When I visited Paris, for the first time, last April, I was only there for a few days. I had to decide what I could fit in and what I had to leave out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to goto Monet’s Garden in Giverny. I only had the time to leave the city for one day, and I opted to goto Versailles instead. It ended up being the wrong decision, because I wasn’t able to get into the palace at Versailles last year. The line was incredibly long, it was raining and I had just had back surgery, so I was not prepared to stand for hours, in line. This year, when I planned my trip to France, I made sure that Versailles and Giverny were both on my list of “must-dos!”
I packed very lightly this trip, since it also included back packing and biking. I kept my camera gear super simple. As I am transitioning to Fuji full time, I decided to bring my X-T20, because it’s small and lightweight. I brought a vintage 58mm lens from Russia and a 12mm cinema lens, and they were a great combination. The only other thing that I made room for, was a drone. I didn’t have room for my big drone, so I bought a super small and lightweight one, for the trip, and it worked out great. I didn’t use it, in any of the pictures, on this particular page, but I used it quite a bit when I was out in the country-side.
Fat Tire Versailles Tour
To help expedite the line situation at Versailles, my friend, Amy and I, decided to do the Fat Tire Bike Tour, and it was one of the highlights of our trip!
After taking the train to Versailles, we picked up our bicycles and headed to the local market to buy food for a picnic. We sat out on the lawn by the lake at Versailles and ate before heading to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, which looks like it came straight from a Disney movie. We then spent the afternoon inside the Chateau, before strolling through the gardens. Our tour guide, Bianca, was fantastic and very knowledgeable. This was the first bike tour that I have ever done, but I’m certainly going to do more in the future.
We were only in Paris for a few days, before heading to other parts of France. I spent less time in churches and museums, this time, although we did do a quick run through of the Louvre and the garden at the Rodin Museum. I wanted Amy to see Sacre Coeur, one of my favorites from my last trip, so we walked to Montmartre and stopped at Galeries Lafayette, on the way. I wanted to check out the rooftop view, although the heat was terrible. We ended up eating at the cafeteria there, and it was actually pretty good. I still didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, opting again, for a view that included it in the frame. It was pretty cool to see it at night this time. On our last day, before Amy headed home and I headed to The Netherlands, we decided to goto Disneyland Paris. This was my second time, and we really had a great time. Instead of including those pictures here, I just added them to my original Disneyland Paris blog, from last year.
I’ve been wanting to goto Giverny, for twenty years. Before I was ever a photographer, I dabbled in oil painting. I actually wanted to come to France, and study painting at Giverny. It was way out of my budget at the time though! Europe seemed like a world away, back then. I’m so thankful for technology, and the fact that anyone, can fly just about anywhere on the planet, at a reasonable price.
Knowing that I was going to be going to Giverny, I instantly knew that I wanted to bring the vintage 58mm lens to shoot these flowers. If you use the lens in the right way, it produces the most amazing bokeh, and I knew that it would give me a unique look with the flowers. Although it was very, very crowded, I really loved the gardens and the lily pond. I never considered myself a flower person, until this trip. After seeing so many amazing and beautiful looking varieties of plants, I realize just how interesting of a photo subject they can be.