In early June of 2013, I had the opportunity to visit Provence with a friend for a week. We photographed for six days, visiting several new locations each afternoon, and needless to say, it was an amazing trip. Throughout my career, I’ve been one to work thoroughly on any given shot without much regard for time spent before moving on; my usual pattern is to spend most of a day scouting before finalizing, sometimes taking a look at multiple prospects in a single day. Though this method only allows a minimal number of potential photos, I had always believed my best work was produced in this manner. However on this trip, with so many possibilities, we kept moving from place to place; if I remember correctly, we only returned for a second visit on one occasion. I was pleasantly surprised with our success as I was quite astonished at the amount of good work I was able to see and photograph “mindfully” in such a short time in each of the villages of Gordes, Uzes, La Coste, and others.
This trip was also the first time I had a good laptop (with Lightroom 5) in the evenings. I was able to upload the days’ work (sometimes very late at night!) and select the best images to develop. It was more exciting to see the work from each day come alive while it was still fresh, as opposed to back in the office. As I have always said in my workshops, “The inevitable failures provide important clues to eventual success.” In Provence, these clues resulted in “eventual success" captured in the field, only hours after the initial shot.