Search Results for: lot river

Announcing Romantic Southwest France (April 29-May 7, 2020): Photography in the Lot River Valley

We are pleased to announce a new destination photo workshop to southwestern France in the spring of 2020. Join a small compatible group of photographers in a 15th Century fortified farmhouse in the lush countryside of southwest France in the springtime. We will be hosted at the  Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century fortified farm near the Lot River in the heart of romantic southwestern France. This is an area of gardens, gourmet French home cooking, ancient medieval villages and castles, and a photographer’s and walker’s paradise.

Click here for more info, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form. A significant early-bird discount applies for enrollment by August 15, 2019. Please keep in mind that this destination photo workshop is filling fast!

Confluence of Two Rivers © Harold Davis

Our group will meet at a special hotel in Toulouse in the southwest of France on the afternoon of Wednesday April 29, 2016 where we will be spending the night. After exploring Toulouse, we’ll transfer by private mini-bus to Mas de Garrigue in the area of Calvignac on the banks of the beautiful Lot River. Along the way we will stop at the historic city of Albi, with its ancient bridge over the Tarn River.

Morning Mist © Harold Davis

The Lot is a region of beautiful rivers and valleys, stark cliffs with ancient clinging villages, sacred pilgrimage routes, stone bridges, churches that date from the era of the crusaders, beautiful flowering gardens, and much more. 

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

Click here for more info, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form. A significant early-bird discount applies for enrollment by August 15, 2019.

Posted in Workshops

Lot River Valley

Today we walked to the small town of Calvignac, France perched on a rocky crag, and about 3 kilometers from the Mas de Garrigue. The weather threatened rain, and was misting when we set out. But along the way the clouds opened up, the threatened rain never arrived, and from the ledges in Calvignac there were glorious views across the valley and the bends in the Lot River.

Lot River Valley © Harold Davis

Lot River Valley © Harold Davis

This is a seven exposure blend shot on a tripod using the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. Each exposure was shot at f/6.3 and ISO 100, with shutter speeds between 1/40 of a second (for the dark trees in the foreground) and 1/2,500 of a second (for the bright clouds in the sky).

I used the image as a black and white demo for the group, first processing the seven exposures using Nik HDR Efex Pro. Next, I tweaked the color version. Finally, I converted to black and white using a layer stack, layers, masking, and a number of different conversion filters and presets.

Posted in France, Landscape, Monochrome

Morning on the Lot River

Meandering by slow roads, I crossed and recrossed the Lot River in the southwest of France. Parking by the river, a trail led me back along cliffs for about a mile. There were ancient steps carved in the rock down to the water, and I descended. Pausing, I looked down in the almost still reflection of the river—losing myself in water that seemed directionless and mystical in the early morning light.

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Cliffs of the River Lot

I am sitting in the Gare Matabiau in Toulouse, France waiting for the train to Paris. The bench with plugs for my electronics beckoned, and I work in the modern station on my laptop, dreaming of the cliffs of the River Lot and the trail beside the river.

Cliffs of the River Lot © Harold Davis

Cliffs of the River Lot © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Dawn in the Lot Valley

Last night a wild storm blew down the Lot River valley, with thunder, lightning, and even some hail. For much of the night rain and gusts of wind beat against the windows of the old farmhouse. At dawn, in the morning, things had calmed down—and clouds and tendrils of mist hung to low-lying areas. Above the clouds, the sun rose and dawn touching the scene with its golden light.

Dawn in the Lot Valley © Harold Davis

Dawn in the Lot Valley © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

When two rivers woo

I’ve been playing with poetry, puns and stories in my mind about two rivers coming together, hence “when two rivers woo” and “a tale of two rivers,” and so on. Shown here: The Vezere River coming in from the left and the mighty Dordogne River from the right shot from the castle-turned-exhibition garden high above the town of Lemeuil in southwestern France.

Confluence of Two Rivers  © Harold Davis

Confluence of Two Rivers © Harold Davis

Rain was falling softly and the air was fragrant on the spring day this year that I shot the image, with my camera exposed I was mindful of the brooding clouds in the distance. If you look carefully, you can see the rain skittering across the wind-blown surface of the water at the confluence of the two rivers.

