#44 – Spa-ring for Sales

Thermal Spa, La Roche Posay, France. [Alamy image ref. B31J11]

Following on from my last article “#43 Gateway to Success?” I’m remaining in the town of La Roche Posay to describe image sales illustrating what the town is really noted for… spa water. Although formally recognised in 1869 as the first spa in Europe exclusively dedicated to skin disorders, the dermatological tradition at La Roche Posay actually spans five centuries and is based on the locally Selenium-rich spring water. Since those early years a unique base of knowledge and experience on skin cure treatment has been recognized the world over. As I mentioned last week, even Napoleon, when as General Bonaparte on his return from Egypt at the beginning of the 19th century, had a thermal-spa hospital built there to treat his soldiers’ skin diseases.

I took many images from different angles of his attractive spa building but the more interesting ones were of the public approach which included the steps as a “lead-in” to the establishment.

Thermal Spa, La Roche Posay, France. [Alamy image ref. B31J4J]

Both images of “Les Thermes du Connétable” were taken with a 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor zoom at the wide end which… became an effective 21mm on my D200’s cropped-format sensor. And because the building was above my eye-level on rising ground, I had to pull the corners out slightly to correct the converging verticals. Although I no longer have my old 28mm PC Nikkor, I’m not sure if it would have provided adequate coverage on my camera – with its x1.5 sensor the effective focal length would have been closer to the 35mm PC used on a full-frame camera – although it would have been from much lower down the slope at road level. I have seen on various websites about this thermal spa that their images of this building are very poor and cut-off… so other photographers had similar problems! However, the newer wide-angle version of Nikon’s PC lens, the 24mm, would provide wonderful perspective on a full-frame Nikon… and the Canon 17mm Tilt & Shift even more exaggerated and extreme.

Licensed as Rights Managed by Alamy for reproduction in daily newspapers as well as monthly consumer magazines in France (as a 2-page spread for a very good fee), Russia and Poland under my “a la France” pseudonym.

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