Photographing Etretat cliffs on film

ETRETAT, FRANCE - PHOTOGRAPHER IN VIENNA

Even since I saw a photo of Etretat cliffs for the first time, I fell in love with the location and dreamed of visiting it one day. And in the middle of a crazy year, that day came. I was going to visit Etretat. Using my film camera (a Nikon FM2) for the first time on a trip. With a bag full of Fujifilm PRO400H rolls and with George on my side, we started our road trip with one goal in mind: take as many photos as possible of the beautiful Etretat cliffs on film.

 

So, where are the cliffs of Etretat? And what are the cliffs of Etretat?
Located in the north of France, in Normandy, these are a series of white chalk cliffs, similar to Dover's ones, just across the channel. It's an easy and scenic drive of only ~200km from Paris, along the river Seine. The cliffs include three natural arches and a pointed formation, known as the Needle. Their beauty was an inspiration for several artists, the most famous one being Claude Monet. 

 

Our tip: If you are a Monet fan, you can stop on your way from Paris to Giverny and visit Monet's house and gardens.

 

By far, my favorite part of the trip was shooting the sunrise on the cliffs. We woke up at 6 am, and we were alone on the top. The light, the peace, the sound of the waves, and the squawk of hundreds of seagulls. I loved every moment we've spent here. And since we stayed for a few days, we came back for sunset and hiked both cliffs framing the beach, giving you unique perspectives of this miracle of nature. 

 

Our tip: For a unique view of the cliffs, visit Les Jardins d'Etretat, an experimental garden with "living sculptures", located on the hilly side, on the right of the city.

 

We all have a few unique places where we feel peaceful and connected, and we know that we would be back there (even if we don't know when and how). For me, Etretat is one of those places. And I am looking forward to my return. And who knows, maybe even for shooting a wonderful fine art wedding in this place.