Exploring a beautiful village like Conques in the Aveyron region of France, with it’s impressive cathedral, picturesque streets, lined with attractive stone houses taking a picture focussing on a fallen leaf probably seems slightly strange. There are plenty of suitable photogenic subjects in the medieval village sited on the famous Camino Le Puy Way pilgrimage route, but the beauty of photography is we all perceive things differently.
In fact it’s important we do try to find a different perspective, especially in such a well photographed destination. It’s likely millions of images were captured in this rural village, but we can all tell a story differently, in a manner personal to whoever is behind the lens. How we perceive the story as it unfolds when exploring a new destination is essentially personal. However, we need to portray the story in the images in a way which those viewing will also relate to, and find appealing.
I captured plenty of images around the village, including inside, and outside of the chapel, which appears oversized for a village with a population less than 270. Even in here there was ample opportunity for expression, using various vantage points to provide an almost voyeuristic view of the many visitors, or finding details exposed by encroaching light. Some pictures seem almost secretive, which may, or may not be shared in a later post.
There was an opportunity to take some pictures of the valuable artefacts, inside the treasury, and I even managed to catch a monk on walkabout, striding purposefully across a forecourt.
However, I’m always on the look out for the smallest subjects of interest, which complete the story in a more personal way. This image of a fallen leaf, with the colourful autumnal background seems to add a different dimension, it’s a little, insignificant detail some would ignore.
Photography is a creative art, enabling the photographer to express themselves in this personal manner. Experimenting with depth of field, and even removing all colour gives the same scene a completely different perspective. This individual perception, will also appeal differently to the viewer, some will prefer one capture above another, which is why I’ve included several different examples of ways to take this particular image, illustrating this.
It may seem strange devoting an entire post to one image, but it does seem to emphasise the point, and they are quite attractive images.
My personal favourite is the shallow depth of field, focussing on the leaf. The colourful bokeh in the background, seems to highlight the leaf, providing some texture. Removing unwanted distractions, brings the detail of the crumpled leaf into sharp focus. The only capture which doesn’t really work however, is the black, and white, it just doesn’t seem to translate well to being unsaturated.
That’s how I see it, what about you, and which image do you prefer? Feel free to add your observations in the comments.