My Photo Book From Last Week's Trip to The South of France

Hi gang. Here’s a few pages from the photo book I always create after a trip (I made the book in Lightroom’s Book module). The area we were mostly in is the French Riviera, but there it’s called the C´te d’Azur and that sounds a lot fancier so I went with that for the name of my book, even though we would up taking a day trip to Italy (where we went to in Italy was just 3-1/2 hours by car).

Anyway, I was pretty light on the photography this trip – I did a lot of relaxing and just sightseeing – In six days I only took 1,057 shots total, including a lot of bracketed shots. That breaks down to only around 170 shots a day, which is really light for me, but I have to say, it was one of the most relaxing and fun trips I’ve had in a while. Absolutely loved it! OK, on to the book (I’ll tell more in the captions).

NOTE: Click on the images to see a larger version.

Above: Is it bad that my first shot isn’t from France? This is Vernazza in Italy’s Cinque Terre. We drove there one morning, and then hiked up on the side of the hill to get this shot and stayed there until well after sunset. Kalebra was a trooper to make the climb with me up there because it was a bit of haul, going straight up tons of really steep stairs and stuff, but the view was really gorgeous from up there. 

Above: While we’re in Italy, let’s have lunch! These are from Portofino, Italy. I was there in 2009 and it was awesome to see it again. It looked exactly the same. They hadn’t even moved a pebble in six years. 

Above: It tasted even better than it looks! Bella bella cucina! (inside joke there).

Above: OK, we’re back to the French Riviera, and here’s a shot overlooking Monte Carlo. They had the grandstands and track set-up for the world famous Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 race, and you could actually drive the track since it winds through the city streets, and so of course we had to. There’s nothing like driving an F1 track in an SUV. ;-)

Above: My two favorite places in Monaco were the marina, where all those amazing yachts are docked, and the area around the famous casino, which is just beautiful. Here’s a few shots from around the casino (btw: the cover shot shows part of the roof of the casino itself). 

Above: Monaco is like a moving exotic car showroom – especially in front of the casino where I found this Ferrari, but honestly finding a Ferrari or Lambo in Monaco takes about 60-seconds â” just stop anywhere on the streets and one will be driving by shortly. 

Above: Here’s the Casino at night. They’re kinda “Snapshottylooking” â” I just handheld them on the way by as we were heading back from dinner, but I wanted to have something to remind me of how the Casino looked at night. I didn’t even have to wait â” a Porsche 911 was, of course, driving right by us. 

Above: Kalebra really wanted to see the Princess Grace Rose Garden and as soon as we arrived it started raining, but we waited it out and an hour later we had the place to ourself. I grabbed a few shots, but I’m not a “flower guy” – I have to say, Kalebra is a “flower girl” and she crushed it with her flower shots. Here’s a link to her blog where you can see some of them.

Above: This is the hotel we stayed in, in Cap-Ferrat, which is located pretty much right between Nice and Monaco, and not far from Cannes. It’s called the Royal Riviera and it was a wonderful place to stay. Terrific service and pretty fast internet (which matters when you’re doing research for what you’re going to do the next day, and backing up your files to Dropbox). Anyway, the next couple of pages are interior shots from the hotel. 

Above: These are 16-bit HDR images compiled using Lightroom CC’s Merge to HDR feature.

Above: More 16-bit realistic HDRs done in Lightroom CC alone. 

Above: We took a morning trip to Eze Village â” a tiny old world village on the top of a hill, and it was just as charming as it could be. Really enjoyed it (and the girls loved the shopping). Had an amazing lunch at Deli', a tiny salad restaurant and olive oil shop at the top of hill. If you go to this region, Eze is a must-see. Here’s a couple of more shots from Eze.

Above: These shots were taken at the restaurant Deli'.

Above: It wasn’t exactly a spice market, but a vendor had a nice set-up selling different spices, including some that looked like potpourri.

Above: I call it “Spice stuff in interesting light.” ;-)

Above: That bowl was behind the spice vendor’s table and it looked kinda interesting. On the right â” this little sculpture was under an umbrella at one of the many outdoor cafes in Eze. 

Above: Remember I mentioned earlier that Kalebra and I stayed up on the top of this hill until sunset? Well, the sun didn’t actually “set” it just kind of disappeared into a foggy cloudy mess, so the sky is kinda lame which is why I pretty much kept it out of the shot. I took this one and then we headed back down the hill toward town for a delicious dinner in a charming little restaurant. 

Above: Here’s a few inside the church in the Eze village, and one of the only fisheye shots from the entire trip. Why did I lug a fisheye to France? I have no idea. Shoulda left it home. 

Above: Another one inside the church to wrap things up. 

Two versions of the book
I always make two versions of each book â” one for me as a photographer, and one for the folks with us on the trip, and we were there with another couple (Debbie and Kleber), and they were a blast and made the trip so much fun, so the other book has all those sorts of shots, and if you look at my blog post from yesterday you’ll see a shot of Kalebra and me taken in front of the casino â” so it’s this book (with lots of other pages I didn’t show), along with a bunch of shots like that.

Well, gotta get to the office. Thanks for letting me share these with you, and I hope you all have an awesome Tuesday!



P.S. Tomorrow on “The Grid” we’re doing our monthly “Blind Photo Critiques” show, so check out my Facebook or Twitter pages on how to submit your images to be critiqued on the show. 

  1. Hi Scott,

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing that with us! Also, thanks for the info on my wildflower collection set I posted on LR Killer Tips web site. That’s what I was looking for! Now I can get started making my first book! I will also check your class on making a book on Kelbyone before I get started on the book!

    Thanks again,


  2. hi scott,

    by coming to the “french riviera”, i think you missed the real “south of france” : languedoc roussillon!

    here you can take sport pictures at the “mondial du vent”:
    or the FISE :

    you can visit guitar makers :

    you can spend time at the piano museum :

    or participate at a taekwondo competition :

    are these your hobbies ??

    and last but not least, food and wines are great!

    best regards


    canon owner too

  3. Awesome Scott, it’s great to see a hard working family “make” it in today’s world! I hope to go there one day! Did you see the text I sent you about our QB?

  4. Very nice Scott…and now I want to go there…lovely book, but it’s from your “eye” that the book’s photos are so nice. Thanks.

  5. Scott, thanks for sharing these photos. I’d be very interested to see more photos from the other version of your book. I’ve found that I spend a lot of time and energy trying to take interesting shots, but I end up with very few interesting shots of my family or friends who I am traveling with, which are arguably the more valuable photos. Do you have any tips on combining artful and interesting shots with your travel companions?

    1. Hi Bo. Sadly, my other shots are not artful or interesting. They’re just me, and or me and my wife standing in front of a tourist attraction. They’re usually (of course) taken by somebody else as well.

  6. Great book as always Scott and inspiration for my cruise trip around the Greek islands this year – what’s the font on the cover BTW? I already have the Cezanne font you often use but I don’t recognise ‘cote d’azure’ one.

  7. Thanks for sharing, Scott – I enjoyed this particular photo story even more than the rest because I visited the French Riviera exactly one year ago (and experienced very similar weather in Monaco). Your simple book designs are very inspirational. One question though: How do you save the spread views as images for your blogs? I tried to save a book in LR as a .pdf file because I wanted to have a third-party opinion on the layout before printing. It is useless because the .pdf file starts with the first “picture page” (Vernazza in your book), messing up the entire layout completely (especially any two-page spreads).

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