Photo Book Review: Mont St. Michel, by Michael Kenna

Mont St. Michel is a fascinating rock jutting out of the English Channel, about one mile from the French coast. With an old abbey on its peak, it looks like it was designed to point to the heavens. It’s one of the more interesting monuments to visit in France, if you can get there when it’s not overcrowded.

It can be difficult to photograph monuments that are photographed by millions of people every year. Mont St. Michel is one such monument. Its stunning shape against the starkness of the flat sea is memorable, but if you’ve seen one photo of that monument, that shape is familiar, even iconic.

Michael Kenna got access to Mont St. Michel at night, when there were no people, and shot these stunning photos of the island and its structures. Often long exposures, he captures this memorable site, its contrasts, and it’s shapes. As always with Kenna’s photos, he focuses on the light and shadow, the subtle contrasts between shades, and the forms and shapes that we often ignore.

There are several photos of the island itself, but more interesting are the photos of the detail of Mont St. Michel. Kenna finds the elements that are hidden, or hard to see, when visiting the site.

If you’ve ever visited Mont St. Michel, you know what a fascinating place it is. Now imagine it with no people, and with a guide who can show you what you didn’t see. That’s what this book offers. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

Here are some photos from the book:

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Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon UK.

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