View Full Version : Hello from France

15-Jan-2009, 09:29

I'm really a newbie in large format photography : my Chamonix camera is in the way home and I already have a super angulon 120 (I've planned to use it during the summer hollydays in the french alps, in Chamonix city).
My other camera is an Hasselblad with 50, 100,150mm.

It's always a pleasure to read posts in the LF photography forums as there is here a hudge amount of informations written by kind people.

Hope to read some posts from you. As for me, it would be difficult to say anything about LF photography because I know almost nothing :confused: .

Bien cordialement à tous


Emmanuel BIGLER
15-Jan-2009, 09:52
Welcome to the club !
You are not the only Frenchman here ;)
Emmanuel Bigler from Besançon

15-Jan-2009, 11:44
Thank you Emmanuel.

Chris from Metz

15-Jan-2009, 11:47
Welcome Chris !

We may be a few Frenchies here actually...

Be careful, LF is VERY addicting !!!

Laurent from Chateauneuf sur Loire

16-Jan-2009, 03:20
From France...very nice!

Hi all.

I am actually in Paris right now... and completely lost!
Is there somebody who could suggest me few spots for nice landscape photography?
I was thinking some place around Paris (but probably there is nothing here!), or in the north: Normandy or Brittany. Or somewhere else here in France.
Any suggestion?
Thank you.


16-Jan-2009, 06:08
From France...very nice!

Is there somebody who could suggest me few spots for nice landscape photography?
Any suggestion?
Thank you.


France. :)

16-Jan-2009, 09:32
Pretty anywhere in the Quartier Latin would be nice. . .

Greetings from la Charente

Emmanuel BIGLER
16-Jan-2009, 10:12
spots for nice landscape photography?

Trying not to look as a nationalist, it is a matter of fact that among the present 27 countries members of the EU, France is the largest, Spain being second.
So there are so many places to visit in France as a landscape photographer that it is hard to suggest something !
If you like seascapes, Brittany and Normandy have, no doubt, many things to offer. Normandy is located quite close to Paris by car or by train. You probably need to have a look at Étretat cliffs if you like cliffs ;) Brittany has probably a wider choice of seascapes to offer, but it is located quite far from Paris, you cannot make a return trip to Brittany within one day as you can do it for Normandy.
From Paris downstream the river Seine en route to Normandy you have some spectacular views at Les Andelys for example.

Otherwise, France has many mountain ranges with spectacular vistas. By descending order of highesr peaks and deeper valleys : the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, Jura and Vosges.
But his those mountains are located quite far from Paris, the closest by high speed train is the Jura range where I live ; about 3 hours by TGV from Paris to Pontarlier or Bellegarde. For snowscapes, the Jura is perfect those days, we had almost two weeks of bright sunshine and bitter frost, perfect for all kinds of winter scenes.... although the Jura are not as high as the Alps, we do get a lot of cold & snow. Most of our lakes in the moutains are frozen those days and people go skating.
To go to the Alps, allow at least 5 hours by train, single fare, this is another story... but the number of stunnig vistas in the Alps is immense !

Paris is located in a very flat area with respect to our mountaineous regions. This does not mean that no landscape photography is possible ! The North of France, north of Paris, is quite flat as well like Belgium. However if you are interested in wet areas where many birds find their refuges, I recommend the Somme river estuary named Marquenterre, but I don't not know if January is the proper season fo that.

As a general advice you can rely on the well-know Green Michelin tourist guide. the whole collection for France is easily available in Paris bookstores and many of them are published in English. They are designed for the motorist and their suggestions for itineraries andt hinsg worth to see are excellent.

16-Jan-2009, 10:59
hi chris

nice to see you here.
im not french, but visit my wife's family
in franche-comte whenever i get the chance.


16-Jan-2009, 19:40
Thank you. I'm not far from Franche comte (North East of france).
I am situated next to Germany, 30 miles ap.

For Ugo : if you plan to go to brittany, there's a TGV (Train Great Velocity) from Paris Montparnasse to Nantes (2 hours) or better Le Croizic (ad 30 minutes).
Then, you will be very closed to Guerande which is a beautiful place. They produce salt there and it is a preserved natural park.

Guerande is considered by Geo magazine to be one of the nicest place of France.

From Paris, this travel is quite convenient.

Hope it helps.


John Kasaian
16-Jan-2009, 20:23
Welcome Chris! What a great location for LF photography!
Enjoy the adventure:)

Allen in Montreal
16-Jan-2009, 20:40
Boujour Chris,

Bienvenue au LFPF. C'est une petite coin genial dans un monde numerique!!

(je suis desole, mais mon ordi a un clavier anglais, alors, pas d'accent)

Allen in Montreal
16-Jan-2009, 20:42
From France...very nice!

