The Valensole plateau sits high in the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Valensole has easily earned its name that comes from the Latin “vallis” and “solis”, meaning valley of the sun.
Popular among tourists and photographers alike, the region is famous for its lavender and truffles. From late June until mid July, its fields are an explosion of blue, violet, and purple flowers, often near golden fields of wheat and charming villages that have stood the test of time. Not only are the fields a sight to behold, but the scent of lavender also fills the pure air.
I came to photograph the lavender fields with a small group lead by a professional photographer. I took this photo on one of our last days in the Valensole region. The afternoon and night prior had been very stormy, with heavy rain and a memorable lightning storm. Having already traveled through the area for several days, most of our tired little group decided to sleep in after the stormy night and unimpressive forecast for the morning.
But we decided to venture out in spite of the forecast, hoping for some post-storm color. We had driven on a gravel farmer road deep inside a lavender farm when we noticed the sky begin to color and quickly pulled over to set up our tripods and cameras. It turned out to be the best sunrise of the entire trip, with vibrant hues on both the land and sky.
We later rejoined our little group at breakfast, and when they asked if we’d gotten anything decent at sunrise, opened a notebook computer with this image.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor