3699 – An Unexpected Cloister in Fréjus II

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3699 – An Unexpected Cloister in Fréjus II
Dec 052016
 

In earlier times I would have had bought a guide to the region, or more likely a few. I’m mostly interested in art, history and architecture, and the quality of guides varying.

Today I always start with a look into Wikipedia, and in order to be independent of Internet connections, I also have an offline copy of the German Wikipedia on my phone.

Basically the quality of that information is comparable to everything that a good tourist guide of the Provence would have revealed about a town like Fréjus. It told me that there is a cathedral, and it also told me about a cloister. I love cloisters, therefore we had to see it.

It’s a two story cloister. It’s not a big one, but it is extremely beautiful.

What makes a cloister beautiful? Well, twin columns are always nice, and of course much depends on the nature of the patio. This one has a lovely well, white gravel and a few small trees.

Fréjus is not a tourist center. We spent maybe 20 minutes in the cloister and for the whole time we were completely alone. That’s one of the benefits of visiting places off the beaten path.

One of the beautiful details was the wooden roof of the lower part of the cloister. It’s not completely uncommon, but most of the time you have gothic or romanesque vaults.

Originally the cloister was connected to the church, but that door is closed now. You reach thr cloister through the tourist office, just like we’ve seen it in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.

3698 – An Unexpected Cloister in Fréjus I

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3698 – An Unexpected Cloister in Fréjus I
Dec 042016
 

Fréjus had not been on my radar. If you had asked me where that place is, I would have said it’s in the French Alps, just across the border from Torino, Italy. Which is also correct, because the mountain pass pass leading from Torino to France is called Col du Fréjus, and that’s the name that I had in mind.

It’s always irritating when two places have the same name. I don’t know the origin of the name of the mountain pass, but the city in Provence derives its name from Forum Julii. It’s one of the cities founded by Julius Caesar. From there, linguistically, it’s a long way to Fréjus, but that’s what 2000 years do to names.

It’s not a particularly interesting city, not a must-see in Provence, but it was one of the places where we could reach the sea. Cannes, half an hour on the highway to the east, would have been the next access to the Mediterranean, but we didn’t want to drive that far. We just wanted to drive an hour or two along the coast and probably sip a drink somewhere. Therefore Fréjus was it.

3692 – Abbaye du Thoronet: Above the Cloister

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3692 – Abbaye du Thoronet: Above the Cloister
Nov 272016
 

I’ve never seen a cloister like this. Like in Silvacane the refectory is above church level and atop the chapter house.

Not only do stairs lead down to the cloister though. Through the refectory you can also get out and on top of the cloister.

Of course the ultra-wide at 7 mm makes the cloister look bigger than it is. At 14 mm the third image, while still wide, gives a more accurate impression.

In hindsight, of the “Three Sisters”, l’Abbaye du Thoronet is the most impressive, and even more so because of this unusual view.

Nov 252016
 

Using a fisheye is hard. Before you look through the lens, you never know what you’ll get.

For the fountain the lens was ideal. Everything is round here anyway, you have to look twice to even see the fisheye effect.

The image from the chapter house is extreme, but then, in a certain way it conveys what I saw and how it felt to be there. That’s a funny thing to say about an image that’s totally distorted 🙂

The third image, looking from the cloister into the chapter house (yes, it was that dark in there) is somewhere in the middle.

For comparison I have an image taken from the church down into the cloister, also ultra-wide, but this time with the rectilinear 7-14/2.8.

Fisheyes: this is really stuff for experimentation. Try it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Predictions impossible 😀

Nov 222016
 

We are still in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. This church, like so many Gothic churches, is a celebration of light.

We were there around 1.5 hours before noon, on a bright day at a time of the year when the sun is at its highest.

The 7-14/2.8 is a wonderful lens, but with the blazing light streaming through the high windows, a few flares were unavoidable.

There is also a cloister in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. It’s not a part of the church any more, and you reach it through the tourist office.

Jan 242016
 

OK, I admit, the last few posts were a little bit rushed, but we really have to wrap this up. Otherwise we’d spend the rest of 2016 with my short trip to Lisbon.

On the other hand I’m really happy that I have taken that many images there, because I’ve almost stopped photographing lately. At the moment I’m just that busy.

To show you how dramatic the situation is, let me just say that I’ve processed 243 images from Lisbon, and then 88 from the rest of the year since mid-September 🙂