Hi all.

I am actually in Paris right now... and completely lost!
Is there somebody who could suggest me few spots for nice landscape photography?

Ugo, Did you bring your Leica?? .....when in France, one shoots the women first, the landscapes second!! :)

16-Jan-2009, 23:57
Thank you for all the messages.

Merci Allen, je n'utilise pas toujours les accents moi aussi.

A leica is appropriate in Paris. I don't think the police would let someone use a tripod and a view camera on it.
Ahhh France : women, food and wine, no time for landscapes....


17-Jan-2009, 00:49
En fait, the English keyboard does have les accents. . .

I have shot LF in Paris on three separate occasions and have never been bothered by the gendarmes. . . I think mostly because I look like a peasant from the southern countryside and couldn't possibly be intelligent enough to be there to cause problems!

I've also shot in Bordeaux and Biarritz and will go shoot with my Plaubel 8 x 10 in Toulouse in two weeks. . . just act as if you own the space around you and nobody bothers you. (and don't try to bribe the cops - France is NOT Italy :p )

Bonne chance~

à bientôt,


19-Jan-2009, 02:13

from Paris you're with 2 hours (by train or car) from river Loire and all it's castles... The river in itself is a lovely place, there are many wooden boats there (yes, I LOVE wooden boats ;-) ).

I guess the castles can be amazing, but I'm not into castles or architecture.

pierre salomon
19-Jan-2009, 20:05
Salut et bienvenue Chris! Les pros de ce forum sont de sacres mecs qui n'hesitent jamais a venir en aide aux apprentis du grand format et ils le font toujours sans arrogance.
You will not regret joining LFPF.

rachel v.
23-Jan-2009, 06:31

I am French but leave in the UK, and should receive my Chamonix any day soon. Can't wait.

23-Jan-2009, 13:26
Hello Rachel,

I've received mine last week-end and it's really a beauty.
I understand, in some cases patience is hard to find ...

Hope you'll get yours this week-end

Amicalement à toi


QT Luong
23-Jan-2009, 14:50
My favorite in France are the mountains above Chamonix, which apparently made enough of an impression on a Chinese photographer that he named his line of cameras after the city.

The combination of spectacular high mountain scenery AND ease of access is simply unmatched anywhere else in the world. I've photographed mostly in 35mm there, but here are a few large format mountain photos (http://www.terragalleria.com/large-format/country-lf.france.html).

Emmanuel BIGLER
24-Jan-2009, 05:53
My favorite in France are the mountains above Chamonix,

Hello Tuan ! Superb images !
Yes I cannot disagree about Chamonix but what we could add for somebody familiar with minimal distances to cover in Northern America from one famous landscape-tripod-hole ;) to another, is that within one or two hour's drive from Chamonix, the landscape, the mountains, the peopke & their languages, the architecture, food etc.. change so much that you cannot believe that you are actually in the same moutain range.
For example famous Aiguilles-de-Chamonix peaks are made of a special kind of granite loved by rock climbers. But very close to Chamonix in the Arve & Giffre areas, you have ranges of limestone mountains (with some of the deepest limestone caves ever explored) giving a totally different scenery. For example in autumn. You'll find those kinds of limestone cliffs and magnificent pastures in Switzerland above Fribourg, 1.5 - 2 hours drive from Chamonix crossing the Col-de-la-Forclaz.
Fribourg alpine pastures and limestone mountains is a favourite subject for a do-it-yourself Swiss Calendar in 8x10 'chromes ;)
Just crossing the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Aosta in Italy will change the architecture and weather in a incredible way. Chamonix is somewhat plagued by clouds and fog (except on advertising tourist brochures of course ;) ) much more than the nearby sunnier Valle d'Aosta in Italy or Valais area in Switzerland where excellent wine & apricots are produced.

Not mentioning the natural hot springs of bains de Saillon near Martigny (don't tell them that I disclosed this secret ;) , a favourite relaxing spot for skiers in winter !!

24-Jan-2009, 15:28
M. Luong,

Many thanks for these photos. Chamonix is the next destination for my summer hollidays.
It appears to be a good choice.

Emmanuel, do you enjoy the Jura ? I think it's probably beautiful.


Emmanuel BIGLER
25-Jan-2009, 03:04
Emmanuel, do you enjoy the Jura ?
Well, my opinion is biased since I was born there and I live there.
It offers many opportunities for outdoors.
To give you an example, next week my wife will go with the local section of the Alpine Club for a 3 days off-track cross country ski in the Jura, including winter camping with all the gear, with pulkas.
Something hard to do near Paris ;-)
Those LF images by Paul Schilliger (Switzerland) will give you an idea of the spirit of such outdoor experiences in the Jura in Winter.