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pacificLIGHT photography


Five Days in the footsteps of Matisse and Cezanne
2020 cancelled - See you in 2021

STATUS: cancelled

Join us for a photographic workshop in one of my favourite regions of Europe. I have a continuing love affair with Mediterranean Europe, and Provence in particular. Great food, great wine, friendly people, the sun to warm your soul and light that has inspired artists for centuries... What more could a photographer wish for?

Arrive at Marseille-Provence Airport on the afternoon of Day 1; we'll meet you and transport you to our home base for the first few days in Gréoux-les-Bains; a charming Provencal village minutes from the lavender fields of the Valensole Plateau where rows of fragrant Lavender stretch to the horizon, punctuated by Walnut trees and rustic stone cottages.

This workshop is planned as a nomadic adventure. We will move at least once, and possibly twice during the course of the seven days. This greatly reduces the amount of time spent driving between shooting locations each day and maximises your photographic experience. Over the course of the workshop, we'll explore the hilltop towns of the Luberon Valley, popularized in novels by Peter Mayle ("A Year in Provence"). We'll photograph open-air famers markets, and visit Provençal villages as they wake up early each morning... the smell of fresh baguettes wafting from bakeries along cobbled streets.

Each village throughout the whole region, from the ancient Abbey of Senanque, hidden away in its own "private" valley, to tiny Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, clinging to the side of the Alpes-de-Haute Provence, split by a narrow gorge with a stream tumbling through the centre of town, and in between hundreds of story book towns: Puimoisson, Rousillon, Cereste and Reillane among them, all offer up a wealth of unique image making opportunities. Of course we'll also travel to the coast, visiting Cassis; one of the most picturesque villages in all of Mediterranean France.

Our itinerary will be flexible, allowing us to take advantage of whatever comes our way, but one thing is certain, we will be up before sunrise, and stay out after sunset to catch the magic light at the edges of night and day. The middle hours of each day will be reserved for downloading images, discussion, critique, and sessions on digital post processing. Or if you wish, for just lounging by the pool, shopping, or whatever suits you. And, since Provence is also about great food and great wine, we will reserve some time to enjoy this cornerstone of Provençal life.

Our goal is to make this adventure affordable and worry free: Gréoux-les-Bains has a surprising variety of very affordable hotels, even at this time of year. So bring your sense of adventure, and prepare to unleash your creativity in this magical part of the world.

Our Focus is on You!

The light in Provence is unique in all the world, and our field work is designed to take best advantage of it. The instruction focuses on developing a sensitivity to the light and a strong sense of visual design. This is all part of the Art of Seeing, for as Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at, but what you see."

We welcome all levels of photographic experience, from beginner to advanced. This is not a traditional classroom/assignment workshop, instead the emphasis is on creativity and "photographic risk taking", rather than technical lectures. If you are a beginner, you will derive maximum benefit from this workshop if you are familiar with the basics of SLR camera operation, but individual technical assistance will be gladly provided as needed. The more advanced photographer will be challenged by our emphasis on the elements of visual design: line, shape, form, texture, pattern and colour, the importance of lens choice and point of view; the proper use of polarizing and graduated neutral density filters (yes; they are still useful in the 'digital age') and the use of reflectors and extension tubes.

The Details ...

Group sizes are kept small (approx. 7-8 participants per instructor) to ensure plenty of time for individualized instruction. The workshop is lead by an award winning 30 year veteran photographer who is also an experienced workshop leader. The 2017 workshop cost of $US 1,495 includes all ground transportation within the region, daily instruction, critiques, discussion and sessions on post processing techniques. Air/Rail travel costs to Marseille, hotel accommodation, and all meals and beverages are not included.

This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the light, landscape and culture of this most photogenic region; a place where your photographic vision and creatively will find new inspiration and new challenges each day. I hope you will join me. Email Workshops@pacificlight.ca for further information