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Capturing Provencal Beauty in Photos Lumières des Alpilles

Local photographer Jean François Galeron shared that taking photos for his book Lumières des Alpilles was not difficult. Completing a photo journal dedicated to his corner of Provence was a project he had contemplated for over 30 years. The hard part was culling thousands of images into a stunning 212-page collection. He says that he almost drove his graphic designer crazy during the book’s four-month layout process. Published in December 2016, Lumières des Alpilles is available for sale at several locations in the Alpilles or online (the full details are below).

Jean Francois Galeron photographer

Naturally Beautiful Alpilles

The Alpilles are a small mountain range. The hills run from east to west for 25km, starting at the edge of the Durance River and the town of Orgon to the far end near Fontvielle (read about the stone quarries here). The Alpilles (small Alps) do not boast any significant altitude (maximum height is 498m). However, the rugged limestone peaks give these hills the appearance of being much higher than the numbers suggest. Try hiking in the area, and you will be thankful that there isn’t any more vertical to climb.

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Mountain Ridges

Agricultural operations including some 20 vineyards, thousands of olive trees, and hectares of fruit trees surround the range. The vegetation changes from grapes and olives to scrub brush (garrigue) and pine trees, as these spiky cliffs rise skyward. Take a walk through these hills, and you can collect your mixture of wild herbs de Provence (fennel, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, tarragon).

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Mountains

Just over ten years ago, a visionary group succeeded in securing protected status for the Alpilles. Sheltered from further development, Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles is unspoilt parkland for outdoor enthusiasts. Now, we can thank Galeron for creating a book that honours the splendour of this park.

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Vineyards

High-Speed Photography

Lumières des Alpilles is indeed a departure for Jean François Galeron who built his career as a Grand Prix race photographer. Born in Lyon, his ancestral ties to the Alpilles and the village of Saint Etienne du Grès (Alpilles village) run deep. Both his parents and grandparents lived in the town that he and his wife have called home since 2014. Galeron studied law; however, it was a love of fast cars and a few photos that he took at age 13 (at a car race), which led to his non-traditional career path.

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Les Baux de Provence

Autopress International published two of his racing photos in 1982 in the first edition, and Galeron continued to work with the magazine until they closed their doors in 1994. He still follows the race circuit and has attended 604 Grand Prix races for his work (and counting). During that period, he collaborated on several books related to the car racing including biographical exposés on some of the top drivers in the world.

Photos in the Slow Lane

Galeron shared that he has long dreamed of completing a photo book dedicated to the beauty of Provence. It took a little nudge (more of a dare) by a friend who suggested that Galeron broaden his photo repertoire beyond F1 races. His Lumières des Alpilles project began to take form. For three years as time permitted, between Grand Prix races Galeron raced around the Alpilles taking photos of the environment for his archives.

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Chevaux

The book is not a guidebook, but rather a reflection of Galeron’s love for this particular area of Provence. Lumières des Alpilles is just as the title suggests an attempt to capture the unique light, broad colour palette, and dramatic beauty of these hills. The book has several thematic sections including le Soleil (Sun), le Patrimoine (History), les Traditions (Local Traditions), les Paysages (Landscapes) and la Faune et la Flore (Flora and Fauna). There is barely any written text in the book (other than an endorsement by the current President of the Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles). Lumières des Alpilles makes a beautiful gift for a housewarming, a thank you, as a reminder of a trip to the area or for your coffee table.

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Saint Sixte

Buy a Copy Here

La Maison de la Presse in Saint-Rémy
La Presse in Eygalières
Office de Tourisme Les Baux de Provence
Lumières des Alpilles Facebook page
Send you order via email to jfg@galeron.com

Park Information Office

Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles
2 boulevard Marceau
13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 90 44 00

Lumières des Alpilles JF Galeron Chapel

Image credits: All photos provided by and published with the permission of Jean François Galeron

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride was at six-months old, her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles). Carolyne also curates an e-commerce website for designer-made products of exceptional quality Atelier Boutiques.

8 Comments

  1. November 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm — Reply

    What a magnificent book! I can’t wait to return to St.-Rémy so I can buy one!

    • CKAdmin
      November 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm — Reply

      Thanks Keith. It is a gorgeous book, I gave three copies away to friends who loved Jean François’ ability to capture the Lumières des Alpilles.

  2. December 7, 2017 at 11:11 am — Reply

    What beautiful photos! I was just in that area over the Summer. It is such a stunning place!

    • CKAdmin
      December 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm — Reply

      Hello Lisa: we agree the Alpilles are stunning and this collection of photos “Lumieres des Alpilles” captures the essence of the regions. Thanks for reading Perfectly Provence. If you are interested please sign-up for our weekly newsletters http://eepurl.com/bwOBND and as a bonus you will get our holiday menu for December.

  3. December 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm — Reply

    Wow these photos are so beautiful! I’ve never been before, but it looks gorgeous #AllAboutFrance

    • CKAdmin
      December 8, 2017 at 7:52 am — Reply

      Thanks Maria – the Alpilles are just as stunning as the photos indicate. Maybe you will make it one day. Thanks for reading the post.

  4. December 8, 2017 at 9:25 am — Reply

    What stunning photographs. #AllAboutFrance

    • CKAdmin
      December 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm — Reply

      Thank you for reading this post Emily. Happy holidays to you.

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