Going off-road to get the shot on Col de Turini

Plenty of water flowing through cascades and river after several days of rain in the Maritime Alps.

Going off-road to get the shot on Col de Turini
Powerful Cascades on Col de Turini, France. Leica M (Typ 240), Summicron-M 28mm, f2 ASPH, 1/2 sec., f13, ISO 200

Getting rid of the rain check excuse

Rain check! How often do we hear that when people don’t want to go out and do things? I personally don’t believe it’s the right decision when the true and honest reason is the weather. Bad weather usually brings something special, especially in photography. Last Monday is another great example for this. The day was planned for a shoot in nature, up there in the mountain. But it was pouring rain from the day before and well over the following days. Rain, rain and rain again. That, of course, makes things more complicated. Rain means appropriate clothing and protection, cold means layers and planning for extremes, humidity and water ask for more protection for the equipment.

On the other hand, rain makes things so interesting. Colors get very saturated and things are clean and shiny, even some surfaces are covered with droplets. But what is really interesting on rainy days is that most people stay inside. That leaves you almost alone everywhere you go in nature. Furthermore, if you go off-road and start to explore things at your own pace, you may discover wonderful things and turn them into photo opportunities.

Off-Road with a Camera

I had exactly that on Monday when we stopped the car somewhere on the road going to Col de Turini. While I was shooting the valley and the wonderful colors from the trees (Fall is amazing for that). At some point a young couple emerged from a trail below the road with their backpacks and looked a bit exhausted. They actually spent the night in the forest because they are rebuilding a small shack for anyone who wish to spend time in nature and/or observe wild animals at dusk. After a short conversation with them they suggested that I walk down to photograph the river and cascades just 100 meters below. I reached that point after about 15 minutes on the trail and I’m glad I decided to go for it. The scene was strong and beautiful. A small bridge was built over the cascades and I could position myself in the middle to get a few shots from various angles.

It Pays-off to pick a different path, even a harder one

Of course walking back to the road up there requested much more efforts, but I knew I probably had one or more good shots in the camera. You never know until you review the images on the monitor at home or in the office/studio, but you certainly have a feeling when you did what you had to do. In this case I did. But it was one of those very (VERY!) rare occasions when I missed the tripod. I left it in the car, because I didn’t think (Duh!) I would need it. Which proves one more time that the best tripod in the world is the one you have with you!

The picture above was taken out from the trail on road leading to Camp d’Argent on Col de Turini. I had a wonderful experience there trying to make the best I could from the time and equipment I had. This was completely unplanned and unexpected. Yet, it shows how powerful water can be when there is more than usual in a short period of time.

You can find the whole picture set on my website at www.normandprimeauphoto.com

Good Light!


© Normand Primeau