Inspire: Art & CulturePhotographers in ProvenceRebecca Ronane

Capturing Nature Photography in Provence

In recent years, my husband, Alain Poirot, discovered a passion for photography. Although he has travelled extensively, one of the many benefits of living in Provence is that nature is literally outside our door.

Nature Nearby

Photographic passion is a little more than the iPhone snap. It means making multiple journeys at different times of the day to obtain the shot that lingers in your mind’s eye!

We’re only 100 kilometres away from the Camargue, where some of the most fantastic wildlife shots of the region are found, including the iconic pink flamingo. There are six different species, four found in the Americas, including the Caribbean, and two, which are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Flamingos anywhere are comical, colourful, and fascinating to watch whether they’re parading to attract a mate or plunging their long necks into the muddy feeding waters. This single long exposure captures the flamingo foraging for food in the 20 minutes before sunset – the blue hour.

Nature Photography Provence Alain Poirot flamingo head up-down

Creative Eye

Alain has been deep-diving into producing something a little different in the last few years. Once a casual hobby has become a passion! He’s travelled afar with mentors, but they too advise the best shots are often nearer to home. Provence skies create dreamy backdrops for hilltop villages, and the flowers that define are seasons. However, perhaps we need to be reminded that the abundant yet sometimes discreet wildlife is worth exploring too.

Many ponds are not visible, surrounded by abandoned vegetation. It is here you can find insects, reptiles, birds and wildflowers left in their natural state. This former quarry is in Coustellet, once a crossroads, now a thriving business area.

Camargue White horses Alain Poirot Nature Photography

Capturing Nature in Action

The Praying Mantis, common to Provence, is a camouflage expert unless he becomes a photographer’s subject. The photo is shot against the sun in the early morning, creating an x-ray effect.

This common blue butterfly now threatened by urbanization stands alone here thanks to a macro lens. These insects need wild vegetation, which, unfortunately, in places such as Coustellet, is threatened by development.

Nature Photography Provence Alain Poirot butterfly

Each spring, the exotic but elusive Hoopoe birds return to the courtyard in front of our house. They spend a lot of time in a ruin opposite foraging for food. The whereabouts of the bird alerted by the catchy call, which is accompanied by a continuous head bobbing. Once spotted any sound or movement that you make, they will disappear. This picture is taken through our window. The Hoopoe alarmed by a prowling cat, as he pecked with his long beak into the hard ground for insects, he jumped up into an olive tree. Then Alain had the opportunity to take this profile photo of this unusual bird, showing the beak and crest perfectly.

Photography Alain Poirot hoopoe bird Provence

Camargue on the Wild Side

The Camargue, Europe’s most important wetlands, have flamingos, many other water birds and other animals. These include the black bull and the famous Camargue White horse. This horse is a sturdy breed and favourite of the Gardian (local cowboys) for rounding up the bulls. This white horse is one of the oldest breeds in the world. The horses are accustomed to galloping in the water, a favourite set-up for photographers. The horse-owners guide them through the sea towards the photographers, standing by to take their shots.

camargue horses Photography Provence Alain Poirot

Herons, too are fabulously photogenic, and this Grey Heron initially looks like a painting. The effect achieved is with the combination of the sunlight behind and fast shutter speed. This technique eliminates the surrounding details leaving the sun shining only on the Heron.

Alain has been shortlisted in many photographic competitions, including the National Geographic Magazine and the Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Meanwhile, his first exhibition will be in Maubec, our village in the Luberon at the Médiathèque de Maubec, March 3 – 28, 2020.

230 Grande Rue
84660, Maubec

Hours:
Monday and Tuesday 15h –  18h
Wednesday 14h – 18h
Saturday 10h – 13h

Please follow Alain Poirot Photography on Facebook and Instagram.


Ladies Retreat in Provence

Experience the natural side of Provence this fall for yourself. Removed from the demands of everyday life, join a retreat designed exclusively for women. From September 13 – 18, 2020, the agenda allows space for reflection and planning in a small group environment. Contact me at Rebecca.ronane@me.com to book your spot or for further details.

Getaway Provence September Retreat

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Rebecca Ronane

Rebecca Ronane

Rebecca Ronane has made Provence her home. Born in the United Kingdom, she describes herself as a happy wanderer and an adventurer. Rebecca has explored many career paths over the years and continues to lead guided trips in France, Spain, Italy and other destinations.

“Personal development and alternative health medicine have always intrigued me and starting in my early twenties I began studying Tai Chi. I followed that with a certificate in herbal medicine, but my adventuress spirit took over, and I followed a career of a life in travel instead."

"However, my interest focused in a different direction a few years ago, when I discovered Life Coaching, which for me became Life-changing. Studying and consequently certified, I now have my own Life Coaching business, consisting of Forward after Fifty (dedicated to women who want to reinvent themselves) and
Holiday Retreats in Provence.

The retreat program is a result of 18 small group workshops dedicated to exploring life topics such as values; people pleasing, boundaries and time management. After sharing many of these with small groups, it seemed a logical step to combine my coaching and travel experience into Retreats in Provence.

Rebecca launched Networking in Provence in February 2015. The group now includes over 150 international women who meet regularly in several locations in Provence. Here is the link to the website. Please contact Rebecca if you would like to join the Networking Provence Facebook group.

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