Vintage France

Vintage France

Chateau de Chambord from the Loire Valley of France...looking a bit vintage in today's post.

Read More

Blue hour in Amboise

Blue hour in Amboise

An evening street scene from the lovely little town of Amboise, France...

Read More

A Visual Tour of Chateau De Chenonceau

A Visual Tour of Chateau De Chenonceau

This may qualify as my longest post ever, at least in terms of the number of photos that it contains.  But, it was worth every minute it took to prepare it for you. Click through to enjoy a visual tour of that most beautiful French Chateau in the Loire Valley - Chateau de Chenonceau.  Then pack your bags - you're likely to want to travel to France asap!

Read More

The incredible Chateau de Chambord

The incredible Chateau de Chambord

How about we step back into history today?  Specifically, 16th century France - does that sound good?  It does to me, so I hope you will come along for the ride.  It's going to be fun, educational, colorful (of course!) and hopefully inspirational too!  Vive le France!  (or something like that)

Read More

Street scenes from Amboise

Street scenes from Amboise

Lonely streets in a small French town, around the blue hour...

Read More

Amboise evening

Amboise is a great little town in France's Loire Valley... 

We spent a few days there back in June of this year and totally loved it.  It's big enough to enjoy comfortably without being overwhelmed, and you can't beat the location.  It's an easy drive from there to many of the incredible chateaux that you probably want to visit anyways: Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny...the list goes on. 

I took this shot one evening after we had settled in for the night.  I couldn't stand missing a chance to shoot such a great little town, so I headed out and took a few street scene shots like this one around the blue hour. 

Blue hour is probably my favorite time of day to shoot, and street scenes (especially in Europe) are quite possibly my favorite thing to shoot...so this was a no-brainer.  As you can see, it was already pretty deserted although there were definitely still a few folks out for a late dinner at some of the restaurants nearby.  Anyways, be sure and stop in here if you find yourself nearby - you will thank me for the tip! 

Sunset on the River Loire

I grabbed this shot one fine evening in Amboise, France which is a wonderful little town in the Loire Valley there.  We spent a few days in Amboise during our vacation to France back in June and loved every minute of it. 

I tend to travel to larger cities for work, so most of my photos are also from cities.  But I found that I really enjoyed this little town, as it offers up so much history and beauty, not to mention some incredible architecture.   

But I also found that if you show up at the right time, you can get some wonderful shots of this famous river as it winds its way through town.  I happened to be in the area at sunset one evening, and fired off the brackets for this HDR shot with a big smile on my face. 

Looking over Chenonceau

Well, back to the Loire Valley of France today - you don't mind, do you?  :-) 

I found the entire Loire Valley to be just strikingly beautiful.  Of course, I am a fan of all the amazing chateaux that I visited.  They all possess such a great combination of interesting architecture and incredible history - it's hard not to like them! 

Chenonceau is probably the most beautiful one there that I saw.  It's hard to pick a fave, but it would probably have to be this one.  The dramatic setting over the river certainly helps!  

Anyways, at some point during my wandering and shooting, I climbed upstairs and stepped out on a little balcony.  It had just rained a bit, and all the tourists scattered like cockroaches when the lights come on, so it was pretty easy to get such a clean shot (although I admit, I removed a couple!). 

Blue hour on the River Loire

There always seems to be a little magic at blue hour, morning or night.  It’s such a special time of day, when everything is quiet and still, noises seem to be at a minimum, and the whole Earth feels like it is resting.  I love those moments.

I was out one evening in Amboise, a small town in the Loire Valley of France, and had been looking for interesting things to aim the camera at, which isn’t really very hard in this area - there’s something beautiful at every turn in France.

Anyways, I started out way across that bridge and behind the Chateau de Amboise which you see in the photo.  After crossing the bridge, I saw that little boat anchored in the swift-moving water, and wanted to take a closer look.  It took a little fence-hopping and trail-maneuvering, but was well worth it.  Interestingly, the boat wasn’t moving back and forth very much at all - must have been anchored pretty well!

It wasn’t long before my quiet revelry was disturbed by 3 little French boys who just wanted to make a new friend.  Sadly, my French language skills are terrible, so I barely understood much of what they said - apart from the constant “take my picture!”.  So I did.

They climbed up on that statue of Leonardo da Vinci and I popped off a quick shot with the flash.  It was fun hanging with them actually, even though I had no idea what they were saying.

Entering Chenonceau

Well it’s been a week or so since I posted a photo from the Loire Valley, so I figured it was about time. :-)

As I have said here before (and I will say it again, just ‘cause I have to), the Loire Valley is fabulous, beautiful, and I think I could live there.  Can you imagine how many photos I would take if I lived near all these awesome chateaux??  I can’t, really.  I just know it would be a LOT.  Like, a whole lot.

This one is from Chateau de Chenonceau, which is normally shot from this view.  And as you can see, that is a great view of it.  It really gives the full perspective, with the graceful arches over the river.  But of course, I like to mix things up so I also took this shot, which is straight-on towards the entrance.  

There had been some light sprinkles of rain and everyone ran inside, which was great for me.  If it wasn’t for all the people on the balcony (look closely), it would be like having it all to myself!  And that’s something I could get used to!  :-)