Chateau de Chenonceau

One of my favourite travel and landscape photographers in the UK is David Noton (, whose work I have admired for a long time. On a recent trip to the south of France – inspired by one of his photos – we made a detour via the Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley. I was hoping to take a few photos that were at least a fraction as good as that by David


Photo by David Noton

We stayed at a campsite just a 15 minute walk from the chateau and made sure to have at least an evening and a morning. The weather wasn’t promising when I went to scope out the location, but in the evening it cleared up just in time for when you get the best night shots – when the sun has set, but it is not completely dark, giving a deep, rich navy blue sky when using long exposure.

Chateau de Chenonceau at dusk

The next morning I was less lucky. The photo by David clearly was taken just after sunrise and I made sure to get there early, but it was overcast and the colours rather dull. Of course, in post-processing, it’s still possible to get some pretty atmospheric results, but that’s not what I was after that morning.

So I hung around, trying this angle, trying that, hoping that the clouds would break up just a little bit…Which eventually they did – for about 2 minutes – for the shot below.

Chateau de Chenonceau the next morning

What you of course don’t see in the morning shot is the 1.5 hours of “waiting for the light” – to borrow the title of one of David’s books, who probably spent much more time waiting for his shot…

More images: