Mont Saint-Michel Meanders
With travel starting to open up in 2022, I booked what I thought would be a fantastic trip — a week driving tour of Brittany, France. We’d fly into Paris, spend a few days, and then take the high-speed train to Rennes. In Rennes, we’d pick up a car and head west into Brittany. Just north of Rennes was something I’ve always wanted to see — Mont Saint-Michel. A tidal island just off the coast, Mont Saint-Michel was built up over the centuries as a stronghold with an Abbey at the top. We’d have to make a slight detour to check it out. Because I wanted to photograph it under various conditions from different locations, I booked two nights in local hotels.
Our travel went just as planned, and after a couple of days in Paris and a train ride to Rennes we were driving north through the French countryside toward Mont Saint-Michel. We arrived late in the day, and I shot some sunset photos from the area near our hotel, but the light wasn’t particularly good.
The following morning, I got up at roughly 3:00 a.m. to drive some 30 minutes east to try and shoot the full moon setting behind the Mont. While the moon was visible, it was still quite dark out, and the Mont wasn’t lit — making it hard to photograph (I had much better luck the next morning). As the sun rose, I made my way back towards the hotel, stopping to take some early morning photos.
I walked across the fields which were covered with a low fog and got some wonderful photos as the morning light illuminated the Mont and the surrounding landscape. I positioned myself near a unique feature in the landscape, which was called a “meander” — a ditch-like feature that zigzagged back and forth. I had seen this on many photos, so I wanted to photograph it for myself. Perhaps the best photos of this feature are when it’s full of water and reflecting an image of the Mont. During our trip, though it was dry, it still makes for a compelling addition to a composition.
This was a very easy photo to take — it was really all about the light and fog. I’ve always enjoyed traveling in France, as it is an incredibly photogenic destination. I’m excited to return in 2023, hopefully traveling to Brittany again to see more of the coast.