SHOOTING FRENCH ALLEYWAYS – my photography tips

TIP #1 - Colour above, and something happening below.

TIP: Colour above, and something going on below. Location: Nice (well, of course it’s a nice location. I mean the city, Nice.)


I’ve turned the camera vertically to take shots of narrow French alleyways so often during the past couple of weeks I’ve almost become an expert.

When the subject matter is so inherently appealing it’s hard to screw up, though, like most amateurs, I usually manage to do just that. Too dark, too bright, too much contrast, moving people blurring the shot, being too slow to catch the hilarious peeing dog…I made all those mistakes, often.

Every now and then I got a photo I liked.

TIP: There's nothing like a bit of washing drying in the sun to add appeal.

TIP: There’s nothing like a bit of washing drying in the sun to add appeal. Location: Marseilles.

TIP: Winding stone steps help.

TIP: Winding stone steps help. Shoot them from below, rather than from above. Location: Saint Paul de Vence.

TIP: Wait for people in interesting costume.

TIP: Be patient. Wait for people in interesting dress to come past. Location: Marseilles.

TIP: Wherever possible include a colourful local character and a bike.

TIP: Where possible include a colourful local character and a bike. Location: Nice.

TIP: When the people hit the sunny spot, press the button fast.

TIP: When the people hit the only sunny spot in a shady street, press the button fast! Location: Villefranche-sur-Mer.

TIP: When editing the shot, beef up the temperature to the warm side.

TIP: When editing the shot, beef up the temperature to the warm side. Location: Nice.

TIP: A low angle emphasises the charming, age-old cobblestones, even those laid recently. Location: Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

TIP: A low angle emphasises the charming, age-old cobblestones, even if they’ve been laid recently. Location: Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

TIP: Signs mentioning 'Art' or 'Atelier' show you're in the right place.

TIP: Signs mentioning ‘Art’ or ‘Atelier’ show you’re in the right place. Location: Nice.

Stay tuned for the RT’s LOTR Alleyways of Provence calendar – reasonably priced, vertical format, perfect for hanging behind the door of the narrowest room in the house.

(That was meant as a joke, but maybe it’s actually a good idea…hmmm?)

15 Comments

Filed under France, travel photography

15 responses to “SHOOTING FRENCH ALLEYWAYS – my photography tips

  1. Karen Bray

    Hi Richard, These photos are delightful! You are inspiring me for our trip to Paris this August.
    Can you recommend a small un touristy village we could take the train to for a day trip from Paris?
    Do you have a Paris blog?

    Karen

    • check out “becoming madame”–american blogging from Paris — not always travel tips but she does have lots of posts about restaurants, shops, day trips, etc. I love Fontainebleau for a nice day trip, but there are so many

      • Nice suggestion, YL. Last year I did a cruise down the Seine, stopping at Conflans and Rouen – both interesting and not too crowded at all (in June, at least.) They’re only a short drive from Paris, but take longer to reach on the boat, though the water route is very appealing.

        Other than that I’m no expert here. Becoming Madame is a good looking blog. Thanks again.

  2. Very nice pics, Richard. The calendar is an excellent idea.

  3. Good tips! I am in Spain this week and been having the same issues!

  4. A Nice idea for a calendar indeed :-) Beautiful shots, would love to be walking up those stairs.

  5. Reblogged this on NU VORBI, SCRIE! and commented:
    Joie de vivre. :)

  6. These photo are works of art! I would not mind having big prints of them in my living room! Well done!

  7. Your photos are making it impossible for me to get any work done today!

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