A recent monograph by Parisian photographer Céline Clanet, The Chapieux: Geography of a Secret explores the Chapieux valley of the Savoy region of France. The valley is traditionally the stomping ground of farmers and soldiers, the former of which are still there today. Cattleherders, cheesemakers, and hunters carve out their lives in the mountainside, migrating only when avalanche season comes in late fall. By contrast, climbers and skiers often visit the valley for just a day, seeking adventure on the slopes and refuge in the lodges. Clanet captures both of these groups of people and the natural landscape, the domestic and wild animals, and the varied architecture in this pastoral collection of photographs. In one image, fog will be the central subject. In another, it’s a campsite at night or sleeping cattle or a cauldron over a fire. The images hold as much mystery and variation as this rare corner of the world, which transforms before one’s eyes when the day passes, the season changes, and the inhabitants follow their own unique paths.
Published by Actes Sud and the Facim Foundation, the 144-page title includes 68 full-color photographs and text by Bruno Berhier and Hervé Gaymard. The book is currently available here on Amazon for €35.