Autumn is absolutely my favourite season. I love the bursting of colours of the trees and the first cold days (I do love wearing scarves and warm coats), the mountains here around are just splendid and leave me breathless with their beauty.
This season is a perfect moment to go out for some naturalistic photography, and with my photo group we planned an excursion on the French Alps, in the small village of Névache. The excursion was part of a little course on naturalistic photography done with the collaboration of Dante Alpe, a professional naturalistic photographer.
We met early in the morning, then drove for about a hour and a half and got to Névache. Just a few minutes to prepare our equipment and the walking began, through charming larch woods and with a fabulous view on the peaks around us. We walked for a few hours, sometimes stopping by to take some photos and to listen to Dante Alpe’s explanations on the plants or the animals.
We had lunch at 2.245 mt of height, by the beautiful Lac de Cristol. We were a happy group of photographers, sharing ideas, experiences (and food!), helping each other to take better pictures and confronting their equipment. All around us was so calm and silent, with a predominance of warm brown tones.
After walking round the lake for some inspiration, we began our descent, passing through another path and once again being fascinated by the beauty of the place and learning more and more about those woods and photography at each step.
Blueberry plants were awesome with sideways sunlight. And we even were lucky enough to still find some blueberries… delicious!
We ended the day very tired but satisfied. We learnt and experienced that naturalistic photography is not for everybody, or at least a branch of this kind of photography. You need to know the places very well, walk a lot and be ready to go out very early in the morning or wait till night approaches to catch the best lights, to be extremely patient (especially when photographing animals), and be prepared to go for an excursion to photograph something and then coming home with totally different shots from the ones you had planned (but this applies to every kind of photography, or at least the one that is not in a studio).
I’ve alway loved naturalistic photography. I do love walking for hours, alone yet surrounded by so much life. I love the silence and the peace you feel in those places, and I love that sense of completeness and satisfaction at the end of an excursion, when you see your photographs and think “not bad at all”.
It’s completely different from street photography, and both genres allow me to experiment different styles and techniques. While street photography for me is mostly black and white, naturalistic photography is the explosion of colours (even though sometimes black and white gets more to the essence in certain types of pictures). It’s about telling different stories and trying to give them the right voice. It’s two opposite philosophies and ways of living, but in the end each one influences the other.
It’s about living the present, get the best out of what you are living and catching the moment.