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Day 6 – Beaune to Paris

The Watcher

So after a really uneventful evening in Beaune, I got in the car and started to take side roads to the the first location. As I followed the lovely lady on the GPS as she dished out commands, I saw a great chateau on a hill, so I headed towards it.  The sign said Chateauneuf so I got a little excited thinking it was the ‘Chateauneuf’, but it wasn’t. I later looked into it and it is more in the south.

Chateauneuf was however a very pleasant little town. It was gray and early, so the place was pretty deserted. The image just above was of a lovely old wall and door right beside where I parked the car. I loved the texture and unknown history of the location. I walked around a little more until I came upon the chateau. I payed the 5 euro and walked around on the inside. The chateau was interesting, but not what I was looking for. The only interesting photo bit was a stone bench against the wall. It was a modern bench, but it looked a little lonely, so I took a picture.

The weather still wasn’t all that great as I headed back out. Chateauneuf had put me a little off track, but I started to head in the right direction. As I drove, I could see a huge chateau to the left of where I was. I stopped and tried a few shots that didn’t turn out. I got back in the car and used the GPS to track down the location. I found it easily, but it was pretty run down with ‘No Trespassing’ signs all over. I climbed up a little hill just past the signs to get the shot below. I love the old chateau with the valley spreading out behind it. The weather gave a good misty feel to the landscape. I wish I was able to walk around a little to get a better angle, but this was really the best I could get (since I didn’t want to trespass)

I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but while in France, I had a strange obsession with getting a good cow picture. I’m not sure if it was that they were everywhere, but it was my last day and still no picture. Right beside where I parked was a field with cows, it wasn’t a great composition compared to others I had passed up, but I took my cow picture all the same. Enough was enough.

After my time with the cows, I drove down the side of the castle to try a view from the valley. When I took the picture I liked it, now I hate it. I left it in the post all the same, but I find it very boring. It has a little bit of action with the road and the tree, but without having been there, you really don’t get any feeling from the castle far off in the background. It might have been better to shoot closer to the tree.

As I kept on driving, I kept darting over a river where leisure boats were know to go up and down. I tried to stop in a few locations to get a good picture of the river, but there was little interesting about it. I soon left the river behind and was pulling up to my next location. The location was fantastic. It was a totally falling apart castle that was right off the highway. There were no visitors there, and I had free reign of the location. The grass was overrun, which made it even more interesting. I pretty much stuck with my Tokina 11-16mm for the location so that I could get dramatic wide angle shots.

The above shot, which is also the main shot of the post, is my favorite. I love the wall leading towards the castle and the very dark sky. I was getting some pretty crazy green color from the Canon 7D at this location and had to dial it down a little. It could still probably use a little more. The above shot is called the watcher as there is a worker in the small window above the door.

In the shot below I used the widest angle I could to give the castle a little height and strength. I had to do some post-processing on the far left of the image since there was a bus going through the shot. Like I said, the highway was really close, and it was to busy not to get something in the shot. This shot also shows the deep yellow/greens I was getting out of the grass.

I left the location pretty satisfied and headed to Austere. As I drove into the city, it was a lot bigger than I thought. I had been so successful in smaller locations, I decided to ditch the location and head towards Paris. I had one more stop before my hotel, and I figured if I got to Paris early, it was one big city that was worth photographing again.

When I arrived at Fontainebleau, I quickly found parking and walked towards the main entrance of the Chateau. I quickly spotted a merry-go-round that I would have to check out before I left. I was pretty lucky that the location was pretty empty. It was off season and grey, but it was Friday and I expected a little more traffic. I set up my tripod right inside the entryway and was able to get the below shot. I did post-process one person out of it, but the rest is natural.

As I walked further down the courtyard, I stopped in front of the stairs at the end. They were magnificent. They had this great texture to them, and these dynamic curves. The below shot is my favorite out of several shots.

As I walked a little further, I came across a small pond and set up to take another picture. I was stopped by a security guard who told me I wasn’t allowed to use my tripod on the grounds. He said it was something to do with them worried about professional photos being taken for profit, but I assume he just didn’t know since I can take a pretty good picture without a tripod if the right light and camera allow it.

I continued on and hit this huge garden. This place really goes on forever. If you look at the image below, the fountain is pretty much the midpoint of the part of the garden. The chateau is the large building in back of the garden, and the entryway from the photograph above is on the other side of that. What you don’t see is behind me. After the below shot, I turned around and walked to the end of the garden where there was another fountain that overlooked a pool/river that extended down an open field for a nice long while. I assume that if I walked the length of it, it would have taken about 15-20 minutes at least.

At this point, my backpack was getting heavy, and I walked back to the car and headed for Paris. It took a little longer to get to Paris than I liked, and I decided not to go into town to take photographs. As I sit behind my computer in Montreal, I think I was being an idiot, but I know I was pretty tired and did the right thing.

I spend about an hour packing my stuff for Poland, and spent the rest of the time looking for Steven Segal movies on the television. I’ll right a nice post about everything from my France Trip later – a nice short post on what worked and what didn’t

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • No Tripods in Fontainebleau
  • Canon 7D seems to have a Green/Yellow sensitivity
  • I find smaller roads and driving around is more successful for me than the larger cities
  • I should have been paying more attention to the using the right gear. I stuck with a certain set up, when a lower f-stop might have been more interesting to play with
  • I need to play a little more attention to composition. The valley shot to the castle was a failure
  • My days became more successful as the trip went on. I have far more good pictures in the last two days than the rest of the trip. I think it is mostly because I actually stopped

The Map:

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