Photography Tips; A different view in Conques

Exploring a beautiful village like Conques in the Aveyron region of France, with it’s impressive cathedral, picturesque streets, lined with attractive stone houses taking a picture focussing on a fallen leaf probably seems slightly strange. There are plenty of suitable photogenic subjects in the medieval village sited on the famous Camino Le Puy Way pilgrimage route, but the beauty of photography is we all perceive things differently.

Autumn colour in Conques, in the Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography  Iain_Mallory_Ave1403621 autumn_conques

An extended depth of field

In fact it’s important we do try to find a different perspective, especially in such a well photographed destination. It’s likely millions of images were captured in this rural village, but we can all tell a story differently, in a manner personal to whoever is behind the lens. How we perceive the story as it unfolds when exploring a new destination is essentially personal. However, we need to portray the story in the images in a way which those viewing will also relate to, and find appealing.

I captured plenty of images around the village, including inside, and outside of the chapel, which appears oversized for a village with a population less than 270. Even in here there was ample opportunity for expression, using various vantage points to provide an almost voyeuristic view of the many visitors, or finding details exposed by encroaching light. Some pictures seem almost secretive, which may, or may not be shared in a later post.

Black and white in Conques, in the Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography  Iain_Mallory_Ave1403620 autumn_conques

Conques unsaturated

There was an opportunity to take some pictures of the valuable artefacts, inside the treasury, and I even managed to catch a monk on walkabout, striding purposefully across a forecourt.

However, I’m always on the look out for the smallest subjects of interest, which complete the story in a more personal way. This image of a fallen leaf, with the colourful autumnal background seems to add a different dimension, it’s a little, insignificant detail some would ignore.

Autumn colour in Conques, in the Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography  Iain_Mallory_Ave1403618 autumn_conques

Shallow focus on the turret

Photography is a creative art, enabling the photographer to express themselves in this personal manner. Experimenting with depth of field, and even removing all colour gives the same scene a completely different perspective. This individual perception, will also appeal differently to the viewer, some will prefer one capture above another, which is why I’ve included several different examples of ways to take this particular image, illustrating this.

It may seem strange devoting an entire post to one image, but it does seem to emphasise the point, and they are quite attractive images.

My personal favourite is the shallow depth of field, focussing on the leaf. The colourful bokeh in the background, seems to highlight the leaf, providing some texture. Removing unwanted distractions, brings the detail of the crumpled leaf into sharp focus. The only capture which doesn’t really work however, is the black, and white, it just doesn’t seem to translate well to being unsaturated.

Autumn colour in Conques, in the Aveyron, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography  Iain_Mallory_Ave1403615 autumn_conques

Shallow focus on the leaf

That’s how I see it, what about you, and which image do you prefer? Feel free to add your observations in the comments.

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Comments 5

  1. Danni

    Very useful tips to improve creative art like photography. This post will surely help the photographers to explore beautiful things in much beautiful way.

  2. Carla

    I love this region. There are so many little villages and great towns. I have taken thousands of pictures in this region. Lately, I am trying to take more artistic pictures and taking my time to learn and experiment. You have shown here how the picture changes depending on your focus. It is well demonstrated with the pictures. Thank you for the lesson. And I love the first one where the leaf is on the forefront but you can still enjoy the view in front of you. It is mystic with the foggier far outstretch. I would be proud to take a picture just one like this one.

  3. Sylvia Mawby

    Strangely, given that I love Autumn colours, it is the black and white photo that stands out for me too. I love looking for tiny images in the environment which highlight the passing of the seasons, so if you are telling the story of the area then the leaf with unfocussed background could be anywhere, but the story of the time of year is clear. I have spent three years happily taking a daily stroll with my camera round a tiny patch of woodland near our house and still find new perspectives. I have not, however, considered dabbling in black and white yet – I am off to try it out!

    Thanks for the post, I didn’t realise the photos were from the same point when first scanning through and it just shows what range of possibility there is in every shot you take. It will hopefully inspire us all to continue with the adventure!

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