July in Provence means long soaks in thermal springs, teeming bowls of bouillabaisse, and … lavender. During a recent summer sojourn after one of his European photo tours, Don Mammoser traveled with his wife, Anya, to this region in southeastern France right when the lavender fields were in full bloom. "The whole area is wonderfully picturesque and colorful, and every little hill town has a lavender festival and lavender displays, where you can buy endless lavender-based products: soaps, tea, lotion, food," he says. "I was very impressed with how beautiful it all was."
Don and Anya drove out to the Valensole Plateau, where they explored the backcountry roads and fields of lavender, wheat, and sunflowers. "We arrived as they were starting to harvest the lavender crops," he says. "They cut off all the blooms so it looks like the plants got a haircut. Then a machine bales the lavender up, and another machine comes and picks up all the bales, which are taken elsewhere to be processed and, I assume, exported. And the whole time you're standing there, you're taking in this amazing fragrance. It smells so good."
As he does on all of his overseas travels, Don packed his workhorse lens: the Tamron 28-300mm VC. "I like to travel light, and this lens perfectly fits the bill for me," he says. "I'm able to capture wide-angle photos, close-ups, and zoomed-in telephoto shots, all without ever having to change lenses. I love the variety, versatility, and the convenience that offers."
Click HERE for details on how Don photographed Provence's "blue gold."
"Photography is my passion and I turned it into my career. On this page you'll find my (almost) monthly newsletters. I will also share tips, review equipment and tell you about our tour experiences."