Monet’s Garden at Giverny – travels en famille (first of the Goursac photos)

The highlight of June was a ridiculously exciting trip to the Dordogne, where I was to photograph a chateau over a week-long holiday with my peeps.  I’m still trawling through the hundreds (*thousands*) of photos I took in that enchanted place (, and building up to (a probably long and gushing) blog post about how I left part of my soul there.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few pics from the journey. 

We drove, and our journey began with getting stuck for a number of hours on the M25; the Bee managed to coordinate a poo explosion with a serious traffic incident, so nobody in the car was particularly happy and we missed our channel crossing.  We then proceeded to get lost in central Paris sans map.  Be warned, the ring road has a habit of spitting drivers out in the middle of the night due to roadworks.  The Bee slept on peacefully as her father and I tried to work out whose fault it was we were in a major city with no map – creating a nice atmosphere we decided to maintain for the rest of the ride.  We arrived in Orleans, an hour south of Paris, at 2am, only to find that all the hotel rooms were booked… except one.  The concierge apologised repeatedly as he gave me the key – normally Hotel Formule 1 consider the room too horrible to rent out.

Happy days (that bed on the left was a bit small for me and Bee, but I guess it was, still, a bed)

The reluctant journey homeward was more successful, though a little self-conscious with our by-then poxy progeny (sorry to anyone who caught it from us) (and sorry I’m over-using the brackets).

We avoided Paris completely and headed for Monet’s garden, Giverny, near Vernon.  I have always wanted to go there, being a bit of a Monet fan and all, and it was worth the little detour.  I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed by the concrete paths, the railings, the high volume of tourists and massive compulsory shop at the entrance (Monet toilet seat, anyone?).  I felt the place had lost some of its soul, and I wondered what Monet would make of it now.  But if you paused to absorb the space, and shut out the babbling, umbrella-led groups, it was special.  The flowers were absolutely stunning, and we hit rose and poppy season big time.  The water lillies were flowering for us, and as we filed past in what felt like a long queue for the photo spots, some frogs cheered me up by making some really weird noises.

On to some photos – yay if you’re still reading!  Being a long-time Monet appreciator, I had this groovy idea that I’d experiment with imitating his impressionistic style, by taking some deliberately out-of-focus poppy shots.  Below, in amongst some of their more focused companions, you can see some of the results.  Some of the shots have worked well, and I feel the lack of focus and form draws attention to the interplay between the colours of the garden, which were fantastic.  Hope you enjoy them too.  If anyone has feedbacl, any thoughts or knowledge of similar attempts to combine Impressionistic style and the photographic genre, I’d love to hear from you:)
 - add comments below.

A bientot!

My Impressionistic attempt #1

mmm poppies

random beauty shut away

love this one, got the focus exactly as I wanted it

lucky bee

the Monet shot – gave me a bit of a buzz even with random Dutch tourists on the bridge


busy times

bit more blurriness

Monet’s path

To find out more about me, check me out here: Oxford photographer.

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