Photo Workshop: Paris and Provence

  • 7-day workshop with an acclaimed National Geographic photographer
  • Set out on photo shoots from Paris and Versailles to the Provençal towns of Arles and St. Rémy

Expedition Details

 

From the iconic monuments along the Seine to the sunny southern towns that inspired Vincent van Gogh, experience France from two perspectives during a workshop that combines Paris and Provence. In Paris, photograph vibrant street life against the backdrop of architecture both elegant and eclectic. Go on photo shoots in the narrow lanes of Le Marais and the ornate gardens of Versailles, and find a new angle on the Eiffel Tower. Then head south to the soft pastel landscapes of Provence. From our base in the heart of Avignon, set out to capture the colorful markets and Roman ruins of Arles and frame the view from the hilltop hamlet of Les Baux.

This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.

The following is our planned itinerary; however, our schedule is flexible to allow for spontaneous photographic opportunities.

Itinerary - 7 Days

Day 1 — Paris, France

Arrive in Paris and check into our hotel in the heart of town, just steps from the Opéra and the Madeleine. Gather for introductions and an image presentation by your National Geographic photographer, and then enjoy a reception and dinner with your instructors and fellow photographers.
Hotel Bedford (D)

Day 2 — Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Palais Royale

With your camera in hand, stroll the gardens of the tree-lined Tuileries this morning, capturing images of everyday life among its sculptures and fountains. The gardens lead straight to the Louvre, where we’ll photograph the elegant façades and the frame the famous Pyramide from above and below. Finish off the assignment at two historic buildings nearby: the Palais Royale and the light-filled, mosaic-clad Galerie Vivienne. After lunch on your own, head to the classroom to edit and critique images from the morning’s shoot. As sunset approaches we cap off the day photographing the monuments from a different perspective on a boat ride on the River Seine.
Hotel Bedford (B)

Day 3 — Versailles

Travel by train to Versailles, a former royal hunting lodge transformed into an immense, sumptuous palace by Louis XIV. Photograph the château’s gilded apartments, the dazzling Hall of Mirrors, and its world-renowned gardens on a morning photo shoot. Share a leisurely late lunch together before returning to Paris for a late afternoon session in the classroom to edit and critique the day’s images.
Hotel Bedford (B,L)

Day 4 — Le Marais/Avignon

Stop at Bastille on our way to Le Marais, one of the city’s oldest quarters, once an aristocratic neighborhood, then a Jewish quarter, and now a thriving hub of artists and galleries. Our photo walk passes through the architecturally exquisite Place des Vosges, an important example of early European city planning, and ends at the whimsical Centre Pompidou. Return to the hotel to pack, grab a quick lunch, and depart mid-afternoon on the TGV, or high-speed train, for the south of France. Upon arrival in Avignon, get settled into our charming hotel in the historic district. Later this evening, take a stroll through the old city to work on low-light photography.
Hotel de l'Horloge (B)

Day 5 — Arles/Abbey de Montmajour

A short drive this morning brings us to Arles, a delightful town of cobbled lanes built around spectacular Roman ruins that have been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Delve into the heart of Arles at its liveliest--during the Saturday morning market—and photograph the bright colors of market stalls and the remarkable juxtaposition of medieval and ancient architecture here. This afternoon, go on assignment to the Abbaye de Montmajour, a fortified Benedictine monastery founded in the 10th century, and, more recently, the location for the Katherine Hepburn film, “The Lion in Winter.” Return our classroom in Avignon for an edit-and-critique session this evening.
Hotel de l'Horloge (B)

Day 6 — Saint-Rémy-de-Provence/Les Baux

Today explore the stunning Provençal landscapes that once inspired Vincent Van Gogh. On the outskirts of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, stroll through Saint Paul de Mausole, the asylum where Van Gogh spent some of his last months. Wander the gardens and nearby olive groves, framing scenes that he once immortalized in paint. Just a short walk from the clinic lies the fortified Gallo-Roman city of Glanum, where photographic opportunities abound among the well-preserved ruins. Venture into the pastel-hued center of St. Rémy for lunch and time to explore. Then travel across the rugged limestone bluffs of the Alpilles to Les Baux, a hamlet built into the mountain crags. Climb up the picturesque winding lanes, photographing age-old churches and cottages in this magnificent setting, and shooting the panoramic view of orchards and vineyards far below. Return to Avignon for a final edit-and-critique session followed by a festive farewell dinner.
Hotel de l'Horloge (B,D)

Day 7 — Avignon/Home

After breakfast, gather for an image presentation of the best photographs from the week followed by a final question-and-answer session with your instructors. The workshop concludes at noon.
(B)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson  Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson are two highly experienced photographers who have also been partners in marriage for over 30 years and are contributing editors for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Collectively they have photographed more than 60 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. Sisse and Cotton have spent much of their careers working in Europe, shooting stories from the Arctic and Scandinavia to Italy and France. Having lived in Paris for six months, they shot images for the feature article “Paris: The Longest Sunday" in the July/August 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. Both have been awarded numerous prizes by Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, White House Press Photographers Association, and Communication Arts. Today they are based in Glasgow, Scotland, yet spend most of the year on the road producing magazine stories and videos for the Geographic.

Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson will join the following departure:

Apr 14 - 20, 2015

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Dates

2015
  • Apr 14 - 20, 2015
  • Oct 06 - 12, 2015

Expedition Cost

2015

$4,875

Workshop prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,130. Airfare from/to your home city is not included in the workshop cost.

Meals noted in the itinerary (two dinners, one lunch, and breakfast each day) are included.

What To Expect

This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who are interested in improving their digital photography. All participants must bring a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer, and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.