This idyllic piece of heaven on the French Riviera has a rich history for being a military base and fishing village and was the first town on the coast that was liberated during the Second World War. Now, the coastal town of Saint-Tropez is known for its booming economy in tourism, with beach resorts (and some being naturist) being the highlight. It also became known due to artists from the French New Wave. It now also houses many important pieces of modern art and is home to the styles of pointillism and fauvism.
Here, Lomographer Juan Osiovich, a.k.a. ventanasaloinsolito a taste of this paradise with his own words and an expired film.
Saint-Tropez is one of those places on earth you should definitively visit, at least once, and I guarantee you’ll want to go back. The best way to describe it is, where all the beauty of French culture and majestic architecture meets the Mediterranean. This subtle way of outstanding with the simplest details that only France can conceive. A small town, walking distance to every spot, with the best fashion, gastronomy, and accommodations in the world. It is luxurious but very particular. It differs from every other French town, city, or even every other place I’ve been to so far. During July and August, It might seem you are in a Car Showroom or a Boat expo, but this is just the place where all the wealthy people in Europe spend their summer. It is not a coincidence that for many years this has been one of the hottest summer spots, where everyone draws their attention, celebrities, artists, politicians, even royalty spent time here. There are no trains or fluid bus transportation, so this helps to make Saint-Tropez such an exclusive break.
Nevertheless, this summer was quite different. The flow of people was lower, but as I said before, the different reality of this place and the people that normally spend their vacations here weren’t much affected by the pandemic. You could feel things were irregular, and there wasn’t much tourism, so this made it more enjoyable if you were lucky to relax during these hard times.
Even though all of the above sounds tempting, this not what makes it attractive to me. If You take a step aside from this different reality, you can really appreciate the mixture of everything that is going on. Because for all the luxury to work properly, someone has to make it happen. One of the things I like doing the most when traveling is waking up early, at first light. Then and there is where the engine starts rumbling. While people are resting from last night's activities workers take the scene. Fishermans, markets, housekeeping, trucks, everyone focused deeply on their work. Here is where I take my camera and handbook, and just wonder around the backside of the story.
Also, if you have time to spare and feel like walking, you can really see how majestic the place is. The village is surrounded by villas, from other centuries, as if they were taken from a book. Orchards, vineyards, sunflowers, cherry blossoms, exclusive restaurants, and white sand clear water beaches. Most people would drive through this unique french routes, but walking them has another taste.
There are many nice spots to take good shots, but I usually categorize them according to the light. The Main Market during the morning, for all the colors and focused faces. Another nice place is right at the end of the Old Port, you can take a small walk through the fort and for a couple of minutes before the sun hides behind the mountains at the other side of the bay, you’ll get the perfect lighting. Either for the sunset behind the bay, the boats in the port, or the beginning of the nightlife in Saint-Tropez. Then when the night comes, the old town is full of small lights and restaurants that make it beautiful to shoot if you have a high-speed roll. Furthermore, I really recommend walking to those 40 min away beaches. More than one time, in the way I had to jump a fence for a good shot, totally worth it!
Light, when taking a picture, is the most important thing to me. During the day, I like working with shadows, and when there is no sunlight, small lightbulbs are the most tempting to me. I usually prefer shooting people, the art of capturing a moment needs to be so accurate and exact, and I believe there lies the secret for a good photo. I like searching for the exceptional, and there is that which appears unexpectedly and is only revealed when the photo has been developed. A different angle, a strange posture, a random gesture, combined with the different elements in the background. When in a city or town, people in an action, with clear surroundings, for a better understanding of the main focus of the composition. And in natural atmospheres, hiding behind the plants, taking advantage of the environment, to avoid the simple and obvious.
To be honest, I’ve had a pretty rough time lately. At the beginning I took all the matter with ease, a lot of time for myself, to share with whom I was living, to read, to study, to continue working on those projects I left hanged in the past due to lack of time. But as we moved forward into the confinement, things worldwide worsened day by day. Family, friends, almost everyone was struggling and that had a direct consequence on me. The hardest part was being apart from the people I love. My partner started traveling through America when this all began, and the plan was to join her later on.
Then everything blew off, and she got trapped in Mexico, and I was in Barcelona by the time, with a canceled ticket and the uncertainty of what was going to happen. Nothing was clear, the news was really confusing, the curve raised every day, Spain had a bad panorama and Mexico was on the same path. She finally managed to go back to Argentina, our home country, where she could settle better to pass this through, but up to this day, we have no idea when or where we will be able to see each other again. Despite all the bad things that had happened, being unemployed, courses suspended, canceled projects, and people having a hard time, staying at home without that one person who feels like home has been the hardest.
I’m trying to avoid that thought of "where I should travel after the pandemic" at the moment. I understand that things are really hard right now, and I don’t want to get anxious. I rather live the moment and focus on what is happening now. Still, I love traveling and visiting, and I had beautiful plans for this year that couldn’t be accomplished. One of those, and this is something I’ve been wanting to do for many years now, is to visit Costa Rica. I met awesome people from there, one of my best friends is Tico, and everyone keeps telling me just the best about the place. No wonder it is on my priority list. I also have pending a trip to Portugal, something that is more down to earth taking into account that I’m in Europe, and moving around is easier. Still planning though, always open for adventure!
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