Week 31: Giverny, or, how I went to the heart of impressionist painting and only took pictures in black and white

This week’s entry is in two parts: the city part, and the country part.

The city part 

It’s the depths of August in Paris, which means the streets are deserted. The city is calm, which is pleasant, but many shops and restaurants are closed, which is bad. There are still a few photographic opportunities around, but you do have to look for them. The streets are empty, and it turns out that a lot of people are filming movies, even when it seems they are not (more on that next week). And there are plenty of fairs with dubious quality food and smiling staff who certainly would like to be somewhere else:

 

Security has been noticeably increased in Paris after the events of the last twelve months. Sometimes the city feels like this:

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Nice picture, but….

The country part 

Well, this week’s post would just be street photography, if we hadn’t decided to make a trip to Giverny, where Claude Monet’s house and garden is. Monet himself designed the garden, which featured in many of his paintings (it has to be said that Monet is not my favourite painter, I much prefer Cezanne, which perhaps explains why this is the first time I have been there).

Giverny is half an hour on the train from Saint-Lazare.  The entire village has been turned into a giant museum. If you look carefully, you will notice that there are no shops or bakeries, no place to buy any food. You see, no-one actually lives there. But is very beautiful, and certainly worth the trip from Paris.

As there was bright sunshine, I decided try a roll of fine-grained film that I bought during my recent trip to Japan. Of course it is a bit crazy taking pictures of the house and garden of one of the key figures of Impressionism in black-and-white! Nevertheless, another interesting exercise in composition and learning to take good photographs without using colour!

 

There is an excellent hotel-restaurant in the village, where we had a wonderful meal after our visit.  It was the home to many American artists from the end of the 19th century onwards, and there is still a small studio in the garden behind.

 

That’s it !

Here is a link to my previous posts.

Technical details: All photographs are taken with a Leica M6 and a Summicron-M 50mm. Film is Tri-X developed in HC110 dil. B @ 6.5 mins and Fujii Acros 100 developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 13 1/2 mins. 

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2 thoughts on “Week 31: Giverny, or, how I went to the heart of impressionist painting and only took pictures in black and white

  1. I love that you did this! It puts a whole different spin on the water lilies paintings. Although I’m with you – Manet far more my favorite than Monet. I absolutely love the photo of the inside of the studio!

    Liked by 1 person

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