Beware of the « Grand Vista Syndrome »…


When we encounter a wild scene with obvious visual appeal, the first decision to make is what stays and what goes ! Compositional choices might be limited by features such as fence lines or utility poles, but in the absence of these, main question is :  » What is relevant to  the story and what is not ? » I find that in these situations, it helps to start off by thinking small. Begin by identifying one of those elements that caught your attention in the first place. In this Photograph, I was caught by this line of red trees against the deep green of the meadows.

Then, Can those elements be linked to other elements that are relevant to the picture’s theme ? One at a time, these components are incorporated into the composition, until the inclusion of anything else threatens to reduce the impact of the core topics. Though these compositions may not be on the Grand Scale of the « Yosemite Vista » you certainly have in mind,  they can be just as valuable as records of Wildness.

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A Stroll in Giverny…


I have been hiking these last days in Normandy since I have a country house  in the surroundings. As most of you know, Impressionism has its nest in this wonderful area and, especially in Giverny. This little village is famous because of Claude Monet House and Gardens. I felt I had to make a very modest tribute to his memory. This landscape explains the reason why Impressionism birth found its place there !  The hue palette are exactly these…

Sure, I played around adding some texture in the sky to do it the Monet’s way, but I promise there is no cheating in the tonalities : these are true colors. I admit, This photograph of Nature may be more impressionistic than documentary but it gives an accurate sense of atmospheric and weather conditions, and an overall feeling of the scene. My main purpose is to convey a a mood or a feeling that Nature has evoked, to me, and… I’m sure, to these painters. I like to single out what makes these instant so magic, to express some kind of connection between a natural design, a light and a my perception of things rather than to provide specific, factual information. By emphasizing a mood feeling, I incorporate my interpretation in the resulting image.

Workshop Special Learning To See…

I ‘ll animate workshops in June in Normandy on this precise topic : Learning To See and way to express your own interpretation of the factual capture of your sensors.

Level : Beginners – Intermediate – Advanced

Cost per Attendee : 400 €  ( Lodging – Catering included ).

For more Info thank you to use this form …

Photo Impressionism


In the tradition of still Photography, we will find a documental approach : The representation of the objective reality. We, as photographers, observe a scene, a situation, a fragment of time and then, we respond to it by endeavoring to show it as it appears … But the question is : Do all of us perceive the event in the exact same manner ? Does our personal capture of this fragment of time look like your perception of this same event ? Or,  do we accept the idea there could be another tradition, that of altering physical reality for the purpose of expressing  our own response to specific subject matter ?

Most of us work within both approaches and may produce deeply expressive realistic images as well as non-literal ones. For a Nature Photographer, as I pretend to be, the rule is simple : Just express what you feel when in front of the scene. Be faithful, not to the facts themselves but to your emotional response. You have the right to « intensify » the physical realities of Nature using the traditional set of tools any Photographer has in his arsenal : Composition – Exposure – Depth of Field and Shutterspeed. I have no problem with burning, dodging and vignetting. Curiously, I never reframe during post-production since Composition is a one shot exercise : I compose my image at acquisition time. As often as possible, I try to remove any distracting element from the scene. When it’s impossible to remove an intrusive element, I use the stamp tool or any similar tool but I feel guilty doing so !

One again, the goal is to stimulate a strong emotional response. The « Impressionist Approach » deliberately abandons physical exactitude in the belief that, by doing so, we can convey more effectively the reality of feeling. Here is the deal : Do we show what we see or do we show what we feel ? Do it your own way but stay honest with yourself … Do not cheat !