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Photo Tips for Gray Days in France

July has not turned out to be a spectacular month for blazing summer days, however a gray day does not have to wreck your visits to France’s landmarks.

If you plan on taking day trips to Omaha Beach and the Americn Cemetery in Normandy (which is often cold and rainy), remember to take advantage of all of the reflective ponds to capture the link between water and sky.

Likewise, even Monet’s Garden, famous for its garrulous color can get a little help on a not-sunny day. With a gentle tweak thanks to iPhoto’s simple tools, a little bit of soft sunlight can turn into a veritable ‘color fest’. Push your saturation tool to the max. Add some extra contrast or use your warm and cool slide to create a pyschedelic landscape. I love iPHOTO!

Here are a few things to keep in mind about weather in northern France (including Paris). The weather and the light (or lack of light changes constantly). For some reason, in the summer (particularly in Normandy) the best part of the day begins around 8 pm. That doesn’t help much if closing time for a particular monument or museum is 6 pm, but Paris gardens (and also the Versailles gardens) tend to stay open until dusk. Plan to do your photo visits at the end of the day and catch up on sleep in the morning.

The essentials – a fully charged camera. And plenty of space on your memory disk.

Gardens on Gray Days
Focus on the greenery and leave the sky out of your picture all together if possible. Look for contrast and the various forms of vegetation, texture and flowers.

Ask your friends to wear their brightest clothes!

Photo trivia: In your opinion, isn’t it strange to see Monet’s garden without a single tourist in sight? Look again at the above photo of Monet’s Japanese bridge.

Photos by Chris Card Fuller ©2008