An air of Provence

Townhouse facade with a true Air of Provence, just a few minutes from Nice in La Colle-sur-Loup.

An air of Provence
Typical townhouse in La Colle-sur-Loup, Côte d’Azur (France). Leica M (Typ 240), Summicron-M 75mm, f2 ASPH, 1/750 sec., f8, ISO 200

Shooting for a purpose

If you've been following this blog for a little while, you probably know that I went quite a few times in La Colle-sur-Loup (I work regularly in a coworking space in La Colle-sur-Loup, hence, I’m there many times a week. Hummm, no.. I’m there ALL the time.) to grab some good shots. These opportunities were mostly for my needs (discovery, inspiration, growing the photo library, etc.), but this time I was there for a purpose : I was asked to provide a certain number of shots for commercial use, mostly for print and online. The mission was well defined, specific areas, places and subjects were on the list. My job was to make things look at their best, provided I had good lighting (i.e. sun, blue sky). Armed with my Leica I left home for the day in hope of completing the task in a timely manner. Well, that's what I hoped.. I had a plan, I was organized and determined to "get the job done".

Yeah right..

But what if it’s not perfect?

Sometimes things don't go perfectly well, something is missing. If you remember, in my last post I wrote about the complexity of light while I was shooting in La Colle-sur-Loup. That's only a few weeks back, but things have changed quite a lot in a short period of time. Gone are those poor light days, leaving room for sunshine, blue sky and a feeling of summertime. Well, almost. In other words, for some of the shots I took I had to go back and try again in better conditions, with good weather. I actually had to go back at least 3 times to complete the task. All photos were top notch, all of them. By “top notch” I mean the selected photos meet the requirements, they are of good quality, well exposed, etc. But not all of them had the light expected by my client. Finally, I decided to go back a 4th time and that was the most productive of all : warm weather, blue sky, sunny, plenty of people on the streets, boutiques and busy restaurants. All elements were brought together for me to complete the job.

However, a lot was achieved during the first times I went simply because the subjects were not related or even impacted by the weather. Small details, street elements, walls and doors, decoration.. No time is really wasted with a camera in hands!

What’s in the bag

  • Leica M (Typ 240) + spare batteries x 2
  • Summicron-M 28mm, f2 ASPH
  • Summicron-M 75mm, f1.2 ASPH
  • Olympus VF-2 Electronic View Finder
  • Sony RX100 + spare batteries x2
  • 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro SD cards x 3
  • Lens cloth & brush
  • Glasses
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Lessons learned

Well, the more I think of it the more I believe there is quite a few:

  • You can plan a shoot based on the weather forecast, but it's not a perfect science
  • You might think you know exactly what the client wants, but sometimes there is a gap. Expectation.
  • You might have a good plan, things can change that in a matter on minutes or hours. Adaptation.
  • You could be determined and prepared, sometimes it's better to take your time and consider other options. Inspiration. When you have to change your plan, you leave the main path and sometimes end up in places you did not expect. You might discover new things or look at them from a different angle. Leave some place for the unplanned.

I'm pretty sure you've been there too. We all do, hopefully. That's part of learning and experience.

Good light!


© Normand Primeau