Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Les Gorges du Pont du Diable - Photos from a cool gorge in France

Not too long ago, my wife and I were staying with friends in Switzerland, and decided to make a day trip into France to check out the Les Gorges du Pont du Diable. Our friend had heard about this gorge and we decided that it would be fun to check out. Our friend warned us that it might take many hours to drive around Lake Geneva. But, heck, we were in no hurry and looked forward to seeing the area. So off we went, heading north along Lake Geneva (past Montreux) and into France. It was a small road which ran alongside the lake, but we had some beautiful views like the one below.

If you drive around Lake Geneva, you will see many more vineyards on the Swiss side, than you will on the French side. I was not expecting that!

After 3 hours of driving and stopping to take photos, we came to the gorge. You pay at the top, by the parking area, and then you start a fairly long walk down through the trees until you get to the opening of the gorge.

This was one of the first views from the entry to the gorge. I looked up and loved this view of the trees through the rocks. (Photographer's note: Luckily the trees covered enough of the space to neutralize the light coming through. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to expose the shot for both the dark rocks and the bright sky.)

It was a good hike down to the lower levels of the gorge. Here you can see the pathway that goes along one side of the crevice.

The years of flowing water have polished the rocks.

I like this photo because the people on the walking path give you a sense of scale for this large scene.

The color of the water was aquamarine, surrounded by green moss and red leaves.

I zoomed in to highlight the small red leaves on the smooth rocks.

After leaving the gorge, we continued our drive along the river, heading back towards Lake Geneva. We had overcast skies which were perfect for capturing the river at a slow shutter speed. So I convinced my wife to let me stop and shoot some images of the river. While setting up for the shot, I saw these kayakers coming through a gap. I quickly changed my settings to freeze the action and shot some photos of them.

And here is the photo taken with a 1/2 second shutter speed. I framed this shot to show the changing colors on the far tree, with the flowing water going around the mossy rocks.  It had just started sprinkling when I took this shot, so I had less ambient light and no harsh shadows.

All in all, it was another fun day of exploring in this amazing area.

(All the photos here were taken with the Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 28-300mm lens)

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Unknown said...

These are fabulous images Jeff; as per your usual; thanks for taking us along.

wedding photographer cornwall said...

Awesome work jeff, great stuff

David Wilkins said...

Beautiful Images, feel like I am there