Île de Ré / La Rochelle

Straight ahead: Le pont Île de Ré connecting the island with the continental France.

The salt marches where the famous salt is harvested.

Surprisingly, there are lots of vineyards on the island. It’s not just the potatoes!

The disappearing locks of Ile de Re. Of the 140 at the beginning of the 20 century, there are only about 12 left.

The old way of fishing, by catching fish in the locks during the low tide, is completely gone now.

Building and maintaining the locks requires thousands of man-hours. The rocks are not cemented in any way so unless constantly repaired the walls disappear into the ocean.

One last look before heading back to St Martin de Re

Salt for sale, self-service.

The low tide at Couarde-sur-Mer. The entire island is as flat as a pancake.

Getting on the 3-mile bridge to La Rochelle. It’s surprisingly easy to cross over. However, navigating in La Rochelle is not so.  To get to the old town you must bike through the vast commercial area.

Finally, Cafe-au-lait in La Richelle

Pam sketches the Vieux Port as the beggar pigeon pesters me.

The campsite at St Martin de Re is located inside the massive Vauban fortress.

The old port, La Rochelle

The famous Île de Re potatoes are grown here.

The farmers leave a lot of them on the ground. Gleaning  is easy.

The ride to the western point of Île de Ré. Salt marshes and bird sanctuaries in the wetlands.

Ars-en-Re. A stop to take a look at its remarcable church.

Ars-en-Re. The spire is slightly leaning due to a lightning strike in 1836. The black and white design distinguishes it from miles away.

The method of elimination

I am trying to shoot some film again. It’s a sensitive subject for me on many levels. Here in the south of France 35mm black and white would feel unnatural. Which makes me agonize over using color.

Reluctantly, I am giving it a try.  In the form of the most primitive camera known to Mankind (Holga N120).

I hope the lens is sufficiently blind to leave nothing of substance on the Fujicolor Reala film.

My subject is eliminating substance from consciousness, I guess. Perhaps, eliminating consciousness.

My previous photobook was an attempt at consciousness, in the context of the Atomic bombing of Japan. Also, when I was shooting those pictures the Fukushima nuclear disaster took place (2011). Some crude snaps of a few book pages are here: https://griffoyger.com/2016/04/14/burn/


Now I am in France and strangely, it reminds me of Japan.

At Cassis France, my most coveted idea is rendering the incredible shapes and colors of the blue pine (pin bleu).  The tone of the bark is a total mystery.  You could try painting it but photography hates the painterly approach.

You could use a human body to generate friction between the live and the dead. Or, you can smash up your camera and make music instead.