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Ardeche Photography Workshops

Canyons, volcanoes and wild mountains of Central France

The French department of Ardeche is the least populated one among the 95 departments in Metropolitan France. It features a very diverse, mostly wild landscape that includes rolling hills, forests, extinct volcanoes, volcanic lakes and open moorland, and where for miles the only sign of human presence is a network of scattered, small scale farms. There are however quite a few picturesque ancient villages to explore and the province also includes one of the most scenic highlights in France - the Ardeche River Gorges, a 40 kms long canyon the erosive forces of the river carved for millions of years through a limestone plateau. 

Main Shooting Locations

Ardeche River Gorges

One of the most stunning scenic highlights of France, they are usually accessed from the town of Vallon Pont d'Arc at the upper (north-west) end of the gorges. The gorges runs about 40 kilometres eastwards from Pont d'Arc.


Pont d'Arc

An amazing natural bridge along the Gorges d'Ardeche, perched by the river through a huge limestone wall.

Aven d'Orgnac

The Aven d'Orgnac is a cave located south of the limestone plateau of the Gorges de l'Ardèche. Remarkable for the very large volumes of its rooms and its varied concretions, it is equipped for tourism and classified as a major site of France.

Plateau Ardéchois

The Ardèche Mountain alone is a real natural wealth. Source of the Loire, symbol of purity with a nascent water that you can drink, it is also a real kingdom where the flora abounds with wild and medicinal plants.
Country of springs and volcanoes, the Ardèche Plateau is occupied by extinct craters where natural and artificial lakes have installed their waters. The Lake of Saint Martial (spread over 14 hectares) or the Lake of Issarlès (90 hectares and more than 130 meters deep) are the best examples, where equipped swimming areas and lively villages make it an unmissable attraction.
Many mountains and valleys also make the reputation of the Ardèche Plateau. Its highest point, Mont Mézenc and its some 1754 meters of altitude, drawing the limit between Ardèche and Haute-Loire, offers a magnificent panorama when you reach its summit. Rest assured, its ascent is very easy because progressive, accessible to all.


Lac d'Issarlès

The Issarlès Lake is a crater lake located at an altitude of 1,000 m in the Plateau Ardechoise, an high altitude plateau part of the Massif Central
The lake results from a violent phreatomagmatic eruption dated 80,000 years ago which formed an almost perfectly circular crater.

Mont Gerbier-de-Jonc

The Gerbier de Jonc, is a summit in the Massif central. It is actually the core of a volcano extinct millions of years ago. Called suc in the region, it is famous for its particular shape and its extraordinary natural and wild richness; but also because it welcomes at its foot the three sources of the Loire, the longest river in France.

Mont Mezenc

Mont Mézenc is a mountain peak of volcanic origin located in the south-east of the Massif Central, on the border between the departments of Haute-Loire and Ardèche. It culminates at an altitude of 1,753 m in the heart of the Mézenc massif. It is located on the same ridge line as Mount Gerbier-de-Jonc, between Velay and Vivarais, on the water divide between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Chauvet Grotto

The Chauvet cave is a Paleolithic ornate cave located nearby the town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc.
The site includes a thousand paintings and engravings, dating between 33,500 and 28,000 years before the present. The paintings and engravings, made during the first phase, are among the oldest in the world.


Example of a typical
day in the field
(Tour of the Gorges)


Sunrise and early morning

we will leave from the hotel about 30 minutes before sunrise  and with  a trip of 10 minutes by car we will get to the Ardeche river shore besides the Pont d'Arc, an amazing natural stone bridge spanning 60 mts across the Ardeche River, certainly one of the main attractions of the Gorges. We will spend at least a couple of hours in this locations, shooting grand vistas as well as more intimate and semi-abstract compositions, as the rocks here are a a perfect subject for this kind of photography.

rest of the morning

we will then get back to the hotel where we will have breakfast or, if it is too late, we will have it at some bar in Vallon. Since the area of Pont d'Arc is so beautiful, we could even end up with spending the whole morning there. In that case, we will have lunch at Vallon Pont d'Arc and then we will head west on the road of the Haute Corniche, the road of the gorges.


we will spend the rest of the day driving on the road called "Haute Corniche", a road the follows the path of the Ardeche River through the many gorges and canyons, stopping by almost at every corner for photographing the many different sections of the canyons. From this road it is indeed possible to see and photograph all the attractions of the area, almost without walking. We will do it therefore in the Edward Weston's style, whose most famous statement was "if it's more than 6 feet from the car, it is not photogenic!" :D There is in any case a trail that with about 30 minutes walking that takes you  from the road down to the river side, in the area close to the rock known as "La Cathédrale". There are a few beaches here and some very nice rocks with interesting shapes. This could be an optional detour if we have some spare time during the day.


There are many gorgeous locations

along the road that are perfect for some nice sunset photo, i.e.:

-  At "Le cirque de la Madeleine" an almost perfectly circular bend somewhat resembling the famous Horseshoe bend of the Colorado river

- at " La Cathédrale", an isolated rock formations with many pinnacle and spires

- "La Ranc Pointu", the eastern end of the gorges with some wonderful white falaises along the river

- "The western side of the "Pont d'Arc" itself.

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About your Photography Instructor

Paol De Faveri

Ciao! My name is Paolo.

I have been a full-time professional landscape, nature, travel and architecture photographer since 2007. Since then, I have planned and led hundreds of private one-to-one and small groups photo workshops and tours in some of the best looking regions and cities of Italy and France.

My pictures have appeared in calendars, books, travel magazines, brochures and as wall art in offices, hotels, restaurants and corporate venues. For more info please click here

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February 6th-12th, 2024

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