Saturday, January 31, 2015

Melted Milk Chocolate

The view from my window isn't very pretty this morning. We've had several days of rain which always turns the river this melted milk chocolate color. The Lot originates high in the Cevennes and tumbles through the Aveyron collecting water from its tributaries along the way. The drainage of the Dourdou and the Ouche Rivers runs through red soil that reminds me a lot of red Georgia clay. When they dump into the Lot, they turn its normally deep green waters to this murky color. It's still raining. I expect the river will continue to run this color all weekend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tractor Numbers

I keep a file in my photo archives especially for numbers. Here are some I found on a tractor sitting in the field next to the cemetery. Setma is a dealership. If you look closely, you can see there is one in Villefranche, Aurillac and Gramat. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Different Perspective

As Lucie and I were walking last week, it suddenly dawned on me that I might be able to capture both the Chateau and the church with my wide angle lens if I took the shot from up by Christiane's garage. I asked her if it was okay for me to wander around up there, and she said, ' of course.' (actually she said 'mais, bien sur!') This morning as the fog was lifting, I gave it a try. Eh voila!

I'm not saying that reading my new photography book, Visual Poetry, had anything to do with this epiphany. After all, the book hasn't even covered landscapes yet. But I've walked by this spot almost every day for the past 3+ years and never thought to walk off the road and try a different perspective. I'm just sayin.....

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Visual Poetry

I've wanted to take a photo workshop or online class for quite a while. I haven't been able to either find what I want or afford what looks good. So when a fellow blogger and Facebook friend, Virginia Kelser Jones, mentioned this book, Visual Poetry, on her FB page, I was intrigued. I researched it a bit on Amazon (love that you can flip through the first few pages) and also went to Chris Orwig's websites: his personal one and the one he's set up as a companion to the book. I really liked what I saw, so I purchased the book. I've read the first four chapters twice! The content is very rich and draws comparisons between a poem and a visualizing arresting photograph. There is some technical stuff...f/stop, ISO, focal length, lens use, etc. but not so much to make it difficult. Chris has a relaxed, uncomplicated style. I like that.

I read chapter 5 yesterday. This is where the nitty-gritty of the book starts with assignments and projects to complete. This chapter is all about portrait photography. Quel horreur! I don't 'do' people. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you already know that I post very few people pictures.  There are probably many reasons for this, but the two main ones are that I'm shy about asking people if I can take their photo and that I hate having my picture taken, so I assume everyone else does, too! Last night I watched an Annie Leibovitz documentary that Chris recommended and visited a couple of websites of other famous portrait photographers. But Chris asks that I do what makes me uncomfortable...take people pictures. . Guess I've put off the inevitable as long as I can. It's time...

Any volunteers for a portrait shoot??

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rosy Glow

As I was making the bed upstairs this morning, the room took on a rosy glow. This is why
It's worth having a night of rain to wake up to a sunrise like this!
The reflections in the river were equally as lovely.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Winter Work

All the plane trees in Cajarc are in the process of getting their annual trim. 
So is Eddy's walnut tree!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

State of the Village Address

Tree planted at the Mairie last summer for the inaguration of the new mayor and village council.
Last night was the annual village gathering to receive best wishes for the new year from the Mayor and the village council. Everyone comes to wish everyone else the same thing, 'Bonne annee et bonne sante' which literally translates to 'good year and good health.' I lost count of how many kisses I received and how many times I said these words to my friends and neighbors!

Before the Mayor's address to the village, we observed a full minute of silence in honor of the victims of this week's violence in Paris. We live very far away from Paris' hustle and bustle and equally as far away from her lifestyle, but every French man, no matter where he lives, bleeds blue, white and red for France; every French woman holds Marianne dear to her heat. It was a very solemn moment.

Jacques' speech was brief extending good wishes to all for a happy new year and then giving a quick overview of the work of each council committee. The highlight was, of course, the lovely update of the road and area around the Mairie. Of note....the village population has increased to a whopping 177 souls! We're growing! The evening closed with drinks and nibbles compliments of the Mayor and the council. Solidarity is important in French life. I felt it keenly last evening with my village.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Je suis Charlie

I live in a country that is in mourning today. Mourning for the brutal murder yesterday of 12 of its citizens by armed terrorists. Last night spontaneous vigils were held in cities and towns throughout France for the victims. At noon today, the entire country will pause for a minute of silence to not only honor the people who lost their lives yesterday, but also to stand in solidarity for freedom...freedom to speak, to write, freedom of the press. It doesn't matter if you found Charlie Hebdo entertaining or if you agreed with its politics, the freedom to speak and write and report is a vital right of a free society; we cannot let it be destroyed by hate.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Color: Black and White

I visited my previous blog, Musings from Red Bell Farm, to dig out this Sunday Color photo from the archives. It's my coffee bowl. If you're interested in what I wrote about it in 2008, click here. Sometimes I wish I had it here with me in France. Alas, it's packed away in storage in Montana.