establishment was so charming and witty, I decided I lucked out.

By 6:00, we were on our way to the lavender fields - and we were out there until 9:00 pm.

My first reaction to being out in that first lavender field was one of awe. The sun was waning, the bees were buzzing, a gentle breeze was blowing, and the fragrance was out of this world. Being in a lavender field is such a feast for all the senses, which I cannot duplicate here in photos.

Here is my gallery of the Valensole Plateau & Cassis.

http://www.pbase.com/scbowen/provence
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Jul 11th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Wow! I have the same camera and have never taken such quality pics...Did you play around with the ISO or was it more complicated than that?
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Jul 11th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the kind comment, JKen07. I was in a photography workshop with the guy who's authored a couple books I've read - one specifically on exposure. I shot in full manual, adjusting aperture and shutter speed for each shot - and many of these were shot on a tripod. A quality lens will also make a difference.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Hi Su,

Very good pix. Thanks for sharing.

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Jul 11th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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Amazing photos !

-Kevin
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Jul 11th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Thanks so much, Ira and Kevin!
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Jul 11th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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Wow. Several times these pix just took my breath away. The lavender fields are spectacular--as are you pictures of them. I've never seen them in person but it's hard to imagine that they can be as beautiful as your pictures.

Cassis is one of my 6 or 7 favorite places on earth so I about tripped out when the first photo of it popped up. Terrific. You capture it perfectly. What a talent. Thanks so much.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Thank you so much, Julie!
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