Never has watching a sport for so little time taken so long – such is a day, and it takes a whole day, watching a stage of Le Tour. Nevertheless it’s great fun and a real insight into French culture.
In total the tour is said to consist of about 5,000 people, a huge infrastructure exists not just to support the riders but also just running the show and bringing it to the viewing public.
All images taken at the rider presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon on 5th July – all taken handheld with the PL 100-400mm mainly at 400mm (800mm FF equivalent) wide open, iso 640-800 and shutter speeds from 1/160-1/400.
direct énergie are a French team based in the grand depart host region of the Vendee – for the 2018 tour the team is to be lead by Frenchman Lilian Calmejane.
The capital of Kazakhstan lends it’s name to this pro cycling team that has something of a chequered history – today it is lead by Dane Jakob Fugslang.
Team Katusha Alpecin are a Russian Swiss based team lead by Russian Ilnur Zakarin although perhaps the star of the team is the German sprinter Marcel Kittel.
The only Dutch team in Le Tour, Lotto NL – Jumbo represent the Dutch national lottery and are lead by Dutchman Robert Gesink.
I was busy photographing the Oyster sheds at La Baudissier when I noticed a Barn Swallow shooting in and out of a gap in one of the sheds, presumably feeding some nestlings. Up for a challenge I thought this might be a good opportunity to once again test out the 6K functionality of the G9.
One of my favourite functions on the Lumix G9, that comes as a consequence of having an electronic viewfinder, is the ability to see the results of different crops (picture modes) in camera or indeed filter effects such as monochrome.
The rule of thirds, which is not really a rule, would have you put the horizon on a third. But which third ?
Saintes an historic town in southwestern France, in the Charente-Maritime department. In Roman times, Saintes was known as Mediolanum Santonum, and during much of its history, the name of the city was spelled Xaintes.
The most striking building in the French coastal city of Royan is undoubtedly the Cathedral (église Notre-Dame) – it stands on the site of a former neo-gothic church that was destroyed in 1945 (as was much of Royan). Designed by architects Guillaume Gillet and Marc Hébrard and built between 1955-58 entirely of concrete, it is considered one of the leaders of French contemporary architecture.
Founded around 1555 Brouage was at first the centre for European salt trading, before it became a military base under the drive of it’s governor: Richelieu. It was once the most impressive sea-port of France and Louis XIV, today the bastion lies some distance “inland” surrounded by brackish marshes and provides some interesting photographic opportunities although is perhaps best appreciated from the air.
15 kilometres south of Royan, Talmont sits on a rocky peak overlooking the Gironde estuary.
Dotted along the banks of the Gironde Estuary are circa 400 wooden fishing huts which have been built on stilts. Their main implement is a square pulley-operated net (or “filet carré”) which has given the humble shacks their name “carrelets”.
Big and Round – and on the seafront at Ronce-les-Bains on a sunny and busy Sunday afternoon. Only one approach to such a subject – Fisheye of course.
The brackish marshes north and south of the Seudre are a maze of small creeks and villages built on the local oyster farming industry. The blue skies contrast nicely with the green marsh of this Atlantic region of France with the creeks and boats old and new making good photographic subjects along with some fine villas and the colourful sheds of the oyster farmers.
Huitres (Oysters) are a favourite of the French – the marshes around the river Seudre and L’ile d’Oleron in the Charentes Maritime are awash with the small scale infrastructure used to raise and harvest the mollusc.
The Alcazar of Jerez or more correctly Jerez de la Frontera (the frontier being between the Muslim and Christian worlds) is one of the most emblematic monuments in the city. It is situated in the Southeastern corner of a wall that once enclosed the ancient city. The Alcazar comprised walls, towers and gates and constituted a complex defensive system.