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A Photographers Diary: Monet's Garden

One of the useful features of digital files is being able to look back and see when you photographed particular subjects – very helpful for flower photography!  Those boxes of slides just didn’t yield the same information….!


pink tulip

Browsing through my photos to see what I was taking this time last year I saw that I was in Giverny, visiting Monet’s garden.  I’d always had a niggling feeling that as a flower photographer I really should go there at least once, so last year I made a spur of the moment plan to go to Giverny, just for a couple of days.


I’m not a fan of driving abroad, so I booked on the Eurostar to Paris, then caught a train to Vernon, just 5km from Giverny.  The website for Monet’s garden lists lots of local places to stay, and I’d booked myself into a B&B, which turned out to be delightful.


The following day I was ready to go into the garden at the moment they opened.  It was a beautiful fresh April morning, and the garden had just been watered, which meant there were plenty of water drops on the flowers to enjoy!  The garden isn’t large, but it is absolutely lovely.  At this time of year, I was of course too early for the famous water lilies; but equally I was too early for the coachloads of tourists which I would imagine fill the garden in the summer.


bird cherry


I spent a happy morning photographing tulips, then left the garden to find something to eat.  On my way out I had to walk through the car park, where I saw a beautiful bird cherry tree in full blossom.  By now the wind had got up, but the blossom was so lovely that I was determined to photograph it, and lunch got postponed by another hour or so while I waited for a lull in the wind.  Eventually I got my picture, and in fact my photo taken in Monet’s car park turned out to be my favourite from the trip!


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Geoff Harris

I am a photography journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill, Steve McCurry and the late Mary Ellen Mark. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time.

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