This is an HDR blend of nine exposures, each shot at a moderate wide-angle, ISO 100, and f/11. Shutter speeds ranged from 1/5 of a second to 1/320 of a second. I used a polarizing filter and a tripod.

Related images: Morning on the Lot River and Overlooking the Dordogne River.

Posted in France, Landscape, Photography

Virgin River

Looking up, the world is reduced to a crescent of sunlight between the cliff walls the river has carved over the eons of time.

Ahead, around the next bend, the river is a trail that you cannot lose. Follow upstream, clothing wet, water sloshing in your hiking boots, and who knows what you’ll find?

[This photo: 18mm in 35mm terms, 2.5 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Landscape, Photography, Zion

Some blasts from the past!

Saigon Fine Art Museum Stair (Down) © Harold Davis

Museum Stair, Saigon © Harold Davis

Some blasts from the past: A back staircase in the Fine Arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon, 2017) above;  geometric patterns in the arches, shadows, reflections of the Pont Valentré, spanning the Lot River (Cahors, France, 2018). 

Geometry © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

All this, and Heaven too!

It’s with great joy that I announce a full panoply of interesting workshops. What could be better than intriguing places, fun and interesting people, and the chance for exciting photography? Here is some of what I have coming up, in chronological order:

  • Photographing the Great Gardens of Maine, August 11-17, 2019 at Maine Media Workshop. This year we’ll have access to a great range of public and unique private gardens to photograph. In many cases, there would be no other way to get access to these locations. Click here for more information and registration. It is a great time of year to be in the heart of coastal Maine and photographing these luscious gardens, and there is still space available in the workshop.

Dahlia Mandala © Harold Davis

2020

  • Romantic Southwest France, April 29-May 7, 2020. Early-bird discount applies. Click here for information, here for a detailed itinerary (PDF), and here for the Reservation Form. The workshop is hosted in an exquisitely renovated fortified farmhouse in the Lot River Valley. This has been a  popular and successful workshop with very limited space availability, so please let us now as soon as possible if you’d like to come. This group is almost full. If you’d like to join us, please contact us ASAP to see if we can accommodate you! Early-bird discount through the end of August.

2021

Click here for my Workshops & Events page. I have a number of interesting upcoming conference and event appearances that haven’t been publicly announced yet, I will post them as soon as I can. You can also subscribe to my email list to get notifications.

I hope to see you with your camera in a workshop! If not now, when? 

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Flowers at Giverny © Harold Davis

Posted in Workshops

Romantic Southwest France (April 29-May 7, 2020)—POSTPONED

This workshop is full. Please keep in mind our other destination photography workshops! Thanks.

What: More than a week with a small compatible group of photographers in a 15th Century fortified farmhouse in the lush countryside of southwest France in the springtime. Click here for the detailed trip itinerary and here for the Reservation Form.

Where: Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century fortified farm near the Lot River in the heart of romantic southwestern France. This is an area of gardens, gourmet French home cooking, ancient medieval villages and castles, and a photographer’s and walker’s paradise.

When: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (leave US Wednesday April 28) to Thursday, May 7, 2020 (eight nights and nine days).

Group Size: This is an exclusive, small photo workshop (non-photographer significant others are also welcome) with very limited space availability (the minimum group size is six and the maximum is twelve). We expect this destination photo workshop to fill quickly.

How to Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit, the trip reservation form, and a copy of your currently valid passport page.

Mas de Garrigue

Mas de Garrigue

 

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Pont Valentre in Cahors © Harold Davis

Details: The group meets at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse in the southwest of France on the afternoon of Wednesday April 29, 2016. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and the capital of the modern French aerospace industry. It is easily accessible by plane or train from Paris and other points in Europe. There are many photographic opportunities in Toulouse itself, and we will visit some of these with a private guided tour, followed by an introductory group dinner (included in the cost).

On Thursday April 30 we will transfer by private mini-bus to Mas de Garrigue in the area of Calvignac on the banks of the beautiful Lot River. This is a region of beautiful rivers and valleys, stark cliffs with ancient clinging villages, sacred pilgrimage routes, stone bridges, churches that date from the era of the crusaders, beautiful flowering gardens, and much more. Along the way we will stop at the historic city of Albi, with its ancient bridge over the Tarn River.

