An early morning walk took me first to the Place de l'Horloge (Town Hall square) where the red and white banner hanging on the first floor balcony of this restaurant caught my eye: “Ouvert aux assoiffés de rugby”, Open to the rugby thirsty. That keeps me on the beer track I started last week! I’ve seen this banner outside a number of cafes and bars around town: could this be the official slogan for the places where you can watch the Rugby World Cup matches live on a wide screen? Is this an international slogan? Have you seen a similar one where you live? Is the World Cup followed much in your country? Here you can't see an ad on TV that isn't somehow related to it. The oval ball is everywhere!
From the Place de l'Horloge it's only a short stroll through a narrow pedestrian street to arrive to the spectacular Popes' Palace, whose façade you can see here. These impressive walls belong to one of the largest medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Read more about the Popes' Palace here. I had planned to visit it on Sunday afternoon during Heritage weekend, but the large crowds queuing outside prompted me to change my plans. An outside shot will do for today. In the afternoon, the falling sun starts casting the shadow of the Conservatory of Music (located across the square) onto the golden wall - if you looked closely you'd see the details of its rooftop balustrade drawing a dark pattern on the Palace's facade.
My steps took me to the large marble courtyard outside the castle. Its smooth surface makes it a favourite spot for young skateboarders. I spent a short while there trying to catch an interesting shadow. Not bad, this one!
I then headed for the Jardin des Doms, the public gardens next to the Palace, where I saw a re-enactment of Spartacus, the movie. This was one of the numerous free shows offered in Avignon during Heritage weekend. Using the French-dubbed soundtrack of the movie, local actors mimed excerpts of Spartacus’ life as a slave and then as a gladiator, with a focus on spectacular gladiator fights. This actor was Julius Cesar watching the games. As an city photo blogger, I have more experience in photographing buildings than people so I enjoyed taking him as a model and practising my portraituring skills. I like his pose here.
Watching the show I met Daniel, a retired photo reporter from the local newpaper La Provence. We talked about photography of course. There are two things he told me:
1. The best thing you can teach your kids is curiosity - I couldn't agree more.
2. One of the key elements to a good photo is light. Many people forget about it, concentrating exclusively on the framing. I hope this week's photographic essay of mine does justice to his teachings...
Later on in the afternoon when I walked back the light was turning to golden red. In front of Notre-Dame des Doms cathedral a praying angel was already greying at dusk while the large dungeon at the back was catching the last pink rays of the sun.
And the end of the day treated me to the icing on the cake, a real fun shot. When he saw me in ambush at the bottom of the stairs waiting for passer-bys to cast interesting shadows on the wall, this young guy volunteered a great move. I only took one photo, and it turned out great. Thanks mate, you made my day!
Have a good week everyone.