Monday, 15 February 2016

An interview with…

Beth Samuels who is visiting the village of Messandrierre

AW  Beth, tell us a little about yourself.

BS   Where to start.  Well, I was born in Yorkshire and have lived there all my life.  My parents are dead, unfortunately, but I do have three brothers who are all older than me.  I studied at Leeds University and now I live in my own house on the outskirts of Leeds and I'm thinking about my using my skills as a photographer on a more commercial basis.

AW  I see and what got you interested in photography in the first place.

BS  My dad really.  He was a very keen amateur photographer himself.  He belonged to a number of camera clubs and, from being a youngster, I've watched him line up shots and heard him talk about focus and light and F numbers for the aperture of the lens and so on.  He had a dark room for a long time and I used to help him in there too.  I've still got some of his old cameras, but I don't use them now.  They just decorate the top of my bookshelves in the room at the back of my house on the outskirts of Leeds.


The view from the hotel window in Burgundy
AW  What is your favourite style of photography and why?

BS  I suppose I would have to say scenery and landscape are my favourites, but I have done portraits and weddings before - but only for friends and relatives.  For me it is the composition of the picture that is crucial.  And with a landscape, if you can draw the viewers eye into the depth of the picture then you can encourage them to see the detail that's there, the detail that perhaps they would not have noticed otherwise.  It's very challenging to get that exactly right and I like that.


AW  So being here in the Cévennes will present you with ample opportunity for scenic photos...

BS  Yes, that's what I'm hoping for. 

AW  Are you planning to stay for long this time around?

BS   I've not got a fixed date to return to the UK but I would like to get back home before the end of the month.

 AW  But you've visited the village before I think…

BS  Yes, I was here a year ago.  But for little more than a week really.  I had personal things to a deal with at home, so I couldn't stay longer.

AW  But a little bird tells me that you met Jacques, the local gendarme, when you were here last…

BS  Umm, yes I did.  And if you know that then someone in the village has been talking.  The people are very friendly here but of course they all know everyone else's business.  I'm used to Leeds and the buzz of city life and the anonymity that brings. 


The view from the chalet on the edge of the village
AW  So, what is it that has brought you back to Messandrierre…the chance to meet up with Jacques again perhaps?

BS  That's a very pointed question!  Yes it would be nice to see Jacques again, but I'm actually here to finalise some business matters in relation to the hunting chalet that I have inherited.  So I won't have much time for socialising really.

AW  But you will be staying for a little while…and it's a very small place…so it will be hard to avoid Jacques…
BS   Now you're teasing me.  If I run into Jacques, then…I don't know.  I have to focus on the business that brings me here and the village is very different from home and very quiet.  I think I will need that solitude to enable me to conclude everything in connection with the chalet.  Maybe, when I've done all that there might just be a little time for a coffee and a catch-up with Jacques.  Perhaps. 

You can read more about Beth's reasons for visiting the village and whether she and Jacques do meet up again in my book Messandrierre.  Follow the buy links below.
Amazon US
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