Abbaye de Maillezais Vendée

Originally from Yorkshire, we were brought up on the merits of Rievaulx and Fountains Abbeys. They were of course the most famous and beautiful of the abbeys destroyed by Henry VIII when the pope said no he couldn’t have a divorce to be able to marry Anne Boleyn. Bit of an over-reaction in my opinion especially when you think how it turned out in the end…

Anyway. This article isn’t about them. No. It’s about Maillezais Abbey in Vendée. It’s a little bit of a hike, but you basically just get on the motorway and don’t forget your exit the way I did, and ended up taking a very scenic route, which was very scenic. Luckily my daughter didn’t realise this. My wife would have been telling me how bloody useless I am. Ahhh, the joys of youth!

I’m going to start with the photos I took on the Easter Monday 2019, and then I’ll do an other article about my previous visit when I was with a film camera…

In this series I was using the Canon 6D Mark II with the Canon 16-35mm lens, and the Helios M44-2 58mm lens, which seems to be becoming my “go to” kit…

Come to Nantes – It’s a riot!

Oooooh… About to get political. Well, not really, but for the last 19 weeks, the Gilet Jaune movement has become a reality and what was at first something pretty scary, has now become part of everyday life and people are just getting on with it! I love the way they just say “merde” which delivers a certain contempt that the English language just can’t manage to do so concisely.

I’m not going to pass judgement on the movement, or am I going to get into the politics of it all. However, as a piece of history, it has been fascinating to watch and photograph. I mean the French are ready to demonstrate about anything, and things can get quite militant, so we know what to expect. The police come out dressed in riot gear, an all of a sudden you some bangs. The first rounds of teargas have been fired. You get that strange mist that permeates the city and gets your eyes and throat. Not the most pleasant experience, but I’ve had worse. Streets get blocked off by rather large CRS (Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité) or Gendarmes. And they know if you’re demonstrating or not and are quite civil. The ones you have to watch out for are the BAC (Brigade Anti Criminalité) who have less riot gear on but can be pretty brutal.

I watch from afar as elements of the scene fall into place. People are just going about their daily business.

A Manif (demonstration) from last May bout the proposed airport in Nantes.

Thes folowing photos were taken on the X100F and the Canon 6D Mark II, with a Pentacon 50mm lens.