While on the European Photo Tour, we stopped in Normandy for the evening while on the way to London. We parked the bus in a car park and I jumped out to walk along the coast to enjoy the sunset. It turned out to be a rather beautiful one. I took a lot of photos of the old monastery, but some of the best light was in this direction.
Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel over the quicksand
You can either approach this amazing place from the bridge or via the sand down below. I’ve read a few accounts of people that get stuck in the sand as the sea goes into high tide. It’s not exactly quicksand, but it has the same effects. I’m not sure if anyone has actually died from this excursion, but it seems like an excursion I’ll skip nonetheless.
It’s not a short drive to get from Paris to London, but we decided to make it a little longer by stopping here in Normandy. We actually had our bus overnight here at the castle and in the morning we drove over to the famous beaches from World War II. If you click up there on the “France” category, you can see one of the amazing sculptures on the beach there.
Matt Mullenweg is not just the founder of WordPress and now Automattic, but he was also my lucky roommate on this week-long 200km hike through Spain. Not only is he warm at night, but he really knows how to work that loofa in the shower. We share many commonalities including the love of writing, Burning Man, hiking, and experimental and self-exploration use mind-expanding substances.
What do we talk about?
His inspiration for WordPress and his mindset
Comments on blogs
What is his main gig now, Automattic?
Texas boys say hi to their moms
What did Matt learn that he didn’t expect to learn?
Meditation and the Stoic philosophers
Why do we blog?
It appears one of my photos was used for some funky dresses at a fashion show in Sri Lanka. Nothing says the effective end of a religious non-Catholic civil war better than a flowing gown adorned in a Catholic cathedral.
Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel From Above
This was one of my most scary quad flights! I ended up getting some really cool photos of this place (this one included), but there was a lot of concern in getting the quad safely back home. Luckily, Curtis and Tane were there as spotters to make sure nothing went awry. You’ll see a scene from this same spot in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht video I posted a few days ago.
If you don’t have this amazing tool, be sure to get Luminar on Skylum’s website. It’s really a great tool! In this video, I show a bit about how to enhance foliage with one of their cool tools. I also briefly mention my new drone tutorial in this video, which is now available in the store.
Daily Photo – The Magical Castle at Night
Many hardcore people get angry when I call this a castle because it’s actually more of a monastery on top of a medieval village. But I’m not much for semantics and the form largely ticks the “castle” pattern-recognition part of my brain. This is Mont St. Michel in the Normandy area of France. I still recommend this as an amazing destination, even if you are not into photography. It’s kind of touristy in the daytime, but it really clears out in the evening. If you’re looking for a “lively” place with lots of cool bars and restaurants, it’s definitely not that kind of place. But if you’re looking for a place where you can play real-life Assassin’s Creed, well it’s much more that kinda place.
I recommend making your HDR from a single RAW file. I no longer do multiple brackets for quadcopter shots for the simple reason that it adds more noise.
Daily Photo – The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel
Oh my gosh – how much do you want to go in there and eat some fresh, warm French food and drink wine? I’m sure they were all loving it… I like how the guy on the 2nd floor appears to be taking a photo of my quadcopter! I got quite a cool video (if I do say so myself), doing a vertical rise from here all the way to the spire on top of the monastery. I’ll share that soon.
New Passport Video – 10 minute tour of my new studio in 360!
What? You’re not a Passport Member yet? If you sign up, you get all kinds of goodies, including today’s video. I recently had my studio professionally re-done. I’ve just hung up a few photos. Come join me and see. Remember since it’s a 360 video, you can just drag it around to see in any direction.
This was my second time to this amazing place in Normandy, but my first time with the drone. So I decided to make the most of it and was hoping karma would bring me a good sunset, and it did! 🙂 I alternated between taking photos and making videos. This amazing light did not last that long, so I did my best to get as many shots as possible. For a Zen guy, I was in a little bit of a panic mode!
I’m a big believer in Karma, and when it doesn’t work out at all, I always find it humorous. Some of you may know I’m a beekeeper… I have about five hives and occasionally there are bees around the house or even in the house. One morning, I was making my coffee in the dark kitchen and I saw a bee slowly crawling across our countertop. Usually bees do this when they are exhausted and about to die. It was a pitiful thing, so I went to go get some honey and I put a bit on the end of a knife, and slid the knife close to the bee’s head. The bee was excited and crawled up to start getting some much-needed calories so it could fly back. I was holding my coffee, watching this whole thing happen, and thinking about what great karma I have, and then I spilled my coffee down my stomach and crotch! haha… just goes to show you to have good karma but not give yourself credit for it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel in the Dark
We had an amazing day in Mont Saint Michel. It was much too short, and I want to go back again to explore more… but I was happy to escape with a few shots! Here’s one that I took right before I was about to give up and walk back to our bus. I was about to pack up my tripod but then turned around to see a bus coming toward Mont Saint Michel. I quickly set everything up to get a long exposure right as soon as the bus passed, hoping it would give some dreamy light streaks towards the old monastery.
When touring the fortified monastery inside Mont Saint-Michel, one of the final areas after many twists and turns opens into this charming cloister. The arches and craftsmanship is remarkable and makes for at least a few hours worth of photos. It’s one of those amazing places where you just take a few steps then resign yourself to taking yet another photo!
Unfortunately, this place is not open at night, which was too bad because I was really looking forward to one of those sorts of shots. I think this place would be so moody in low light!
Even though there were no tourists around while I was shooting below, there were a bunch of crazy feral cats. They were running around and acting extra-scary. In fact, they kind of freaked me out… I would turn dark corners and loony black cats would jump out or run across the path. If a wild cat bites you, can you catch something? I figure there are cat experts around here that know these things… !!
Daily Photo – Stairs to the Monastery
I went up and down those stairs about six times throughout the night to explore this amazing place. The best part was that it was completely bereft of tourists. Whenever you get to walk around a huge medieval walled town like this in the middle of the night with no one around, you really begin to feel like you’re not supposed to be there, as if you’ve broken into some place secret…