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

The Mas de Garrigue will be our home away from home for the next seven nights, hosted by Sarah and Steve. Here’s a description: “Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century former hunting lodge and fortified farm is a stunning and important historic house retaining many original features within such as vast stone fireplaces, arrowslits, a 15th century window, stone sinks, magnificent oak beams and pigeon coops. Sarah and Steven have lovingly and respectfully restored the house, with elegant taste and sometimes a contemporary twist. The marriage of Irish antiques and art with French architecture is harmonious and charming.

Pont Vieux, Albi © Harold Davis

“Sarah and Steven provide warm Irish hospitality in the beautiful Midi Pyrenees of South West France. Sarah studied cuisine in Paris and Steven hails from the well known Irish culinary and hospitible Allen clan. Passionate about food and wine, they offer sumptuous dinners of homegrown and locally sourced produce.”

While at the Mas de Garrigue Sarah and Steven will provide us with three wonderful dinners and a number of lunches (these are included in the tour cost, please see the detailed itinerary for specifics).

We could happily spend our time photographing right around the location of the Mas de Garrigue (and if you choose to do so, no one will think the less of you!), but many excursions are included in the workshop.

Excursion destinations (subject to change depending on conditions) may include:

  • St Cirq-La-Popie, widely considered one of the most scenic villages in France.
  • Pont Valentre, famous from the 100 Years War, and the old town of Cahors.
  • Villefranche-de-Rouergue, a fascinating provincial French city on the Aveyron River.
  • Cordes-sur-Ciel a scenic and famous ancient fortified villages in an unbelievable photographic location; we hope to photograph Cordes at sunset.
  • Castelnau-Bretonnoux, an impressive chateau in the Quercy region.
  • Carennac, rated one of the most beautiful villages of France.
  • Collonges-la-Rouge, a town dating to the eighth century built entirely of red sandstone.

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

When (alas!) our time in the Lot River Valley draws to a close on Friday April 27 2018, transfer by private mini-bus to Toulouse train station or airport for return to the United States or further adventures in Europe is included.

Cost: $5,495 per person (single supplement $875); $500 early-bird discount for completed registration by August 15, 2019.

Inclusions: Eight nights lodging (one night at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse, seven nights at Mas de Garrigue), all breakfasts (8), many meals, walking tour of Toulouse with licensed guide, transfers from Toulouse to Mas de Garrigue (Calvignac) on arrival, and from the Mas de Garrigue to Toulouse returning, excursions as indicated, and service charges. See the full itinerary for details. Photographic guidance, discussions, and one-on-one tutorial sessions with master photographer Harold Davis are also included.

Exclusions: Airfare and transportation to Toulouse, France (Toulouse is easy to reach by plane or train from Paris and many other points in Europe), meals except as indicated, wine and spirits (complementary wine will be provided at included group dinners), admissions except as indicated, and personal items such as laundry and souvenirs.

Assisting with air travel arrangements: We’re happy to consult and advise regarding air travel arrangements to Toulouse on request. 

Travel Insurance: Very highly recommended. More info.

To Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit, the trip reservation form, and a copy of your currently valid passport page.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Relaxation in Rural France

Somewhere in Rural France © Harold Davis

Down the path to the Lot River from the Mas de Garrigue are a few rural homes on the bluff. I could easily imagine sitting here, perhaps reading a good book slowly, snacking on Pâté de Campagne, and sipping some nice local wine.

Posted in France, Photography

Geometry

This is the ancient and magnificent Pont Valentre in Cahors, France and its reflections in the Lot River on a clear day with still water.

Geometry © Harold Davis

Posted in France, Monochrome

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Fly Day © Harold Davis

Fly Day © Harold Davis

In about a week I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, and resuming the life of a peripatetic photographer after several months as a “homebody”. I am looking forward very much to my trip and new adventures, but also I will miss my family, home, and the great time I have photographing flowers (and weeds) in and around our garden. It’s all good!

