Lavender Fields in Bloom, Provence, France
July 2 - July 9, 2019
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Long rows of lavender flowers in bloom, dazzling fields of giant sunflowers, and charming French villages -- what could be more exciting for a European photo tour! Join Jim and our local guide Patrice for a wonderful sojourn through Provence, France to photograph landscapes full of purple, picture-perfect villages, Medieval abbeys, palaces, and Roman ruins. We will take advantage of the best light -- sunrise and sunset -- to capture award-winning images, and twilight is also beautiful for the villages and the Medieval architecture. Jim will discuss many techniques like HDR, focus stacking, and sky replacement to help you get the best pictures possible.
Day 1, July 2, Tuesday.
Depart from your home city and arrive in Marseille, France. Our group will meet in the baggage area at 3pm on July 2 and leave the airport for our hotel in the heart of lavender territory where we will base our operators for the first part of the trip. Overnight Gordes.
Day 2, July 3, Wednesday.
We spend the day today photographing the beautiful lavender fields in and around Sault as well as the quaint village itself. We'll shoot from elevated perspectives where telephoto lenses are the perfect choice as well as from the edge of the lavender rows where both wide angles and telephoto lenses capture the graphic designs, the wonderful color and texture, and the repetitive patterns of the lavender flowers. Low angled sunlight adds warmth to the scenes, and by including the sun with a wide angle the images look like magic. At twilight, we will photograph the lavender field at the foot of Banon village, and with HDR the lights on the village can be exposed correctly along with the flowers in muted light. It's stunning. Overnight near Gordes.
Day 3, July 4, Thursday.
This morning we photograph sunrise on the hillside village of Gordes, and then we visit the picturesque villages of Roussillon and Lacoste. These villages are beautiful from afar as they are nestled into the hilly terrain of the countryside, and up close they offer wonderful architectural details in cobblestone streets, windows decorated with flowers and artistically designed doors. After lunch, we head toward the 2000-year-old aqueduct, Pont de Gard, one of the two best preserved ancient aqueducts and a World Heritage Site. It makes a fabulous sunset shot. Overnight near Gordes.
Day 4, July 5, Friday.
For sunrise this morning we photograph Senanque Abbey, famous among photographers because of the rows of lavender that act as leading lines that bring our right to the Medieval structure that was consecrated in the year 1178. This is a great place to use a telephoto lens for compression and at the same time use focus stacking for complete depth of field with the long lens. We follow this with a visit to Saint-Remy-de-Provence to photograph the beautiful St. Paul-De-Mausolea monastery and the lavender field in front of it as well as the wonderful cloisters. Twilight photography this evening will be of Gordes. Overnight near Gordes.
Days 5 - 7, July 6 - 8, Saturday - Monday.
After a morning sunrise shoot in the lavender fields, we check out of our hotel and drive to the village of Moustiers Sainte Marie near the Valensole Plateau. This is one of the premier lavender growing areas, and we will spend these three days exploring the best vantage points to capture the incredible 'sea of purple.' We also photograph some of the beautiful villages on the Valensole Plateau including Forcalquier, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, and Sisteron. Sisteron was built at the base of a dramatic geological rock formation, and the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is stunning with its backdrop of mountains. Even more beautiful, though, is the way the village and the mountains are lit up in the evening. This is one of the prettiest settings in Europe. Overnight Manosque.
Day 8, July 9, Tuesday.
After a last sunrise shoot and breakfast, we head back to the Marseille Airport for our return flight home. We should arrive around noon, so make sure your departure time is around 2pm or later.
Tour cost: $4750. Includes all lodging based on double occupancy, all breakfasts, all dinners, entrance fees, all ground transportation, photo instruction, critiques on demand.
Not included: International airfare, meals not specified in the itinerary, gratuities to local guide, items of a personal nature, travel insurance, and alcohol.
Single supplement: $950 (to have your own room)