I was editing some photos of mine from last summer and came across these from Caen, a city off the Normandy coast. It is a port city located 15 kilometers inland from the English channel where one can hop on a ferry across to England. I remembered it had rained in Normandy that afternoon while visiting the American cemetery in Omaha beach, but luckily – as what seems to be the story of my life – the skies cleared in time for twilight and gave me nice cloud textures and overall beautiful tones.
Caen is a nice quiet town with its own share of antiquated structures and was said to be the favored residence of William the Conqueror. It was devastated during the second World War but a few of its important structures remained, such as what you see here:
The ruins of St Etienne le Vieux or old St. Stephen's was one of the structures that was devastated during the war. The nave and south aisle are completely gone, but the north aisle, transept and crossing tower still stand.
The Abbaye aux Hommes or the Men's Abbey is dedicated to Saint Stephen and is considered to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy.
One of the most imposing structures on the main square of Caen is the Palace of Justice, the court building, which dates from the last half of the 18th century.
[...Beauvoir & Mont St. Michel, France - Taken on August 2, 2010...]
The long wait for the light! It seemed like forever for the light to change this day, it was almost torture - lying on the grass, looking at the clouds, every now and then getting up to jump around to keep warm. It was unbearably windy and chilly that night. The mountain did not light up until past nine, and I still had to wait for it to get a little darker to get a nice glow. Blue hour did not come until about half past 10. Shot at f/14 at 1/20 sec, ISO 100, with a soft 3-stop GND.
Oh, those flower shots that I simply hate! I really went out of my way for this one, almost lying on the grass to get really low. I tried different apertures on this shot to get what I wanted which was to draw emphasis on the flower, yet still show a little bit of the windmill in the background. This scene can be found in a nice little village called Beauvoir, right on the steps of the beautiful Mont Saint-Michel. (And yes, I did get dizzy after shooting this scene.) Shot at f/2.8 at 1/3200 sec, ISO 200.
The rounded diaphragm opening (9 blades) of the Nikon 24-70mm makes for a more natural-looking bokeh. This happens to be my favorite lens; I use it about 90% of the time.
This shot was taken just before noon with an ND110 (10-stops). It took me about a dozen tries to get my desired effect before they turned the spinners off. I experimented quite a bit on the shutter speed, and settled for a shorter one to still show the blade movement. I think this one turned out to be the best (actually the only one from the bunch that pleased me). It's hard to see it, but Le Mont Saint-Michel is on the lefthand side of this image. I also thought the woman made for a good scale comparison.This was shot at f/8 at 2 seconds, ISO 100.
Golden late afternoon light shining on a bale of hay and the windmill of Beauvoir.