By Nino Xerri. Shutter Priority chosen because the image was shot from a moving coach approaching Mont Saint-Michel. A slight HDR adjustment (Dynamic HDR) as a single raw file to bring out and enhance the colours in the sky.


Nikon D300; Sigma 17-70mm at 70mm; 1/500 sec; ISO 200

Don’s response
This is one of those deceptively easy, but actually really very difficult subjects. There aren’t any technical issues to speak of in terms of the exposure, focus, or lighting. The big problem is that we’re all so familiar with this famously beautiful landmark that it’s hard for us to see photographer Nino Xerri in it.

Speaking as one who has taken his fair share of equally anonymous “I was there” pictures of well known places, I can only say what my usual practice is under these circumstances.

First, I get this kind of shot out of the way. The impulse to take the postcard picture is irresistible – and I don’t try to resist. The itch must be scratched. But then comes the hard part: trying to do something interesting. Generally this requires (where possible) moving away from the usual perspective and then forcing yourself to tell only the most important part of the story of your visual encounter by capturing only the most essential details. “Simplify, simplify, simplify” isn’t a bad motto in such circumstances.


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