Located in the small village of Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, the Cascade de la Vis is a popular swimming hole during warmer weather. It’s a beautiful area in the Occitanie region of southern France where people go to soak up the sun, play in the cool water of the Vis river, and spend time with family and friends. This spot is farther downriver from the Cirque de Navacelles, a “Grand Site de France,” and while crowded with a lot of people during high tourist season, is a calm and relaxing place to visit off-season.

The water makes its way from its source in the Cévennes National Park to where it goes underground in the village of Larcy. It reappears later shooting out of the ground in roaring fashion at the Foux de la Vis. It continues flowing over the falls in Navacelles, over the falls here, and finally to where it joins the Hérault river, which takes it to the Mediterranean Sea.

I wanted to capture the serenity that can be found at this location and the beauty of this site at the edge of a village that once held a significant paper mill during the rule of the monarchy. Arriving earlier during the day when the sun was much higher, I decided to return later as the sun set over the river valley with its rays shining through the mist kicked up by the falls. To create this VAST image, I time-blended short and long exposures to freeze some of the movement in the trees, show the light shining through the foliage and mist, and recording the flowing beauty of the water. The final result is a panorama showing a full 180 degrees of the water as it flows across the falls and downriver.

This image was published in Our Magnificent Planet 2020 by LensWork Publishing and selected for exhibit at the Hanging Gardens in Le Havre for the Spot-Nature Festival.