In late June and July, the area of Provence that stretches from the Luberon to the Plateau de Valensole comes alive with lavender. Beautifully manicured rows stretch as far as the eye can see, high up on the plains of South-East France. In July, sunflowers start to appear to add to the display of colour. Golden wheat and sage complete the scene to create a patchwork of different colours. Bees and butterflies fill the air and it is indeed nature at it’s best.
During my photo workshops, I try to find new locations as well as revisit places that I know well. I’ve been to Provence many times in the last 25 years and use this experience to get to the best locations at the right time of day. Most images are shot at sunrise or sunset when the light is soft and the contrast not too high. Stormy weather is also a good time to shoot and can produce rainbows, moody skies and wonderful light. During the rest of the day, it’s a good time to photograph village scenes such as the colourful buildings and flowers that decorate the streets.
I always look for complimentary colours and the sunflowers against a field of lavender is a good example. The yellow and purple work perfectly together.
The use of filters such as graduated filters allows me to shoot into the sun and keep all the detail in the foreground. This can be seen in some images that feature sunrise or a bright sky. Raw files hold a lot of detail in the shadows and highlights but when there is a lot of contrast, a filter is required.