Continuing the crusade to prove that there is more to travel photography than orbiting famous landmarks, here’s the “there’s more to France than the Eiffel Tower” installment.
For this “On location” post, I’d like to describe a lovely coastal walk in the South of France.
Starting off at the Cap Bear, on the Eastern extremity of the Pyrenees mountains, a single track winds its way to Paulilles, a former dynamite factory site that used to employ between 300 and 400 employees and built far enough from town as not to take too many lives in the event of an explosion.
The walk is OK for most levels of fitness with only a couple of steep passages.
It is interesting all year round, but winter winds can be fierce and dangerous and summer heat unbearable for some. Spring is wonderful as temperatures are pleasant and wild flowers line the walk everywhere you look.
Starting off at the phare du Cap Bear (just a couple of miles from the center of lovely Port Vendres, and signposted), the clearly marked track first takes you through a tiny hamlet that would not look out of place on a Greek Island.After a slightly unclear wander through the hamlet, the path hugs the shoreline close to the water and offers photographers and hikers alike wonderful veiws over the Mediterranean Sea. There is little point in describing the topology of the walk but for those wishing to prepare it here is a link to a map and hiking instructions.
I’ll focus less on the walk and more on the photography opportunities, which are huge, both along the 2 mile stretch and at either end. Paulilles has a boat renovation yard with old joust rowboats, fishing boats and a variety of other barks on display, plus a watch tower, fields, vines, beaches … You name it. The photographs on this page are a small selection of those I made on a 6-hour return trip. When you’re done, the nearby city of Banyuls is also very interesting.But enough tourism, let’s talk photo!
All the photos on this page were made with a Sony A7r and a Zeiss OTUS 85/1.4. “Yeah, I know”, you’re thinking, “that’s all you talk about, these days” 😉
But there’s a little difference today, as most of the photographs you’re viewing are stitches. Horizontal panoramas, vertical panoramas, 2×2 stitches (below) or 3 horizontal frame stitches (above and first photograph). These are inspired by a talk with Philippe about a 28mm f/1.4. I’ve never used one and wanted to replicate the look one of these would provide. Hence the stitches 🙂 Some 3×2 are awaiting for that purpose.
The vertical panorama is inspired by traditional Chinese paintings and the processing is my interpretation of the 3 vertical planes described in this great article on Lula. The rest is just single frames from the area. Nothing special to report about them but I think you’ll agree the area is as much worth a photo exploration as any famous site in the country, right ?