Tour de France to pass close by us AGAIN!

On Wednesday 12th July 2017, for the second time in three years, the Tour de France will pass through our département, close by us. We will of course be taking PPF guests who are here that week to see it.

As at the date of publication of this post, we know the start and finish locations of Stage 11 (Eymet and Pau respectively) but we don’t yet know the exact route. So watch this space!

Here’s a photo from our viewpoint when it last passed the end of our road in 2014.

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Saint Juin by night

It pays sometimes to find a place with little light pollution and just stare into the sky and wonder at it all. Luckily we live in just such a place. This is l’église de Saint Juin, the ruined church just across the road from chez nous, lit by torch light and set against the Milky Way.

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L’ Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) Bordeaux

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An image from Pete’s upcoming book …. (winter of 2017/18)
Model: Lise-Marie Albisu

Spring is well under away and we’re getting ready for the 2016 season

DSC00973Sony RX100 Mk 3 - 1/80 sec @ f1.8 ISO 1600 (no flash)

Some weeks ago we’d noticed a beautiful little wren’s built into a small coil of blue nylon rope that was hanging from a step ladder in the garden shed. However, being only just past the tail end of winter, we thought no more of it at the time and we didn’t visit the shed again until the garden suddenly exploded into life a few weeks ago.

The wren’s nest was still there but, as there didn’t seem to have been any activity in or around it, we thought perhaps it had been abandoned. Imagine our surprise and delight when it came time to get out the ‘big strimmer’ and we opened up the shed again to find a nest full of hungry little chicks! (We counted six)

Season’s Greetings

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As we enter the twilight of another year, I just had a quick trawl through my archives to find a suitable ‘drawing to a close’ image.  So here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and a great 2016 from me and from Jill

The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men – Super-Moon Total Eclipse

DSC_2343-fbNikon D810 – 1 second @ f8  –  800 ISO  –  Nikon 80-400mm    –    Trees lit with LED torch

Firstly, this is one of only two successful shots of the totality that I achieved last night (at 03:30 CET to be precise). Living close to the Canal Latérale and the River Garonne, as we do, we get a lot of early morning mist at this time of year. As the eclipse developed, the temperature fell and the camera and tripod were really quite wet with condensation (although with the Nikon D810, that’s not an issue). However, I had terrible problems with the front element of the lens constantly fogging. And then, to cap it all, whilst I was wiping the moisture off the lens, I inadvertently moved the focus ring – I was using manual focus – and, of course, by that time, the image was so dim that refocusing was impossible.

Secondly, as many of you will know, we have a ruined 13thC church across the way from our house and I wanted to take the photo from behind that so that I could have the belfry as my out of focus ‘Earthbound anchor object’ (to give some context to the shot and to make it more unusual and interesting). However, the field behind the church was full of maize and I found that there was nowhere for me to set up the tripod that would give me a clear view of both the church and the moon. So, in the end I shot it from our lawn, using our poplar trees as my ‘Earthbound object’.

Ho hum.

Still, there’ll be another chance in 2033🙂

New Advanced Week ‘Action Photo’ Venue

This evening, Pete finally got the chance to spend some time on his own at our new ‘Action Photo’ venue, courtesy of Mathieu Tallec, his wife Katia, and daughter Laurie (pictured below).  Lovely and extremely hospitable people and beautiful horses. What more could you want!


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At last, but…..

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Finally, 4 years after it was first discussed, the book on water-lilies, for which Pete was commissioned to supply photos, is going to print. He agreed the picture content of the book and the jacket photo with the publisher today. The book will be available in the autumn from the usual book-sellers worldwide – ISBN: 9781870673839. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that he’s disappointed with it; instead of the coffee table book we thought it was going to be, with lots of beautiful photos of water-plants accompanied by explanatory text, it’s become a book for water-lily purists specifically about Bory Latour-Marliac’s hybrids, which means loads of text accompanied by some photos. It’s a shame. But never mind, it’s Pete’s first commission ever to be published worldwide in all markets simultaneously – which is nice – and it’s good PR for us anyway.

New seating area at PPF

Tranquility base 🙂

New paving, table and chairs under the vines and honeysuckle. Created for those that would like a little privacy, on occasion.

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New to Advanced Photography Weeks for 2015

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Those guests who have been on previous Advanced Photo Weeks with us will recall photographing our speedy ‘Tour de France’ cyclist neighbour, Rowland Cockin. Unfortunately however, Rowland has now sold his property here which means that we’ve had to search for a suitable ‘action’ alternative.

We’re happy to announce that we have today finalised arrangements with a local equestrian centre and, as of June this year, horses and riders will be the future subjects for our action photography sessions🙂