Some pictures of the salt marshes at the northern end of the Ile de Re one morning. Images taken with D750 & 24-70mm lens, double click to enlarge.
Some 7 years on and Le Tour returns to the Vendee with the Grand Depart from Noirmoutier so we were waiting at Sainte Radegonde des Noyers some 47.5 Kms from the finish armed with the D750 & the excellent Tamron 70-200 f2.8 lens along with D7100 with 70-300 to avoid lens swapping.
All pics click to enlarge for better quality.
Fontenay le Comte & the river Vendee
Just a few kilometers away at the northern end of the Mervent forest lies the fortified village of Vouvant which is very popular in summer. The village has several art galleries and cafes in the centre whilst the narrow streets with picturesque houses, surrounding views from the fortifications and large medieval church make it a popular venue for tourists and photographers.
The keep according to legend was built overnight by the fairy Melusine with an apron full of stone and a mouthfull of water. It can be accessed by obtaining the key from the tourist office near the car park or the Cafe Melusine nearby for 2 euros per person.
The abbey of Maillezais was commissioned by William V to build a church and monastary but it was not finished until the 11th century due to lack of money. Its a fair size with some intricate and amusing carvings around its doorway.
Vouvant is here
South of the Dordogne lies the Lot valley with Cajarc located between Figeac & Cahors. The countryside is unspoilt with cracking views just about everywhere you point your camera.
We stayed with our friends Martin & Simon who run Moulin de Lantouy A peaceful rural setting with several Gites just the other side of the river from Cajarc. We stayed in ‘Le Moulin’ which sleeps 6 and is very well appointed.
The ‘Gouffre de Lantouy’ or source of the river, which is a tributary of the Lot is nearby. Water emerges from limestone caves and is very popular with divers as its quite deep.
Shortly after we moved to France we cycled to see Le Tour pass through St Juire Champgillon.
There was a great atmosphere when we arrived and the crowds grew steadily as we waited, first to appear were the escorting Gendarmes followed by support vehicles crammed with bikes.
Closely followed by the peloton in hot pursuit:
The crowd go crazy cheering, yelling: allez, allez, allez…
The streets crammed with cyclists at terrific speed
Then more support vehicles
And thats it till next year
Speed up your Nikon camera for action shots: Applies to most DSLRs.
The cyclists pass you in around 20-30 seconds, therefore speed is essential. Consider the following:
1. Use a battery grip – they generally add 1 or 2 fps, that doesn’t sound much but over 10 bursts of 5 shots or 10 bursts of 7 shots provides an increase of 20 total and hopefully more ‘keepers’.
2. Check you cameras memory speed the faster your camera writes to memory, the quicker the buffer empties ready for the next burst. Sandisk & Lexar are leading brands whose 95Mb/s SD cards & high speed flash really are worth it.
3. If you shoot raw on a 24Mp camera, a 6000 x 4000 14bit large image is around 26Mb. Consider shooting smaller images or even jpegs if the levels of PP will be minimal. If raw is essential then using 12bit instead of 14bit will provide more continuous shots.
4. Turn off the following settings in photo shooting menu, unless needed:
Auto Distortion Control – only works with jpgs on Nikon anyway
Long Exposure NR – noise reduction
Auto ISO sensitivity
All impact on continuous frame rate when switched on.
Now press the shutter half way, observe the top display on the right an r with a number ie: r12 which is the number of continuous shots,
Experiment and test your set-up before you use it,
D7100 or D750 owners might like to save the setup to U1 or U2 for instant recall.
Focus: I set my autofocus to AF-C continuous with either 9 point dynamic area or Single. Group area may work to get a lock on the front runners.
Consider back button auto-focus using the AE-L/AF-L button so focussing is removed from the shutter release.
Finally, dont forget to select continuous high CH on the rotary selector et bon courage.
Any suggestions welcome, please comment & thanks for reading.