PERSONAL BESPOKE PHOTO TOURS TO THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
with photographer Jon Davison
ESP photo Tours, based in the medieval hill-top village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, offers personal one-on-one photographic tours to the historic Tarn region of Occitanie in southern France for up to ten days. An area that was the centre of the 13th century 'Cathar heresies', and was also one of the first wine growing regions of France. The tours are run by professional photographer Jon Davison and his wife Jude from their home in Cordes. The tours cater for one person or a couple and can be up to a maximum of ten days. See here for our group tours for 10 people for ten days.
The tours take in these historic places ; Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Penne, Puycelci, Bruniquel, Najac, Castlenau-de-Levis, Belcastel and more. Within these locations we will find ruined castles, pigeonniers, vineyards, sunflower fields, farmscapes, churches and abbeys, medieval fortified towns, villages and much more. The course is designed to help you gain that all important 'photographer's eye', plus free sessions in Photoshop where you get to see just how important post production is now to the craft of photography. Our courses are fun, informative and inspiring and above all fun!.
All photographs © Jon Davison 2016-17.
• The cost of our one-on-one tours covers your accommodation and all meals at the intimate La Maison au Puits, a 5 minute drive from Cordes. Travel to the photographic sites and airport or rail transfers are all included. So no more cost to you.
please email us with your interest and we can design a tour to suit your pocket and your timescale
CASTLES & FORTIFIED TOWNS OR VILLAGES
The Tarn region of Occitanie is dotted with ruined and intact castles, with many dating from the 13th century. Many of these had a part to play in the Cathar tragedies of the mid 1200's and are an essential part of the fabric of this region. Some of the ones we will be visiting are; Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Penne, Puycelci, Bruniquel, Najac, Castlenau-de-Levis, Belcastel and more. The fortified villages or towns we will visit are all part of the 'Bastide' circuit. These are locations that were designed to house people displaced by the wars of persecution over the years.
These amazing structures (Dovecotes - UK. Columbariums - Roman, Palomares - Spain) are an integral part of the Tarn landscape, and as such have been here for hundreds of years. In the Middle Ages Pigeons provided an essential source of food, when root crops were not available in the winter months to feed cattle, so there was not meat on the tables as there was not enough grain to feed both humans and livestock. The pigeonnier, being mainly built by the aristocracy and feudal lords, became somewhat of a status symbol as their presence in the rural landscape indicated the owners wealth. A by-product of having pigeon houses was their guano, a rich source of fertiliser for the vineyards, and Saltpeter that proved to be a component of gunpowder. In the 17th century all that changed and the common man could also keep pigeons, so the elaborate pigeonnier came to an end. Today there are around 1700 in the Tarn region, with roughly 50% being restored.
The Tarn landscape is very varied, from rolling pasture land, to steep gorges and forests. During our daily travels to the locations we will be passing through a variety of scapes and at different times of day. We will be capturing daylight, dawn, sunset, dusk and by Moonlight.