The Zen of Controlled Chaos

It wasn’t at all as I expected, Monet’s House and Garden in Giverny. I envisioned a quiet estate, square or round in shape, with a long driveway that would lead to the front. I imagined it unconnected from the noisy, harried world. Instead, it was located in a busy village, where motorists pass right through the middle of the two pieces of land that make up Monet’s House and Garden. And yet, Claude Monet managed to create a oasis for a seemingly infinite variety of species in the most unexpected of spaces. Continue reading “The Zen of Controlled Chaos”

No Ordinary Time

This time, I was on a mission: shoot the clock at the Musée d’Orsay in ways its never been shot before. I didn’t use a camera filter, but I did use a filter in the environment of the museum itself. And it was a complete mind-frack for the passing people. They looked at me as if I was crazy. Then, they would point their camera in the normal light, with nothing obstructing their view as if to say, “Duh, if you want a picture of the clock, this is how you’re supposed to do it!”

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Les Baux

Les Baux-de-Provence was one of my favorite visits on our trip to Provence. It was a gray day so I shot in mainly black and white and sepia-nostalgic modes of the camera. In processing the shot above (Les Baux Chateau), I played with the shadows, highlights and exposure filters. But it was originally shot in sepia. It looks better larger, so click on it or here for the full size.

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Searching for Van Gogh

While I appreciated the ruins we visited in Provence–no, really I did–I desperately wanted to take in some art, or at least the landscape that inspired the artists in this area. I love art. I especially love the work of tortured artists. Paintings, drawings and sculpture by prisioners, neurotics, psychotics or just plain loopy people fascinate me.  So after a day of visiting ruins, I insisted on going to Arles to see what inspired Van Gogh and his buddy Gauguin. 


It was a long drive to Arles, almost two hours. Having drank a large cup of tea before we left, by the time we got there, I was in desperate need of using a bathroom. Only the city streets were so complex, even the GPS was lost. Though it’s uncertain whether Van Gogh cut off his own ear or it was his pal Gauguin, I would bet my two dogs he did it to himself, and I can see why.   Thirty minutes of driving in circles around this labyrinth of a city and I was ready to cut off my own head.  Continue reading “Searching for Van Gogh”

Ruins, Ruins and More Ruins

When I think of Provence, I envision fields of lavender, cute cobbled-stoned villages and plenty of small homes with brightly painted shutters. Not Roman ruins. But that’s all we saw. All because Mr. Wild Dingo is whack-a-doo about Roman history.  Even Juno is quite aware of his fascination for all things Roman. I’m beginning to think he only married me for my Roman ancestry. Still, some of the ruins were quite impressive.

Pont du Gard, Provence

Our first stop was the Pont du Gard, the still working Roman Aqueduct designed to transport water from Uzes to Nimes. No picture I took could convey the awesomeness of this site. It was huge!  One thing we noticed was that the Romans had style. Not only was the golden color of the bridge complementing the countryside, but much of it was built with artistic reveals and creative design. While function ruled, form was never overlooked in almost anything Roman. The bridge was as beautiful as it was functional.  Continue reading “Ruins, Ruins and More Ruins”

The Enchantment Continues

Now that I made you all envious, I’ll share this with you: Il pleuvait tout la voyage en Provence.   Not just a light dreary drizzle that just dulls your photos with a gray sky, but a clapping thunderous downpour. Brilliant bolts of lightening lit up the chateau while we slept in the evening and winds rattled the shutters. The weather was unheard of for that time of year in Provence.  Continue reading “The Enchantment Continues”

Indulging in Provence

Provence. I know all 12 readers are waiting for a report. Although I’m pretty sure you just want to see the pictures. Do you guys actually read my posts? Because if you do, I’ll try to think of something clever to write.

I’m not an experienced traveler so I struggled for a week deciding on where to book a hotel. Should we stay in something quaint and Provencal or luxurious and wellness-oriented? Or should we stay inland near the historical sites or stay right on the beach?  And is it me, or is it difficult to really judge a hotel based on its web site? Continue reading “Indulging in Provence”