The Loire Valley, By Patrick Hudgell

Photographs are very important to us at The Chain Gang. We rely on them for brochures, website, newsletters, etc.

The problem is that it isn’t as easy as it looks! In recognition of my own limitations I’ve recently enrolled on a Photography course. So I’m always very grateful when our customers take lots of photos and share them, even more so when they’re as good as Patrick Hudgell.

Patrick only brought along a compact camera, a Canon Powershot G9 – I suspect he’s got quite a collection of cameras, but he only brought a compact, which I think is the first lesson. I’ve got a Powershot G9 as well as a Canon EOS 450D, and I always imagine I’ll get better pictures from the more expensive EOS. But I never take as good photos as Patrick takes with his compact.

I’d be interested to ask Patrick whether he gets noticeably better photos from his more expensive cameras, but for now, we can just enjoy his gallery of cycling in the Loire Valley on Picasa. .

I’ve chosen 5 photos to whet your appetite. I don’t know enough about photos to be able to tell you these are the 5 technically best photos, but I was on holiday with Patrick and the rest of the group, and these 5 remind me of a lovely week. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)

1. Anna and five large coffees.

I just like the idea that a lady as lovely as Anna might have ordered such a massive overdose of caffeine. If it was me and 5 cups of coffee it wouldn’t be funny.




2. Lavender at Château Villandry.

We were lucky with the timing – I don’t usually associate Villandry with lavender, and it’s beautiful. But I’ve taken hundreds of photos of Villandry – quite literally – and I never manage to get quite this sweep of the gardens and the chateau.



3. Dusk in Montrichard

One evening at dinner, Patrick said to Paul Shaw and me ‘when the sun goes down, count 5 minutes and take a photograph’. It was much darker than this, the sky was no longer blue, and I was amazed that a little ‘knowhow’ can create such a lovely picture.



4. Holly, from Australia.

Holly was a 25-year-old, and the rest of the group, including Toby and me, averaged 56. We had a lovely week, but it was funny as we old fogeys sat down to dinner each evening with our young friend.



5. Having Fun.

This is Stuart and Cherry on their tandem, with Stuart’s brother Chris and wife Linda. Behind them are Toby and Andrew. I’d like to think Linda was just about to slap Chris’ behind, but even if she wasn’t everyone looks like they’re having a lot of fun. I’ve tried hard to capture moments like this – it’s very well done.



Thanks Patrick



Share this article