Canigó (Pyriness) – Notre Dame de la Garde (Marseille)) / 252 Kms

Small portion of a very wide panorama with more details and quality.The image was not observed with the naked eye or with a normal telephoto lens because the atmospheric transparency was not good enough, but it appeared thanks to infrared radiation and the photoshop process. Almost sure it’s the first image of the basilica obtained from the summit of the Canigó.

By Antoine Mangiavacca
Camera Reflex camera specially adapted to collect infrared radiation
Lens 500mm (manual)
Type of picture Only infrarred 1000 nm.
Process and composition of the panorama> Panorama composed from 19 images, each of which obtained, by photoshop treatment from 36 infrared photographs. The reliefs and the basilica were not visible to the naked eye in the frequency of the visible spectrum.
Date September 12th, 2019 – 19:15 h
For a couple of centuries many observers and photographers have observed the silhouette of the Canigó from Marseille on certain occasions, but never an image in the opposite direction had been obtained, showing Marseille. Until now.

Text by the author explaining the concurrence of the facts for the report:

“For almost 7 years I’ve been capturing the Canigó from many places in the south-east part of France. The first time was above the city of Martigues, then it was near Marseille, at the Pic Bertagne, and then many others places. I’ve always tried to do things my own way, which meant getting more technical.
I was very interrested in Infrared photography as a way of capturing impressive landscape in black & white. When I saw an article saying that infrared was able to capture landscape through haze my interest were even higher for infrared.
After a few test I was very impressed by the way infrared was letting me capture not only the shape of the Canigo at the horizon but the whole scene, with rocks, snow, trees .. I was just realizing how much things were possible.
After doing many panorama and long distance photography in Infrared from Corsica (Mt Rose 407km away), Villages in Corsica from the Alps (230km away) and even aerial photography. I was surely interessed in doing the panorama of the Golfe du Lion/Alps as seen from the Canigó.
It was very hard to choose the right day to climb the summit because many things were to considerate.
First of, I was in school the last 2 years which reduces my possibility to almost none.
It was going to be a bit expensive, beetween the cars, the hotel, the taxi 4X4 to go to the refuge of Cortalets.
And most importantly, the prediction of the visibility was going to be though.

I’ve been studing the visibility forecast for Corsica, and I’ve been right most of the time since 2018.
But it is a different story for the Canigo. Sometimes the Mistral was helping, sometimes not if it was too strong. If the talweg was briging too cold weather, it was creating haze over the sea. In the summer there is risk of fires, therefore some area are not allowed, and the list goes on and on ..

My plan was very clear : getting a panorama in infrared from the Canigó where everything is visible.
I was not trying to have the perfect visibility, it often happens during winter times, where 4×4 don’t bring people to the chalet, and I’m not good walking in the snow, especially with 30kg on my back !
So starting in September, at the first occasion I was going to go up there. 2 weeks later it was the moment of decision. Conditions were going to be nice, not great nor bad. The most interresting thing was the lack of clouds, there was nothing to obstruct the Alps or others summit. It certainly what made me decide to choose Thursday 12th, and Friday 13th to go up there.
To call it a success I had a list in mind.
Capturing the Alps, including the furthest summit possible (416km I believe) and capturing Notre Dame de la Garde, both were difficult in their own way : The Alps are much further away, but much larger than Notre Dame de la Garde which is clother (252km) but obviously much tinier.

Using Infrared filter (1000nm) and a long focal length (500mm) I managed to capture the panorama as I wanted to. I am quite happy with the result, I can do better but that’s surely good enough !
It’s always a great feeling to complete my list, especially this times. Since I live in Marseille, and climb many summit in the area it’s great to see all those summit in my panorama .. and to be the first one to capture Notre Dame de la Garde from the Canigo after thousand of pictures and centuries of observation the others way around put a little smile on my face ! ”

-Antoine Mangiavacca (klape.fr).

The photographer also explained that he slept on top, in bivac under the stars after his ascension (by the way, with snow as we see in this picture) and got up before dawn.

. At dawn, the visibility turned out to be much better than the previous day and in front of him in the distance the light shone brightly behind the mountain range of the alps more than 400 km away.
This time, a normal (non-infrared) camera was put in the hands and superbly portrayed the Ecrins and Mont Ventoux behind the Gulf of Lion.
We see here a sector of the panoramic, which the photographer captured meticulously and impeccably. A short distance we see the Roselló, in the background the coast of Langüedoc (left) and the lands of Provence with the enormous silhouette of the Ventor (in Occitan language, Ventoux in French) on the right and the Alps, especially the Ecrins, at the bottom of the central part.
Two years ago, two authors of this website already made similar photographs in this regard with the main objective set towards the Alps; you can see here.

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Panoramic photographs of Antoine of these couple of days:

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Complet panoramas in infrarred. It’s a composition with 19 images created from 36 original photographs each:
Centered in Alps and perspective of one part of Gulf:

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Oriental part of Gulf of Lion, before sunrise. In this case he reached the Cap Sicié, thanks a big refraction. Otherwise it would not have been possible, he comented, unless the Canigó was 3300 meters high. On the other hand, excessive refraction distorted the lower levels too much and many of the details detected the previous day could not be observed by infrared images.
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