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Thread: Chapelle St Roch

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Chapelle St Roch

    One of the responses to the phylloxera epidemic of 1875 - 1887 that almost wiped out the entire French wine industry, was to build chapels on hills as a source of spiritual support in fighting the disease and also as an act of thanks for the cure having been found (by a man from Chiroubles).

    For a deeply religious people, the building of these chapels was a very appropriate thing to do.

    There are a number of such chapels on hill tops in the Beaujolais area.

    Your comments are always welcome.

    Chapelle St Roch
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 35mm. ISO100. 1/4@f22
    Last edited by Donald; 22nd July 2011 at 03:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Sabemajeen's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    I LOVE this image...can you say why you chose to use black and whit hover the color?

  3. #3

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Oh, Donald..... I love it!!! Wonderful!

  4. #4

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabemajeen View Post
    I LOVE this image...can you say why you chose to use black and whit hover the color?
    Welcome to CiC, Sabemajeen! Yes, he can tell you and I am sure you will see a response, soon!

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Donald another great image from your wonderful series from across the channel. Some holiday snaps !

    This probably sounds trite but it has that "classic old photo look". Skillful composition has turned what could be a very simple image into something much more than that.

    Dave

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Welcome to CiC, Sabemajeen! Yes, he can tell you and I am sure you will see a response, soon!
    My we are getting cheeky Ms Katy

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabemajeen View Post
    I LOVE this image...can you say why you chose to use black and white hover the color?
    Sabemajeen

    Thank you for that very relevant question.

    First of all 99% of of my work is black & White. It's what I like doing. When I see a scene that I want to capture, I attempt to 'see it' in black & white. So, I am looking at lines, shapes, tones and textures NOT at colour. I think the point of a colour image is the colour.

    I appreciate that many people capture a photograph and decide later whether to make an image in B & W or colour. I do not do that.

    I shoot for a B & W. If it doesn't work as a B & W image then I bin it. I never, ever, look at it with the colour data restored in the RAW file and ask if I could make a colour image of it. Similarly if I shoot to make a colour image and it doesn't work, I never look at it to see if I could make a B & W of the image. Those are just 'rules' I impose upon myself.

    So when I went to take a photograph of this chapel, it was with the intention of making a black & white image. I had previously decided that a B & W was a possibility at this location. So, the most important point, I think, is checking your location to establish if you can see the final image in your mind.

    As I was designing the picture (framing it up, setting exposure etc), I was not looking at colour. I was looking at lines, shapes, tones and textures. It was never going to be anything other than a B & W. If it didn't work as that (and some might think it doesn't) then it would have gone into the bin.

    I hope that helps explain the way I approach my photography. Some might think it a pretentious or precious approach. For me, it is the most practical way of going about it and it helps me do the things that I want to do.
    Last edited by Donald; 22nd July 2011 at 09:21 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    I just noticed something.

    If you look very, very carefully right at the top of the hill just to the right of the spire of the chapel, you can just make out the fact that there is a building on it.

    That is the much larger and grander chapel on the top of Mont Brouilly. I haven't got an image of it, but I was up there. The chapel is the only one I came across that is actually open during day. No staff or clergy in attendance - just open for private worship. And beautifully kept

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    Sabemajeen's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Donald...

    Thank you for your very thoughtful answer. I can admit that unless it is a very dark setting with highly contrasting light, natural or otherwise, I am completely unable to see the possibility of a black and white image. They are very compelling when they work and this one is, as some have said, a very classic shot...thanks for sharing

    Sabe

  10. #10

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    My we are getting cheeky Ms Katy
    Me?!!! never.

  11. #11

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I just noticed something.

    If you look very, very carefully right at the top of the hill just to the right of the spire of the chapel, you can just make out the fact that there is a building on it.
    On the nearer or just beyond hill, Donald? I do need to clean my screen. I love the story, though.

  12. #12

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    It is a beautiful image, Donald. It absolutely looks like it could be a page in a story book of old.

  13. #13
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    On the nearer or just beyond hill, Donald? I do need to clean my screen. I love the story, though.
    The far beyond one.

    And thanks also to Dave and Mary for commenting.

  14. #14

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    There are a number of such chapels on hill tops in the Beaujolais area.

    Your comments are always welcome.

    Chapelle St Roch
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 35mm. ISO100. 1/4@f22
    I just noticed something.

    If you look very, very carefully right at the top of the hill just to the right of the spire of the chapel, you can just make out the fact that there is a building on it.

    That is the much larger and grander chapel on the top of Mont Brouilly. I haven't got an image of it, but I was up there. The chapel is the only one I came across that is actually open during day. No staff or clergy in attendance - just open for private worship. And beautifully kept
    I see it - small white smudge? I'm not being flippant. It's a wonderful story!

    Donald, I really love this image! I mean (and I don't say this often because I really am particular about it all), I would love to hang this on my wall. The hills are so perfectly, cheerily rolling, the steeple is adorable - beautiful, the church has a mediterranean feel and it's nestled in those gorgeous vines and I am absolutely enamoured and fascinated by the shapes of the vines and the leaves and all of the textures (in fact, I LOVE the bottom left of the image with the texture of the grass!!!) Then, there's the texture of the roof and the clump of trees on the right - the church feels perfectly nestled and safe between the vines, the trees and the hill, and, yet, it looks out on the village beyond (which is, also, nestled). I'm rambling on but these elements really are very pleasing put all together.

    Maybe, the overarching theme would be one of harvest and being cradled - two words that bring a sense of all being well.

