Chasing Lavender in Provence, C&C Welcome

Started 1 week ago | Discussions thread
mreynolds767
OP mreynolds767 Senior Member • Posts: 3,089
Re: Chasing Lavender in Provence, C&C Welcome

peter826 wrote:

Absolutely beautiful. I was in Valensole and Gordes two years ago, but also missed peak lavender. There were 2-3 ratty fields left, which I photographed, but nothing like what you have.

I read that the farmers are starting get very tired of all the instagrammers and photo shoots in their fields, there was a photo of one field where they had hung a banner on the tree so that photos would in theory be ruined. I wonder if you ran into that?

I'll probably go back (I visit France about every other summer), but will certainly go earlier in July next time.

Thanks Peter! Early July is definitely prime time.

I was shocked how little interaction with the farmers there is. Figured I might get yelled at or chased by a dog once or twice but that never happened.

There must be some kickback from the local tourists boards and tour groups that goes to the farmers.

In general though 90% of the tourists stay in one of the more well known towns an hour away and take a bus tour through stopping only at the major farm which has a large lavender store / gift shop and a large enough parking lot to hold dozens of busses. That is a great field, huge, nicely sloping with isolated trees and perfectly groomed it also is packed at virtually all hours. I went there during the day but actually was going to skip it entirely for my better images. #6 is from there, and was taken after another location for sunset was abandoned due to windy conditions ; I raced over to this place and waited my turn along with a dozen other photographers at sunset. No my favorite field at all but I like the photo.

During the day that same field would have 100 people minimum at all times walking about, taking pictures including many staged ones with models for IG. But since the farm is making money from their store and little ice cream stand they encourage the crowds. I don't know why they do not charge parking as they could.

All of the other fields one needs a car to reach and not too many tourists rent a car and venture off to find the fields. There are no other parking lots, with the exception also being the Abbey photo. They are not hard to find and a few on the main road get people all day showing up but the few on smaller side roads are mostly empty at all hours. Really only dedicated photographers are exploring the side roads and the number of locations gives those dedicated photographers enough options that except for the one field none of them are crowded at sunrise/sunset type times.

The light is terrible for photos outside of 1 hour in the evening and 1 hour in the morning so except for scouting I ventured to visit other hill towns and sites during the days.

If a farmer wants to dissuade tourists/photo takers all they need to do is not weed. Saw many fields that had beautiful lavender and good photo compositions but they were unkept looking and therefore not as picture worthy.

The fact they keep their fields so perfectly manicured tells me they want to show them off and not grown just for the crop.

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