Anna Belleforte

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Dordogne and Perigord

Posted by Anna Belleforte on June 12, 2017 at 12:40 AM

Southwest France is full of extremely beautiful villages on rivers with huge stone churches and colourful shutters in disrepair. Today in St Astier there was a nice market - foods and antiques. I love perusing for old building tools, but for the most part it was lots of old junk from grandma’s attic I can’t imagine anyone wanting (and I love old things). But who’s to say? You can’t help but notice there are a lot of economically depressed French about. (Or is it a lifestyle I’m misinterpreting?) Evidently the town is doing its part in sprucing up with road repairs, rejuvenated public spaces and even public benches painted pink.

The trouble is it’s almost too damn picturesque. Bridges sweeping into compositions, erratic honey-coloured masonry, reflective waters and potted flowers will always make a great image. One that everyone will have photographed or painted at some point. It’s hard not to just be taken in by the beauty of it. How do I contribute a unique perspective? I try to focus sometimes on the details rather than the big picture. Or patterns that appeal to me, or potential abstractions that emphasize lines. Morsels I’ll have to fatten when I get back.

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Reply René
5:05 AM on June 12, 2017 
Hello Anna,
Always nice to read your blogs. Funny te read that you describe south France as almost to picturesque. But I understand what you mean. You do not want to walk the path that everyone else does.
I sometimes have the same feeling when taking pictures. I then try to take the picture from an other position. While kneeling down for instance. Or focus on a certain object in the composition.
Are you taking pictures for further elaboration at home, or did you bring your paint and brushes on the way?
Enjoy the rest of your trip!!
Big hug, René
Reply Anna Belleforte
12:55 PM on June 12, 2017 
I did take painting tools but rarely feel taken to paint on the spot. I can better analyse my pictures once back. And yes - pictures from all different kinds of angles. Thanks for reading!
Reply Sheryl
10:01 AM on June 17, 2017 
Yes, I know what you mean about much-photographed or painted - I feel that way often when taking photos of visiting friends in the same scenic spots around Stratford-on-Avon! I like Rene's idea about using unusual perspectives and yours of concentrating on detail and pattern - I try to do that with my personal photos too, especially when photographing plants/flowers and buildings. Perhaps you could "chop up" some of the chocolate box views and present them in a disjointed manner with some elements of a darker nature interwoven? To create a different perspective not just from the angles of viewpoint but also from interpretations that give the scene a different emotion/tone. That might sound nonsense but I have in my head what I mean - perhaps not expressing it very clearly! Perhaps a bit like the old Dutch paintings that seemed to be of fun/humorous or lively scenes (or even still life studies) but which had motifs within that conveyed a darker or just alternative message.