You must be thinking that I’m just furnishing this Blog by sharing some more pictures of my little family. The guy must not have enough street pictures to share anymore… To be honest, I have a lot of them lying around on my computer, but I’m just sharing these family photos because they’re topical. It’s the holidays at the moment and of course I’m spending more time with the kids. They still have a whole week to go before they go back to school. Not for long. The end of the year is approaching fast and at the end of June it will be holiday time again…
Last year, we went to spend 2 nights at the Diana Déa Lodge, a beautiful hotel in a large park with many deer in the wild. The Lodge is on the east side of the island, the most watered part… Basically, you don’t go there for the good weather. It’s sunny from 7am to 10am at best and then it’s over ! At best it’s cloudy and foggy or else it’s downright rain. A strange place to go, you may ask ? Not really, because we go there to rest. The place is really beautiful with its luxuriant vegetation. We were without children during our previous stay and we noticed that there were only couples. Are children not allowed?
We decided to take the children to spend a night there, to see the deer and also to enjoy the hotel. Like probably all children, Joachim and Ronan love going to the hotel. And the more luxurious it is, the more they love it ! The Diana Déa Lodge is a 5* hotel and has a wellness area where you can get massages. You have to keep yourself busy when it’s raining cats and dogs, right ? During our first stay, we had taken an Ayurvedic massage. It was a first for me and I was so relaxed that I even dozed off.
This year, we went through the massage again. Ayurvedic for Gwen and Thai for me. It’s a real pleasure to be massaged. I think we’ll try to get into all the hotels on the island that offer this kind of service ! A little anecdote though. While I’m lying down with just my super black thong that shows off my Appolon body, my masseur asks me if I’m a photographer. I think to myself that he must have seen me in the hotel with my camera. But no, he asks me if I am Jean-François Chane-Mouye because he knows my work ! I’m a bit on the ass (with a thong…) and I don’t have too many words. I don’t linger because the massage is starting and I’m not going to discuss with the guy of photography. A massage is an atmosphere too. Soft music, essential oils… Anyway, I’m not going to break all that to talk about Street Photography. All this to say that it was my 5 seconds of fame. Far from the 15 minutes I was promised … I didn’t even get to talk to the person after the massage because we were leaving and he wasn’t there anymore. Anyway, it’s weird that people know about my work.
This trip was also an opportunity for me to take pictures of animals. In July, we are going to South Africa for 15 days and we will spend several days in the Kruger Park. I had planned to buy an old Nikon 200mm f4 lens, but after a few setbacks on LeBonCoin, I cancelled the purchase and settled on a Fuji XF 55-200 f3.5-4.8 lens. A little less bright but more versatile and AF. Although I won’t be shooting cheetahs chasing antelope, it will be more comfortable to have Auto Focus. Price wise, the Fuji is much more expensive: 440€ against 100€. I don’t have much choice, as I only have short focal lengths on my cameras…
At Diana Déa Lodge, I just had my Nikon 100 mm f2.4 (which is 150 mm in 35 mm format) and it was enough to photograph the deer. Don’t think that I was lying in the wet grass to take these pictures … It’s much simpler than that. At 3pm, the deer are used to gather because they are fed. Well, we don’t give them fodder because they are in a big park and they already eat the grass, but we’ll say that it’s their snack ! Some carers come and give them bread. Some of the males had great antlers on their heads. There were even some hinds that were probably expecting babies and of course lots of little Bambi running around. A real pleasure to see. The most complicated thing in this kind of gathering is to try to isolate some subjects to avoid that it looks a bit too messy, a bit like in Street Photography! You have to keep it all in order.
The 100 mm was the ideal lens for photographing deer. The 200 mm will not be too much for South Africa. It will even be a bit short, but as in Street Photography, I don’t want to have the animals in close-up. The environment in which the animals live is also important. It’s up to me to be more creative by integrating the animals in the overall composition of the picture. This week we will go out again with the children. You’ll have to wait to see more pictures!
All the photographs were made with the Fuji XE2 | 35 mm f0.95 & 100mm f2.4