Book 'Lights and Colors of the Coast of Charente-Maritime'
We traveled in many parts of the world, we have taken tens of thousands of underwater and landscapes photographs. We have encountered many different cultures all the more interesting one than the other and immersed in extraordinary locations. We went simply too far looking for what we had in our garden.
The winter of 2009, visiting for a story an oyster farming in Marennes Oléron, we were excited about the lights shining in the region. Night after night, looking at our photos we thought the same thing: an artistic photographic subject on the coast of Charente Maritime has to be done. Initially, our ambitions were very simple.
We had left France for several years and come back regularly to achieve the Charente Maritime shots would be difficult, even if our parents live in Saint Georges de Didonne, a small town near the sea. Indeed, to take pictures dedicated to nature, we need a lot of time.
The place we choose is important in our photos, it should be descriptive for the look but more importantly it is the lights and colors as they wear the scene elements. These lights and the colors are often those that we find in the morning and the evening.
These are the best times of the day for more tones of beautiful contrasts. The seasons also play an important role. We love the spring, autumn and winter because we find the best grazing suns are these periods. Summer is a difficult season because the lights are very hard and produce little contrast.
The book has 96 pages. What you see here is just few pages to show you how it looks.
It has been printed in 1000 copies.
Its finished size is 29.7 x 21 cm. Its open format is 59.4 x 21 cm.
Coverage was performed on 135 grams paper pasted on cardboard 2.4 mm thick.
Cover pages were printed on offset paper white Soporset 135g.
The paper for text and images of the coated paper is brilliant Triple Star 170 g.
The total weight of one book is 750 grams.
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Three Years of Hard Work For a Great Project.
Many years have passed since our wedding in Friday, May 13, 1988 celebrated in the city of Royan in the Charente Maritime department. We are not superstitious but, finally, this Friday 13 has brought us only happiness in the realization of our dreams and our projects. Since then we have traveled in many parts of the world, we have taken tens of thousands of underwater and landscape photographs. We have encountered many different cultures and landscapes all the more interesting one than the other and immersed in extraordinary locations. We are simply too far-fetched that we had in our garden. The winter of 2009, visiting for a story oyster farming in Marennes Oléron, we were excited about the lights shining in the region. Night after night, looking at our photos we thought the same thing: an artistic photographic subject on the coast of Charente Maritime has to be done.
Initially, our ambitions were very short. We had left France for several years and come back regularly to achieve the Charente Maritime shots would be difficult, even if our parents live in Saint Georges de Didonne a small town near the sea. Indeed, we need a lot of time to take nature and landscapes pictures. The place we choose is important in our photos, it should be descriptive but more importantly the lights and colors should wear the scene elements. These lights and the colors are often those of the morning and the evening. There are the best times of the day because we find more tones of beautiful contrasts. The seasons also play an important role. We love the spring, autumn and winter because we have the best grazing suns at these periods. Summer is a difficult season because the lights are very hard and produce little contrast.
A series of interesting photos is that we wanted first for our report. But making a project for an exhibition and a book is another story. It was winter time, a great period for us. So we decided to stay another three weeks to see if we find the materials for this new project. When we have an idea, it does not leave our mind.
We started to move along the coast of the Charente Maritime department. We walked all the pathways we knew since our marriage in 1988. We went all over again the places we loved both natural and manmade. This winter 2009, the photographic conditions were exceptional. We quickly accumulated interesting pictures worthy of being shown. After three weeks of work, we came back to the U.S. without a clear idea of what we would do. The first step was to develop the pictures on computers. Pleasant surprise, ten shots were interesting. It's pretty rare for a short period of work. We thought that It was a shame not to continue. We have planned another trip for next spring. The idea is to make a final decision after the second trip.
Like any art project, we needed a theme. It came out itself with the first ten photos featured. We just needed to look carefully to see it clearly: "the coast of Charente Maritime '!. As we are passionate about the lights and colors, so we decided to call it "lights and colors of the coast of Charente Maritime." To achieve artistic photos, a theme is essential. It sets the rhythm of shots and locations. The choice of a series of photos must be consistent and the idea of what we want to show should be clear.. At this stage, we had the subject, the theme, but we still did not know about what was going to lead our work.
The following spring, the weather continued to be lenient. So we surveyed the whole coast from l'Ile de Ré to Mortagne sur Gironde. We went to see the places very well known as Talmont with its Church of St. Radegonde. It did not mattered to us if the site had been photographed thousands of times; we wanted to bring our personal touch. After several weeks of research, hundreds of kilometers, of early morning waking up at 4 AM to make sure we have the magical fifteen minutes, we had collected enough photographs to create a true art project. It was at this precise moment that we decided to organize an exhibition and write a book to share with the largest possible number of people the treasures of this region. It was also at this time that we met Bernard Vassel, a poet. We talked of our pictures, and he, on his writing. Step by step, the idea of a collaboration popped up. We appreciated his poems and his very bare world. We found many points of resemblance between his work and ours. We decided to show him pictures hoping they will inspire him poems.
Once the project started, we still have eighteen months of work to capture the lights and colors that would dress the chosen sites. We came back three times in Charente Maritime. During these trips, we have refined our approach. We realized that the coast of Charente Maritime was a complex world as it is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and south by the Gironde estuary. Large sandy beaches in the north and a muddy lagoon in the south. This duality makes this coast a unique world. We were also overwhelmed by human creations which mark lighthouses, bridges, churches that are wonderfully enhance the beauty of nature. Based on this observation, we made shots to show how man tries to shape nature. But it was not the last word. After the passage of storms, we saw many houses destroyed. Humbly, we find that we are guests on earth. We do not control naturel.
The story of each image is engraved in our memory. We could describe all our emotions, surprises experienced during this project. But the great lesson of this work that lasted three years is that we must learn to look in our own garden. The real treasures are within the reach of our hands and our camera lenses.