Since I took up photography, I have limited my picture-taking mainly to within the city in which I live, Paris. When I bought my first reflex camera, I quickly became interested in sunrises and sunsets; the light of these times of day being ideal for photography. Taking pictures of the monuments of Paris at dawn and sundown is truly amazing, but always taking shots of the same places, in the end, can get a bit tiring. Quite simply, I wanted to escape.
And if there is one monument in France that I absolutely wanted to photograph at sunset, it was Mont Saint-Michel. I finally managed to stop off there on my way through Normandy in the last week of July! We were lucky enough to have the perfect weather conditions: it was hot but pleasant and the sky was slightly hazy, which gave us the perfect, soft light for taking photographs.
The idea wasn’t necessarily to go straight to the foot of the hill and take pictures from close up, but instead to shoot from a distance. The main subject of the photos, therefore, would not be the main monument, but other subjects that we found in the surrounding spaces. The geography of the bay of Mont Saint-Michel revealed itself to be perfectly suited to this type of photography, so numerous were the possibilities surrounding it: we were able to enter fields of corn, of wheat and others full of salt-meadow sheep and bales of hay. These landscapes form the perfect frame in which to create compositions and take distance shots with the Mont in the background.
Seeing as I wanted to avoid cliché photos and get off the beaten track, I knew that an exploration phase would be necessary, even more so given that we didn’t know the area surrounding the bay. So I searched for a rucksack that would allow me to explore new places whilst carrying my photography equipment, all without loss of style. I eventually went for a rucksack from the National Geographic range, the Medium Earth Explorer, and I was not disappointed!
In fact, I was looking for a spacious rucksack that is practical from a photographic point of view: my previous rucksacks fit the first criterion but only had one compartment, which certainly allowed me to fit in all my things but didn’t turn out to be very practical in the long run… For example, when I wanted to change lens, I had to (if only because my equipment was underneath all my personal things) turn out the entire contents of my bag, and then put it all back in. The Earth Explorer bag has the great idea of being made up of two separate compartments: one devoted to personal items and the other reserved for photo equipment.
The lower compartment, used for photo equipment, is really effective to use as it gives me quick access to my lens kit, saving me a significant amount of time. This compartment is well padded and big enough for all my photographic equipment, consisting of a reflex case, four lenses including a zoom lens, a remote control and several other accessories. My Manfrotto Compact Advanced tripod fits easily into the side pocket, held by a specially designed strap.
The upper compartment had room for all my personal items, such as sunglasses, umbrella and a waterproof! Let’s not forget that we are in Normandy and the weather can be very unpredictable 🙂
From an external point of view, the bag looks amazing and definitely doesn’t go unnoticed! It has a unique style that reminds you of the bags of old-style adventurers, with its vintage-look canvas, multiple large pockets and noticeable straps. The National Geographic logo is the cherry on the cake, perfecting the overall style!
All-in-all, I am very happy with my choice of the Earth Explorer rucksack! It is comfortable, practical and stylish and will be a great accompaniment to both my Parisian outings and my next travels.
And, of course, I could never end this article without posting a picture of the amazing sunset we were lucky enough to catch at the end of our little escapade! After all, it was always the main reason why I wanted to go there.