On this voyage, I’ll first be headed to Madrid, then to the southwest of France, where I lead a group of friends who are photographers in the Lot River Valley. Next, I’ll be spending some time on my own hiking the world-famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. Finally, I’ll join PhotoPills as an instructor for their annual camp in Menorca.

If you are interested in joining me on a photographic adventure, there is still space available in November’s Days and Knights of Malta

The early-bird discount for the 2019 Spring in Paris (with Monet’s garden at Giverny) ends June 1, 2018.

There is also some space availability in the following 2018 photography workshops I am leading:

You can find my upcoming Workshops & Events on this page. For reasons I explain in this blog story I am no longer on Facebook, but I’ll try to keep blogging—of course, my rate of posting will likely slow down when I am “on the road”!—and to post images on my Flickr and Instagram streams as I go.

May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks!

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Kumano Sanzen Roppyaku Po © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Photograph Southwestern France in April, 2018—Only a few spaces left!

Grab your camera and come with me on a photographic adventure to the “deep France” of the Lot River valley.  Starting Thursday, April 19, 2018 (leave the States on the April 18th) and ending 9 days later on Friday, April 27, our Destination Photography Workshop will take you to some of the most beautiful and exciting locations in romantic Southwest France. (Think: ancient villages rated the most beautiful in France, French dining, architecture, French countryside, French dining,  patisseries, food, wine, and great company.) 

We will be hosted once again at the wonderful Mas de Garrigue near Calvignac. The Mas de Garrigue will be our home away from home, where we will enjoy the hospitality and some family-style meals. It is great to have this entire historic fortified farm as the photographic playhouse exclusively reserved for our group. For more information, click here for the Prospectus, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.

The Southwest of France is an undiscovered romantic landscape, more visited by the French themselves than by foreign tourists. In my opinion, it is by far and away one of the most beautiful regions of France. 

We will be traveling as a very small group—the maximum number of participants is 10. Non-photographic partners are welcome! This Destination Photography Workshop is almost full, with only a few spaces left. If our past experience is a guide, the remaining workshop spaces won’t last long! 

What do we mean by “deep France”? Deep France or La France Profonde is both an idea and a geographic place. The idea involves the France that always was, and will always be—a deeply rural sense of tradition and bucolic happiness albeit with a agricultural and low-tech lifestyle (they do still have their iPhones!). You find “Deep France” dispersed geographically, but always rural and remote and away from major population centers. The Lot River Valley is the land that time forgot, and in some ways epitomizes Deep France.

My viewpoint is that even apart from photography it is an incredible privilege to get to explore the places we will visit on this trip—Saint-Cirq Lapopie, the Pont Valentre in Cahors, and Cordes-sur-Ciel to name a few—and to stay at the incredible Mas de Garrigue! (By the way, the photography is grand.)

Please note that an early-bird discount $500 off applies for registrations that are made by August 15, 2017.

Also, please let us know if you have any questions, and we hope to see you there! More information follows below; click here for the Prospectus, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.


What: More than a week with a small compatible group of photographers in a beautifully restored 15th century fortified farmhouse in the lush countryside of southwest France in the springtime. Click here for the detailed trip itinerary and day-by-day PDF!

Where: Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century fortified farm near the Lot River in the heart of romantic southwestern France. This is an area of gardens, gourmet French home cooking, ancient medieval villages and castles, and a photographer’s and walker’s paradise.

When: Thursday, April 19, 2017 (leave US Wednesday April 18) to Sunday, April 27, 2017 (eight nights and nine days).

Group Size: This is an exclusive, small photo workshop (non-photographer significant others are also welcome) with very limited space availability (the minimum group size is six and the maximum is ten). We expect this destination photo workshop to fill quickly.

How to Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit, the trip reservation form, and a copy of your currently valid passport page.

Mas de Garrigue

Mas de Garrigue

 

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Pont Valentre in Cahors © Harold Davis

Details: The group meets at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse in the southwest of France on the afternoon of Thursday April 19, 2016. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and the capital of the modern French aerospace industry. It is easily accessible by plane or train from Paris and other points in Europe. There are many photographic opportunities in Toulouse itself, and we will visit some of these with a private guided tour, followed by an introductory group dinner (included in the cost).

