French Riviera Report

French Riviera Report
Alan Ranger Photography(44)

Workshop Report

A week was not long enough!  It wasn't just the lure of  Cote D’Azur  coast that made this trip exciting, the towns, villages, mountains and even A-list hotspots all contributed to a week full of varied image making opportunities.

Needless to say the weather was glorious with 25-29 degrees on most days meaning it wasn't to hot to enjoy it but hot enough to force regular visits to café's & bars.


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Crusoe and Ranger arrive in Provence.  

Day 1

Our first morning after arrival was of course an enthusiastic sunrise start - the sun didn't quite manage to create the stereotypical skies but the light was great and it was lovely to be standing on the shoreline enjoying a deserted beach.

Beach at Rayol Canadel

This washed up make shift rafter was a stroke of luck - it certainly wasn't there later that day when returned.

Following a much needed breakfast we headed off to a mountain side village.  Bormes-les-Mimosas is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It won a city in bloom in 2003.  The Fort de Brégançon, located in the commune, is the official retreat for the President of the French Republic. 

The roof tops, alleyways, doors and windows were all extremely photogenic and provide endless possibilities, none of which were on the tourist map that led to a long trail around the back streets on account of it's poor instructions and our rubbish sense of direction :) 

The day finished with a sunset shot across the local bay.

Bormes-les-Mimosas facia's

Day 2

A short trip to Domaine du Rayol Jardin - The garden was first created in 1910 by Parisian businessman Alfred Theodore Courmes when he built his retirement home on a promontory overlooking the Baie du Figuier. In addition to a small farm on the site (1909), he constructed his first house (1912, subsequently the Hotel de la Mer) and later his second house (Rayolet, 1925), as well as a picturesque bastidon and pergola (1910). 

This large (20 hectares) botanical garden provided some stunning views down to the sea as well as endless trees, plants and architecture to photograph. 

This art installation provided a great subject to photograph and many ideas for a caption too.  "Chairway to heaven" and the amount of seats some parties lost in the election!

Day 3

Saint Tropez needs no introduction.  At the harbour front large and I mean large yachts and trendy café's and bars.  Behind the front lovely back streets and architecture.

window seat

From Saint Tropex we headed off to Gassin, a small village perched high up on a rock overlooking the mountains in one direction and the sea and Saint Tropez in the other.  On route we came across some lovely vineyards.

Day 4

Strong winds but clear skies meant we went on a scouting mission into the mountains towards Collobrières. We ended up at Monastère de la Verne  a majestic, 12th- to 13th-century, Carthusian monastery that perches unbelievably on the hip of a mountain deep in the forest, but with a view to the sea.

The surrounding area is a place we will return to in more settled conditions next year - its a tree lovers paradise with fantastic cork trees and light flooding through the trees and high rise rock faces.

Day 5 was a free and rest day so unashamedly I didn't take a single photo all day and spent some wonderful time just chilling out at the villa and local beach.

Day 6

Our last day and an early start so we could drive the coastal route to Nice and take in as much as we could during the day.  Our first stop was Cannes.  It was Cannes film festival week so you can imagine the volume of people, size and extravagance of the boats and of course the celebs and hoards of press and media present.  Despite the above we had a good wander around and it was good to see it all in the flesh.

alan ranger photography

Our final stop was back at Nice via the coastal road and old historic city.  A wonderful week with plenty of variety - cant wait for next years repeat.

If you would like to know more about joining this workshop and enjoying a 5* villa and the array of locations available then please contact me directly to check availability.  Remember non-photographic places are available for partners/friends at a fraction of the cost and there is plenty of free time built into the schedule for everyone to relax and explore as they wish.

Next workshop dates and details are here: