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Thread: Lavendar Fields of Provence

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Lavendar Fields of Provence

    One more from my recent trip to France. If you want to see the set, you can do so at my own website - link in the signature line below- (they're currently sitting on the 'Latest Stuff' page).

    Just what subject material can you make a B & W from?

    Most folk will throw up their hands in horror at the idea of using lavendar fields as a subject for a B & W. Surely that glorious colour of lavendar in bloom has got to be rendered in colour?

    When we decided to go to the Southern Rhone wine area of France, I realised we would be close to the lavendar growing areas of Provence. I knew we just had to go and look for an image.

    In his book, 'The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography', 2009, Ilex (which was my 'bible' in terms of learning about making B & W images), Michael Freeman uses a picture of lavendar fields in that same area to illustrate a point about converting photographs when there is one significant colour in the scene (page 126).

    I went to France with that particular lesson in my head and a determination to make a B & W image of a lavendar field.

    So, are you like some of my friends here in our village and look at me in shock when I show them a B & W of a lavendar field, or do you think it was an idea worth pursuing?

    Lavendar Fields of Provence
    40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS @ 81mm. ISO100. 1/8@f11. 3-stop GND
    Last edited by Donald; 25th July 2012 at 08:44 AM.

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    Re: Lavendar Fields of Provence

    It works for me! The light on the rows makes a pattern that is served well by B&W, and the other strong graphic elements here are the big sky and the field's horizon rising toward the right while the height of the trees descends in the same direction to create the sense that there will be a point of convergence off to the right. I don't know if that's an optical illusion, but in any event that convergence is balanced by the anchor of the outbuilding and tree. So it's a strong set of patterns and elements and a strong composition. The plants just happen to be lavendar, although perhaps few other plants would catch the light in quite this way to bring out that pattern in the rows.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lavendar Fields of Provence

    Thanks Brad. It's good to know I'm not out there on my own!

    As you suggest, it was the pattern, particularly as the ground between the rows was very stony and the really made the lavendar stand out, that made the image for me.

    It's quite a sight to see fields of lavendar.

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    Re: Lavendar Fields of Provence

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    It's quite a sight to see fields of lavendar.
    I bet it's quite a smell, too! I hope to see those fields and take in the scent someday myself. I live with a woman from Brittany so we go to France every couple of years, but we spend all our time visiting her family so I've never been outside Brittany except for a few excursions to the Loire Atlantique and a trip to visit a friend Strasbourg. I've never even made it to Paris! Provence is very high on my list of places to go once we find time to get away. Not that Brittany is bad, mind you

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    Re: Lavendar Fields of Provence

    Absolutely gorgeous. Remind me to go to Provence when the lavendar is blooming so I can make B&W photos. Great use of the plain sky, too!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lavendar Fields of Provence

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Absolutely gorgeous. Remind me to go to Provence when the lavendar is blooming so I can make B&W photos. Great use of the plain sky, too!
    Thanks Mike.

    We actually hit it a bit early. Only a few of the fields were in full bloom. This one wasn't. I think July is when they really reach their peak of colour.

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