On Friday April 22 we will transfer by private mini-bus to Mas de Garrigue in the area of Calvignac on the banks of the beautiful Lot River. This is a region of beautiful rivers and valleys, stark cliffs with ancient clinging villages, sacred pilgrimage routes, stone bridges, churches that date from the era of the crusaders, beautiful flowering gardens, and much more.

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

The Mas de Garrigue will be our home away from home for the next seven nights, hosted by Sarah and Steven. Here’s a description: “Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century former hunting lodge and fortified farm is a stunning and important historic house retaining many original features within such as vast stone fireplaces, arrowslits, a 15th century window, stone sinks, magnificent oak beams and pigeon coops. Sarah and Steven have lovingly and respectfully restored the house, with elegant taste and sometimes a contemporary twist. The marriage of Irish antiques and art with French architecture is harmonious and charming.

pig800

Noir de Gascon piglet

“Sarah and Steven provide warm Irish hospitality in the beautiful Midi Pyrenees of South West France. Sarah studied cuisine in Paris and Steven hails from the well known Irish culinary and hospitible Allen clan. Passionate about food and wine, they offer sumptious dinners of homegrown and locally sourced produce. Steve rears two “Noir de Gascon” pigs every year which Sarah transforms into delicious terrines, pates, saucisse and hams. Steven keeps the kitchen stocked with vegetables, tomatos, herbs and even Saffron.”

While at the Mas de Garrigue Sarah and Steven will provide us with three wonderful dinners and a number of lunches (these are included in the tour cost, please see the detailed itinerary for specifics).

Room at the Mas de Garrigue

Room at the Mas de Garrigue

We could happily spend our time photographing right around the location of the Mas de Garrigue (and if you choose to do so, no one will think the less of you!), but three extensive professionally-guided excursions are included in the workshop.

Excursion destinations by private vehicle with guide will include:

  • St Cirq-La-Popie, widely considered one of the most scenic villages in France, and an optional excursion to the pre-historic caves of Pech Merle.
  • Pont Valentre, famous from the 100 Years War, and the old town of Cahors.
  • Cordes-sur-Ciel and Najac, two of the most scenic and famous ancient fortified villages in the area, each in an iconic and unbelievably photographic location.

Cordes sur Ciel at Dawn © Harold Davis

When (alas!) our time in the Lot River Valley draws to a close on Friday April 27 2018, transfer by private mini-bus to Toulouse train station or airport for return to the United States or further adventures in Europe is included.

Cost: $4,995 per person (single supplement $875); $500 early-bird discount for completed registration by August 15, 2018.

Inclusions: Eight nights lodging (one night at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse, seven nights at Mas de Garrigue), all breakfasts (8), many meals, walking tour of Toulouse with licensed guide, transfers from Toulouse to Mas de Garrigue (Calvignac) on arrival, and from the Mas de Garrigue to Toulouse returning, excursions as indicated, and service charges. See the full itinerary for details. Photographic guidance, discussions, and one-on-one tutorial sessions with master photographer Harold Davis are also included.

Exclusions: Airfare and transportation to Toulouse, France (Toulouse is easy to reach by plane or train from Paris and many other points in Europe), meals except as indicated, wine and spirits (complementary wine will be provided at included group dinners), admissions except as indicated, and personal items such as laundry and souvenirs.

Assisting with air travel arrangements: We’re happy to consult and advise regarding air travel arrangements to Toulouse on request. 

Travel Insurance: Very highly recommended. More info.

To Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit, the trip reservation form, and a copy of your currently valid passport page.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

2018 Photography Workshop to the Southwest of France with Harold Davis

Please consider coming with me and bringing your camera on an adventure to the “deep France” of the Lot River valley. The dates for our Destination Photography Workshop to the Romantic Southwest of France are April 19 (leave US April 18) – April 27, 2018. We will be hosted once again at the wonderful Mas de Garrigue near Calvignac. For more information, click here for the Prospectus, here for the detailed itinerary, and here for the Reservation Form.

This is a very small group, with a minimum size of six, and a maximum size of ten. There’s already been some enrollment. Early-bird discount ($500 off) expires August 15, 2017.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and hope to see you there!

Posted in Workshops