On the journey between Italy and the UK I decided to stop off and spend a couple of nights with my wonderful cousin Sarah who lives in the south of the Bourgogne region of france. It’s a fairly quiet place unaffected by centuries of progress. It has lived through industrial revolutions and technological revolutions yet remains relatively unchanged. Everything happens slowly here because life revolves around wine. For thousands of years this area has been allocated to the growing of grapes and in the 1861 classification the parcels of land, teroir, of the region were allocated a Cru status based upon the character of the wines they produced. More info about Burgundy
Sarah’s dear friend Jean-Claude Bligny got wind of my journey plans and commissioned me to take his portrait. Fabulous I thought, all I needed was good light and a backdrop. We had 20 minutes of the best light and four locations to shoot so we whizzed around and got the shots that we needed. I used my trusty GF110mm lens at f/2 and my GFX50s camera on a tripod.
The light was to contrasty at the start of the shoot and 20 minutes later it had lost it’s contrast and was flat. The moment of best light was like a Poisson distribution curve, a gentle rise to perfection before falling away.
The vinyards of Santenay and the surrounding district made the perfect backdrop for this series of portraits. The colours of the leaves had just started to turn but perhaps we were a week or two early for the optimum colour.
I opted to shoot with the late afternoon sun and I encouraged further warmth in the shot bottom right in the panel above using a LUT in Lightroom. The rich, warmth of this look will be better placed alongside his paintings in books and catalogues.
Jean-Claude is a fascinating man who once spent time with the late Henri Cartier-Bresson. His art is fluid and free. His colour palettete warm and seductive. Jean-Claude is a gentle man with a charismatic yet understated presence. After the shoot, Sarah, Jean-Claude and I had a wonderful dinner together on the terrace at Restaurant Le Terroir in the town square of Santenay. I treasure these fabulous few hours that I spent with this remarkable man.
Click on his name below or the picture grid to go through to his website.