What do you get when you mix cultural aspects of India, Africa and Asia? Why, you get something “wonderful all around.”

That is how Mike Long, the photographer who submitted the top-rated image in this week’s It’s A Snap! contest, describes Mauritius Island. Long, his wife and family spent two weeks on the island off the east coast of Madagascar in July.

“You’ve got hills, white sand beaches, turquoise water — you can go back time and time again and get sensational shots,” he says.

“You get a much better feel after the first time,” he adds. “When and where to shoot made more sense.”

Long describes himself as a “photographer trying to become pro,” but also works with his wife — a research epidemiologist — collaborating on writing articles for medical journals.

The two live in the tiny French village of St. Pierre d’Argencon, which is home to 80 residents.

Raised in Seattle, Long says his move to the rural area in the southern Alps was a shock, and he recalls the difficulty of learning the French language.

“The first year was ‘oui, oui, merci, oui,’ ” he says. “It took awhile — it’s a tough language.”

His next project will be producing a documentary on the Vedda, an indigenous tribe in Sri Lanka.

As for Mauritius Island, two visits isn’t enough. Long is planning his third trip for the end of this year.

To see more of his work, click here.


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