Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Nostalgia? It ain’t what it used to be, is it?

The obvious temptation is to respond to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge by pulling something quaint or sentimental out of the archives. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but as a counterpoint to the rose-tinted glow of memory I thought I would post this less cosy image.

The ‘living museum’  that is the nearby village of Montrol-Sénard has many features that portray a romanticised version of local life a hundred and more years ago. However, it also has this perhaps rather more realistic illustration of the way things were.

It’s a bedroom for a farm worker: a small, rough-made bed, a lumpy, dirty straw mattress and a pair of clogs (note the straw lining: no expensive luxuries like socks). When you see an example of the verité like this it’s possible to understand why the locals seem remarkably unsentimental about their comparatively recent history.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Thursday Doors: Montrol-Senard (encore)

My previous post of a door in Montrol-Sénard was a bit- well, edgy. However, here are some more comfortingly conventional offerings from this ‘living museum’ village a few miles from here:


although his one is on the upper story, which could make cleaning the step a little problematic:



Thursday Doors 21 July 2016

Steps in sepia

Sepia seems to me to work better than conventional black & white in these pictures: the first of an old set of steps leading up to a cobbled square in the town of Saint-Emilion in the Bordeaux region:


and this from Montrol-Sénard:


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Steps

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

Not so long ago, I posted this stark image of one of the outside-facing clocks on the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. For the latest WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, with the theme of Numbers, here is the ornate gilded clock – roman numerals and all – that hangs over the main exhibition hall inside:


Less conventionally, here’s another way of looking at numbers, from the old schoolroom in Montrol-Sénard:

Vertical Lines2

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

Thursday Doors: Montrol-Senard

I suspect I’m not the only one who finds this particular image of a door slightly unsettling. It was taken in Montrol-Sénard, a very pretty village not far from here, which is preserved as a living museum of rural life as it would have been a century ago.

This particular door is at the back of a barn which now houses a collection – which could best be described as ‘eclectic’ – of bric-à-brac and various oddities owned by an obviously somewhat eccentric Dutchman.

I am reliably (translate.google.com) informed that ‘Ooievaar’ means ‘stork’…..No, me neither.

Still, it’s not often you see an illustration of the well-known saying ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’.


Thursday Doors 25 February 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

There are two types of transition in this image, taken outside the church at Montrol-Sénard: from buds to fully-opened flowers and from the soft focus at the rear to the much sharper front closer to the viewer.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

Vertical Lines

This week, we try to demonstrate the importance of vertical lines in composition. To begin with, here’s my personal favourite from the selection for this post:

An abacus in the old schoolroom at Montrol-Senard. It wouldn't be the same shot if the column second from the right wasn't slightly askew.

An abacus in the old schoolroom at Montrol-Senard. It wouldn’t be the same shot if the column second from the right wasn’t slightly askew.

A collection of other verticals:


Now, two photographs of the same scene, one in landscape, the other in portrait. Unsurprisingly, the vertical represented by the tyre-tracks is a much stronger element in the portrait version; this makes sense because it’s the tyre-track that’s the real subject, and the trees in the landscape version are just a distraction:



Now, for the vertical line that doesn’t really work in the original, here is a ‘before and after’ from Chartres Cathedral. The vertical is obviously where the door meets the wall, but in the original the thing (whatever it is) halfway down the left side of the image is a distraction and, more importantly, because it’s an open doorway shot from the inside, the exterior has been blown out.

However, cropped to remove the distraction, as well as some of the dead space at the top (which also helps to preserve the original image constraints), and with a bit of tweaking of the tone curve, I think it’s a far superior image:


Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: Vertical Lines