Photography in Saint Malo

Photography in Saint Malo is a pleasure for any amateur or professional photographer. Walking around the coast and the wall of the city just in front of the Atlantic Ocean!

Saint-Malo is a fortified city located in Brittany, France. It’s a city of pirates full of interesting history. In fact,this town is very picturesque and certainly a must on every photography tour through northern France, Brittany, and Normandy.

Introduction Photography Saint Malo

Easy to walking through Saint Malo offer a lot to any photographer. Get ready to explore Saint-Malo’s coastal setting, walk its ramparts, learn about its intriguing history. Here’s how to spend the perfect day shooting in town.

My favorite Location to shot

Start your visit to the wall of Saint-Malo that surrounds the historic center of the city. It was built in two different time periods, the first was built between the Middle Ages and the seventeenth century and the expansion took place in the eighteenth century. From there you can have a nice view of the small handsome town and give you an idea of what are the better location to shooting. In fact from there you can see the beach, the castle and the main attractive of the old town. So from above you have one of the best views of the Breton coast. Ranging from Pointe de la Varde to Cape Frehel and if you look back you will see the Cathedral Tower.

Photography Saint Malo
Rocks, Bretagne, France Rolleflex Planar

Walk to photograph in Saint malo

Keep walking and you will see the “Cavaliers des Champs Vauverts”, built-in 1564 as a casting of artillery pieces. Today it is a public garden, the tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the beach of Bon Secours, where the gate of Bés is located. And very close there is a house of the sixteenth century that served as surveillance shed. As we have already told, in front you will see the islet of Grand Bé, where Chateaubriand is buried and a second islet with a fort of the seventeenth century, which can be reached walking at low tide. However, when there is high tide it is isolated.

Be careful if you decide to go, there are quite a few posters warning that if you get caught at the tide on the islet you will be isolated, but better that than if it catches you coming back! There are already several people who have drowned!

So after that you can go down to the beach and the famous swimming poll with trampoline. For that reason you need to have an idea of what you wanna shot because the scenario change fast due at the tides of the day. Usually you can find in hotel or in web the calendar of the tides in Brittany. Before any workshop I make there I try to look the tides to get prepare.

Be prepare Photography Saint Malo

Brittany is a spectacular land, but it is good to be prepared to sudden and unpleasant situations. In fact, the weather is definitely variable, so it can range even on a sunny day to a storm of water. So moreover the place is famous for its powerful oceanic storms with winds that sometimes reach 200km / h and if we have luck to come across a similar weather event is good to accept the situation and have a good anti rain. Therefore ,Waterproof boots are a must, useful for walking on the cliffs and having your feet dry and warm during a possible disturbance. Also a waterproof backpack cover is a must, to have the equipment always under cover; these are extreme situations, but not improbable, so starting biased is always part of the game.

Photography Saint Malo
Bretagne, Rolleiflex Planar

Once you’ve got your gear together, you need to prepare like a highly organized person to capture amazing landscape and scene. So try to check everything, starting from the weather and location. After knowing when and where it is, i look a map of the country, figured out an itinerary. Finally you get there. So it Is important to know what kind of subject want to shooting and what story you gonna want to tell.

Mind the Tide when you Photography in Saint Malo

Understanding the tide schedule is imperative to photograph in Saint Malo . Not only does it dictate where you can and cannot go, but it also drastically changes the landscape. Knowing what to expect helps you prepare better.

For example the images near the famous swimming pool are most astounding at high tide because it is surrounded by water. Indeed it s looks truly impressive and make for a cleaner, more impactful shot. This is when you should head up to higher viewpoints and photograph from above.

Low tide is your chance to explore and seek less familiar compositions. The coastline may seem more cluttered, but you can venture to otherwise off-limits places. That opens up a bunch of creative possibilities you might not even have thought about.

So use both to your advantage. It is easy to check the tide schedule online or use one of the many apps or many website available.

Around Saint Malo

The Coast of the Lighthouses of Brittany, in the North-West of France. It is undoubtedly one of the favorite places for photographers around Saint Malo. In fact thanks to the splendid cliffs dominated by lighthouses of various shapes and sizes. Indeed they are so different, from the most imposing and majestic to those smaller and more graceful.

Photography in Saint Malo
L’Ile de Vierge, Bretagne, France Rolleiflex Planar

The most fascinating Breton lighthouse is located in the village of Le Conquet, on the tip of Saint Mathieu. The feeling is that we have really reached the end of the world. After visiting the ruins of the village, you can climb to the top. If the sky is clear you can see the whole Finistère. From Le Conquet you can go on a trip to the sea, discovering other lighthouses. Here, on the nearby island of Ouessant the, le Creac’h lighthouse is hoisted. Towards Brest, however, you can see the beautiful Petit Minou lighthouse. Maybe this one is the most photogenic one, and deserve a good time to shooting. In conclusion, my advice is to make a map of them and shooting in golden hours.

After photograph Brittany

If you have more time to travel and photograph in Saint Malo, there are more locations to shooting. Of course you can explore and discover Brittany. Also you will go to the closest region Normandy. It is one of my favorite areas of France and Europe. There are many wonderful places to capture, which are worth a visit especially on the way back to Paris.

Getting to Brittany

Getting to Brittany to photograph, in northwestern France, is an easy train trip from Paris. Depending on where you go in the region—Rennes, Saint-Malo, or Brest—the scenic train routes from Paris Montparnasse station take between 2-4 hours. It’s also possible to drive, a full-day trip if you decide to sightsee along the way. Anyway the faster way is flight there. The airports of Brest and Quimper cover the north and south of the region.

A video about my last Photography workshop in Brittany and Normandy


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