    There's one other thing. I like the sense of how near the church is. It's like I could just skip through the vines or down a little path and be there.

    I have severely twaddled on. sorry. Because, I think that there's something, personally, that's making me respond this way and the rest of you may not have a clue why I'm really going on about it all.

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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Donald, your trip to France is looking better and better. Besides the story it tells to me this is all about shapes and textures, the vines, the shingles, the patchwork of fields, the hills, the haze, have I missed anything? There is not a single element out of place or extraneous to the scene and story, I don't know how you manage to do that. From the crooked vine in the foreground (which to me is almost as important as the chapel) to the vines and the placement of the chapel against the distant fields on the hill, even the dark patch of trees on the right needs to be there to balance everything out. It's almost as if you had painted it and were able to choose where the elements and tones belonged.
    If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take you to find the right spot for this shot.

    Bottom Line, I love it

    Wendy

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Katy - Thank you again
    And Wendy - thank you.

    It's got to be the ultimate feeling of having made a reasonably good image if it stirs emotions in even one other person. Then I know that I have put some of me into the work and it has carried through into the finished product.

    Wendy - In terms of the process of making the picture from the point of view of capturing the image. I think I was there for about 40 - 45 minutes. I went out at that time on that day specifically for this image. I wasn't just driving around and came across it. I knew where I was going. I went out to get this shot. When I got it I went home. In fact, the cottage where we were staying is just over the other side of that tree just to the left of the spire.

    A number of the others you have seen in this series ('Chiroubles Awakening', Moonlight over Morgon', 'Terroir') were captured just close by that tree.

    So I used to look across from there to this chapel every time I took a walk up that hill.

    This shot is taken about 100 yards from a road that we had driven along quite a few times. So I'd seen the chapel nestling down in the vines from this 'opposite' side. I knew there was an image there somewhere.

    On this day, my partner was back at the cottage reading and I decided this was the day to try and get this image.

    So - Park the car up on the road and walk down the little track towards the chapel. Put the camera onto the tripod and then leave it. Just walk around. Don't even try to find a shot by using the viewfinder. Just wander around the chapel. That's how I first see my shot. In the same way that you just sat and the shots came to you, I just wander slowly, looking .. and the shot emerges into view.

    As you may have read in one of my posts previously, I have these cardboard cutouts in the ratios in which I'd want the final image. So, in addition to my 16 x 9; 7 x 5 and 4 x 5, I now have my 1 x 1 (square) cutout. That's the second stage of choosing the shot.

    Then get the gear into that position and start, what I call, the 'fine composing'.

    What is particularly pleasing in what you say, from the point of view of thinking back on my own learning, is that I was placing all the elements of the picture. For example, the vines come in many different shapes. One of the reasons I finally stood that in that location was that the vine in front of us was, to me, the 'right' shape. Another thing that I felt made it interesting, photographically, was the grass growing between the vines. So, I have, I think, at last reached that state of 'unconscious consciousness' about the assembly of components in the whole frame.

    Unfortunately, the grass between the vines is a sign of a poorly cared for vineyard. And in being so, it also was part of the story for me; i.e. that this vineyard owner's predecessors had built that chapel directly as a result of wishing to preserve and care for their land and their vines. And now, this owner, was letting it go. There was a poignancy in that for me.

    EDIT - Sorry, I should have added - That first bit about just leaving the camera and wandering slowly around, looking. That, as I have written before, is, I think, the most pleasurable part of photography for me. I am looking with an intensity that I never looked with before I re-discovered photography nearly 3 years ago. And that is why, even if I hadn't been able to make an image, I would have had a wonderful time. Because I saw something more clearly and understood it better than I could ever have thought possible previously.
    Last edited by Donald; 23rd July 2011 at 06:38 PM.

  17. #17

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Donald, my art teacher, in fifth grade, absolutely grilled in our heads (we reapeated it over and over and over and over and over and....)... he made sure that we would always remember - "The more you look, the more you see." It is deep and meaningful and completely changes my experience of art. (Those benches in museums are there for more than just resting your feet!)

    as a matter of fact, apparently, I need to be reminded more (although, I've noticed, this past month, that I'm getting better at waiting and observing and thinking before I push that shutter button.) I'm going to go change my signature.

  18. #18

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle

    Welcome to CiC, Sabemajeen! Yes, he can tell you and I am sure you will see a response, soon!
    My we are getting cheeky Ms Katy
    Oh, and, btw, I was doing the dishes and it suddenly floated to my mind that perhaps I should make it clear that I meant it 'seriously' - in helpful earnestness - not sarcastically. I was thinking that Donald understood, anyway. Mmmm, I just thought I might mention that to be on the polite and clear side of things.

  19. #19
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Oh, and, btw, I was doing the dishes and it suddenly floated to my mind that perhaps I should make it clear that I meant it 'seriously' - in helpful earnestness - not sarcastically. I was thinking that Donald understood, anyway. Mmmm, I just thought I might mention that to be on the polite and clear side of things.
    Katy in my "chastisement of your cheekiness" I was just doing a bit if stirring - something we Aussies are prone to do from time to time. You probably knew this anyway.

    And you were right weren't you

    Dave

  20. #20

    Re: Chapelle St Roch

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Katy in my "chastisement of your cheekiness" I was just doing a bit if stirring - something we Aussies are prone to do from time to time. You probably knew this anyway.

    And you were right weren't you

    Dave
    Oh, yeah! We're good!

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