Monday, September 30, 2019
We've come to the end of the 30-day challenge! As usual it has been a lot of fun. It's been so lovely to finally get around to edit these shots, and even lovelier to see everyone else's pictures each day. Thank you so much for joining me, for sharing the experience with me and for all of your kind comments. It has been marvelous!
Sunday, September 29, 2019
I may have said it before, but I use a plug-in program with Photoshop, called "Nik Collection". One of the best things about it is that it allows you to save recipes for editing, and by now, I have a fair amount of them. So instead of tweaking everything from scratch, I can use a recipe, and that adds a bunch of adjustments (sort of "layered" on top of my image) and then just tweak those adjustments to my liking and add one or two more on top. If RAW is the yin to my editing, the plug-in is definitely the yang. I started using it a few years back when it was free, and now I don't want to be without it.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
To our delight the wonderful gardens and the chateau itself were not the only things you could experience at Château de Chenonceau. They also make wine and you are welcome to taste them in the wine cellar right there on the grounds. Naturally we did so, and of course we couldn't resist buying some bottles. We limited ourselves to 12, because it would be less handy getting them to our car if we had bought more, but they came in handy boxes with a handle so 12 were just perfect. Since we like collecting wine it really enhanced our visit and this "wine memory" certainly stands out a bit compared to the others, even though we only had very nice memories of visiting other vineyards to begin with. This was perhaps not as personal as meeting the actual wine makers, but what it lacked in that area it made up for with the flair of having such a beautiful chateau and gardens right outside, making the whole experience something special.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Just like Château de Villandry, Chenonceau has beautiful gardens. They might not be quite as large, but they're just as lovely. Places like this makes me think of novels like Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. It's been so long since I read it I have forgotten most of it, but I remember that there were several scenes set in gardens, and when I read it I pictured a place like this. So today's picture made me time travel again, just like yesterday's shot.
It also makes me think about how things have changed... Back when the chateau was in its prime there were no smart phones, computers or TVs, and the inhabitants spent their time doing stuff like needlework, riding horses or strolling through the gardens instead. It feels so far removed from how our lives are today, and yet, we're not that different from what they were. We're still the same species, with the same faults and virtues, and yet, those times almost feel like something not only from a fictional novel but a fantasy one. Weirdly, times without electricity feel just as foreign as elves and dragons. Isn't it strange how fast our lives have changed? On the scale of human existence, the speed in which we've evolved the last couple of centuries is astronomical. Our lives have practically gone from fantasy novels to sci-fi RPGs in no time at all. But now I'm starting to get philosophical, and when that mood hits me I ramble quite a bit, so now it's time to end this twaddle of mine.
I hope you're having a wonderful day :)
Monday, September 23, 2019
So this picture is for you dad, and all those times you sat by my bed. Thank you for always being there.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Now it's time for the next gorgeous fairy tale chateau, situated in the Loire valley by the Cher River. Château de Chenonceau is one of the best known of the valley, and it's not surprising - it really is unique, as you'll see. It was built between 1514-1522 on the foundations of an old mill and later it was built to expand over the river - the castle is literally built on a bridge, which makes me think of a certain place in Game of Thrones. Who knows, maybe this is where George R.R. Martin got his inspiration from? It's certainly a place that sparks imagination and it has an other worldly feeling to is.
I don't have to tell you what a joy it was to walk around with a camera here. The chateau is absolutely stunning! The sky and the lighting really cooperated too, making it even more fun. We stayed here, exploring the castle and it's grounds, for the larger part of the day. As the sun crossed the sky I was lucky enough to catch it lit from different angles. This place really is hobby photographer's dream.
Friday, September 20, 2019
A trip to France is just not complete without a visit to a vineyard, and that goes double if you're doing a road-trip and are able to buy some of the wine to bring home with you. It's wonderful to create a nice memory of the place where the wine you drink months later came from, to remember the beauty of the surrounding area, the passionate wine makes themselves and the charm of wine cellars such as this one, at Domaine de la Chevalerie. Once a mine where they quarried stone, the caverns that were left behind turned out to be the perfect place to store and age wine. They have just the right temperature all year around and they're humid too, just the way the wines like it. Not to mention how beautiful they are.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
This is the last shot of the Villandry gardens that I'll show you. It doesn't show all of them, but the most of them. This is not shot from the caste tower, but from a forest area on the chateau grounds. The view was really nice from up there. :)
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
A few days back MadamMtnLion commented about the logistics of providing water to all the plants in the gardens of Château de Villandry. It's actually pretty eco-friendly. They have a reservoir that fills up with water by natural means, and they reuse their water too. So providing water to the 150 000 plants really isn't the same troublesome deal here that it would be in other parts of the world where the climate is less forgiving.
The left picture shows the chateau as seen from a large pond that is situated in the highest part of the garden, and the right picture shows a beautiful set of steps that the water falls down though as it travels down towards the lower parts of grounds (on the other side of the bridge in the left shot). I like the curved pattern to it, it made it fun to compose pictures :)
We've come to the end of the 30-day challenge! As usual it has been a lot of fun. It's been so lovely to finally get around to...
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Sorry, I missed a day there, but I'll make up for it with two shots today. This is a basilica church called "Sant'Ambrogi...