This photograph was taken in the Haute Provence Alps, on the right bank of the Verdon gorges. I arrived the day before in order to scout the place, I had focused on more eastern views which staged the high cliffs of the gorges with the river down below.
The following morning, I arrived at about 5 am, and I got installed and waited for the lights, then I took a series of pictures as I had imagined the day before with a 16mm ultra wide angle. After a flamboyant sunrise, the weather started changing. The distant ambiances became more pastel. Looking at the horizon around me I noticed a mountain further south with very soft edges, bathing in a light mist. A soothing feeling overwhelmed me and made me want to take a different type of shot. In order to improve the framing and to be in the mountain’s axis, I moved a hundred meters away. Thin rain was falling and I was getting stressed at the idea I was not going to be able to take the picture. I then set up my second casing with a 70-200mm lens under an umbrella that was going to protect it during the shot.
I thought and composed that picture for a square format which gives more importance to the sky and allows to have a better focus on the relief. The forefront is like a prerequisite, a border. I wanted it to be like a pass to cross, to reach the “ blue country “. It guides the look and reaches the main subject smoothly to relish the landscape in the background. I hesitated a long time on whether I was going to include it because I thought it was too conventional and less beautiful. So I chose to stage it so that the eye would be set and be able to contemplate the landscape. Without it I think the picture would have been more classical and most of all more restrictive. I would only have had two fronts.
I only took one picture, I rarely do many of the same shot. I picture the photograph and make decisions at the shooting. For me that is the whole point of photography that I consider as writing. Making the right choice is a real challenge.
I stayed three days in this place and this picture belongs to a series. To introduce this series, I took a panoramic photo, a new work that I am testing out.
The most important part of my work in this field is to find the right composition and the sensor raw picture remains a draft. The picture reveals itself after treatment. It is a fundamental step, this is when I personalize the picture, that I add my touch. It is mainly a work on the blue. I am fascinated by that colour. There are hours of favorable shootings but it is during the post treatment that the blue that I want appears.
It is a little like the painter working on his canvas, looking for his colours. It is the same approach for me. As far as that picture is concerned , I worked on the white balancing that I set colder than the shooting. Then I added vibrance that allows to saturate only the medium tone, of which the blue. I finished by shaping the curve as an “S” in order to give more contrast to the whole picture.