France 2012

Here are a few photos from this year's summer holiday in France. A fairly standard trip - a couple of days to drive down (staying at the lovely Auberge de la Hulotte in St Jacques d'Ambur, within sight of the Puy de Dome deep in the Auvergne), two weeks in a gite (booked via Halcyon Leisure) and then 4 nights on the way back (1 at the Hotel Le Pont Bernet in Le Pian Medoc, 2 at Hotel des Pins in l'Amelie near Soulac, and 1 at Hostellerie du Bois Guibert in Bonneval near Chartres). All of the establishments are recommended for both food and accommodation - as is the Logis de France chain. Anyway, on to the photos. A few from around the gite. Some landscapes and bits and pieces. I'm particularly pleased with the hay bales - I've been looking for a particularly photogenic set of these for ages and happened to come across these while looking for some caves (which happened...
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Starry Starry Night…

After an unsuccessful attempt at photographing stars in Dorset in May (see previous post), I was determined to have another go in the dark skies of rural France while on holiday. And I have to say, it went quite well. The new batteries did the job and I was able to take some very long exposures. The first two are 687 and 3642 seconds (yes, an hour), while the others were taken on a couple of nights a week or so later and are 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. The only problem was that there was quite a full moon on the later days which reduced the amount of stars you could see. I experimented with lighting the trees in the foreground by the simple method of shining a torch onto them. Coming home yesterday, the view from the middle of the English Channel was excellent while the view of the skies over Hampshire while driving back from Portsmouth was superb....
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Ducks On Tour

This is going back a fair bit - something we did in 2004. We "borrowed" two plastic ducks from our then-landlords, SWMBO decorated them in a His and Hers stylee, and we took them on holiday to France. It was the early days of my having a digital camera and I also had a portable Canon postcard printer, so we sent postcards from our travels. 1) Hampton Park, Bristol. 31/08 Hello! The rubber ducks are off on their holidays. See you in about 3 weeks time. Tarquil & Jocasta 2) Newbury. 31/08 Are we nearly there yet? Sebastian & Ludmilla 3) Giverny. 01/09 You know what's missing from Monet's water garden pictures? Duck! That's what! Jacquies & Nigella 4) Chateau de Chambourd. 02/09 OK, if we must slum it tonight. Hector & Clarissa 5) Puy-de-Dome. 03/09 No ponds! Claude & Henrietta 6) St Flour. 03/09 Ah, the joys of a luxurious hotel. Jeremy & Cynthia 7) Pas de Payrol / Puy St Mary. 04/09 The views are so good that I've taken up photography. Timothy & Audrey 8 ) Tournon d'Agenais. 05/09 Hooray! A pond at...
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